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St Andrews in the News

July 2014


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


New Graduates

graduationFollowing last week's graduation ceremonies, we would like to congratulate all our new graduates and welcome you to the St Andrews alumni community.

The University also honoured leading figures from the fields of academia, the arts, the sciences and the media, including physicist and Nobel laureate Professor Peter Higgs, the BBC's Chief International Correspondent Lyse Doucet, conductor Sir John Eliot Gardiner and director of The National Gallery in London Dr Nicholas Penny.

Read all the Graduation and Laureation addresses.

All in hand

chimpsScientists have, for the first time, decoded the meanings of chimpanzee gestures. The study, by St Andrews primatologists Dr Catherine Hobaiter and Professor Richard Byrne, reveals what wild chimpanzees are trying to say when they communicate with their body and hand movements.

Summer School

pupilsOver 150 high school pupils from across Scotland travelled to the University this week for the Sutton Trust Summer School, particularly aimed at those that may not have a family history of attending higher education but demonstrate the potential to succeed. As part of the programme, pupils took part in a day exploring the issues around Scottish independence.

Drug-resistant bacteria

bacteriaNew research, led by St Andrews Chemistry PhD student HaoHao Dong, has revealed an Achilles' heel in the defensive barrier which surrounds drug-resistant bacteria cells. The new findings will make way for a new wave of drugs that kill superbugs.

Dinosaur eggs

dinosaurA team of scientists, led by Professor Graeme Ruxton of the University's School of Biology, believes it has solved the puzzle as to why the largest dinosaurs actually produced the smallest eggs.

Scholarships – A better chance

studentsAs we say goodbye to graduating scholars who celebrated last week, and prepare to welcome the new intake in September, we are reminded that many of the students attending the University of St Andrews wouldn't be able to do so without additional financial support. The many scholarships awarded at the University provide invaluable assistance with the associated costs of living away from home and studying at one of the most sought-after student destinations.

We are grateful to all the alumni, families and friends of the University for their ongoing support of these scholarships. However, our words cannot compare with those of the scholarship recipients themselves.

The 600th Anniversary Scholarship and the London Scholarship are newly established awards, generously supported by alumni and friends. Information on scholarships at the University of St Andrews, including testimonials from scholarship recipients and information on how to give, can be found on our webpages at

Debt-averse businesses are holding back economic recovery

business growthA report published by researchers from the University's School of Management and the London School of Economics has questioned the UK and Scottish government approaches to small business growth, suggesting that current policies fail to recognise the needs of growth-orientated small and medium sized entities (SMEs).

Bright young things

theosilviaTwo St Andrews academics - Dr Theodore Koutmeridis (School of Economics) and Dr Silvia Paracchini (School of Medicine) - have joined an elite group of academics in Scotland. They are the latest to be elected to the RSE Young Academy of Scotland (YAS), which brings together the most able and innovative young academics and professionals in Scotland.

Invasion of the monogamous fish

fishResearch by University biologist Dr Amy Deacon has revealed that restricting guppies to one partner does not impede their ability to colonise. The findings suggest that releasing just one or two individuals can lead to a potentially invasive population.

St Andrews: Through Students' Eyes

coverThe 600th Anniversary book St Andrews: Through Student's Eyes brings together written and visual contributions from over 100 students exploring student life at the University of St Andrews.

Read more about the book here.

The book, priced £22.00, is available from MUSA, YourShop in the Union and local bookshops or for £25.00 online.

Make your mark on the Quad

quadThe first phase of the refurbishment of St Salvator's Quadrangle is scheduled to begin later this year. Over 1,500 donors have generously supported the £700k project so far and we are delighted to announce that an additional 60 flagstones are available for naming and sponsorship. The flagstones, which will be placed at the heart of the Quad towards the end of the renovation, can be engraved with a name or phrase of your choice – providing a permanent reminder of your support and connection to the University for years to come.

Gifts may be pledged monthly or quarterly over a period of up to two years.

For more information on sponsoring a flagstone, please contact Rita Cummings, Head of Fundraising, at, or visit

Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize

coverLesley Glaister, Lecture in Creative Writing at the University, has won the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize 2014 for her novel Little Egypt. Lesley's novel was described by the judges as 'wonderful and moving storytelling'.

