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St Andrews in the News

February 2015


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


On track for sporting success

sports centreThe latest stage in a £14m redevelopment of the University’s sports facilities has been launched by Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Louise Richardson.

The £5.55m works, supported by the University’s 600th Anniversary fundraising campaign, will see a brand new and extended Sports Centre created at the existing St Leonard’s Road site, including a new eight-court sports hall, in additional to a major refurbishment and extension of the current building.

Visitors attending the Alumni Festival Weekend in April (see below) will be able to enjoy those sporting facilities which have already been refurbished.

Alumni Festival 2015: 17-19 April

festival banner

The initial schedule for the first Alumni Festival Weekend, a collaboration between the Students’ Association, Athletic Union and Alumni team in Development, has now been released and we’re really excited to be bringing you a wide range of events from Friday 17 to Sunday 19 April.

Whether you are a former Mermaid, played rugby or basketball during your time in St Andrews, we hope there will be an event to interest you as our sports clubs and societies invite their alumni back to St Andrews to take part in club events and socialise with current members. There will also be an early evening drinks event hosted by the University in Parliament Hall on the Saturday evening with entertainment from a cappella group The Alleycats.

If you would like to join us and relive some of your student days, whether the memories are still fresh, or a little more distant, you can register your interest here or by following the link on the schedule page or email for further information about the event.

Golf St Andrews


To celebrate the return of The Open Championship to the world famous Old Course, we have two exciting golf events taking place in St Andrews this summer. The University will be hosting two tournaments which all are welcome to attend and which will be raising funds for The Arnold Palmer Scholarship and the Saints Golf Programme, both of which support the development of talented student golfers at the University.

Saturday-Sunday 20-21 June – an ideal way to celebrate the lead up to graduation taking in Kingsbarns and the Fairmont’s Kittock’s Course.

Tuesday-Wednesday 21-22 July –running concurrently with the prestigious international student tournament, the Boyd Quaich, this event follows the Open, allowing you to extend your visit to Fife and incorporating rounds at Kingsbarns and Crail’s Balcomie Links.

For further information about the events, please email

How to treat terrorists

logoIn a new report, Dr Sarah Marsden, Lecturer in Terrorism Studies at the University’s Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence, has suggested that current policy proposals may hamper efforts to protect the public from future terrorist attacks.

The language of stone

two menUniversity scientists, working with colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Liverpool and University College London, have found compelling evidence that the world’s oldest butchery tools can be considered the seeds of human communication. These findings shed new light on the power of human culture to shape evolution.

Monkey see, monkey share

monkeysAn international research project led by St Andrews psychologists Professor Andrew Whiten and Dr Nicolas Claidiere and Dr Nicola McGuigan of Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh has shown for the first time that kindness in young children and non-human primates such as chimpanzees can be influenced by experiencing and learning from the ‘prosocial’ behaviour of peers.

StAnza 2015


StAnza is famous for its friendly atmosphere and international focus. This year’s festival features a range of poets past and present connected with the University, as well as poetry and art inspired by the University’s Bell Pettigrew collection and Gregory’s Meridian, while a collaboration with the University Library invites students to compete in Poems Aloud. Sinéad Morrissey, Bill Manhire, Carolyn Forché, Ilya Kaminsky and Simon Armitage are among this year’s headliners. Events include The Shipwrecked House, A Modern Don Juan, Clive Russell (from Game of Thrones) and an opening night show which will transform the Byre Theatre in time and place back to Dylan Thomas’s 1950s New York.

Full programme and tickets available from the website.

Various venues, St Andrews
Wednesday 4 – Sunday 8 March

4-star service

helpdeskSt Andrews is the first university in the world to be accredited with a 4-star Service Desk Certification by the IT sector’s professional body. The award from the Service Desk Institute (SDI) will see the University lead the way in setting ‘exceptionally high’ standards in IT for fellow universities across the world.

Innovation initiative investigated

brownNew research examining the controversial Scottish Government funded innovation initiative - the Intermediate Technology Institutes (ITIs) - has been published by a team of entrepreneurship researchers from the Universities of St Andrews, Glasgow and Edinburgh. Led by Dr Ross Brown (right) from the University’s School of Management, the work examines the spectacular failure of the programme.

