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St Andrews in the News

June 2014


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


League table success

guardianSt Andrews has risen from fourth to third place in The Guardian University Guide 2015. equalling the University's highest ever finish in a national ranking. St Andrews was the highest ranked university for student satisfaction with the quality of teaching. Academic schools also performed very strongly in individual rankings: Physics and Astronomy, International Relations, Computer Science and Mathematics were all top in the UK, while Earth and Marine Sciences, Art History and Management secured 2nd places.

Recently, St Andrews was ranked fourth in the UK in The Complete University Guide 2015 table.

Honorary graduates

virusDistinguished individuals from the fields of academia, the arts, the sciences and the media will be honoured during the University's Graduation Week ceremonies at the end of the month. This year's honorands include Nobel Prize-winning physicist 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.

Viking king unearthed

sandelDr Alex Woolf of the University's School of History believes that a skeleton discovered in East Lothian may be the remains of Olaf Guthfrithsson, an Irish Viking King from the tenth century.


Forgive to forget

A new study by researchers in the University's School of Psychology and Neuroscience has revealed that motivated forgetting may provide the key to understanding the effect of forgiveness. The research found that individuals are more effective at suppressing items of information associated with memories for offences they have already forgiven.

Student golfing success

groupSt Andrews student golfers have triumphed in national golfing competitions. 21-year-old Gabrielle Macdonald, a third year geography student, became the 100th Scottish Amateur Champion at Prestwick Golf Club. Meanwhile, George Burns, who joins the University next year, won the Stephen Gallacher Foundation Trophy.

Fables in Fife

image from aboveDrs Chris Jones and Ian Johnson of the School of English appear alongside Billy Connolly in an animated version of Scots fables translated by the Irish poet Seamus Heaney. Seamus Heaney: Five Fables is an interactive app based on translations of mediaeval Scottish poet Robert Henryson's stories.

Crickets fall silent

fishermenSt Andrews biologists have discovered a brand new example of 'convergent evolution' of silent crickets on two Hawaiian islands. To hide themselves from deadly flies, the crickets have evolved an inability to sing.

Make your mark on the Quad

finchesThe 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 up to two years.

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

Alumni News, Clubs and Services

Reunion Weekend 2014: Friday 27 - Sunday 29 June


It’s not too late to book your tickets and accommodation for this year's Reunion Weekend. To help us with our planning, please book your reunion ticket(s) and accommodation as soon as possible but by Thursday 13 June at the very latest.

Details of all the events on offer and instructions on how to purchase tickets and book accommodation are available at: There is something for everyone. In addition to Saturday's Reunion Dinner, Madras College Pipe Band display and Ball (with a ceilidh band and other live music), there is a wine tasting (Friday), library tours (Saturday), an exhibition at MUSA and, on Sunday, a Service of Thanksgiving in St Salvator's Chapel, a farewell buffet lunch and a reunion screening of the 600th Anniversary film, Ever to Excel. The summer meeting of the General Council on Saturday morning will provide an opportunity to hear first hand about news and developments at the University. We are also delighted to be able to offer a special reunion discount for those wishing to play golf at the Fairmont.

If you would like some assistance with contacting fellow alumni to attend as a group, or some further information, please contact the Alumni Relations Team at E: T: +44 (0)1334 467194/461913

Masters Programmes in the School of Management: 10th Anniversary Reunion
Friday 27 – Sunday 29 June 2014

posterA special 10th Anniversary Reunion is being held from 27 – 29 June 2014 to mark the 10th cohort of students on the Masters Programmes this academic year (2013/2014) in the School of Management. Current plans include a wine reception on Friday evening, 6.00pm – 8.00pm, where alumni will have the opportunity to reconnect with members of staff and hear about future plans for the School.

To be kept up to date with plans and to register to attend, please contact Julie Brooks at the School of Management. E: Those planning to attend can also book tickets for Alumni Reunion Weekend events and / or accommodation at

Calling all Bute Medical Society (BMS) alumni! Bute Medical Society Centennial Celebrations

posterThe 2014-2015 academic year marks the 100th anniversary of the Bute Medical Society. The current BMS committee, working alongside the Faculty of Medicine and Alumni Relations, would like to celebrate with a variety of centennial events, including an exhibition of our archival material, a special lecture series given by alumni and a formal dinner to round the year off around Spring Break of 2015. We are relying on your involvement to make this a success.

