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St Andrews in the News

March 2015


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


New Rector

rectorCatherine Stihler MEP has been officially installed as the University’s 52nd Rector and only the second female to hold the position. A St Andrews graduate, and former Student President, she has been a Member of the European Parliament for Scotland since 1999.

All the Rectorial Installation speeches are available online:

Welcome by the Senior Governor, Sir Ewan Brown CBE FRSE
Welcome by the Principal & Vice-Chancellor, Professor Louise Richardson
Rectorial Address, Catherine Stihler
Loyal Address by the President of the SRC, Patrick Mathewson

The first common market

diversNew research has revealed the first evidence for grain being traded across Europe 8000 years ago, years before the accepted beginning of farming in Britain. The team of scientists, which includes Dr Richard Bates from the University’s Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, studied two submerged sites off the shores of the Isle of Wight and Orkney, to discover sediment sequences that contained wheat grains.

Rare books bought

bookThree historically important rare books have been added to the University’s Special Collections. The books, by Sir Thomas Malory, John Donne and George Herbert, will be used to support teaching and learning at St Andrews.

The purchase was made possible through the generous support of the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Seal savagery

sealsNew research by the University’s Sea Mammal Research Unit has provided evidence that shows grey seals may be responsible for incidences of spiral seal injuries.

Clever fellows

logoFive leading St Andrews academics have been awarded Fellowships of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

In addition, John Hudson, Professor of Legal History at the University, attended an event at Buckingham Palace in the presence of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta.

Record-breakers in a spin

spinWorld-leading research in the School of Physics & Astronomy has been recognised by The Guinness Book of World Records. Professor Kishan Dholakia and Drs Yoshi Arita and Michael Mazilu used optical tweezers to support and spin a very small particle in a vacuum. This is now acknowledged as the fastest rotating man-made object to date by the Guinness Book of World Records.

Light Box

lightboxCommissioned by the University for the UNESCO 2015 International Year of Light, Light Box is an artistic collaboration between poet Robert Crawford (Professor of English at St Andrews) and photographer Norman McBeath.

Light Box celebrates light in all its aspects – solar, sacred, scientific, nourishing and poetic. Produced as a result of meetings between Crawford and McBeath and contemporary physicists whose work centres on light, the work juxtaposes a series of new haiku with specially taken photographs.

View an online version of the book.

Alumni Events

Alumni Festival 2015: 17-19 April

festival banner

The 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. Why not join us for early evening drinks hosted by the University in Parliament Hall on the Saturday evening, with entertainment from award-winning a cappella group The Alleycats. There will be an opportunity to catch up on the latest developments at the University. Please note that pre-booking for this event is essential.

Full programme.

Please register your interest here.

Pre-Graduation Golf Tournament: 20-21 June


Graduation Week 2015 at the University runs from Monday 22 – Friday 26 June. We look forward to celebrating the achievements of our latest cohort of scholars. If you are coming to St Andrews for Graduation, or just happen to be in the area, why not join us for a special charity golf tournament on the weekend of 20-21 June in aid of The Arnold Palmer Scholarship and the Saints Golf Programme, both of which support the development of talented student golfers at the University.

The two-day tournament will be held on the award-winning Fairmont and Kingsbarns courses. Full details available here or email

Booking is now open for Reunion Weekend 2015 – 26-28 June

students on beach

The highlight of the weekend will be the Reunion Dinner and Ball with Tom Orr and his ceilidh band and disco. Other events include: a Drinks Tasting Fair; a Jazz Night; a tour of the redeveloped Students’ Association with lunch; and a Farewell Lunch with a talk on the history of the recently refurbished St Salvator’s Quadrangle. For those who would like to fit in a round of golf, The Fairmont St Andrews is offering reunion guests a special 50% alumni discount. We are also delighted to be able to offer a special 10% alumni discount on ensuite accommodation with breakfast at Agnes Blackadder Hall.

Click here for further details and instructions on how to purchase event tickets and book accommodation and golf.

We look forward to welcoming back alumni and their guests from near and far and from across the graduation years. We hope you can join us.

