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St Andrews in the News

May 2015


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

Please click on feature headings for full details.


St Andrews Prize Winner

groupA multi-level conservation project, which aims to protect the largest remaining population of wild chimpanzees on the Foutah Djallon-Bafing River region in Guinea, West Africa has won this year’s St Andrews Prize for the Environment. The St Andrews Prize website includes film interviews with all the finalists.

The St Andrews Prize is a joint environmental initiative by the University and exploration and production company ConocoPhillips that seeks to find practical solutions to environmental challenges from around the globe.

League table success

philosophyThe University has been named best in Scotland and 5th in the UK in The Complete University Guide 2016. St Andrews is ranked first in the UK in two subjects - Middle Eastern and African Studies and Divinity – and is in the top ten for 23 of the 25 subjects taught here.

In another league table, the University has been ranked among the best in the world for Philosophy. St Andrews was placed 14th out of 200 universities featured in the 2015 QS World University Rankings by subject.

Quad reopens

quadSt Salvator’s Quadrangle has recently been reopened by the Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Louise Richardson following a major renovation. In excess of £700,000 was raised from more than 1,000 alumni, staff and friends to complete the historic restoration. The Quad now benefits from disabled access points, new flagstones and benches, as well as the re-planting of the lawn and flowerbeds. View our image gallery.
Image: Oli Walker

ParaPhrasing processing power

computingA world-leading team of academic researchers and industrial experts from across Europe, led by Professor Kevin Hammond of the University’s School of Computer Science, are celebrating the conclusion of a four-year research collaboration tackling the challenges posed by the fastest and most powerful computing systems on the planet.

Undergraduate of the Year

katyKaty Barlow, a second-year maths and economics student at the University, has won the prestigious TARGETjobs Mathematics, Economics and Finance Undergraduate of the Year Award.

Charging ahead with E-Cars

groupThe University, together with Transport Scotland and operators E-Car, have launched Fife’s first ever all-electric, community car club. St Andrews now has a fleet of 10 electric vehicles which businesses, residents and visitors can hire by the hour; making it Scotland’s most densely populated EV (electric vehicle) town.

Alex Richardson Award

rachelWarmest congratulations to Rachel Macdonald, this year’s recipient of the Alex Richardson Award. This award was established in 2009 to enable a student with a spirit of adventure to engage personally with a Spanish-speaking country. The award was founded in memory of Alex Richardson, whose untimely death occurred midway through his junior honours year at St Andrews. Alex’s interest in Spanish-speaking cultures was fuelled by his own travels in Central America.

Rachel will spend her study year abroad in the remote town of Copán Ruinas in Honduras working with Urban Promise, a charity that seeks to inspire children and young people to reach their full potential. We wish Rachel all the best for her study and adventures abroad.

Research recognition

presentedA number of leading St Andrews academics have recently received prestigious awards.

Professor Andrew Whiten FSB RSE FBA, Wardlaw Professor of Psychology and Professor of Evolutionary and Developmental Psychology (pictured far right), has been awarded the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Senior Prize and Medal for Public Engagement for his success engaging the public with academic research.

Professor Andy Mackenzie of the School of Physics and Astronomy has been elected to Fellowship of the Royal Society for his work on understanding the way electrons in solids behave.

Four scientists have been honoured by the Royal Society of Chemistry: Professor Sharon Ashbrook, Professor John Irvine, Professor Russell Morris and Professor David O’Hagan.

Helping Hands

johannaThis year's Frotscher Medal for Helping Hands has been presented to Johanna Ojamae by the Proctor, Professor Lorna Milne, at a ceremony in St Salvator’s Quad. The medal and a cheque for £250 were awarded in recognition of the support Johanna provided to a fellow student over the past year.

Sawfish survival

fishNew research by Dr Yannis Papastamatious of the University’s Scottish Oceans Institute has identified a subtropical bay off the coast of Florida which may hold the key to the survival of one of the world’s most bizarre fish, the smalltooth sawfish.

Alumni Festival Weekend

quadJointly organised by the Students’ Association and the Athletic Union, the first ever Alumni Festival Weekend, from 17-19 April, saw a mix of alumni, staff, parents, donors and friends of the University join current students for a weekend of sport club and student society events and for the grand re-opening of St Salvator’s Quadrangle. For those who were unable to join us on this occasion, as well as for those who did, an online review of the weekend and a photo gallery is available, sharing some of the highlights of the festival. Image: Ben Goulter

It's Raining Men – 'The Other Guys' Charity Single

coverRenowned student vocal group The Other Guys have just released their latest charity single,’ It’s Raining Men’.

You can watch the video and download the single.

Alumni Events

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

Book now for Reunion Weekend 2015 – 26-28 June

students on beach

Have you booked your place at this year’s Reunion Weekend?

As well as catching up with old friends and visiting your favourite haunts, there are plenty of opportunities to make some new friends and see for yourself the exciting changes at the University since your last visit:

  • Join us at the Byre Theatre, reopened last year under University management, for a drinks tasting fair, jazz night/supper and the Reunion Dinner and Ball with live ceilidh band and disco.
  • Take a tour of the redeveloped Students’ Association and have lunch in one of the fantastic new bars.
  • Round off the weekend with a visit to the beautiful, newly renovated St Salvator’s Quadrangle and enjoy a farewell lunch in Lower College Hall.

