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St Andrews in the News
November 2013


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


Westminster Abbey Service of Thanksgiving

Westminster AbbeyThere is still time to register for tickets for the University of St Andrews London Alumni Club's Service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey. The Service, which takes place on Tuesday 10 December 2013 at 6.30pm promises to be a memorable celebration of the University's 600th Anniversary. Funds raised 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 Scholarship

Joseph McKinneyJoseph McKinney from Kirriemuir in Angus has been awarded the first 600th Anniversary Scholarship. The Scholarship, established with funds raised from a dinner in November 2012 in the presence of Their Royal Highnesses, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, allows talented students to attend St Andrews by providing them with support for accommodation and living costs. Joseph is in the first year of a BSc (Hons) degree in Mathematics.

A new 600th Anniversary Scholarship will be awarded for the next three years and, by 2016, there will be a 600th Anniversary Scholar in each year of undergraduate study.

Elephants get the point

ElephantsIn a new study, researchers from the University's School of Psychology have found that elephants are the only wild animals to understand human pointing without any training to do so. The research shows that the ability to understand pointing is not uniquely human and helps to explain how we have been able to rely on wild-caught elephants as work animals for logging, transport or war.

Organised chaos

Solar CellsSt Andrews researchers have developed a new method to increase the efficiency of solar cells by harnessing chaos. The new approach achieves highly efficient broad-band light trapping in thin films, with more light captured in the film in order to maximise absorption and electricity generation. The new design could have applications in LED and lasers as well as solar cells.

Committed to caring

Buttle LogoThe University has been recognised for its commitment to providing education for young people in and leaving care. The prestigious Buttle UK Quality Mark is given to institutions in recognition of their work in supporting one of the most under-represented groups in education in the UK.

One eye: 3D

EyeSt Andrews researchers have discovered that it is possible to see in 3D with just one eye. The research has implications for people who have just one eye or difficulties with double-eye vision. It also has wide implications for 3D technology because it suggests that there are other methods by which the 3D experience can be created.

Chancellor's Circle 2013

Oxford EventThe third annual gathering of Chancellor's Circle members took place in October at Rhodes House, Oxford. 38 guests from across the South of England were welcomed by Robert Fleming, Director of Development, who spoke about the importance of legacy giving. Circle members enjoyed an afternoon tea, before hearing Professor Robert Bartlett deliver a highly entertaining lecture on the history of mediaeval universities.

Further details on the Chancellor's Circle.

Kepler weighs in

ExoplanetAstronomers, including researchers at St Andrews, have for the first time weighed an Earth-sized planet orbiting another star. Although measuring the radius of exoplanets is relatively straightforward, measuring the planet's mass - and therefore its density - is more difficult. The results confirm Kepler-78b as the first known Earth-sized exoplanet with an Earth-like density.

Canny crows

CrowSt Andrews scientists have discovered that New Caledonian crows, famous for their use of tools to extract hidden food, do not rely on guesswork when deploying one of their most complicated tool types - hooked stick tools.

St Andrews on Ice

WeissFollowing in the footsteps of a St Andrews expedition fifty years ago, fourth-year Ancient History student Theodore Borgvin Weiss has recently returned from a month in a remote area of East Greenland. He was part of a team aiming to forge a new route from Tuno through to Sermilik Fjord, an ice-packed fjord where Inuit have hunted for centuries. The team also collected rock samples for use in ongoing glaciological research being undertaken by the Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences at St Andrews.

Alumni News, Clubs and Services

With screenings taking place from Alabama to Australia, Geneva to Glasgow and Oxford to Oslo, the Worldwide Film Weekend took place on 19 and 20 October. With 140 screenings of Ever to Excel, the University film, across 28 countries, this was a truly international celebration of St Andrews and our 600th Anniversary, and a special mention must go to the screening in Christchurch, New Zealand, who worked out that they were the furthest screening away from St Andrews (11512.4 miles!).

Hosts and attendees were encouraged to tweet and send us photos of their screenings, some of which can still be seen at our Twitter feed and on our Tagboard. The film was made possible thanks to a generous anonymous donation and was made available on DVD for the Film Weekend in order to assist with the fundraising efforts for the 600th Anniversary campaign, and specifically the Sir Sean Connery Scholarship Fund.

St Andrew's Day Alumni Club Events

University of St Andrews Alumni Club, London: - Choral Evensong for St Andrew's Day
Join fellow alumni to celebrate Scotland's Patron Saint with a beautiful service of Choral Evensong, followed by a Champagne Reception. The preacher will be The Venerable Sheila Watson, Archdeacon of Canterbury and a fellow graduate of St Andrews. Free to attend.

