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St Andrews in the News

September 2014


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


Student satisfaction

students on beach

St Andrews is one of the top three universities in the United Kingdom for teaching and the quality of the academic experience it offers students, according to the results of the latest National Student Survey. It is the leading multi-faculty university in Scotland and joint top in the United Kingdom.

Byre back in business

byreThe Byre Theatre in St Andrews is to re-open under the management of the University after the University, owners Fife Council and Creative Scotland reached agreement on a rescue package for the distinctive arts venue. The University will operate the Byre as a theatre, educational resource, general arts venue and music centre.

Andrew Carnegie Lecture Series: Professor John Grotzinger

grotzingerWe are delighted to be welcoming Professor John Grotzinger, Fletcher Jones Professor of Geological Sciences at the California Institute of Technology, to St Andrews later this month to deliver the second in the series of Andrew Carnegie Lectures.

Professor Grotzinger, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, is an internationally acclaimed geologist whose research is concerned with the evolution of surficial environments on Earth and Mars. He is currently the Project Scientist for the Mars Science Laboratory mission and also a member of the Mars Exploration Rover Science Team, and HiRISE team on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Professor Grotzinger will be speaking at St Andrews on 'Curiosity's mission of exploration at Gale Crater, Mars'. His lecture will take place in the Medical & Biological Sciences Building Lecture Theatre, North Haugh, St Andrews on Monday 29 September at 5.45pm (doors open 5.15pm).

The Andrew Carnegie Lecture Series is a new, ten-year programme of public lectures in Scotland's ancient universities funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York, in celebration of their centenary. The programme is bringing to Scotland some of the world's most important thinkers in the fields of the arts, sciences, education and international affairs.

Driving for scholarships


At the end of August, Mission Hills, China, hosted the second annual golf championship as part of a major partnership with the University. Proceeds from the Mission Hills – St Andrews: Home to Home Scholarship Fundraising Championship will be used to send talented golfers to the University to further their careers.

Commenting on the initiative, Professor Louise Richardson, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University said, "Students from China represent our second largest overseas contingent here at St Andrews and contribute much to the vibrant, multicultural learning environment of the University. This pioneering tournament not only benefits future Chinese students, it enhances our efforts to build relationships with China in general."

Golfing talent

golferThe prospects for golfing success at the University will also benefit from the arrival of outstanding young golfer George Burns who commences his studies at St Andrews later this month. George is one of only two Scottish boys to be selected by the R&A to represent Great Britain & Ireland at the prestigious Jacques Leglise Trophy, the highest honour for a GB&I boy golfer. This builds on the success of Gabrielle Macdonald, a third-year Geography student at St Andrews, who this year became the 100th Scottish Amateur Champion.

If you would like to find out more and support the University of St Andrews Golf Programme, please visit

Kenly Wind Farm


The University is seeking a development partner to progress its plans for a 12 megawatt wind farm at Kenly, three miles south-east of St Andrews. The University plans to construct a six-turbine wind cluster, saving 19,000 tonnes of carbon per year and helping towards its goal of becoming the world's first carbon neutral university.

Seal science

sealResearch by scientists at the University's Scottish Oceans Institute has revealed that offshore wind turbines can provide valuable feeding opportunities for the wildlife population in the area. The study found that some seals appeared to deliberately seek out and forage around the structures.

Scientists at St Andrews have also produced a new desktop tool which will allow offshore renewable energy developers to assess the likely impacts of their projects on marine mammal populations.

For details of other research developments at the University, please visit our Research Blog.

The Pennyroyal Caxton Bible

caxton bibleThe Special Collections Division of the University Library is delighted to have received a very generous gift from Bruce and Suzie Kovner. The Pennyroyal Caxton Bible was designed and illustrated by Barry Moser, who has been described as 'probably the most important book illustrator working in America today.' Read more about the Bible here.

You are welcome to view the Bible in our Reading Room in Martyrs Kirk by making an appointment with Special Collections.

Frotscher Medal for Helping Hands

frotscher medalProfessor Sharon Ashbrook of the School of Chemistry (pictured right) is this year's recipient of the Frotscher Medal for Helping Hands.

This award recognises exceptional support to students by a staff member or another student. The prize has been established by the family of two St Andrews students in gratitude and recognition of the support those students received at St Andrews.

Make your mark on the Students' Association

buildingThe University's ambitious redevelopment of the Students' Association building is well under way. Phases 1 and 2 - featuring a new café, bookshop, student shop and social spaces on the ground floor - are now complete. However, we still have much to do to transform this building into a modern facility capable of meeting the needs of 8,000 students today.

A number of rooms in the redeveloped building will be available for naming, offering donors the chance to make a long-term contribution to student life at St Andrews in return for permanent acknowledgement of their support. The naming could commemorate your own time at St Andrews, recognise a particularly inspiring teacher or honour a family member who studied or taught at the University.

