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Alumni Weekend is going virtual for 2021


As a mark of respect for the funeral of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, on Saturday 17 April, please note that all events scheduled for Saturday have been rescheduled to take place on Sunday 18 April instead, with the exception of the Public meeting which will now take place on Saturday 24 April.

Please note, if you have already registered to attend any events on Saturday, there is no need to re-register for Sunday.

Links to all events will be sent to everyone who has registered to attend events in the next day or two. Events scheduled for Friday 16 April and Sunday 18 April will proceed as planned. Please consult the updated programme below.

It is not too late to register to attend the Virtual Alumni Weekend from 16-18 April 2021.

See the full programme detailed below, then REGISTER to receive links to the events.

Please note: You do not require a Microsoft Teams account to join any of these events.

In addition to the events below, we have some 'on demand' content for you from around the University for you to dip into throughout the weekend.

Programme of events

All event times are BST.

  • 3:00pm - 4:00pm Alumni Careers Panel - our alumni in Sustainable Development with Q&A
    Join Karen Hall, Assistant Director (Opportunities) in the University’s Careers Centre, and students for an engaging discussion with Salvatore, Lucy and Benjamin, three St Andrews graduates who are working in different parts of the world in the field of Sustainable Development. 

    Salvatore Coppola-Finegan
    (MA 2008) has a broad working experience internationally in Northern and Southern Europe, the Americas and South East Asia. He is currently working as a consultant for public and private sector Sustainable Development projects in South East Asia and Central America government UNFCCC delegations in preparation for COP26.

    Lucy Godshall
    (MA 2013) is a Sustainability consultant committed to helping corporates to help better measure, mitigate, monitor and report their environmental and social impact, driving long-term sustainable value creation. Lucy is currently a Senior Manager at EY within the Climate Change and Sustainability Services practice and is based in the USA.

    Benjamin Ong
    (MSc 2017) is Head of Exploration at the UNDP Accelerator Lab Malaysia. Between 2014 and 2019, he anchored volunteer engagement and environmental education at Universiti Malaya’s Rimba Ilmu Botanic Garden through two platforms he co-founded: The Rimba Project and the Urban Biodiversity Initiative (Ubi). He won the Chevening Green Volunteer of the Year Award 2017 and the 2019 Marsh Award for Education in Botanic Gardens. He is the author of The Backyard Before You, an exploration of neighbourhood landscapes in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

    Take this opportunity to find out more about Sustainable Development through the experiences and career paths of Salvatore, Lucy and Benjamin. Follow their very different journeys since they graduated from the University of St Andrews and gain valuable insider information about the sector and their roles. You can send questions for the panel in advance to or you can ask questions on the day via the Q&A function.

    5:00pm - 6:00pm Saints Talk by Professor Vincent Janik, Director of the Scottish Oceans Institute
    Professor Janik's talk is entitled: Marine Mammal Bioacoustics: how whales, dolphins and seals use sound in the ocean. Sound waves travel much faster and with less transmission loss in water than they do in air. Many marine animals therefore use sound as their main method of communication and orientation. Marine mammals produce the loudest biological sounds in the ocean and have sophisticated ways of using them, not only when calling but also by listening to those of others. Prof Janik will present examples of marine mammal sound use from his own research and explore how anthropogenic noise can influence the behaviour of these animals.

    7:30pm - 8:30pm Global Online Quiz
    Simply have some fun testing your knowledge of St Andrews and your general knowledge, or, submit your answer form online for a chance to win a stylish and practical St Andrews-branded weekender bag, for when it becomes safe to travel again. David Patterson (MA 2014), Chairman of the London Alumni Club, will be our Quiz Master for the evening!

  • 10:00am - 11:00am Saints Talk by Dr Chris Hooley: Quantum materials and the future of electronics
    The operation and cooling of computers is already making a significant contribution to the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, with some researchers predicting that this could rise to 14% of the global total by 2040. What can be done? In this talk, Dr Hooley, Centre for Designer Quantum Materials and School of Physics & Astronomy, will discuss one possible solution: using quantum materials to transmit and process information using magnetic rather than electric signals. This field – called ‘spintronics’ – is still in its infancy, but has potentially major technological implications if it can be taken from the laboratory into the factory.

    11:00am - 12:00pm University Chapel Service, St Salvator's Chapel - live and livestreamed
    The Service, which will reflect on the life of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, will be led by the University Chaplain, Revd Dr Donald MacEwan, who will also give the sermon on Queen, Country and Creation. Music will be from members of the St Salvator's Chapel Choir. An Order of Service will be available on the day to download from the Chaplaincy's website to enhance your viewing experience and fully take part.

    To join the online congregation
    , visit the Chaplaincy's website at 11am on 18 April, scroll down and select 'Livestreamed services' and then the 'View livestream' link. 
    To join the congregation in person, staff, students, alumni and others will be able to reserve a space at the service via the University events page. St Salvator’s Chapel has been risk assessed as part of the Covid-19 buildings assessment process and has the space for physical distancing for 50 people. A team of ushers will be in attendance at the service to help with social distancing and the service will also be livestreamed for those who are unable to or do not wish to attend live events.

    12:00pm - 12:30pm Virtual Pier Walk & Historical Tour
    From wherever you may be in the world, experience virtually the traditional Sunday pier walk and discover the extraordinary history of sites along the route from St Salvator's Chapel to the pier. A nostalgic video by Forrest Pando (MLitt 2020, Film Studies) and Zaynah Akeel (2nd Year MA Comparative Literature & Film Studies) captures the spirit of the walk. 

    Then discover the stories of the places on the route to the pier on a historical tour with the University’s Open Virtual Worlds team, including digital reconstructions of the past St Salvator’s College, the Cathedral and the harbour, interwoven with historic images and commentary.

    As part of this celebration of the pier walk, we will be sharing photographs of the St Andrews pier walk sent in by alumni.

    3:00pm - 4:00pm Meet the Author: Shirley McKay
    Travel back in time to 16th century St Andrews with Shirley McKay (MA 1984) in her discussion of Hue & Cry and 1588: A Calendar of Crime, with Dr Jane Pettegree (MA 1988, PhD 2009). Hue & Cry, published in 2009, is the first of the Hew Cullan mysteries and 1588: A Calendar of Crime is a book of five connecting short story mysteries, published in 2016. Please send questions in advance to  Questions may also be asked on the day using the live Q&A function.

    5:00pm - 6:00pm Scotland - A Literary Guide for Travellers
    Dr Garry MacKenzie (MA 2007, MLitt 2008, PhD 2014) will take us on a literary tour of Scotland to reveal how Scotland's history, landscape and society are brought to life in literature in this discussion with Dr Rose Harris-Birtill of his first book, Scotland - A Literary Guide for Travellers, published in 2016.

    7:30pm - 9:00pm St Andrews has Talent
    Sit back and enjoy the final ten (video) acts, selected by our panel of judges from the St Andrews Cultural Partners, and vote live for your favourite act at the end of the show. Singer and actress Hannah McGovern Gross (alumna, 2012), of our New York Alumni Club, will be our compere for the evening, introducing each act, as well as entertaining us while votes are being counted.