Assessing flood frequency

floodNew methods that could help measure trends in flooding have been developed by scientists at the University. The researchers say the development, which quantifies flood frequency, can contribute to flood management systems and help estimate insurance costs more accurately.

Sleeping Sickness Prevention in a Nutshell

nutsAn international team including University chemist Professor David Cole-Hamilton has developed a new technique for luring tsetse flies into insecticide-impregnated traps, using a cheap by-product from the cashew nut industry. The discovery may mean the development of much more cost-effective ways of attracting and trapping the flies which carry the parasite responsible for sleeping sickness.

Home truth for Scottish businesses

fsbHalf of all Scottish businesses are based in the home, according to new research by the Universities of St Andrews and Glasgow, published by the Federation of Small Businesses.

Bee brains

beeResearch at the Universities of St Andrews and Dundee has confirmed that levels of neonicotinoid insecticides accepted to exist in agriculture cause both impairment of bumblebees’ brain cells and subsequent poor performance by bee colonies.

Inequalities in Adolescent Health

youthsWidening health inequalities among young people in Europe and North America are storing up huge problems for the future, according to new research by the University's School of Medicine.

Alumni News, Clubs and Services

US events: February

Name: ‘No One Knows We’re Still Here’ - a lecture in Washington DC
Description: Professor Alison Watson and Research Fellow Bennett Collins of the International Relations Department will be presenting their project that examines the implications of North America’s first truth and reconciliation commissions (TRCs): the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Date: February 26, 2014
Time: 6pm
Location: Root Room (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Building), 1779 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington D.C., DC 20036

Contact address for queries:
Purchase tickets via this link: TICKETLEAP

Save the date:

15 March - St Andrews Choir Reception in NYC
20 March - St Andrews Choir Reception and Concert in Princeton
22 March - St Andrews Choir Reception in DC
23 March - Professor Jim Naismith, Department of Chemistry, in NYC
24 March - Professor Jim Naismith, Department of Chemistry, in Dallas
24 March - Professor Charles Warren, Department of Geography and Sustainable Development, in Denver
16 April – Professor Alex Danchev, Department of International Relations, in Chicago
21 April – Professor Alex Danchev, Department of International Relations, in DC
24 April – Professor Robert Crawford, Department of English, in Boston
28 April – Professor Robert Crawford, Department of English, in NYC
30 April – Professor Alex Danchev, Department of International Relations, in Houston

Bute Medical Society Centenary Ball: 11 April


crestJoin current students, staff and alumni at The Fairmont St Andrews on Saturday 11 April at 7 for 7.30 pm to celebrate 100 years of the Society in style. Tickets priced £80 include a three-course dinner with half a bottle of wine followed by a ceilidh. Apply for your tickets now.

Contact: Rachel Wood, the student Centennial Celebrations Convener.

The Fairmont St Andrews
Saturday 11 April

Alumni Japan social evening

Date: Wednesday 25 February
Time: 7.00pm
Location: Parabola Wine and Bar, Art Silo building 7F 4-2-5, Nishi Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 106-0031, Japan
Tickets: 3,000 yen per person

Edinburgh Alumni Club

Event: Alumni Drinks Evening
Date: Friday 20 March
Time: 7.30pm onwards
Location: The Queen’s Arms, Frederick Street, Edinburgh

Following the success of our first meeting in December when over 25 alumni met for a casual drinks evening with alumni from the 1970s through to those who graduated last June, our second alumni networking event will take place at The Queen's Arms. We hope you can make it!

Charities Campaign Alumni Dinner and Big Top Ball 2015: Saturday 11 April

groupThe Charities Campaign is hosting an Alumni Dinner at Bibi’s Café on Saturday 11 April at 7pm, open to anyone who has previously been involved in the Campaign. The dinner will precede The Charities Big Top Ball at 10pm on Lower College Lawn when there will be circus performers, musical acts, fairground games, photo booths and much more!

There are two ticket options: Dinner only (£20) and Dinner and Ball (£45). Spaces for dinner are very limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Please book before Friday 6 March at:
Contact: Hannah Meikle -

New York Ball: Save the Date

inviteFollowing the successful inaugural ball, the University of St Andrews Alumni Club, New York, will be hosting their 2nd Annual Ball on May 9.

Mark the date in your diaries now and join us for what promises to be a fantastic evening!