Rooms available include: a Rehearsal Room for performing arts societies; a Media Suite for radio broadcast, TV editing and multimedia; an Advocacy Room for dedicated advice on pastoral matters; and several Society Rooms for use by the Students' Association's many societies. We also have a very few seats left available to sponsor in the new, 132-seat Students' Association theatre.

If you would like to know more about these opportunities to support current and future generations of students, please contact Alex Hayes on +44 (0)1334 461918 or

Scotland Decides: Live from St Andrews

filmingThe BBC News Channel was in St Andrews this week to interview leading academics and hear their contributions to the referendum debate. Presenter Gavin Esler's interview with Professors Naismith and O'Hagan (pictured) can be viewed on the BBC iPlayer (from 16min 43secs onwards) and is available to watch until next Tuesday (9 September 2014, 10pm).

Alumni News, Clubs and Services

Varsity Match 2014: University of St Andrews v The University of Edinburgh


Alumni and friends are invited to join us for the oldest university rugby fixture in the world, which returns to London this month. 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.

Recent London events

london eventsOn 4 September, the 2014 University of St Andrews Networking Night was held in the Citigroup Centre in Canary Wharf. The event provided a forum for alumni, parents, and employers to share their advice and experiences with our students and recent graduates. Please visit SaintConnect for information on how you can provide careers and mentoring support for our alumni and current students.

Last week, the first University of St Andrews London Welcome reception took place as staff from Admissions, Student Services, Development & Alumni and the Students' Association welcomed new students and their families from the south east. The reception provided the opportunity to answer any questions about life in St Andrews and share some tips about settling in. New friendships were quickly made as students met future classmates whilst parents learned more about our Family Programme.

University of St Andrews Alumni Club of New York Opening Reception

Please join the New York Alumni Club in welcoming the newest members of the St Andrews community to the area.

September 24, 2014, 6.30pm – 8.30pm
The Princeton Club of New York (15 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036)
If you have any questions please contact

Please register here.

First meeting in Dubai of a new UAE alumni group

The inaugural meeting of the University of St Andrews Alumni UAE (also the name of our new LinkedIn page) will take place in Dubai on 25 September at 7.30pm in the elegant Chart Lounge of Dubai Marina Yacht Club. Please come along; all graduates welcome!

For more information, please visit our LinkedIn page, contact Guy LA Perry, MA 1983 at or connect via Twitter: guyperry007

Friends of the University Library

The University Library has reached a very interesting point in its 400-year history. We are very fortunate to have wonderful collections of rare books, manuscripts and photographs, and an excellent team of curators, cataloguers and support staff to look after them. The Library has been updated and upgraded recently but improvements are still needed, such as creating exhibition and gallery space, and providing comprehensive environmental controls for the collections.

If you are interested in our Special Collections please consider joining the Friends of the Library group. Until 30 November, new Friends who order a copy of the limited edition box-set new publication 600 Years of Book Collecting will be subscribed as members for a year at no extra cost. More information on joining the Friends is available at:

Bernard Bentley Prize

bernardBernard P E Bentley retires from the Spanish Department in the School of Modern Languages on 5 September 2014. Having studied French and Spanish at St Andrews (1968-1972), he returned in 1976 on a one-year contract to cover Professor L J Woodward's research leave and went on to be appointed on a permanent basis a year later, being promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1999. Among his many achievements, the School of Modern Languages would like to mark the way in which he consolidated the Spanish ab initio course into an extremely successful graduating pathway.

The Bernard Bentley Prize has been established in recognition of Bernard P E Bentley's contribution to the Department and the ab initio Spanish courses. It has been agreed that the Prize will be awarded on an annual basis to the best performing student in Beginners Spanish. If you would like to donate, you can do so at

University Retail Store

student on bench

Start this University year in style with branded merchandise 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.

For further details, visit our website.

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

Save the date

Alumni and friends are invited to attend the following events over the coming months. Further details to follow.

Monday 20 - Friday 24 October
Open Minds 2014 Lecture Series, St Andrews

Wednesday 3 December
Alumni Carol Service in St Salvator's Chapel, St Andrews

Friday 19 December
University of St Andrews Alumni Club, London Christmas Carol Service and Party, Westminster Central Hall, London.

After requests from fellow alumni over recent years, the University of St Andrews Alumni Club, London, is this year establishing an Alumni Choir to join an orchestra and take a leading role in the Service. If you would like to be part of the Choir then please register your interest with Nichola Barrett in the Development Office at St Andrews by emailing before 3 October 2014. We will supply further details about the Service and the rehearsal in due course.


