The many tributes to Charles Kennedy have concentrated on his political life, and that, of course, is as it should be. I would like to offer my tribute from a different perspective. Actually, two different perspectives.

I was his tutor for two years in the philosophy component of his joint honours degree in philosophy and politics at Glasgow University, and I was the vice-president of Glasgow University Union when he was the president. When I attended my first board meeting at GUU, I endured the usual uncertainties, but Charles immediately explained procedures and put me at my ease.
He was a very successful president, turning round the financial loss he inherited to a considerable profit, with the help of his treasurer Eddie Prentice and his honorary secretary, Murdo Macdonald, and all the time debating round the world and continuing his academic studies. His debating successes culminated in him winning the national Observer debating Mace along with his debating partner, Clark McGinn.
I said that he was doing this while he was continuing with his academic studies. It is not uncommon for student politicians to drop out of academic life. Indeed, I heard recently of a prominent Labour politician who spent seven years at taxpayers' expense and never finished a degree.
As a student official Charles was entitled to a sabbatical year but he refused this on the grounds that it was a waste of taxpayers' money. He managed to fit in his academic studies with a challenging schedule of student union work and international debating. I cannot honestly say that all his essays were in on time, but if they weren't handed in by Friday he would telephone and have them in by the following Wednesday.
In the end, he was awarded a well deserved 2:1. He submitted a philosophy dissertation on Private and Political Morality for which the external examiner awarded him a first class mark. I wonder what Charles thought of the political morality of some of his recent political colleagues.
Perhaps I may be allowed two anecdotes from many testifying to his humanity. One of my daughters was in the final of a schools' debating competition which Charles was judging. After the competition there was a reception. Charles noticed that one of my daughter's teachers was sitting alone with no-one to talk to. Charles immediately got her a glass and a chair and engaged her in conversation. She was delighted.
The second anecdote concerns a surgery which MPs have for their constituents. One petitioner was a lady whose grievance was that she had complained for four years to the council about her dripping tap but no one had come to fix it. Charles said "I will fix it!" and got his tools and put on a new washer.
Although his main contribution was no doubt to Westminster politics he remained loyal to Glasgow University and its students - witness his election to the post of rector on two occasions. One student said to me: "The Lib-Dems would have a done a lot better with Charles Kennedy drunk than Nick Clegg sober - think of Churchill!"
Perhaps he was right.
Robin Downie,
Emeritus Professor of Moral Philosophy,
Glasgow University