T: +44 (0)1334 467194 / 461913

The Open, The University


The University is delighted to be involved with The Open Championship, which returns to the ‘Home of Golf’ from 13 – 19 July. We look forward to welcoming back to St Andrews our many friends and supporters who will be attending this highlight of the golfing calendar.

For the first time ever, the University will be staging an exhibition of photography within the tented village at The Open. Entitled ‘The Open, The University’, the exhibition will largely comprise of images from the University Library’s internationally important Lawrence Levy and George M Cowie Collections.

Throughout the week of The Open, the University will be hosting a marquee on Lower College Lawn, with refreshments, guest speakers and live entertainment. Let us know you are coming in advance and secure an alumni discount.

Golf Tournament
Once you have enjoyed watching the golf, why not take to the links yourself? Our second charity tournament of the summer takes place on 21 – 22 July on the award-winning Kingsbarns and Crail courses. Once again, proceeds will benefit The Arnold Palmer Scholarship and the Saints Golf Programme. Click here for full details.

For further information on the above events, please email We look forward to seeing you this summer.

Alumni News, Clubs and Services

Edinburgh Alumni Club

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

St Andrews alumni are invited to meet up for a social evening.

The St Andrews Alumni Club London: City Drinks

logoThe St Andrews Alumni Club London is delighted to invite you to a special City Drinks event in the splendid surroundings of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists’ Livery Hall. City Drinks events are an informal and excellent networking opportunity for graduates.

What will the world, and St Andrews, in particular, look like in 2040?
Our two speakers are Gill Ringland, CEO of SAMI Consulting since 2002 and Dr Adam Scott, SAMI Fellow and former lecturer at St Andrews. They will reflect on the 25th anniversary of SAMI Consulting and discuss what the future might look like in 25 years from now. Part of the evening will allow alumni the opportunity to brainstorm ideas about what St Andrews might look like in 2040.

Date: Thursday 26 March
Time: 6.00pm to 8.30pm
Location: IT Livery Hall, 39a Bartholomew Close, London, EC1A 7JN (Tel: 020 7600 1992)

RSVP required
Places are limited so please email your RSVP to

Bute Medical Society Centenary Ball: 11 April

crestIt’s not too late to apply for your tickets for the Bute Centenary Ball on 11 April, but please apply now as the 20 March deadline is fast approaching.

Join 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 Bute Centenary, including speeches by former Bute Presidents Professors Jimmy James and David Sinclair. Tickets priced £80 include a three-course dinner with half a bottle of wine followed by a ceilidh. Apply for your tickets now. Apply for your tickets now.

Contact: Rachel Wood, the student Centennial Celebrations Convener.

The Fairmont St Andrews
Saturday 11 April

The University of St Andrews Polo Club

The University of St Andrews Polo Club cordially invites you to their 2015 charity tournament, held at the beautiful Errol Park Estate, on 25th April, 11am-5pm.

With teams coming from around Scotland, ranging from Beginners to an Exhibition and Alumni match, it is set to be a day of excitement!

Tickets: Standard - £15
VIP - £35 (includes drinks)

Polo Club Facebook:
Event Facebook:

Events in the US during March/April

St Salvator's Chapel Choir Tour 2015


We are delighted to announce that St Salvator’s Chapel Choir, the University’s flagship choir, will be touring the East Coast of the United States in March, giving performances in New York City, Princeton, NJ and Washington DC.

Details of the tour schedule appear below and we very much hope you may be able to attend one of the performances. We would also like to invite you to join other alumni and friends of the University at one of our private receptions; tickets for these are available via the links listed below, at a cost of $15/$25 per person (see ticket pages for more information). Please note the event times carefully, as one of the receptions precedes the performance.

Please also note that there is no charge for attendance at any of the concerts or performances, only for the receptions. Ticket prices are to cover costs and raise funds for the choir.

Sunday March 15
Evensong at St Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, 5.00pm
325 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10022
Reception at St Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, 6.00pm
Entrance at 109 E 50th Street, New York, NY 10022 – please note that this is a side entrance. The reception will take place in rooms 32 and 33 on the 3rd floor.