Alumni News, Clubs and Services

Reunion 2014: 27-29 June 2014

bandOld friendships were rekindled and some new ones formed as over 120 alumni and guests joined us in St Andrews for this year's Alumni Reunion Weekend. With graduation dates spanning 69 years, from 1944 to 2013, some travelled from as far afield as Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the USA, France, Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands, as well as from around the UK.

dancing Events included a dinner and ball reminiscent of student days. Those attending also enjoyed being brought up to date with new developments at their alma mater.

Will you be celebrating a milestone anniversary of your graduation next year, or perhaps you are simply thinking of making a return visit to St Andrews? It is never too soon to start making plans. Why not contact the Alumni Team for assistance in organising a group to attend next year's Reunion Weekend (26-28 June 2015). We would be delighted to help.

Photos Ben Goulter Photography

Chronicle 2014

coverChronicle 2014, the magazine for alumni and friends of the University, has just been published. If you have received your copy, we would be very grateful for your feedback via our online questionnaire. We will use the information you provide to inform decisions about future editions of Chronicle.

Thank you very much for your time and support. Please start the survey here.

Chronicle is now available to view online as a PDF through the secure SPARC log-in.

If you do not currently receive Chronicle and would like to do so, please contact us at:

London Networking Night

networking nightJoin us at Citi HQ in London from 6.30pm on Thursday 4 September 2014 to celebrate the St Andrews community and to promote career opportunities and advice to students and recent alumni. This event will include a short introductory session by graduates representing diverse fields in London - from banking, to teaching, to art and everything in between - followed by informal networking time for current students and recent alumni to meet with experienced alumni, parents, and employers with experience in industry sectors of interest.

NB: Open to current students, alumni, parents, employers, and other professional friends of St Andrews. As space is limited, please register by 15 August to guarantee a place.

University of St Andrews Alumni Club, London: City Drinks with Alistair Burt, MP

burtSave the Date: further details to follow.

Brokers Wine Bar, 6-9 Leadenhall Market, London, EC3 2BLR

Thursday 4 September, 6.30pm – 8.30pm

Forthcoming events in North America

Boston, MA Lecture

An opportunity to hear from one of the University's leading academics. Open to alumni, parents, and friends.

July 10 - Professor Garry Taylor

Speaker: Professor Garry Taylor, Master of the United College & Head of School of Biology
Topic: Influenza: Trying to Hit a Moving Target
Time: 6.30pm: Reception; 7.15pm: Presentation
Venue: Announced with ticket registration.
Tickets: Please register via Ticketleap by July 7.

For further information, please contact Becky Mitchell.

Careers Forums

The Careers Centre and the Development Office are pleased to announce the US-based Networking Nights for this summer in Chicago, Dallas, New York, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, and Washington, DC. These evening events provide students and recent alumni with the opportunity to learn about different industries through making connections with those who are best placed and willing to give advice. We hope you can participate.

Registration information and links can be found here.

Whether you are working for a company who is presently hiring, you have experiences that would be useful to share, or you have retired from a career in industry, we hope you will consider attending and making yourself available to our alumni and students.

Boston - July 9
DC - July 14
LA - July 14
NYC - July 15
Chicago - July 16
Houston - July 21
Dallas - July 23
San Francisco - July 23

For further information, please contact Robert Gelb.

University of St Andrews Alumni Club, DC

The Washington DC alumni group invites you to a Summer Reception on Tuesday July 15 from 6.00pm - 8.00pm, to be held at the British Embassy, 3100 Massachusetts Ave NW Washington DC 20008.

Please RSVP by sending your name to Eugene Ballantine by Sunday July 13 at the latest. You will not be admitted to the Embassy unless your name is on the list.

For those who are planning to drive to the event, public parking is available on Observatory Circle, just outside the Embassy but not in the Embassy compound itself.

We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible so that we can continue to build an alumni network in the DC area.

Shooting for Scotland

sarahSarah Henderson (née Bates), MA Mediaeval History 2005, has been selected to represent Scotland in the small bore rifle, 50 metre and 3P events at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Sarah had a successful shooting career at St Andrews, captaining the Club and winning a blue. We wish her every success.