Thursday 28 November, 6.30pm – 8.30pm
St Botolph without Bishopsgate, Bishopsgate, London EC2M 3TL

Northern Germany AlumniSt Andrew's Day Gathering
The first St Andrean Northern Germany Alumni gathering will take place at 'Parlament', Rathausmarkt 1 in Hamburg on Thursday, 28th November 2013 at 7 o'clock to bring together alumni from the entire region, to celebrate the University's 600th Anniversary, and to start an initiative through which we can have many more Northern Germany Alumni gatherings in the future. If you are interested in attending, contact Paul Brzesina (Class of 2010) E:

Cambridge St Andrews Club - St Andrew's Day Dinner
The dinner this year is in Selwyn College, Cambridge, on Friday 29 November at 7pm. Our guest speaker is St Andrews graduate Andrew Nairne, the Director of Kettle's Yard, who will be telling us about their exciting plans for the future. Tickets cost £44 for members and their guests, for full-time students the cost will be £36. Tickets are available from the Cambridge Club.

600th Anniversary Concert

OrchestraSt Andrews Chamber Orchestra and St Salvator's Chapel Choir, with Michael Downes (conductor) and Maebh Martin (piano), perform music by composers such as Mendelssohn, Brahms, Grieg and Maxwell Davies. This performance will also feature the world première of a work by Sally Beamish.

Free admission. Please register for tickets here.

Younger Hall, North Street, St Andrews
Sunday 1 December, 7.00pm

Alumni Carol Service 2013

ChoirTuesday, 3 December 2013
7.00 pm: Alumni Carol Service, St Salvator's Chapel, St Andrews
8.00pm: Mulled Wine & Mince Pie Reception, Lower College Hall
(optional – ticket price £7.50)

Alumni and friends of the University of St Andrews are warmly invited to this year's Alumni Carol Service. The Service will be led by the University Chaplain and the carols by the University Chapel Choir. Join us for mulled wine and mince pies following the Service.

Tickets for the reception are available online or from
Alumni Relations, 91 North Street, St Andrews, KY16 9AJ
T: 01334 467194

Please note that tickets are only required for the Reception.

Forthcoming New York Club Event:
St Andrews Anniversary Gala

GalaA reminder that the Alumni Club of New York will be holding a very special 600th Anniversary Gala on Saturday 7 December at The Downtown Association in Manhattan. Further details and tickets for this celebration can be found at the Club's website.

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.

Hockey Club

Hockey playersThe University of St Andrews Hockey Club is looking to develop its alumni network and keep alumni updated on the Club's development, performance and upcoming social events in an alumni newsletter.

If you played hockey whilst at university, please email the Development Office on with your name and email address. We look forward to hearing from you.

University web store – discount available

UmbrellasA 10% discount is available to readers of St Andrews in the News at our online shop, which sells high-quality official University branded merchandise. 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


Symbols of Lordship

Professor Hudson, from the Mediaeval History Department, speaks on mediaeval law and power to accompany the 'Mediaeval Maces: Power and Ceremony' exhibition.

MUSA, 7a The Scores, St Andrews
Tuesday, 12 November 2013, 5.30pm – 6.00pm

A further talk relating to the exhibition – 'The Aesthetics of Ceremony in the Late-Medieval University' by Dr Julian Luxford, School of Art History, will take place in MUSA on Tuesday 19 November at 5.30pm.

MUSA has a full autumn programme of workshops, talks, walks and concerts for adults as well as children. For further details, please visit our Events webpage.

2013 St Andrews Brass Festival

Brass instrumentsThe St Andrews Brass Festival is the only annual brass festival of its kind in Scotland. Returning for the second year, the festival brings together professional, student and community musicians from band and orchestral backgrounds for a week of masterclasses, talks and brass music for ensembles of all sizes.

This year the festival is in collaboration with the Heisenberg Ensemble, Scottish Brass Band Association, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, St Mary's Music School and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the orchestra in residence at the University.

Various venues, St Andrews
Wednesday 13 – Tuesday 19 November

A full list of festival events is available on our website.

Inaugural Lecture: Professor Thomas Neukirch

Neukirch'Storms on the Sun: Solar Activity and How We Try to Understand It'

Professor Thomas Neukirch, School of Mathematics and Statistics

School III, St Salvator's Quadrangle, St Andrews
Wednesday 13 November, 5.15pm to 6.30pm

Scottish Chamber Orchestra

Scottish Chamber Orchestra with Masaaki Suzuki (conductor) and Peter Harvey (baritone) perform music composed by Bach and Mendelssohn.

