From war zone to awards ceremony

Calum Ferguson
Calum Ferguson

HAVING missed Dundee College’s prize-giving event in September because he was on active service in Afghanistan, Cupar man Calum Ferguson was determined to make it to the college awards ceremony in the Caird Hall last Friday.

So much so, that the warrant officer arranged his 14 days leave from a seven-month tour of duty in Helmand to coincide with the college graduation event.

WO Ferguson, who has been in the RAF for 27 years, is currently based at Camp Leatherneck, a US Marine Corps base close to the UK Camp Bastion.

While he couldn’t make it to the prize-giving, he still managed to achieve the biggest cheer of the evening when it was announced that he was ‘on ops’ in Afghanistan and couldn’t be present.

Calum’s daughter Kate, who is also a Dundee College student, received the CIPD Mid Scotland Branch prize for management on behalf of her father.

The 18-year-old HNC healthcare student declared she was extremely proud to stand in for her dad and was delighted to be able to applaud him in person as he was presented with his award in the Caird Hall.

Calum, who is normally based at Leuchars, successfully completed his CIPD post graduate diploma in human resource management, studying part time, coming to classes each Monday and Wednesday evening for three years.

Originally from Glenrothes, Calum is currently human resource manager for the Headquarters (HQ) Regional Command (South West), providing a range of HR services with limited resources in austere conditions to over 100 UK military and civilian personnel.

Calum began studying at Dundee College in a bid to widen his future career options and, despite having not studied for a number of years, found coming to college extremely rewarding.

“Despite being quite academic when I was younger, I’ve spent most of my life neglecting study in favour of playing sport,” confessed the serviceman.

“The realisation that age was no barrier to learning was an absolute revelation and I found the research and assignments very satisfying.

“Additionally, the bonds I’ve formed with some peers and tutors will stay with me for life.”