Discover the alumni who have been uncovered so far by scrolling down the timeline.

November 1855
Dr Wong Fun became the first Western trained doctor in China after studying in Edinburgh in the 1850s.
November 1855
October 1859
Elijah McCoy trained as an engineer through an apprenticeship in Edinburgh. He went onto patent over 60 of his inventions.
October 1859
November 1859
James “Africanus” Beale Horton was born in Sierra Leone in 1835. He is considered Edinburgh University’s first African graduate.
November 1859
November 1860
Jesse Ewing Glasgow Jr. was an exceptional intellectual who attended the University of Edinburgh 1858-60. Glasgow was also a member of the Banneker Institute
November 1860
May 1875
Aghorenath Chattopadhyay was the first Indian to secure a Doctor of Science degree. Aghorenath went on to become a prominent educationist and social worker.
May 1875
January 1887
Prafulla Chandra Ray was a chemist, an industrialist who established the first Indian research school in chemistry.
January 1887
November 1890
Kadambini Ganguly was one of the earliest women physicians from South Asia. Ganguly combined her work as a doctor with social philanthropy and political activities.
November 1890
November 1891
Subodh Chandra Mahalanobis is widely recognised as a pioneer of physiology and was the first professor of physiology in India.
November 1891
January 1892
Boon Keng earned a reputation as a skilful and attentive physician and opened a practice called ‘The Dispensary” in Singapore.
January 1892
November 1905
Arthur Cecil Alport is remembered for the research he conducted in the 1920s on what has become known as “Alport syndrome”.
November 1905
November 1906
Bandele Omoniyi is best known for his book A Defence of the Ethiopian Movement (1908).
November 1906
November 1910
H.C. Bankole-Bright qualified as physician in 1910 and ran a medical practice in Sierra Leone, before becoming a prominent journalist and politician.
November 1910
November 1911
Finandra Nath Bose was an Indian artist whose sculptures can be seen across Scotland. He was the first Indian sculptor to achieve recognition in Britain.
November 1911
November 1915
Clara Marguerite Christian was a Dominican-born woman, widely recognised as the first black woman student enrolled at the University of Edinburgh.
November 1915
January 1918
Sirdar Ikbal Ali Shah was an Afghani-Indian, who attended Edinburgh the late 1910s. He established himself as a writer and diplomat, reporting on international relations.
January 1918
November 1919
After graduating Jung Bahadur Singh became a medical official and politician who fought for universal suffrage, workers’ rights and religious freedom in the Guyanese colony.
November 1919
November 1921
Yuan Changying, a renknowned playwright, novelist and scholar of literature was the first Chinese female Masters student in British history.
November 1921
May 1927
Yun Posun came from a family of Korean independence activists and was elected President of South Korea in 1960.
May 1927
October 1929
Dr Savage was probably first West African woman to qualify in medicine. She played key roles in the early histories of numerous important Ghanaian institutions.
October 1929
November 1930
Ken Johnson founded the band founded the band Ken Johnson and his West Indian Dance Orchestra which launched his career into international fame.
November 1930
November 1936
Kesaveloo Goonam graduated from Edinburgh in 1936 and ran numerous successful medical practices. Goonam was commemorated as “the first black woman doctor and freedom fighter”.
November 1936
January 1938
Lord David Thomas Pitt led an outstanding political and medical career. Pitt dedicated his life to medicine and politics, tenaciously fighting against racism and discrimination.
January 1938
November 1940
Dr. Oku Ampofo’s ground-breaking studies in plant medicine led to over 300 plants being identified and certified as having medicinal properties.
November 1940
November 1941
Banda died with an appalling record of human rights abuses and extortion – personally owning as much as 45% of Malawi’s GDP.
November 1941
November 1944
Ansuyah Singh’s was an esteemed doctor, radical activist and author. She helped to instigate progressive change in her society.
November 1944
June 1949
Julius Kambarage Nyerere led Tanganyika to Independence in 1961 and served as President of the Republic of Tanzania until his retirement in 1985.
June 1949
December 1949
Dr Matilda Clerk was the first Ghanaian woman to secure a scholarship to study abroad. She dedicated herself to primary care and public health.
December 1949
November 1956
Asrat Woldeyes was the first Ethiopian to graduate in medicine from the University of Edinburgh and went onto become one of Ethiopia’s most prominent medical…
November 1956
November 1958
Florence Nwapa helped reunite children displaced by war with their families and was the first African woman to internationally publish a novel in English.
November 1958
November 1959
Donald Locke’s work explores themes of heritage and the post-colonial mainly through the medium of sculpture, but also through working with painting and ceramics.
November 1959
November 1960
Semei Nyanzi was a pre-eminent economist and prominent government participant, and was a powerful voice for reform in postcolonial Uganda.
November 1960
January 1963
Kenneth Ramchand is an influential author and is currently Professor Emeritus of West Indian Literature at UWI and at Colgate.
January 1963
January 1965
Sir Geoff Palmer became Scotland’s first Black professor in 1989. He’s achieved an OBE and been named as one of the ‘100 Great Black Britons’.
January 1965
November 1967
Azar Besharat Moayeri became Edinburgh’s first female graduate in Chemical Engineering in 1967. She began a family business which manufactures Canada’s first natural wax products.
November 1967
January 1972
Bankole Ajibabi Omotoso is an author whose work is committed to fusing a socio-political reprisal of Africa with a respect for human dignity.
January 1972