The Robert Gordon University has such diverse and deep roots that it is difficult to pick any point in time and proclaim 'this was the beginning'.
In 1720 Robert Gordon (1668-1731) retired to Aberdeen. He had amassed a considerable fortune yet he is believed to have had a 'frugal' retirement. On his death 11 years later he willed his entire estate to build a residential school for educating young boys. In the summer of 1750 the Robert Gordon's Hospital was born. In 1881 this was converted into a day school to be known as Robert Gordon's College. About the same time Mr John Gray offered to provide a school of science and art upon condition that the Govenors named it Gray's School of Science and Art. And in 1903 the then Scotch Education Department designated the vocational courses work of the college as a Central Institution.
The name Robert Gordon's Institute of Technology, or RGIT as it was popularly known, was adopted in 1965 to reflect the continuing advancement in the level of the teaching work and the new role as a centre of excellence in the non university sector of higher education.
In 1991 the name changed again, to The Robert Gordon Institute of Technology. RGIT was one of the largest Central Institutions in Scotland with probably the greatest breadth of courses. In 1992 RGIT was awarded university status and the first Chancellor, Sir Robert Reid, was installed. It was an achievement which we and the local community celebrated with great pride.
Robert Gordon's mercantile adventures founded a strong and remarkably modern belief that his investment in the education of his townsfolk would equip them with the skills and knowledge to strengthen their success in Europe and further afield.
Today, more than 260 years after his death, the University which bears his name remains true to his spirit and enterprise and has approximately 9,000 students studying over 145 full-time, part-time and sandwich courses at undergraduate, post-experience and postgraduate levels.
(Aberdeen is also home to the University of Aberdeen.)