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Royal couple to attend St Andrews New York Gala Benefit

Friday 14 November 2014

600th Anniversary Gala Benefit

The University of St Andrews is to host a major fundraising event at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City on Tuesday 9 December 2014.

Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be guests of honour at the St Andrews Gala Benefit, which is the centrepiece of the North American element of the university's 600th Anniversary Fundraising Campaign.

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

The Duke and Duchess are alumni of St Andrews. Both graduated from the university in 2005. The Duke is the Patron of the Anniversary Fundraising Campaign, which he launched during a return visit to St Andrews with Catherine in February 2011.

Funds raised during the evening will support student scholarships and bursaries, new student sports facilities in St Andrews, investment in the university's medical and scientific faculties and a lectureship in American Literature at St Andrews. Despite being 600 years old, St Andrews has a tiny endowment and has embarked on an ambitious international fundraising drive to raise £100 million. Over £13 million is being sought to support bright students who would otherwise be unable to attend university.

A limited number of guest places at this signature event remain available. Information about tickets may be obtained from Please note the university cannot accept bookings directly. All inquiries should be made to Event Associates Inc.

St Andrews is Scotland's first university, founded in 1413, and one of the oldest in the world. It is ranked among the top 1% of universities globally (Times Higher and QS World University Rankings 2014), and 3rd in the United Kingdom next to Oxbridge (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2015).

St Andrews has a close and historical relationship with the United States. Three of the signatories of the Declaration of Independence attended or received degrees from the university, including Benjamin Franklin. Today, close to 20% of St Andrews' undergraduate students come to Scotland to study from the US.

Guests at the benefit will comprise alumni, students, staff and supporters of the university.

The royal couple will be met on the steps of the Met by an honour guard of fellow St Andrews alumni wearing the university's traditional red gowns. They will attend a 6.30pm reception in the Great Hall, prior to dinner for 600 guests in the Museum's Temple of Dendur.

The evening will close with a charity auction, which has been generously supported by friends of the university and many of its graduates and honorary graduates.

Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Ann Gloag and Ian Rankin are among those to have donated lots to the auction.

About St Andrews

Founded in the 15th century, St Andrews is Scotland's first university and the third oldest in the English speaking world. Teaching began in the community of St Andrews on the east coast of Scotland in 1410 and the University was formally constituted by the issue of Papal Bull in 1413.

The university is now one of Europe's most research intensive seats of learning - over a quarter of its turnover comes from research grants and contracts. It is one of the top rated universities in Europe for research, teaching quality and student satisfaction and is consistently ranked among the UK's top five in leading independent league tables produced by The Sunday Times and The Times, The Guardian and The Complete University Guide.

Its international reputation for delivering high quality teaching and research and student satisfaction make it one of the most sought after destinations for prospective students from the UK, Europe and overseas. It is Scotland's most international university - a third of the student body of 7,800 is from overseas.

It has a staff of 1,800 and maintains one of the strongest records in Europe for teaching quality, good degrees and student support. In the eight years it has entered the UK National Student Survey, St Andrews has consistently ranked among the top 5 universities for student satisfaction. It is currently joint top in the United Kingdom. In 2013 the University received on average 12 applications per place in the Arts, Sciences, Medicine and Divinity.

Issued by the University of St Andrews:

For further information please contact University of St Andrews Press Office - telephone +44 (0)1334 462530, email

For all inquiries relating to media attendance at this event please contact Royal Communications: +44 (0)20 7930 4832