Fife twins reveal heartache behind double graduation joy
Twin brothers Connor and Callum Clark graduated from the same university class, ending a long academic journey together which has encompassed both high jinks and heartache.
The 25-year-olds from Glenrothes picked up their B Eng (Hons) in Electronic and Electrical Engineering degrees at the Usher Hall nine years after leaving school to begin their studies at the then Adam Smith College.
Their path to Edinburgh Napier University had a lot of laughs along the way, with the pair – who have three younger brothers – indulging in their trademark trick of confusing teachers by swapping bags and clothing to sit in each other’s classes at primary school, high school and college.
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However, there were also desperately challenging times, with the twins sitting one key university exam in 2017 less than a week after the death of their mother Dianne Christie (44), who had had a lifelong struggle with asthma.
Connor said: “I have always had her in my heart. I know she would have encouraged us to sit the exam as we’d put so much time and effort into studying for it, and I also know if she is looking down on us today she will be especially proud to see us graduating.
“I left Glenwood High in Glenrothes at the age of 16 with average grades and no real sense of direction so there’s no doubt this is my biggest accomplishment to date.”
Connor, who was a champion boxer and cyclist as a teenager and is the oldest twin by three minutes, was sponsored to study electronics after landing a job with a local firm, Quality Precision Electronics, and worked his way up from Higher National Certificate level to studying for an honours degree.
Callum, now a senior design engineer in Edinburgh with aerospace firm Leonardo, said: “We both left school in fourth year and have worked our way up from college students to university honours graduates while also working.
“We have worked together, trained at the same gym together, shared a car, been in the same university class and now graduated together. It has been an amazing journey and we have developed lifelong friendships through Edinburgh Napier. I’m now looking forward to the next chapter in my life.
“Having left school in fourth year with average grades I have proven to myself that hard work is the only currency for success, and with the right mindset and discipline anyone can achieve anything if they are prepared to work hard enough for it.”