Save the Date – Varsity Match 2014: University of St Andrews v The University of Edinburgh

varsityThe oldest university rugby fixture in the world returns to London this autumn. Following their victory in last season's fixture, the University of St Andrews RFC will take on their oldest rivals, University of Edinburgh RFC, at The Richmond Athletic Ground, Kew Foot Road, Richmond, London on Saturday, 27 September 2014. Kick off 6.00pm.

University Retail Store Summer Sale

studentsStep into summer with stylish branded merchandise our University store - and enjoy a summer discount of 15% off everything, plus 50% off all cashmere. For further details, visit our website.

All purchases help to directly support teaching and research at the University of St Andrews.


Maiden Rock Geology Walk

rocksDiscover more about the rocks under your feet and what they can tell us about the ancient environments of St Andrews in this short guided walk with Tony Wilson. Please dress for the weather. Free, but booking essential. Children must be accompanied by an adult. To book T: 01334 461663/461660 or E:
Image copyright James Allan.

Leaves from East Sands Leisure Centre, St Andrews

Saturday 5 July, 1.00pm – 3.00pm

Watercolour Whizz-kids

kidsWork fast with watercolour paints and watch the exciting results when your colours run - on purpose! 10am-10:45am for 3-6 years, 11am-12pm for 7-12 yrs.

Free, but booking essential. To book phone 01334 461660/461663 or email

This is one of a series of summer family workshops and other activities. For full details of Museum Collections' summer programme, please visit our website.

MUSA, 7a The Scores, St Andrews
Monday 7 July, 10.00am – 12.00pm

Summer Concert: Bede Williams, Vicky Williams and Walter Blair

music centreBede Williams and Vicky Williams (trumpets) and Walter Blair (piano and organ) perform works by Torelli, Pergolesi and Plog.

Tickets: £6 full price, £5 Music Centre members, £1 students. Available on the door.

This is the first in a series of summer concerts running throughout July. For full details please visit our website.

St Salvator's Chapel, North Street, St Andrews
Tuesday 8 July, 8.00pm

General Council of the University of St Andrews

The next meeting of the General Council will take place on Friday 21 November 2014 at 18:30. Further information can be found here.


On Your Marks: The MUSA Young Artist Award 2014

paintingSee the winning entries in this year's MUSA Young Artist Award, an annual art competition for schools in Fife. Sport is on everyone's minds in 2014 and so it is naturally the theme of this year's competition. The highs and the lows, the triumphs and the failures, the hard work, the dedication, the mixture of nations and cultures; see how all these aspects of international sport have inspired great art in Fife's schools.

You can also view this year's winning entries online.

Gateway Galleries, North Haugh, St Andrews
Continues to Saturday 9 August

May They Always Flourish: Graduation at the University of St Andrews

flourishJoin us for a celebration of graduation at the University of St Andrews. Discover what happens during the academic ceremony of graduation, past and present, and find out more about what students and staff wear on this important day. Explore objects from the University's collections that range from mediaeval maces to academic gowns, paintings to photographs, and bow ties to the birretum (cap) used for generations in the formal 'capping' ceremony.

MUSA, 7a The Scores, St Andrews
Continues to Wednesday 30 September


Peasant Petitions
Social Relations and Economic Life on Landed Estates, 1600-1850

Choice bookProfessor R A Houston, School of History

Price £60.00 from Palgrave Macmillan

Political Self-Sacrifice
Agency, Body and Emotion in International Relations

Crafts bookProfessor Karin Fierke, School of International Relations

Price £21.99 from Cambridge University Press

Awarded the Sussex International Theory Prize for 2014

Alumni Authors

The Ghosts of Happy Valley
Searching for the Lost World of Africa's Infamous Aristocrats

Burned bookJuliet Barnes, MA 1985

Price £11.89 from Amazon

Love Struck

Sacred bookSusie Gilmour (now Watson), MA 1995

Price from £1.19 from Amazon

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 alumni activities and events online via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and our blog IncomparaBubble.

facebook twitter linkedin incomparabubble

Keep up to date with other University news on the University Facebook page.

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

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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