Media Release: American astrophysicist joins Aberdeen pupils Founder’s Day celebrations

PROFESSOR David Robert Tytler, from the Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences at the University of California, San Diego, touches down in Aberdeen this week to deliver the annual Robert Gordon’s College Founder’s Day oration.

Starting in the junior school in 1962, Professor Tytler had many interests which included chess, bridge, tennis and photography.

Throughout his senior years at the city school he saw great success in chemistry and geography competitions, spent time as the secretary of school Astronomy Club. This encouraged him to join the British Astronomy Club where he then went on to be librarian and secretary of the Aberdeen & District Astronomy Club… whilst working on his studies.

Aside from his starry eyes, the professor enjoyed a year of presidency of the Biology Club.

In his final year of school in S6, he was part of a team of six who won the inter-school section of the Bruce Oil Management Game.

Graduating from Robert Gordon’s College in 1975, Professor Tytler left the Cults area of Aberdeen to attend University College London where he obtained bachelor and doctorate degrees in astronomy.

In 1982, he moved to a postdoctoral position at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, home to the world’s largest telescope. He taught astronomy at Columbia University in Manhattan before becoming a physics professor at the University of California San Diego in 1989.

His main research areas are astrophysics and astronomy and in particular observational cosmology and new astronomical instruments.

Former pupil, David, says: “It is a fantastic time to talk to the current pupils and staff about my research following the recent British Science Festival events in Aberdeen.

“Even though it is over three decades since I left the college, I have numerous memories of the happy years spent in and around the school, and I can even recall one of the founder’s days that I attended.

“The privilege of addressing the school presents me with an opportunity to encourage the pupils to think in the widest terms about what they might be able to do in their lives.

“For those who are fortunate to be amongst the brightest and best young people in Scotland, it is appropriate to aspire to become leaders of the professions, founders of new companies, and international opinion formers.”

On Thursday September 20, Robert Gordon’s College hold their annual Founder’s Day celebration, during which the whole school, led by the pipe band, marches by Schoolhill and Back Wynd to the nearby Kirk of St Nicholas for a service at 11.15am.

Acting head of college, Mrs Jennifer Montgomery. says: “We look forward to celebrating our founder Robert Gordon this year with Professor Tytler who will be sure to inspire our pupils of all ages to make the most of their talents and education at Gordon’s.”


Media contact:

Shelley Lee, Robert Gordon’s College, 01224 646346

Notes for editors:

  • Photo opportunities are available with guests prior to procession from 10am onwards and also of the procession which leaves from Robert Gordon’s College to St Nicholas Kirk around 10.40am by arrangement with Shelley Lee.
  • Robert Gordon’s College educates over 1,600 children from the age of 4–18 on their campus on Schoolhill, Aberdeen.

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Contact: Shelley Lee
Phone: 01224646346