A memorial to pioneering economist Adam Smith has been unveiled at the original site of the Scots university where he began his studies at 14.

The University of Glasgow commissioned the engraving of five paving stones on High Street, where it was based from 1451 to 1870, as part of its efforts to commemorate the 300th anniversary of his birth.

The stones feature quotes from Smith’s seminal works, The Wealth of Nations and The Theory of Moral Sentiments, key dates, and the University of Glasgow’s specially commissioned tercentenary logo.

They were engraved by local stonemason business, Forever Memorials and unveiled by Glasgow's Lord Provost, Jacqueline McLaren, at a ceremony held on Monday.

She was joined by the University of Glasgow’s Rector, the Honourable Lady Rae; Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli; and the students who have helped to make Adam Smith’s tercentenary year a global success.

READ MORE: Scots university to mark tercentenary of 'Father of Economics' 

Adam Smith's illustrious career began when he enrolled at the University of Glasgow aged 14, which wasn't unusual but he was considered so gifted he went straight into second year.

In 1740, he left to study at Oxford University but 11 years later he returned to his alma mater as a Professor of Logic, later becoming Professor of Moral Philosophy. 

The Herald: Adam Smith began his studies at the University of Glasgow aged 14Adam Smith began his studies at the University of Glasgow aged 14 (Image: Archive)

While at Glasgow, he published the first edition of The Theory of Moral Sentiments in 1759, which was considered a scientific breakthrough and provided the philosophical and economic foundation for his later works, including The Wealth of Nations.

Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli said: "The University of Glasgow is Smith’s intellectual home, and we are proud to lead the way in evaluating his legacy, through conversations and learning for a 21st century audience.

READ MORE: Adam Smith lecture to be given by former top Biden economist 

"It has been fantastic to see so many people from all walks of life engaging with our tercentenary programme throughout the past year."

“Much of Smith’s work and thinking was developed through his interactions with Glasgow and its citizens.

"This memorial on the site of Smith’s old stamping ground is therefore a fitting tribute, and one which will be visible to future generations - we are grateful to the city of Glasgow for their support in making this happen.”

Dr Craig Smith, a senior lecturer in the Scottish Enlightenment at the university, says the so-called “Father of Economics” is as misunderstood as he is revered.

The Herald: Dr Craig Smith, Adam Smith Senior Lecturer in the Scottish Enlightenment at the University of Glasgow Dr Craig Smith, Adam Smith Senior Lecturer in the Scottish Enlightenment at the University of Glasgow (Image: Newsquest)

He said: "Everyone thinks they know what he thinks and they don’t because they have never read it [The Wealth of Nations].

“Some people will not look at him, read him or consider him because they think he is this evil proponent of selfishness and capitalism and defender of corporations.

“And the problem with that is when you read him, he is not those things.”

The Lord Provost for Glasgow, Jacqueline McLaren, said: “On behalf of the city of Glasgow, we are absolutely delighted to welcome this new memorial to our illustrious former resident.

"Given Adam Smith’s intellectual associations with both the University of Glasgow and our city, it feels only right that he should have a memorial here, on the site of the Old College where he began his studies aged 14."

Other notable University of Glasgow alumni includes; former First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Scotland’s inaugural First Minister Donald Dewar.