Today proved to be a quite exceptional one for Sam Heughan — though many of them are as of late. The Outlander actor was given an honorary degree a few hours ago from Stirling University, where he gave a rousing speech in front of many graduates and also spoke to the values of the school and much of what we should all strive for.
This is a tremendous honor for Sam, and most of you reading are sure to understand why. This is an actor who cares more about the impact that he has on the world than he does any particular role. We see this honorary degree as a testament to his work away from Outlander more than him starring on a TV show — think in terms of his charitable contributions or the way he highlights Scotland as a wonderful, idyllic destination. He’s a native son of Scotland doing right by it on a big stage.
Stirling itself has many connections to Outlander production, at least in terms of proximity. The series films its episodes not too far away from the city, and that made it easier for Sam to travel in after having the day off of work. The folks at the university were kind enough to offer a stream for the proceedings, so people around the world could watch some of what he had to say. We also have a video below, if you are interested in checking it out.
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While at the event, Sam also told Press Association Scotland (via The Scotsman) a little about what the honor meant to him:
“It is a really great honour and I feel just very privileged to be able to share this day with all the other graduates. It feels wonderful that they’re recognizing the work that we do for charity as well as the work I do in film and TV.
“I think coming to a university like Stirling, how can you not feel fortunate being in a great location like this? I would just say good luck to them all, I (wish the graduates) all great success in their chosen paths, have faith and they’ll be back receiving their own honorary doctorates, no doubt.”
It’s wonderful to have this opportunity to hear Sam speak from the heart during what has to be a busy time for him. Filming for Outlander season 5 has been underway for months, and that in itself is a full-time job without even considering My Peak Challenge, Great Glen Company, his charity work, and promoting/working on any other projects.
Cheers to Sam on a well-deserved honor — we’ve already called this the Year of Sam with some of the various achievements that he’s had, and we have a feeling that there are still many great things to come.
What do you think about the Sam Heughan honorary degree speech, and the honor bestowed on him? Be sure to share in the comments. (Photo: Starz.)