If you would be willing to be a guest speaker at one of our cheese and wine evenings and/or would like to be kept in touch with our plans as they unfold, please contact: Rachel Wood, a current medical student and the Centennial Celebrations Convener - E:  M: 0754 0100687

Class Gift 2014 Ever to Excel Screening

ever to excelStill making your Graduation Week travel plans? Be sure to include our Wednesday screening of Ever to Excel in your diary and help support the Class Gift!

Mediaeval (and sometimes strange) traditions, conflict, glorious scenery and famous alumni, including honorary graduate Sir Sean Connery, abound in this moving one-and-a-half-hour film by award-winning film-maker Murray Grigor and producer Hamid Shams.

School III, St Salvator's Quad
Wednesday 25 June, 7.00pm

Online ticket purchase available here.
NEW! With a direct donation to Class Gift you can include a message to be displayed on a board at the Graduation Garden Parties! Click here to make your gift.

University of St Andrews Alumni Club, London

Theatre Evening

The Club has organised an exclusive discount on tickets to see the comedy production The Confessions of Gordon Brown on 10 June, as well as attend a unique after-show event to meet the cast and the Emmy- and BAFTA-nominated writer and director for a Q & A session. To redeem this offer, enter the code word ‘UNIVERSITY’ when you purchase your tickets here. Once the code has been approved, you may then select your seats. You will have a choice of premium seats for £25 (50% discount) or £10.00 off £35 seats in the stalls.

University of St Andrews Alumnus Club Oxford: Summer Outing to Kelmscott Manor

The USAACO AGM, Lunch & Historic House Tour will be at Kelmscott, Lechlade, Gloucestershire GL7 3HJ on Thursday 3 July 2014. The Outing inlcudes the AGM in Kelmscott Village Hall at 11.30am, Lunch at the Plough Inn at 1.00pm and a tour of Kelmscott Manor from 3.00pm.

Further details from Dr Michael Heavens, Honorary Secretary.
T: 01590 678534
M: 077 7087 6807

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
Place: Announced with ticket registration.
Tickets: Please register via Ticketleap by July 7.

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 will allow students and recent alumni the chance 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 a certain industry, we hope you will consider attending and being available for our alumni and students.

Boston- July 9, 2014
DC- July 14, 2014
NYC- July 15, 2014
Chicago- July 16, 2014
Houston- July 21, 2014
Dallas -July  23, 2014
LA – July 22, 2014
San Francisco - July 23, 2014

University of St Andrews Alumni Club, DC

The newly re-established University of St Andrews Alumni Club, DC will be launching with an event in July, the details of which are to be announced shortly. For more information and to be kept up to date with developments, contact Eugene Ballantine at

Forthcoming event in Hong Kong

hkAlumni are invited to attend the following Royal Asiatic Society lecture by Dr Lindsay Porter, Senior Research Scientist at SMRU Asia Pacific, which is an overseas research unit of the Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) at the University of St Andrews.

Pearl River Dolphins and how development of Hong Kong and its surroundings impact their ecology and habitat

Speaker: Dr Lindsay Porter
Date/ Time: Wednesday, 18 June 2014 / Lecture starts at 6.30 pm
Venue: Hong Kong Centre for Visual Arts, 7A Kennedy Road, Mid Levels
Admission: Members $75; Non-members/ Guests $125
Booking: Please email in advance to to reserve your place, and pay at the door

Forthcoming event in Shanghai

The University of St Andrews Alumni Club, Shanghai is hosting its first event of the year - Summer Festival 2014.

Date: Saturday 28 June
Place: 8 Cafe (No. 1438, Xin Zha Road, Near Xi Kang Road)
Timetable: 17.30-22.00 
Tickets (including all food and drinks):

180 RMB/Person for early birds
220RMB/Person at door

Contact: Joy Lei Wang
M: +86 15216894365
E: /
Wechat: joyleiwang / St_Andrews_Alumni_SH

Dr Andrew Mackenzie FRS

miradaSt Andrews graduate Dr Andrew Mackenzie, BSc 1977, has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. The Fellowship of the Royal Society is made up of the most eminent scientists, engineers and technologists from the UK and the Commonwealth.

Andrew Mackenzie is one of the world's most influential applied earth scientists. For most of his career he has been a leader in the energy and mining industries working within BP, Rio Tinto and most recently in BHP Billiton, of which he is Chief Executive Officer.

