Gerry Hughes

Biography of Gerry Hughes

Gerry Hughes received the honorary degree of DLitt from the University of Glasgow on Wednesday 18th June 2014. Hughes was the first deaf teacher in Scotland since 1880 and the first deaf person to sail single handedly across the Atlantic Ocean and also around the globe via the five southern capes.

Hughes, who has been deaf from birth, has loved sailing from the age of 2. In his teenage years he was involved with a group of deaf sailors in the south of England, and sailed across the English Channel.

He started school in St Vincent’s School for the Deaf and attended a number of schools in England and Scotland before graduating with a degree in Mathematics from the Open University. He qualified as a teacher in 1995 and in 2007, he became the first deaf person to become a Chartered Teacher in Scotland.

As well as having a passion for sailing, Hughes has also played in a number of football clubs including St Vincent’s Deaf Football Club, Glasgow, who won the Scottish Deaf Football Cup, the British Deaf Football Cup and were runners up in the European Deaf Football Cup. He has also played golf for Scotland in the World Deaf Golf Championships six times. He began his sail around the globe on 1st September 2012, leaving Troon, and eight months later completed the 32,000 mile journey.

Gerry Hughes was involved, as a Researcher, with the British Sign Language Research Project at the University of Edinburgh and also helped to develop a sign language curriculum.


Gerry Hughes
University Link: Honorary Graduate
GU Degree: DLitt, 2014;
Record last updated: 20th Jun 2014

University Connections

University Roles

  • Honorary Graduate

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