Further information available here:

Alumni Reunion Weekend: 26-28 June

studentsWhy not take advantage of Reunion Weekend to catch up with old friends and relive your student days at St Andrews. En-suite accommodation for the weekend is already available to book at special alumni rates by contacting the Alumni Relations Office. The full programme of events and details of how to book your event tickets will be available in the week beginning 23 February.
(Image Scott Deans)

The weekend will kick off with a Drinks Tasting Fair with fine wines from around the world and a chance to sample some Scottish craft beer, craft gin and whisky. A Jazz Night with hot buffet supper will follow. On Saturday afternoon, Pat Mathewson, President of the Students' Association, will lead a short tour of the redeveloped Students' Association ahead of a light buffet lunch in one of its stunning new venues, the Beacon Bar. The highlight of the weekend, the Reunion Dinner and Ball, will be held for the first time at The Byre Theatre, with a three-course meal with wine followed by a lively ceilidh and disco. To round off the weekend, enjoy a farewell lunch in Lower College Hall in the beautiful surroundings of the recently refurbished St Salvator’s Quadrangle and hear from Rachel Hart, the University’s Keeper of Manuscripts and Muniments, about the Quad’s colourful past.

T: +44 (0)1334 467194 / 461913

Various venues, St Andrews
Friday 26 – Sunday 28 June

Open Accommodation


If you are planning to come to St Andrews for The Open Championship this summer (13th - 19th July 2015), book now as University accommodation is all but sold out. We still have some availability left at David Russell Apartments, which offers modern 3-star apartments and unbeatable value.

Further details of our DRA packages.

Social Media and Alumni Worldwide

Following last month’s promotion of alumni clubs on social media, here are a few more alumni groups online. If you are part of a group we’ve not yet listed, let us know at and we’ll add it to our list!

Barcelona – LinkedIn
India – Facebook
Italy – Facebook
Japan – Facebook
Moscow – Facebook
Seattle – Facebook
UAE - LinkedIn

Saint Connect


Saint Connect, the online e-mentoring careers network exclusive to St Andrews alumni and students, is celebrating its first birthday. Since launching in February 2014, over 2600 people have signed up to the platform and have been taking advantage of its opportunities to network, see job postings, join discussion groups and access a wealth of careers advice and resources. Whether you’re looking for advice, or in a position to share your experiences, if you are a member of the alumni community yet to sign up to the network, you can still do so at

University Retail Store - Winter Sale

bagThe University shop is offering up to 50% off selected items in their annual red ticket sale. New items, including ties, caps, children’s clothing and silk scarves have just arrived, as well as a range of sustainable clothing emblazoned with the University motto - Ever to Excel. There is also a new range of kilts, trousers and mini kilts in the exclusive University tartan.

The shop is currently open between 11am and 5:30pm Tuesday-Saturday. For more information, contact the shop on 01334 474390 or


St Andrews Green Film Festival

logoA week-long festival featuring several documentary films, events and workshops for families and individuals of all ages. The festival aims to raise awareness and engage discussion and debate about some of the issues facing our planet and how we can all make a difference.

The Festival programme is available to download from our website.

Various venues, St Andrews
Monday 16 – Saturday 21 February

James Gregory Public Lecture on Science and Christianity

tom mcleish‘The Science-and-Religion Delusion: Towards a Theology of Science’

Professor Tom McLeish, Fellow of the Institute of Physics, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the American Physical Society and Fellow of the Royal Society.

More information about the event.

Physics Department, Lecture Theatre A, North Haugh, St Andrews
Monday, 16 February, 5.15pm – 7.00pm

A Flight Down Memory Lane - Coffee Morning

Do you have memories about your or a loved one’s time at RAF Leuchars? Want to show off your air show memorabilia? Join us for a fascinating morning of conversation and cake to share your stories, with an opportunity to make your own mark on the upcoming exhibition, From Balloons to Typhoons, Leuchars: Life on Base! Free, but booking essential.

Gateway Galleries, North Haugh, St Andrews
Saturday, 21 February, 10.00am – 11.30am

International Year of Light launch

logoProfessor Robert Crawford (School of English) will be reading a selection of his poems as part of the launch of the UNESCO 2015 International Year of Light at the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Part of this event will feature 'Light Box', a commissioned work by Robert Crawford and the photographer Norman McBeath which is published by Easel Press and celebrates the work of St Andrews’ physicists including John W Allen (inventor of the world's first practicable LED) and the research group in optoelectronics headed by Professor Ifor Samuel.