Doors Open Day: University Rooms

Martyr's KirkExplore some impressive parts of the University you may not have seen as we throw open the doors to the historic Senate Room, Parliament Hall, King James Library, Martyrs Kirk and Bell Pettigrew Museum at this popular annual event. Free, no booking required.

Various venues, St Andrews

Sunday 7 September, 12.00pm – 4.00pm

The Big Green Fair

flyerCome join the green societies and local businesses and initiatives for an outdoor festival celebrating the environment, with live music and great local food. Find out more about what our eco-friendly societies are up to this year and how to get involved in their activities and projects.

This is the first in a series of green events organised by Transition St Andrews for Orientation Week. For details of all the events, please visit our website.

St Katherine's Lawn, The Scores (in front of the Arts Building), St Andrews
Monday 8 September, 11.00am – 3.00pm

Julian Barnes - in conversation

barnesAn opportunity to hear the prize-winning author Julian Barnes talk about his novel The Sense of an Ending, which this year was selected to be given to new entrant undergraduates as part of the University's ongoing successful collaboration with the Booker Prize Foundation. Photo credit: Ellen Warner

Buchanan Lecture Theatre, Union Street, St Andrews
Tuesday 23 September, 5.30pm – 6.30pm

Big Fat Quiz of the Body

Join local comedians to participate in a pub quiz with a difference. Test your knowledge of the human body, medicine, terrifying diseases and even more terrifying cures with top prizes up for grabs. See some of the bizarre instruments that were used to treat illnesses in the past and enjoy sketches and stand-up that'll tickle your funny bone. With extra points for answers that get laughs, it might not be the most knowledgeable who win the star prize. This event is free but booking is essential. Over 18s only.

MUSA (Museum of the University of St Andrews), 7a The Scores, St Andrews
Wednesday 24 September, 7.30pm – 9.30pm

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

Public Lecture by Sir David Edward QC - Constitutional Implications of the Independence Referendum

edwardThe Centre for Global Constitutionalism is pleased to announce that Sir David Edward, a former UK judge of the European Court of Justice, will give a public lecture addressing the constitutional implications of the independence referendum, the issues that the debate over the last two years has raised and what the result may mean for the UK constitution and the constitution of Scotland.

School III, St Salvator's Quadrangle, St Andrews
Thursday 25 September, 5.00pm – 6.30pm

James Gregory Public Lectures on Science and Christianity: Professor John Wyatt

wyatt'What is a Person? Insights from Neuroscience and Christianity'

John Wyatt is Professor Emeritus of Ethics & Perinatology at UCL. He has a clinical background as an academic neonatologist working on the mechanisms, consequences and prevention of brain injury in critically ill newborn infants. He has a long-standing interest in the ethical and social implications of advances in biomedical technology.

Lecture Theatre A, School of Physics & Astronomy, North Haugh, St Andrews
Monday 29 September, 5.15pm – 7.00pm

Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Haydn and Mahler

cargillRobin Ticciati, conductor
Karen Cargill, mezzo soprano

A magnificent opportunity to hear world-renowned Scottish mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill singing Mahler's heart-wrenching Kindertotenlieder. In addition, the SCO perform Haydn's glorious final symphony and Hosokawa's Meditation in memory of the 2011 earthquake victims in East Japan. Photo credit: K K Dundas.

Tickets: £11 – £22, £5 (students)

Younger Hall, St Andrews
Wednesday 15 October, 7.30pm

The Music Centre's new brochure, with details of all this season's performances and events, is available to download from our website.


Daniele Barbaro (1514-70): In and Beyond the Text: Exhibition of Printed Books

barbaroDaniele Barbaro (1514-70): In and Beyond the Text will explore some aspects of the heralded Venetian intellectual's work, and examine the role he played in the European Renaissance. On display are four books related to Daniele Barbaro owned by the University of St Andrews.
Image: Paolo Veronese, Portrait of Daniele Barbaro, 1556-67, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

King James Library, St Andrews
Continues to Sunday 21 September

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

Barbara Rae: Place and Process

raeEnjoy this opportunity to see recent work by one of Britain's outstanding contemporary artists. Barbara Rae is known for her bold use of colour and travels extensively to sketch and gain inspiration for her distinctive abstract works. This exhibition explores the printmaking and painterly processes that define Rae's work and the constantly evolving technical methods she employs. Barbara Rae is a Royal Academician and the recipient of numerous awards, including a CBE and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of St Andrews.

Further information about the exhbiiton.

Gateway Galleries, North Haugh, St Andrews
Continues to Saturday 13 December 2014


Alumni Authors

Jewel in the Glen: Gleneagles, Golf and the Ryder Cup

hodgeEd Hodge, MA 2000

Price £25.00 from Birlinn

Legacy of the Mind

legacyHarriet Moore, MA 2010

Price £1.77 from Amazon (Kindle edition)

Further information available here.

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.