Younger Hall, North Street, St Andrews
Wednesday 13 November, 7.30pm

King James Library Lectures

'The Advantages of Literature: the Subscription Library in Georgian Britain'

Dr David Allan, School of History

Upper College Hall, St Salvator's Quad, St Andrews
Thursday 14 November, 5.15pm – 6.15pm

'The Meaning of the Library Today'

John Wilkin, Juanita J and Robert E Simpson Dean of Libraries and University Librarian, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Upper College Hall, St Salvator's Quad, St Andrews
Friday 15 November, 3.15pm – 4.00pm

Public Lecture: Dr Gustavo Gallón

Gallon'Human Rights in Crisis: the Case of Colombia'

Dr Gustavo Gallón is currently the UN Human Rights Council's Independent Expert on the Human Rights Situation in Haiti and was formerly the UN Human Rights Commission's Special Representative for Equatorial Guinea.

School III, St Salvator's Quad, St Andrews
Thursday 14 November, 5.15pm

Jo Grimond Memorial Lecture - The Sound of Gunfire: Jo Grimond, the man and the message

GrimondA lecture by Dr Ian Bradley, School of Divinity, to commemorate the centenary of the birth in St Andrews of the Liberal statesman, Jo Grimond.

Arts Lecture Theatre, St Andrews
Friday 15 November, 6.00pm - 7.00pm

A short reception will be held in the Arts Building foyer after the lecture.

James Gregory Lecture on Science and Christianity

'The Origin and End of the Universe - a Challenge for Christianity?'

Revd Prof David Wilkinson, Principal of St John's College, Durham

Physics Lecture Theatre, North Haugh, St Andrews
Monday 18 November, 5.15pm - 7.00pm

You can watch some of the previous James Gregory Lectures online

University of St Andrews Music Society Symphony Orchestra Autumn Concert


Younger Hall, North Street, St Andrews
Tuesday 19 November, 7.30pm

Friends of the Library Autumn Lecture

MoffatAlistair Moffat, Rector of the University, will speak on 'Scottish Book Festivals'.

Psychology Old Library, St Mary's Quadrangle, St Andrews
Wednesday 20 November, 5.15pm - 6.30pm

St Andrews Green Film Festival

Green Logo9 films, 3 workshops, 1 weekend: 22-24 November. The St Andrews Green Film Festival showcases inspiring feature films regarding the environment, ecology and climate change and tells the story of the inspiring work done by countless organisations and individuals as they work towards a sustainable future for our planet.

Full programme available online.

Various venues, St Andrews
Friday 22 – Sunday 24 November

Inaugural Lecture: Professor Frank Gunn-Moore

Gunn-Moore'Trying to stop the shrinking brain: using biology, chemistry and physics to understand Alzheimer's'

Professor Frank Gunn-Moore, School of Biology

Lecture Theatre, Medical and Biological Sciences Building, North Haugh, St Andrews
Wednesday 4 December, 5.15pm to 6.30pm

General Council

Wednesday, 27 November 2013, Parliament Hall

6.30pm: Meeting of the General Council (free to attend) followed by

8.00pm (approx): Graduate Wine & Canapés Reception (optional – ticket price £8)

Members are encouraged to attend the next meeting of the General Council (whose membership includes all graduates of the University). The meeting, which will provide an opportunity to hear about the University's recent accomplishments and future plans, will also include a talk entitled 'Understanding Terrorism: The Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence' by the Centre's Director, Professor Richard English.

Please purchase your tickets for the Reception by Monday, 18 November 2013 to assist us with our catering arrangements.

While registration to attend the meeting is not required, it would be helpful (to assist us with our meeting arrangements) if you could indicate your intention to attend by registering below.

Please register and/or book your Reception tickets here

If you have any queries, please contact the General Council Office T: 01334 461913 Email:

For further General Council news, please visit our website.


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


Given the Choice

Choice bookProfessor Susan Sellers, School of English

Price £9.99 from Amazon

A book launch for Given the Choice will take place at Waterstones Bookshop, Market Street, St Andrews on Thursday 14 November at 6.00pm and Professor Sellers will be reading extracts from
the novel.

The Arts and Crafts Movement in Scotland: A History

Crafts bookAnnette Carruthers, School of Art History

Price £60.00 from YaleBooks

Virginia Woolf and Classical Music

Woolf bookDr Emma Sutton, School of English

Price £70.00 from Edinburgh University Press

Further information about the book is available here.

Paul and the Faithfulness of God:
Christian Origins and the Question of God, vol. 4

Paul bookProfessor N T Wright, School of Divinity

Price £65.00 from SPCK

Alumni Authors

The Day Parliament Burned Down

Burned bookDr Caroline Shenton, MA 1989

Price £18.99 from Oxford University Press

Sacred Site

Sacred bookDr Kim Fleet, MA 1995, PhD 2000

Price £14.42 from AbeBooks

Making a Gift

Social Networking

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.

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

Update your contact details
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Non SPARC members:

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