Over the years, many former pupils have achieved distinction in government, at either a local or national level, while others have played important roles as senior civil servants.
A pupil at Park Place, he was the first Harris FP to become Lord Provost of Dundee.
Leaving the Harris in 1906, he studied at Edinburgh where he achieved the distinction of a double first in history and philosophy. This was followed by a Civil Service career where he rose to a senior position in the Colonial Office.
Charles Cunningham was dux medallist in 1924. This was followed by university at St. Andrews. From university, he entered the Scottish Office and began to rise through the ranks. He was appointed Private Secretary to the Under-Secretary for Scotland (replacing William Murrie) and was then promoted to Secretary of the Scottish Home Department. He was then further promoted to the rank of Permanent Under-Secretary of State at the Home Office. His long and distinguished careers was recognised by the honour of a knighthood.
A pupil at Park Place, he was elected as Member of Parliament for a Middlesex constituency.
William Dick entered the sixth standard class at Park Place on the opening day and left the ninth and highest class in 1889 as dux medallist. A distinguished university career earned him the degrees of M.A., LL.B and his expertise in legal matters subsequently saw him appointed as a K.C. He then entered the Civil Service through its Irish branch and rose to be Land Purchase Trustee for Northern Ireland.
He left Park Place as dux medallist in 1905 to continue his studies at Cambridge. This led to an appointment with the Meteorological Office and a successful career which culminated in his appointment as head of the Meteorological Department in Scotland.
A pupil at the Harris during the war years, he nevertheless shrugged off the difficulties and uncertainties of that time and qualified as a chartered accountant in 1950. A growing interest in politics then saw him unsuccessfully contest two parliamentary elections before winning a sensational victory over the then Under-Secretary for Scotland to become Member of Parliament for the Craigton Division of Glasgow. In 1964, after five years as a back bencher, he was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Defence for the R.A.F. and, two years later, became Parliamentary Under Secretary at the Scottish Office. Further promotion followed in 1974 with an appointment as Minister of State at the Scottish Office before he attained full cabinet rank with his appointment as Secretary of State for Scotland, also receiving the honour of becoming a Privy Councillor. In 1988 he left Parliament, by applying for the Chiltern Hundreds, to take up the post of European Commissioner for Regional Policy and Cohesion which he held until 1995. In 1999-2001 he chaired the Millan Committee which proposed reforms to the provision of Mental Health care in Scotland.
William Murrie was dux medallist in 1922. This was followed by university at Edinburgh and Oxford. From university, he entered the Scottish Office and began to rise through the ranks. First, he was appointed Private Secretary to the Under-Secretary for Scotland and was then appointed as Secretary of the Scottish Education Department. This was followed by an appointment as Secretary of the Scottish Home Department (succeeding Charles Cunningham). This long and distinguished career was recognised by the honour of a knighthood.
Sir John Phin received his early education at the Harris and, after a successful business career, took a close interest in civic affairs. He served as Convener of several committees of the Corporation of Dundee and, while Works Convener, was involved in the construction of the City Square. He was Magistrate and City Treasurer and served as Lord Provost from 1935 to 1940. In 1938, he was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws and received further honours in 1941 when he was knighted and appointed Deputy Lieutenant of the County and City of Dundee.
A pupil at Perth Road, he emigrated to Rhodesia where he had a long and distinguished career in government service, culminating in his appointment as Secretary to the Treasury and in the award of an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from the University of Zimbabwe.