The Royal Society of Edinburgh, 22-26 George Street, Edinburgh
Monday 23 February, 5.00pm

Fairtrade Fortnight

logoFairtrade Fortnight is the nation’s biggest celebration of all things Fairtrade. There’s something for all ages and interests – the full programme is available to download from our website.

Scottish-Hellenic Society of St Andrews Lecture

'Plato’s Women Readers’

Dr Crystal Addey, School of Classics

Swallowgate 11, School of Classics, St Andrews
Tuesday, 24 February, 5.30pm – 6.30pm

Scottish Chamber Orchestra: Brahms Serenade no. 1 in D, op 11

mark stoneNicholas Collon, conductor
Mark Stone, baritone

Completed 20 years before his First Symphony, Brahms’ Serenade No. 1 represents the composer’s first essay in large-scale orchestral writing. It is presented alongside the Scottish Premiere of Martin Suckling’s superbly accomplished song cycle Candlebird, his musical response to words by Don Paterson. Image of Mark Stone © Robert Workman

Younger Hall, North Street, St Andrews
Wednesday 25 February, 7.30pm

NB. There will be a pre-concert talk with composer Martin Suckling in advance of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra's performance of his composition, Candlebird at 6.30pm, followed by a performance by pupils from Waid Academy, Bell Baxter High School and St Leonard’s School of a new work of their own composition at 7.00pm.

Details of all this season’s musical events.

A Merciful God and Pitiless Physicians

mark elkinsJoin Mark Elkins, a former surgeon turned PhD student in the history of early modern medicine, to investigate how religion influenced doctors and how doctors treated patients at the time of the Reformation. Free, but booking essential.

MUSA, 7a The Scores, St Andrews
Thursday 26 February, 5.30pm – 6.15pm

Details of all this season’s varied programme of Museums and Collections events for adults, children and families.

The Irvine Memorial Lecture 2015

charles tripp‘The Politics of Pain: the production of violence in the Middle East’

Professor Charles Tripp, SOAS, University of London

This lecture is held in memory of Sir James Colquhoun Irvine, Principal of the United College of St Salvator and St Leonard, 1921-52.

Arts Lecture Theatre, St Andrews
Thursday 26 February, 5.30pm – 7.00pm


Doctors in the Making: Medicine at St Andrews

posterExhibition about the study of medicine at St Andrews. Rarely seen objects from the University’s medical collection will be on public display, including anatomical specimens, notes and drawings, medical instruments and objects linked to medical pioneers at the University.

MUSA,7a The Scores, St Andrews
Continues to Sunday 19 April

Exhibition of Paintings by Robin Hirtenstein, 'LA-Z-Boy 1-4'

Artist Robin Hirtenstein was trained at the Slade and has worked in Cornwall and California. He now commutes between Oxford and St Andrews. His highly-crafted paintings combine accomplished technique with a sympathetic appreciation of everyday images as art.

Arts Lecture Theatre Foyer, The Scores, St Andrews
Continues to Friday 27 February 2015

Flore Gardner: Picture in a Picture

posterFranco-Scottish artist Flore Gardner has always been intrigued by old photographs. She originally collected them from flea markets, old houses and car boot sales and later began to incorporate them into her art. Flore alters photographs digitally or through embroidery, a process which she describes as “recycling, reappropriating and manipulating these images to create new ones.” Flore has now returned to her Scottish roots by working with images from the University’s Photographic Collections. Through this collaboration she has created several new series of work which will be showcased in this exhibition.

Gateway Galleries, North Haugh, St Andrews
Continues to Saturday 28 February 2015


Academic Publications

young eliotYoung Eliot: From St Louis to The Waste Land

Professor Robert Crawford, School of English

Price £25.00 from Jonathan Cape

Alumni Authors

RanscombeDeliciously Ella: Awesome Ingredients, Incredible Food That You and Your Body Will Love

Ella Woodward, MA 2013

Price £7.99 from Amazon

Further information on Ella’s blog.

RibchesterDjita, a Malian girl born in Virginia

Dr Robin Edward Poulton, MA 1969

Price £6.32 from AuthorHouse

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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