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St Andrews in the News
December 2013


Welcome to the December issue of St Andrews in the News, our regular e-newsletter for alumni, friends and supporters around the world.


St Andrew's Day Graduation

graduationProfessor Eric Priest, Emeritus James Gregory and Bishop Wardlaw Professor of Mathematics at the University, has received an honorary degree during this year's St Andrew's Day graduation ceremonies. Roger Gifford, former Lord Mayor of the City of London and son of the late Douglas Gifford, Professor of Spanish and founder of the University's Renaissance Group, was also honoured. You can read all the graduation and laureation addresses on our website.

The Graduation ceremonies took place alongside a number of other special town-gown events during the St Andrew's Day weekend as the finale to the University's 600th Anniversary celebrations.

Russian honour for Principal

principalThe University Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Louise Richardson, has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate by leading Russian university MGIMO at a ceremony in Moscow. The Academic Council of MGIMO bestowed the honour on Professor Richardson for her "landmark contribution" to strengthening global security ties and advancing democratic values.

Westminster Abbey Service of Thanksgiving – last chance for tickets

Westminster AbbeyA limited number of tickets remain for the University of St Andrews London Alumni Club's Service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey, taking place this coming Tuesday, 10 December at 6.30pm.

All profits from the event will support the London Scholarship Fund, which was established by the London Alumni Club in 2012 to allow young undergraduates from the Greater London area to study at the University.

Don't miss out on this special occasion by registering for tickets here.

600th Anniversary campaign receives 10,000th donation

This University has reached an important milestone in its long history of philanthropy – having received its 10,000th recorded donation to the 600th Anniversary campaign. Director of Development Robert Fleming said: "I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has made a donation, large or small, for their commitment to helping the University and its students. The 600th fund now stands at over £40 million, which will make a meaningful difference to research and learning. We are almost half way to our target of £100 million and I hope the strong support will continue."

Seventy five per cent of gifts received have been gifts of under £100 – proving that small contributions can, collectively, make a big difference. To make a gift visit:

Foot-and-mouth funding

foot and mouthSt Andrews researchers have been awarded a £400,000 grant to help find a vaccine for foot-and-mouth disease, in collaboration with scientists in India. The award made by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), with matched funding from India's Department of Biotechnology (DBT), will allow a team led by Professor Martin Ryan, Professor of Translational Virology in the School of Biology at the University, to extend its fight against one of the most contagious mammalian viruses.

Professor Ali Ansari elected President of British Institute of Persian Studies

ansariProfessor Ali Ansari, Director of the University's Institute of Iranian Studies, has been elected President of the British Institute of Persian Studies, which promotes Iranian studies in the UK.

Professor John Burnside wins Scottish Book of the Year

burnside bookProfessor of English John Burnside's short story collection, Something Like Happy, has won the Saltire Scottish Book of the Year Award for 2013.

Blazing a trail

stained glassFife Decorative and Fine Arts Society has created a new guide to the University's historic St Salvator's Chapel, using the latest technology. The Questionnaire Trail explores the art, architecture and iconography of the Chapel and is specifically designed for use with smart phones. It is the first Church Trail in Britain to use QR codes; users can download a free app that allows them to scan the black and white coded square on the Trail sheet. This leads to a webpage displaying images and more detailed information.

Out of sight, out of mind

A new study by researchers at St Andrews and the University of Neuchatel has found that basic mental processes are at the root of troubles between groups.

New hope in TB research

The use of whole genome sequencing to identify different strains of bacteria which cause tuberculosis may unlock the door to improved treatments and more accurate clinical trials, according to an international team of researchers, including doctors from the University's School of Medicine.

Alumni News, Clubs and Services

600 Years of Book Collecting - limited edition box set

booksTo commemorate the 600th Anniversary, the University Library has developed a six-part publication that is designed to promote its vast collection of printed books. This publication will feature one book in the Library's collection printed in each decade of the University's existence.

A boxed set, limited to an edition of 600, gathers together all six issues into a deluxe clamshell box with a hand-numbered limited edition statement included. Price £60 (+ £8 carriage) from our online shop.

Christmas from St Andrews CD

cdA new collection of Christmas carols old and new, performed by St Salvator's Chapel Choir. The CD is available through the University's online shop, priced £12.00 (+ carriage).

Winter Work Shadowing Programme 2014

Alumni & Parents: Interested in helping to provide a great and valuable work experience for students that is easy to organise, incredibly beneficial for students, and takes very little of your time? The Careers Centre has opened access to our Worldwide Winter Shadowing Programme for January 2014.

More information.

US Alumni Career Forums: January 2014

Join us for our Winter Alumni Career Forums taking place this January in Washington, DC and New York City. The Alumni Career Forums provide a chance for our alumni and students to gather and engage with parents, alumni, and other friends of the University that have excelled in their respective career sectors.

Due to spacing restrictions and security, registration for both of these events is required.

