Walk the Walk founder honoured at graduations

Doctorate has Nina over the MoonWalk

Date posted

7 July 2016


THE woman behind the famous fundraising MoonWalks has received an honorary degree from Edinburgh Napier University.

Nina Barough walked the New York Marathon in a bra with 12 other women in 1996 to raise money to help combat breast cancer and then later discovered she had the disease herself.

Undaunted, she created the Walk the Walk charity and kick-started a fundraising phenomenon which to date has generated more than £111 million, with £19.4 million raised by The MoonWalk Scotland alone.

The MoonWalk events which grew out of Nina’s initiative are still inspiring women – and men – to walk marathons in the middle of the night and other walking challenges, wearing decorated bras.

On Wednesday she joined hundreds of Edinburgh Napier students at a ceremony in the Usher Hall to receive an Honorary Doctorate of the University. Her Laureator was Assistant Principal Dr Sandra Cairncross, herself an enthusiastic MoonWalker and a veteran of five of the Edinburgh events.

Nina, who received the CBE for services to healthcare in 2006 and Fundraiser of the Year at the Pride of Britain Awards in 2008, said: “I am so very excited and honoured to receive this honorary Doctorate of the University. It is completely unexpected, but a wonderful and very special recognition of all that has been achieved by Walk the Walk and all its Walkers and supporters throughout Scotland and across the UK.” 

The other Edinburgh Napier University honorary degree recipients at this week’s graduation celebrations were:

Iain Smith, the Glasgow-born producer of a string of award-winning films, received an Honorary Doctorate of Arts on Monday 4th July 

David Lanc, founder of award-winning cyber security firm Payfont and former executive director of RBS’s cards business, received an Honorary Doctorate of Enterprise on Tuesday 5th July.

Professor Lesley Yellowlees, Head of the College of Science and Engineering at the University of Edinburgh and enthusiastic promoter of women in science, received an Honorary Doctorate of Science on Tuesday 5th July

Michael Welch, the entrepreneur whose Blackcircles.com has grown to be a major player in the UK tyre retail market, received an Honorary Doctorate of Enteprise on Wednesday 6th July

Professor Andrea Nolan, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Edinburgh Napier University, said: “It is exciting to see people who have made such a significant impact on the worlds of science, industry and the arts joining our celebrations.

“Their drive and talent will inspire our students as they set out to make their own mark on the world.”