One Million Miles for Ellie – article by Steffanie Stewart

Edinburgh Napier graduate Steffanie Stewart recently contacted us to let us know about an amazing charity hike that her brother (and fellow Edinburgh Napier graduate!) Donald Stewart is doing in honour of his friend, Ellie MacDonald who lost her battle with cancer in 2014. Steffanie shared with us some of the trials and tribulations that Donald has faced so far, as well as the inspiration behind the hike. 

donald tramp 1

The Mohave Desert in July, earthquakes, altitude sickness, rattlesnakes (actually standing on one and living to tell the tale), scorpions, sunstroke, bears, cliff faces, long stretches without reliable water supplies or mobile signal, hitch hiking to resupply points (some of which seem to have been in slightly dangerous gang land areas…) and very sore feet. These are some of the obstacles faced by my brother Donald who set off on June 3rd to attempt an epic 878 mile trek along the Pacific Crest Trail, raising money for charity.

Kearsarge Pass

His charity of choice? One Million Miles for Ellie. Eleanor was Donald’s friend, who he met during a summer placement while studying at Edinburgh Napier. Sadly she passed away from cancer and her mum set up the One Million Miles for Ellie campaign; a campaign encouraging people to contribute towards a one million mile target, while raising money to support Cancer Research UK, Maggie’s Centres and MacMillan Cancer Support.


Ellie (being an outgoing, outdoor enthusiast too) and this inspiring campaign influenced Donald’s decision to step way out of his comfort zone. He wanted to trek such a huge distance in the hope that he could raise some money, or at least awareness for this great cause and help Ellie tick the number one wish off her bucket list – to destroy cancer.

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Josh Quigley: The Tartan Explorer

With his own successful business,  Josh Quigley seemed well on his way to becoming an entrepreneurial success. Unbeknown to everyone though, Josh was struggling with his mental health. Read more his battle with depression and his journey as the Tartan Explorer. 

Josh Quigley

In 2010, Josh Quigley started at Edinburgh Napier University as a Business student, with dreams of becoming an entrepreneurial success. 6 years later, his dream has come true. However, Josh’s journey to success has been far from easy behind the scenes.

Josh left university after his first year to work full-time and gain some experience before continuing his studies in business at Stevenson College. This led Josh back to Edinburgh Napier in 2013 when he joined as a bright and confident, 3rd year Marketing & Management student.

Josh has always had an entrepreneurial spark from a young age, he was fascinated with how businesses worked. This passion inspired him to set up his own incredibly successful digital marketing business during his 3rd year, Sharkdog, which won Josh the ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2015” at the Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce Awards. However, the success of the business combined with everyday stresses of life began to take their toll on Josh’s mental health. Feelings of loneliness, and isolation became overwhelming and Josh lost his sense of who he was. The enthusiastic, intelligent young man who once had a true lust for life, could only see one way out.

 On 26th May 2015, Josh decided to end his life.

Josh in hospital

“All I wanted was to be happy, to enjoy life. But I couldn’t. I couldn’t imagine ever feeling happy again. I felt like I was trapped in a corner and I only had one option. I wanted it all to end. I wanted it to be over. I wanted to be dead.”

At 80 mph, Josh intentionally crashed his car into a concrete barrier at the westbound junction of the M8 near Livingston. Miraculously however, he walked away from the crash with no physical injuries.

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Two graduations and a traineeship – article by Eilidh Syme

Eilidh Syme is 24 years old and from Crieff, Scotland. She has just completed her Graduate Traineeship and has been accepted for an internship in New York by the prestigious Mountbatten Institute. Here she describes her experiences as both a student, employee and alumnus of Edinburgh Napier University. 


Two degrees, two graduations, three years apart!


I graduated from Edinburgh Napier University in 2012 with a BA (Hons) Business Management with Marketing with First Class Honours. Just a few weeks ago,  I graduated from the University once again; this time as a staff member and with an MSc in Management with Marketing.

When I graduated with my BA, I had nothing lined up and I remember feeling so lost because I had no idea where I wanted to work or what I wanted to do. I applied for a handful of jobs, but was never offered them; “there was a candidate with more experience” was the usual feedback. But my mum kept saying the same few phrases which kept me going: “Good things come to those who wait” and “What’s for you, won’t go by you”. Continue Reading →

Edinburgh Napier Takes Manhattan! – article by Leigh Dilks

This article was contributed by Head of Alumni & Events at Edinburgh Napier University, Leigh Dilks. Leigh has worked in alumni relations since 2004 and is also a current student, studying an MSc in Management. You can contact Leigh via email:

Leigh Dilks

Leigh Dilks

In 2009, we decided that we wanted to do more to engage with our alumni based in the United States. Scotland Week, seemed like the ideal opportunity for Edinburgh Napier to grow it’s alumni association in the USA, and participate in a seven day celebration of Scottish heritage and culture. There are approximately 6 million people in the United States who claim Scottish descent and we have over a thousand graduates currently living there. Continue Reading →


Happy New Year and welcome to our brand new blog!

2014 was an incredible year for Edinburgh Napier University. Our 50th anniversary year provided the ideal opportunity for exploring our history and connecting with our extended community. Our Alumni & Family Day was a particular highlight, with 1500 graduates and their families returning to campus for an afternoon of fun and frolics. We also heard the incredible stories of our 50 Alumni from 50 Years and celebrated with staff and grads turning 50 on our official anniversary date.

Graduates and their families enjoying our Alumni Day, June 28.

Graduates and their families enjoying our Alumni Day, June 28.


Photoshoot on our official anniversary, featuring staff and alumnus Ken Brown - who all turned 50 in 2014.

Photoshoot on our official anniversary, featuring staff and alumnus Ken Brown – who all turned 50 in 2014.

2015 is a new year and we are full of optimism for all that can be achieved. We have launched this new blog as a space to share

  • Graduate good success stories
  • The latest University news 
  •  Invitations to and summaries of alumni events
  • Articles and accounts written by our graduates
  • Photographs and videos, both up-to-date and from the archive

We would love to involve as many of our graduates as possible in this exciting new project!

If you have a way with words or a particular story to tell, either about your time at Edinburgh Napier or your life since, we’d love for you to share it. We are looking for accounts, articles and multimedia content generated by and for our diverse alumni population. This could be:

  • A summary of a University event that you’ve attended
  • A unique insight into your industry or occupation
  • Career or lifestyle advice for current students or other alumni
  • A perspective on current events and contemporary issues in education, politics and beyond
  • A trip down memory lane and a glimpse into your Edinburgh Napier history
Red Nose Day at Craiglockhart, 1991

Red Nose Day at Craiglockhart, 1991

We are also hoping to utilise this platform as a means of promoting you – your work, experiences and successes. We’re looking to compile a catalogue of alumni bloggers, so if you have a site you’d like us to link to, please get in touch!

If you would be interested in contributing in any way, email We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

If you don’t have anything to add, but are looking forward to reading more about your the University and your fellow graduates then watch this space! You can subscribe below and make sure that you never miss a moment.