Famous Alumni

As the UK’s 9th oldest university, our history is rich with brilliant leaders, inspiring thinkers and incredible achievers who have been shaping a better world since 1845.

Former US President

Bill Clinton was a principle influencer on the peace process in Northern Ireland and was pivotal to ensuring all parties reached agreement in April 1998. He received an honorary degree from Queen’s in 2001. In 2018, he marked the twentieth anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement at Queen’s ‘Building Peace’ event.

Former British Prime Minister

Tony Blair served as British Prime Minister from 1997-2007. He played a major role in the Northern Ireland peace process by helping to negotiate The Good Friday Agreement. In 2018, he marked the twentieth anniversary of the Agreement at Queen’s along with former US President Bill Clinton and Senator George J. Mitchell.

The wartime Prime Minister

Sir Winston Churchill was Prime Minster of United Kingdom 1940-1945 and led Britain to victory in the Second World War. He was also a writer, army officer and painter. In 1926 he visited Queen’s when he was Chancellor of Exchequer where he was presented with an honorary degree – and a new hat.

A nobel prize winning poet

World-renowned Irish poet, playwright, translator and lecturer, Seamus Heaney was awarded a BA in English from Queen’s in 1961. He was a lecturer in Modern English Literature at Queen’s.

Northern Ireland’s Einstein

John Stewart Bell is known as the originator of “Bell’s theorem’’ or “Bell’s inequality.’’ Dubbed one of the top 10 physicists of the 20th century by the Institute of Physics, he is considered by some scientists to rank alongside Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein.

Politician and peace maker

Baron Trimble was First Minister of Northern Ireland and leader of the Ulster Unionist Party. In October 1998, Trimble and John Hume were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in Northern Ireland. He studied Law at Queen’s receiving a first class honours degree and was awarded the McKane Medal for Jurisprudence.

N.Ireland’s first President of Ireland

After graduating from Queen’s with a law degree in 1973, Mary McAleese was called to the Northern Irish Bar in 1974 and practised criminal and family law. Serving as the eighth President of Ireland from 1997 to 2011, she was the second female President and is the first President of Ireland to have come from Northern Ireland. She remains a member of the Irish Bar.

First woman to hold office

The seventh president of Ireland, Mary Robinson was the first women to hold this office. She was the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights from 1997-2002 and gave the Inaugural Senator George J. Mitchell Peace Lecture in 2018.

The father of emergency medicine

Professor James Francis Pantridge was a physician and cardiologist who transformed emergency medicine and paramedic services with the invention of the portable defibrillator. In 1969 he was appointed Officer of the Order of St. John (OStJ) and he was appointed Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE).

British female inventor of the year

Máire O’Neill graduated from Queen’s as a Master of Engineering in 1999 and is widely regarded as one of Europe’s leading cryptography experts. She received the prestigious 2014 Royal Academy of Engineering Silver Medal, one of only five engineers to have done so.

And many more...