Alumna on display

logoAnna Grayson, BSc Geology, has been accepted to show at the prestigious Royal Academy Summer Exhibition this year. Her work, a photo-pastiche of Jan van Eyck's Arnolfini Portrait, entitled An Allegory of Modern Marriage, features Anna and her husband and was taken in their dining room.

Although a student of earth sciences while at St Andrews in the 1970s, Anna attributes her love of Renaissance art to Professor John Steer, who established Art History at the University, and her love of photography to former University photographer Peter Adamson.

The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2014 runs from 9 June to 17 August at The Royal Academy, London.

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

logoThe 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.

Full details to follow.

University Retail Store

logoA full range of stylish branded merchandise is available from our University store. Alumni can enjoy an additional 10% off all items in our sale section when using either of the following discount methods: in store, present your SPARC card to a member of the sales team. Online, add the discount voucher code – SPARC600 – when prompted to do so.

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

The address for the Retail Store is



St Andrews Bioblitz 2014

logoTake part in a 24hr Bioblitz where you can help researchers at the University record as many species of plants and animals as possible around East Sands. You will have the chance to get your feet wet on the rocky shore, take a closer look at the small things in the undergrowth and discover what comes out at night. A timetable of activities will be made available closer to the date.

East Sands, St Andrews
Friday 13 – Saturday 14 June

International conference: Reshaping Sacred Space - Liturgy, Patronage and Design in Church Interiors

This conference seeks to present original ideas in relation to the design and construction of churches in Europe between circa 1500 and 1750.

Please register for the event via the University of St Andrews Online Shop.

Old Union Diner, Butts Wynd, St Andrews
Saturday, 14 June, 10.00am – 5.00pm

Bannockburn 1914: Anniversary Culture, War and National Identity in Scotland

logo2014 sees the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn and the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. This colloquium will examine the cultural significance of Bannockburn alongside the events, literature and memory of the First World War in Scotland and beyond, exploring how war was imagined, represented and commemorated within a specific national context.

The colloquium is free and all are welcome. However, space is limited so registration is essential. For further information, please contact

Lawson Room, Kennedy Hall, School of English, The Scores, St Andrews
Saturday 14 – Sunday 15 June

St Andrews Opera: Albert Herring

tuning forksBenjamin Britten's sparkling comedy, directed by Tania Holland Williams and conducted by Michael Downes, starring some of the University's most talented singers.

Tickets: £14 full, £11 concessions, £5 students and under-26s.

Byre Theatre, St Andrews Monday
Monday 16 June – Tuesday 17 June, 7.30pm

Further performances at Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock (19 June) and Perth Concert Hall (28 June). For full details of all this season's Music Centre performances and events, including a full programme of summer recitals, please visit our website.

Medieval Meander

Chera Cole, a PhD student in Medieval literature in the School of English, takes you on a tour of Medieval St Andrews. Please wear clothing suitable for weather conditions. Free, but booking is essential.

MUSA, 7a The Scores, St Andrews
Saturday 21 June, 2.00pm - 3.30pm

For full details of Museum Collections' current season of workshops, talks and special events, please visit our website.

Graduation Concert: St Salvator's Chapel Choir and the Silbermann Ensemble

English Cathedral Music 1650 - 1800. Sublime music for choir, organ and strings by Purcell, Humfrey, Boyce, Jackson and others. Directed by Tom Wilkinson. Admission free.

St Salvator's Chapel, North Street, St Andrews
Wednesday 25 June, 5.30pm

General Council of the University of St Andrews

The next meeting of the General Council will take place in St Andrews on Saturday 28 June 2014 at 10.30am in Parliament Hall, South Street. Further information can be found here.


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


Power and Propaganda
Scotland 1306-1488

Choice bookDr Katie Stevenson, School of History

Price £19.99 / £55.00 from Edinburgh University Press

The Home Corner

Crafts bookRuth Thomas, School of English

Price £7.99 from Faber and Faber

Alumni Authors

Dead People on Holiday

Burned bookStephen Jackson, MA 1980

Price £35.99 (paperback) from Amazon or $6.38 (eBook) from Xlibris

The Song of the Fall: an epic poem

Sacred bookChristopher Impiglia, MA 2011

Price $10.99 (paperback) or $9.99 (eBook) from Tate Publishing and Enterprises

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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The University of St Andrews is a charity registered in Scotland, No SC013532.

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