Biography of Albert Luthuli
Albert John Mvumbi Luthuli (c1898-1967) was University Rector from 1962 until 1965. The University's Luthuli scholarship is named in his honour.
Born in Bulawayo,Zimbabwe, Luthuli was a schoolteacher who became Chief of the Umvoti mission reserve at Groutville in Natal, South Africa. He was President-General of the African National Congress from 1952 until 1960, when he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace, which he received one year later. He was widely admired for leading a non-violent campaign against apartheid in South Africa and for his dignity in the face of what was seen as state persecution. In 1968 he was posthumously awarded the United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights.
Luthuli was unable to travel to Scotland for the election as he was awaiting trial on charges of high treason in South Africa, and he was unable to leave South Africa during his rectorship. His rectorial campaign was supported by the Liberal and the Labour Clubs and among the students who campaigned on his behalf was the future First Minister Donald Dewar. Luthuli defeated Robert McIntyre, President of the Scottish Nationalist Party; the Earl of Rosebery, and Conservative MP and future Prime Minister Edward Heath in the election. 61 per cent of the students voted in the election, the highest turnout for many years.
You can find out more about Chief Albert Luthuli by visiting the Luthuli Museum website and searching through their on-line collection.