Colin Ranshaw can justifiably claim to have helped tens of thousands of students in Sunderland, from the day he was elected as a Student Representative in 1971, to earlier this month when he stepped down as Trustee of the University of Sunderland’s Students’ Union.

Today Colin was awarded an Alumni Fellowship in his outstanding achievements as a graduate of the University of Sunderland.

A qualified pharmacist, Mr Ranshaw worked in the acute healthcare sector for over 35 years, and has maintained a close relationship with the University, via the Hope Winch Society, and then as Chair and then Trustee of the University of Sunderland Students’ Union.

He said: “It’s been a magical day. To be honoured in this way makes one very proud.

“Sunderland and the University have been part of my life since 1971 and there is no comparison when it comes to be honoured by the very place you chose to study at.

“It is always wonderful to come back to this city and I feel very grateful to have been part of a very special day for so many of the University’s graduating students.”

Chief Executive of the Students’ Union Marie Nixon nominated Mr Ranshaw for the Alumni Fellowship.  She said: ““There is no more ardent an advocate for the University of Sunderland and its students than Colin Ranshaw. Over the years he has made an enormous contribution to his chosen profession of pharmacy, as well as to the NHS in a number of clinical and governance roles.

“The University of Sunderland Students’ Union has been proud to call Colin chair of our trustee board for the past six years. In this voluntary role Colin has worked tirelessly to lead and champion significant developments in how the Union supports students and provides outstanding opportunities for them, whilst being a passionate advocate for student leadership on issues academic, local and national.”