New York City: January 9, 7.00pm-9.30pm, Drinks from 6.30pm; Citigroup, 399 Park Ave, New York, NY 10022. Please register here.

Washington, DC: January 14, 6.30pm-9.00pm, Drinks from 6.00pm; The Brookings Institution, 1775 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC. Please register here.

Thank you from the Phone Campaign team!

teamThe University of St Andrews student phone campaign team raised £202,726.29 from 641 alumni and parents during its annual international fundraising campaign, including almost £20k from graduates of the last five years. These funds will provide £156,564 in scholarships and bursaries over the next four years, and £33,555 to support capital projects. Another £9,119 will purchase new materials for the Library. We would like to thank everyone who has so generously supported the University this year. Learn more about the phone campaign.

Library resources win Class Gift vote

repsThis year's Class Gift will support the Students' Association Bursary and Library resources after a vote held by the committee recently. The team braved the November chill outside the Library to ask students to choose the project they wanted half of the fundraising to go towards. Over two days 345 students voted, with the Library gaining a fantastic 174 votes.

Class Gift Convenor Rachel Coleman says: "I love St Andrews. I'm a fourth year now and the whole idea of the Class Gift is a way of students giving back to the University as they approach graduation, to say thank you… what better gift could we give than to improve student life for future generations of students at the University."

St Andrews Anniversary Gala, New York

We would like to extend our best wishes to the Alumni Club of New York on the occasion of their special 600th Anniversary Gala at the Downtown Association in Manhattan tomorrow evening, Saturday 7 December. Following the Banquet and before the Ball, the University Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Louise Richardson, will speak about the 600th Anniversary and plans for the University's future.

BBC broadcasts

There is still just time to catch last weekend's BBC2 Scotland and BBC Radio Scotland broadcasts on the BBC iPlayer.

The University film, Ever to Excel, starring Sir Sean Connery, is available to UK viewers until 8.00pm on Saturday 7 December. The complementary radio programme about the University, Red Gowns and Raisins, is available to UK and international audiences until Tuesday 10 December.

Give St Andrews for Christmas

UmbrellasLooking for a unique Christmas gift idea? Then look no further than our online store. We have quality branded clothing, homeware, jewellery, crockery, University tartanware, and much more besides.

And don't forget your 10% discount. The discount is only available online and is valid across the entire shop, excluding shipping charges. All purchases made on our online store help to directly support teaching and research at the University of St Andrews.To get your 10% discount add the discount voucher code – SPARC600 – when prompted to do so.

The address for the retail store is

Opportunities in Development

Two exciting job opportunities have arisen in the Development Office to help build on the success of our 600th Anniversary campaign.

We are looking for an experienced Annual Giving Manager who can build on our established alumni loyalty by continuing to develop a dynamic annual giving strategy and programme. Further particulars available on the website.

We are also looking for a Stewardship Officer (fixed term contract of up to one year) to manage a number of legacy, memorial, major and trust giving stewardship committees and programmes as well as the coordination of the prestigious St Andrews Prize for the Environment. Further particulars available on the website.


MUSA Christmas Craft

Drop into the MUSA Learning Loft and make your own Christmas crafts and decorations. Free, no booking required.

MUSA, 7a The Scores, St Andrews
Sundays 8 and 15 December, 2.00pm – 4.00pm

In conversation with Yann Martel: Man Booker Prize-winning author of Life of Pi

bookAn opportunity to hear Canadian author Yann Martel speak about his award-winning book, and also his other work.

School III, St Salvator's Quadrangle, St Andrews
Thursday 12 December, 5.15pm – 6.15pm

Love Today: interdisciplinary perspectives

Forum for Modern Language Studies research colloquium: Professor Eva Illouz, Hebrew University, Jerusalem (Sociology), 'What "love" do modern people mean when they speak about love?' Professor Simon May, King's College, London (Philosophy), 'What can Biblical narratives teach us about the nature of love?' Professor Lynne Pearce, Lancaster University (English),' Love's memory: the role of memory and dream-work in the production and sustenance of Agapic love'.

School III, St Salvator's Quadrangle, St Andrews
Monday 16 December, 3.00pm to 7.00pm

Carols by Candlelight Service

singersA family celebration of Christmas as darkness falls on Christmas Eve, followed by mulled wine and mince pies. Children welcome.

St Leonard's Chapel, St Andrews
Tuesday 24 December, 4.00pm – 5.00pm

7th Annual Ancient Universities Burns Nicht

Omni Parker House, Boston MA
Saturday, 11 January, 6.00pm-11.30pm

Christmas closure 2013

The University will be closed from Wednesday 25 December 2013 until Friday 3 January 2014 inclusive.

Mark your diaries

Thank you for your continued support throughout 2013, a year that has provided wonderful opportunities for our alumni and friends around the world to come together in celebration of our 600th Anniversary. We are now looking ahead to our seventh century of academic excellence and investigation. So please mark your diaries for some of the key events planned for 2014. Further details will be available nearer the time.