Monday March 16
Concert at St Paul’s Chapel, 1.00pm
209 Broadway, New York, NY 10007

Tuesday March 17
Concert at Christ and St Stephen’s, 7.30pm
122 W. 69th Street, New York, NY 10023

Wednesday March 18
Concert at St Patrick’s Cathedral, 4.00pm
5th Ave., between 50th/51st Streets, New York, NY 10022

Friday March 20
Reception at the Mackay Campus Centre, Princeton Theological Seminary Main Campus (13 on map), 6.00pm
Concert at Miller Chapel, Princeton Theological Seminary (14 on map), 7.00pm
64 Mercer Street, Princeton, NJ 08540

Saturday March 21
Concert at Metropolitan United Methodist Church, 7.30pm
3401 Nebraska Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016

Sunday March 22
Evensong at Washington National Cathedral, 4.00pm
3101 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20016
Reception at Bethlehem Chapel (Lower Level), Washington National Cathedral, 5.00pm

St Andrews Turns Science into New Drugs

James Naismith, Professor of Chemical Biology, and the Director of the University’s Biomedical Sciences Research Complex (BSRC), will highlight the long-term goals of the BSRC in bringing together scientists from different disciplines to work at problems that affect human health.

New York

Date: Monday 23 March
Time: 6.30pm
Location: Princeton Club of New York (15 West 43rd Street New York, New York, NY 10036)
Contact address for queries:


Date: Tuesday 24 March
Time: 6.30pm
Location: The Dallas Petroleum Club (Chase Tower, 2200 Ross Ave., Dallas, TX 75201) Contact address for queries:

Good Ice, Bad Ice: glacial resources and hazards around the world

Charles Warren, Senior Lecturer in the School of Geography & Geosciences, will discuss how the world's glaciers are far more relevant to human society than is often realised, not only representing valuable resources but also posing a range of threats, both locally and globally. Charles draws on his own experiences of researching glaciers on four continents to highlight the importance of understanding these icy forces of nature.

Date: Tuesday 24 March
Time: 6.00pm
Location: Denver, CO 80210. Full address is released upon registration.
Contact address for queries:

‘Cézanne, art and life’

cezanne artwork

Alex Danchev, Professor of International Relations and Leverhulme Research Fellow at the University of St Andrews.

Reception at 6.00pm at the East Bank Club, 500 N Kingsbury Street, Chicago, IL 60654 on Thursday, April 16, followed by a lecture and Q&A session.

Tickets are available at a cost of $15/$25 per person

If you have any questions please contact Sarah Boyle

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:

University Retail Store - Winter Sale

bagsThe University shop is offering with up to 50% off some 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, get in touch with the shop on 01334 474390 or

University Events

British Science Week @ MUSA

posterA range of fun educational activities for adults and children at MUSA to celebrate British Science Week. Full details on our webpage.

MUSA, 7a The Scores, St Andrews
Saturday 14 – Sunday 22 March, various times

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

Byre Film Club: 100 Year Old Man

posterWelcome to the home of a brand new Film Club. We will be offering a series of Thursday morning weekly diverse and interesting screenings. Each screening comes with a free drink and snack. Contact Box Office for further details.
Tickets £6.

The Byre Theatre, St Andrews
Thursday 19 March, 10.30am

The full season’s programme of events at The Byre Theatre is now available.

School of Medicine Research Seminar

coyne‘Documented examples of outright fraud in the psychological literature’

James C Coyne, Professor of Health Psychology at University Medical Center, Groningen, the Netherlands.

With over 400 publications Professor Coyne has been designated by ISI Web of Science as one of the most impactful psychologists and psychiatrists in the world. His diverse areas of research include stress and coping, depression, individual and couples’ adaptation to cancer, screening for distress and depression, and evidence-based clinical and health psychology.

Seminar Room 2, School of Medicine, North Haugh, St Andrews
Tuesday 24 March, 3.00pm – 4.00pm

CMEMLL (Centre for Mediaeval and Early Modern Law and Literature) Annual Lecture

poster'Magna Carta: Statute or Myth?

Professor Sir J H Baker (Downing Professor Emeritus of the Laws of England at St Catherine’s College, University of Cambridge)

Magna Carta has had an immense influence on hearts and minds, and even events, over the last eight hundred years. Yet it is not always understood that this has been achieved more by magic than by operation of positive law. The lecture will address some of these legal difficulties and outline how and when they were overcome.

