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

July 1855
Dr Wong Fun became the first Western trained doctor in China after studying in Edinburgh in the 1850s.
July 1855
July 1859
James “Africanus” Beale Horton was born in Sierra Leone in 1835. He is considered Edinburgh University’s first African graduate.
July 1859
July 1859
Elijah McCoy trained as an engineer through an apprenticeship in Edinburgh. He went onto patent over 60 of his inventions.
July 1859
July 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.
July 1860
July 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.
July 1875
July 1887
Prafulla Chandra Ray was a chemist, an industrialist who established the first Indian research school in chemistry.
July 1887
July 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.
July 1890
July 1891
Subodh Chandra Mahalanobis is widely recognised as a pioneer of physiology and was the first professor of physiology in India.
July 1891
July 1892
Boon Keng earned a reputation as a skilful and attentive physician and opened a practice called ‘The Dispensary” in Singapore.
July 1892
July 1905
Arthur Cecil Alport is remembered for the research he conducted in the 1920s on what has become known as “Alport syndrome”.
July 1905
July 1906
Bandele Omoniyi is best known for his book A Defence of the Ethiopian Movement (1908).
July 1906
July 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.
July 1910
July 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.
July 1911
July 1915
Clara Marguerite Christian was a Dominican-born woman, widely recognised as the first black woman student enrolled at the University of Edinburgh.
July 1915
July 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.
July 1918
July 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.
July 1919
July 1921
Yuan Changying, a renknowned playwright, novelist and scholar of literature was the first Chinese female Masters student in British history.
July 1921
July 1927
Yun Posun came from a family of Korean independence activists and was elected President of South Korea in 1960.
July 1927
July 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.
July 1929
July 1930
Ken Johnson founded the band founded the band Ken Johnson and his West Indian Dance Orchestra which launched his career into international fame.
July 1930
July 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”.
July 1936
July 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.
July 1938
July 1940
Dr. Oku Ampofo’s ground-breaking studies in plant medicine led to over 300 plants being identified and certified as having medicinal properties.
July 1940
July 1941
Banda died with an appalling record of human rights abuses and extortion – personally owning as much as 45% of Malawi’s GDP.
July 1941
July 1944
Ansuyah Singh’s was an esteemed doctor, radical activist and author. She helped to instigate progressive change in her society.
July 1944
July 1949
Julius Kambarage Nyerere led Tanganyika to Independence in 1961 and served as President of the Republic of Tanzania until his retirement in 1985.
July 1949
July 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.
July 1949
July 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…
July 1956
July 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.
July 1958
July 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.
July 1959
July 1960
Semei Nyanzi was a pre-eminent economist and prominent government participant, and was a powerful voice for reform in postcolonial Uganda.
July 1960
July 1963
Kenneth Ramchand is an influential author and is currently Professor Emeritus of West Indian Literature at UWI and at Colgate.
July 1963
July 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’.
July 1965
July 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.
July 1967
July 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.
July 1972