Stanza 2014

Five days of performance and reading, plus talks, exhibitions and installations, workshops, a masterclass, a Slam and open mic events. Headline poets this year include poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, John Burnside and Paul Muldoon, and this year's themes are 'A Common Wealth of Poetry' and 'Words Under Fire'.

Various venues, St Andrews
Thursday 5 – Sunday 9 March

The St Andrews Prize for the Environment Public Lecture

Details to follow.

Wednesday 30 April, 6.00pm

Alumni Reunion Weekend 2014

A weekend of reunion activities, including a black tie dinner and ball, for those celebrating special anniversaries of their graduation year and others who wish to make a return visit to their alma mater. Further information on reunion events being planned is available here.

Various venues, University of St Andrews
Friday 27 – Sunday 29 June

Masters Programmes in the School of Management: 10th Anniversary Reunion 2014

A special 10th Anniversary Reunion is being planned by the School of Management to mark the 10th cohort of students taking up their places on the Masters Programmes this academic year (2013/14).

To register your interest in attending, please email Julie Brooks at the School of Management

University of St Andrews
Friday 27 – Sunday 29 June

General Council Meeting

Parliament Hall, St Andrews
Saturday 28 June, 10.30am

General Council of the University of St Andrews

Please visit the General Council website for news and information including details about the 2014 election of a General Assessor to the University Court.

For further General Council news, please visit our website.


Last chance to see:

Medieval Maces: Power and Ceremony

macesMaces are emblems of authority, status, wealth and power. To mark the University's 600th Anniversary this exhibition brings together 14th and 15th century university maces from Heidelberg, Tubingen, Basel and Glasgow, and the crozier of Bishop Fox, founder of Corpus Christi College, Oxford. Admission free.

Further information about the exhibition.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a varied events programme for adults, families and schools.

MUSA, 7a The Scores, St Andrews
Continues to Sunday 8 December


treasuredDelve into a feast of the University's treasures and explore objects from all areas of the University's collections that span 600 years. Discover the craftsmanship and beauty in the University's teaching collections. Admire the intricate hand-blown chemistry glassware and marvel over medieval tooled leather. Use this opportunity to view objects rarely seen by the public and uncover hidden gems found in University departments and residences. Admission free.

Further information on the exhibition is available here.

Gateway Galleries, North Haugh, St Andrews
Continues to Saturday 14 December

Sam Smith – Boats, Beasts and Beauties

boats, beasts and beautiesAn exhibition of works on paper.

Sam Smith (1908-1983) was an artist best known for his hand-carved painted wooden toys and sculpture. His work often depicts themes of the sea, particularly boats and harbours. An admirer of the graphic tradition of Paul Nash, Edward Bawden and Eric Ravillious, Sam's influence can in turn be seen in the work of British Pop artists such as Peter Blake and the surrealism of psychedelia. For further information please contact Andrew Demetrius, Curator (

School of Art History, 79 North Street, St Andrews
Continues to Friday 20 December


Aratus and the Astronomical Tradition

Choice bookDr Emma Gee, School of Classics

Price £41.99 from Oxford University Press

Encyclopaedism from Antiquity to the Renaissance

Crafts bookEdited by Dr Jason König and Professor Greg Woolf, School of Classics

Price £90.00 from Cambridge University Press

Alumni Authors

The Edge of the Firelight: Campfire Stories for Scouts & Other Youth

Burned bookDr Gordon Bain, BSc Hons 1990

Price £6.99 from Amazon

Dorothy Wordsworth and Hartley Coleridge: The Poetics of Relationship

Sacred bookDr Nicola Healey, MA 2005, PhD 2009

Price £50.00 from Palgrave Macmillan

Making a Gift

Our 600th Anniversary campaign was launched in 2011 by our campaign Patron and graduate, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge. We aim to secure £100 million to support a range of projects and aspirational new developments integral to the University's ambition to consolidate its status as a world-class centre for teaching and research. To view the exciting and varied projects that make up the campaign, please visit our 600th website. You can make a gift to the campaign in a variety of ways.

You can also make a legacy gift to the University to safeguard its future.

We look forward to welcoming you to our community of donors, committed to securing a seventh century of excellence for this great University.

Social Networking

Alumni and friends can keep up to date with the University activities and events online via Facebook, Twitter and our blog IncomparaBubble.


Follow our 600th Anniversary celebrations on Facebook.

US parents Facebook group is looking forward to hearing from you!

Network professionally through the alumni-run University of St Andrews Alumni LinkedIn group.

Contact details

Development Office
Crawford Building, 91 North Street
St Andrews, KY16 9AJ

Alumni Relations
T: +44 (0)1334 467194

T: +44 (0)1334 462154

General Enquiries
T: +44 (0)1334 462113

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