Followed by a wine reception in the Lawson Lecture Room, Kennedy Hall, School of English.

School III, St Salvator's Quadrangle, St Andrews
Thursday 2 April, 5.15pm – 7.30pm

On the Rocks


On The Rocks, Scotland’s largest entirely student-run arts festival, returns to St Andrews at the beginning of April. The festival presents a lively and varied programme of art, photography, film, theatre, dance, fashion, music and comedy.

Charity Governance and Trusteeship

Guest Lecture by Colin Liddell, a partner with J and H Mitchell, Solicitors, looking at the roles and responsibilities of charity trustees. He is accredited as a specialist in charity law and holds a number of trusteeships.

School of Management, Lecture Room 3, Gateway Building, North Haugh, St Andrews
Friday 3 April, 11.00am – 1.00pm

Inaugural Lecture: Professor Paola Manzini

‘Missing the Point – Consideration Sets in Economics’
Professor Paola Manzini, School of Economics & Finance

School III, St Salvator’s Quadrangle, St Andrews
Wednesday 8 April, 5.15pm

Friends of the Library Spring Lecture

‘From Page to Stage: Writing the Lives of Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell’
Professor Susan Sellers, School of English

Arts Lecture Theatre, St Andrews
Thursday 9 April, 5.15 – 6.15pm

The Fitzwilliam String Quartet

quartetOne of the world’s longest-established string quartets and no strangers to St Andrews, the Fitzwilliam Quartet open our Strings in Spring weekend with a programme of music by Purcell, Nielsen and Beethoven. Tickets: £12, £11 (concessions), £3 (students), £1 (children).

Younger Hall, North Street, St Andrews
Thursday 9 April, 7.30pm

Details of all this season’s musical events.

Save the date: The St Andrews Prize for the Environment Public Lecture

‘What will it take to avert an extinction wave in the oceans?’
Professor Callum Roberts, University of York

Full details to follow.

Medical and Biological Sciences Building, North Haugh, St Andrews
Wednesday 22 April, 6.00pm


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

From Balloons to Typhoons - RAF Leuchars: Life on Base

jetsYou’ve seen the airshows, you’ve heard the planes – now come and discover the century-long history of the people and the air base of RAF Leuchars. Take this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore the diverse collection of objects, photographs and service memorabilia to celebrate life on base.

A full programme of activities for adults and children accompanies the exhibition.

Gateway Galleries, North Haugh, St Andrews
Saturday 14 March – Sunday 17 May

Philosophical Transactions: 350 years of publishing at the Royal Society

artworkThis exhibition celebrates the 350th anniversary of the world’s first scientific journal, the Philosophical Transactions, showcasing treasures from the Royal Society’s archive connected with the journal as well as ongoing work being carried out by the ‘Publishing the Philosophical Transactions: the social, cultural and economic history of a learned journal. 1665-2015' project, led by Dr Aileen Fyfe of the School of History at St Andrews and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. It outlines the history of the journal from its foundation to the present, taking in the papers, editorial procedures and printing technologies involved in the making and transmission of scientific knowledge in each era, from the Scientific Revolution to the Digital Age.

Download the exhibition brochure. (pdf)

The exhibition is open to the public most days; details are at the Royal Society’s website, or contact the Royal Society Library: Tel: 0207 451 2606; email:

Photo gallery of highlights from the exhibition at The Guardian‘s Higher Education Network.

The Royal Society, 6 – 9 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AG
Continues until 23 June


Academic Publications

young eliotThe Role of Ideology in Syrian-US Relations:
Conflict and Cooperation

Dr J K Gani, School of International Relations

Price £62.50 from Amazon

young eliotByron, Shelley, and Goethe's 'Faust': An Epic Connection

Dr Ben Hewitt, School of English

Price £55.00 from Legenda

Alumni Authors

RanscombeThe Lost Imperialist: Lord Dufferin, Memory and Mythmaking in an Age of Celebrity (1826-1902)

Andrew Gailey, MA 1977

Price £20.40 from Amazon

RibchesterBlack Rigg

Mary Easson, MA 1978

Price £3.99 (Kindle edition) 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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