Posted: Monday 20 June 2011
Lauren Pringle, a Former Pupil of the High School of Dundee, has been elected President of the Oxford Union.
The Oxford Union is recognised as the world's most prestigious debating society, with debates regularly attracting high-profile guest speakers and international coverage. The post of President has previously been held by individuals including Boris Johnson, Benazir Bhutto and William Gladstone, amongst dozens of other notable names.
Lauren, who left the High School in June 2009, is reading Law at Wadham College in Oxford and currently holds the position of Librarian in the Union. She will now take a year's sabbatical from her degree in order to prepare for and complete her term as President in January - March 2012.
Lauren's determination to study at Oxford was initially born out of her trips there as a school debater, where she qualified for three finals days and in 2009 she and her High School debating partner Scott Ralston finished 7th in the UK, with Lauren placed fourth individually out of 176 competitors.
The Senior Debating Coach at the High School, Irene McGrath, said: "We knew Lauren was something special from her very first debate, when, aged 12, she was required in a junior competition to research and propose the motion This House Believes That NATO should be disbanded. In the years since then she has always maintained a superb balance; being extremely intelligent, working impressively hard and being a delightful person whom it is a privilege to know."
In her time as a debater at the High School of Dundee, Lauren - partnered first with Neil Dewar and then with Scott Ralston - won all of the major Scottish debating trophies: the ESU Mace which led to the International Mace final in the Palace of Westminster, Dundee (on three occasions), Glasgow (on two occasions), Edinburgh, Aberdeen, St Andrews, and the Ross Cup (Champion of Champions). She also won Best Speaker in the Cambridge Union final where she and Scott came second in a tournament which had attracted an initial entry of 700 teams across the UK. Lauren was a member of Team Scotland which finished fourth out of 37 nations at the World Schools Debating Championship in Washington DC in 2008, and seventh out of 39 in Athens in 2009.
It is the first time that a former pupil of the High School of Dundee has been elected to the post of President of the Oxford Union.