“Happy Birthday St Andrews. Here’s to you, and here’s to the next 600 years.”
“Despite being one of Europe’s leading research institutions, the third oldest university in the English speaking world and, of course, far and away the best university in the world, St Andrews still has that uncanny knack of feeling like home. And so it must have done to generations of undergraduates before us – in fact 600 years worth.
“It’s knowing that so many of Scotland’s finest brains and great achievers gained – and continue to gain – inspiration from this place that makes me so proud to be the Patron of our university’s 600th Anniversary Appeal.”
The University of St Andrews 600th Anniversary Campaign was launched, with the support of alumni and friends around the world including former US President Bill Clinton, James Bond icon Sir Sean Connery, Alex Salmond, then Scotland's First Minister, and Harvard President, Drew Gilpin Faust. Here you can read their warm words:
“Congratulations to all those gathered to launch the 600th anniversary of the University of St Andrews.
“In its six-century history, the University of St Andrews has remained dedicated to creating an academic home for people of all ethnic, religious, socio-economic and national backgrounds. As new generations of students have entered its halls, the school has adapted to serve new interests and emerging areas of study. But throughout its history, St Andrews has remained true to values of academic excellence for which it was established.
“I’d like to thank this fine school for creating opportunities for students from around the world to study in Scotland. St Andrews has helped guide and inspire America’s past and future leaders throughout our history; three signatories of our Declaration of Independence held a connection to the University, and thousands of American students are welcomed here each year for study abroad.
“I am confident that the University will continue to build on its impressive legacy, endowing future generations with the honour of a St Andrews education. Best wishes for a wonderful celebration.”
Bond star and St Andrews honorary graduate Sean Connery offered his congratulations to a university “dear to his heart”
There is nothing like a challenge to bring out the best in man, and for six centuries St Andrews has been challenging established wisdom and challenging its students and teachers to push the boundaries of knowledge.
“Scotland has a few precious claims to be world class – her first university is one of them.
“This university will always be dear to my heart and I’m proud to be an honorary graduate of a place where good is never good enough. Ever to be the best. Happy Birthday St Andrews, lang may your lum reek.”
Former First Minister Alex Salmond
“The University of St Andrews is globally recognised as an institution of academic excellence and it is important that we celebrate its achievements and proud history.
“As a St Andrews graduate, I am delighted to support the University’s 600th Anniversary celebrations and appeal. The Appeal aims to create scholarship opportunities which will help young people, of all backgrounds, have the opportunity to study at Scotland’s oldest University.
“Scotland’s reputation for innovation and world-class research is founded on the work and intellectual achievements of our academic institutions. I wish StAndrews every success in the future as it reflects on its achievements over the past 600 years.”
Actor and presenter Nicholas Parsons
“I look back on the three years I spent as Rector of the University of St Andrews with huge pleasure. It was a most rewarding experience being associated with such an eminent seat of learning. St Andrews is unique, a most attractive town with wonderful buildings and an atmosphere which is inducive to study and research. Any student who is accepted there feels special and to be involved in the academic side of this great University, is a privilege I will always treasure.
“Best wishes for the success of the Anniversary Campaign.”
“I send my warmest good wishes and congratulations on this momentous celebration. May this pre-eminent seat of learning go from strength to strength; I look forward to visiting the university in the near future, and until I can deliver them in person I send my fondest thoughts to all who teach, and learn, in this fabulous establishment.”
Dame Judi Dench
“Happy Birthday St Andrews! I am inordinately proud to be an Honorary Graduate of Scotland's foremost University, and to be a tiny part of its sensational history. I shall be with you in spirit for all the celebrations.”
Poet and novelist Jackie Kay
“The University of St Andrews is a rare place: a place of deep learning that also has a lovely family-feel. The university has all the passion and history of the nearby sea, but also a lovely way of incorporating the current. It is a place which allows its students to look back to the past with pride and forward to the future with confidence.”