The full reunion programme and details of how to book your tickets are available at:

where you will also find information about how to book your accommodation at Agnes Blackadder Hall, guaranteed for you with a 10% alumni discount until 15 May.

To make sure your year is represented at Reunion Weekend why not book your tickets now or contact us for help in organising a group to attend together.

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 feature images from the University Library’s internationally important Lawrence Levy and George M Cowie Collections and is a collaboration between the University and the St Andrews Links Trust.

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

University of St Andrews Alumni Club, London AGM

logoCalling all graduates in the South East! You are warmly invited to join us for the annual meeting of the London Alumni Club to learn more about our activities, share your thoughts and socialise with your fellow graduates.

Please RSVP to Rebecca Hurlock via email

Xchanging, The Walbrook Building, 25 Walbrook, London EC4N 8AQ
Wednesday 3 June, 6.30pm – 8.00pm

University Retail Store

studentPut a spring in your step with our new season items, including ties, caps, children’s clothing and silk scarves, 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 +44 (0)1334 474390 or

University Events

The Unremarkable Death of Marilyn Monroe

monroeMonroe as we’ve never seen her before: alone in her bedroom, in dressing gown and slippers; no glitz, no glamour, no masks. Overdosed on pills, the woman behind the icon unravels her remarkable life and bares all, revealing a biting intelligence, a frustrated talent and an imperfect body.

The Byre Theatre, St Andrews
Tuesday 12 May, 7.30pm

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

Ascendens Christus

choirThe St Andrews Renaissance Singers present a programme including Palestrina’s Missa Brevis and Victoria’s Ascendens Christus. Free entry.
Image © David Stothard

St Salvator’s Chapel, North Street, St Andrews
Sunday 17 May, 3.00pm

Details of all this season’s musical events.

V & A Dundee Talk

v and aCome hear about the upcoming V & A Museum of Design from its Director, Philip Long. Free, but booking essential.

MUSA, 7a, the Scores, St Andrews
Wednesday 20 May, 5.30pm – 6.15pm

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

Friends of St Andrews University Library

helenCurator's talk and guided tour of the ‘Recording Britain’ exhibition.
Dr Helen Rawson, Co-Director, Museum Collections Unit

Joint event with the Friends of MUSA. Followed by tea/coffee.

MUSA, 7a, the Scores, St Andrews
Wednesday 27 May, 5.00pm – 6.00pm

Plant Hunters: Herbs

gardenWhether cooking, medicine or perfume, you use herbs every day! Become a Plant Hunter and search for herbs at St Andrews Botanic Garden. Look through the Herb Garden with Tony Wilson and touch and smell plants to guess what they are used for. Held in association with St Andrews Botanic Garden. Meet at main entrance of the garden, Canongate. Free, but booking essential.

St Andrews Botanic Garden, Canongate, St Andrews
Sunday 31 May, 1.00pm – 3.00pm

General Council of the University of St Andrews

The next meeting of the General Council will take place on Saturday 27 June 2015 at 10.30 am in Parliament Hall, South Street, St Andrews. Tea/coffee will be available from 10 am.

Further information about the General Council.


From Balloons to Typhoons - RAF Leuchars: Life on Base

jetsCome 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. Organised by students on the University’s postgraduate Museum and Galleries Studies course.

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

Gateway Galleries, North Haugh, St Andrews
Continues to Sunday 17 May

Treasures of the Kingdom: Fife's Decorative Heritage Unearthed

posterExplore the wonders of Fife’s Archaeology- let your eyes be drawn to the carved whirls of Pictish stone carvings and wonder at the gleam of gold on a mediaeval skeleton ring. From Bronze age pots to Roman brooches and mediaeval badges, the exhibition showcases some of the fascinating finds from across the Kingdom. Organised by students on the University’s postgraduate Museum and Galleries Studies course.

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

St Andrews Museum, Kinburn Park, Doubledykes Road, St Andrews
Continues to Sunday 17 May

Poles Apart: changing attitudes to whaling in the 20th century

shipBringing together scientific papers, sperm whale bones, harpoons and knives, the exhibition tells the story of two whaling industries in the Arctic and Antarctic. Organised by the University’s Special Collections team.

Further information available here.

The Scottish Fisheries Museum, St Ayles, Harbourhead, Anstruther, Fife
Continues to Sunday 31 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 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.

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

Recording Britain: Life and Landscape During World War II

paintingDiscover a remarkable collection of paintings and drawings produced as part of a nationwide project to capture the changing face of Britain's landscape during the Second World War. These artworks depict coastal villages, bustling towns and traditional industries, thought at the time to be endangered by war and urban development.

MUSA, 7a The Scores, St Andrews
Saturday 9 May – Sunday 6 December 2015


Academic Publications

1Walter Ruttmann and the Cinema of Multiplicity

Dr Michael Cowan, School of Philosophical, Anthropological and Film Studies

Selected as a finalist for the Kraszna Krausz Book Award for moving image studies. The book is currently featured in an exhibition of finalists for the Kraszna Krausz Award at the Science Museum in London.

Price £80.00 from Amazon

2Gael And Lowlander In Scottish Literature: Cross-currents in Scottish Writing in the Nineteenth Century

Edited by Christopher MacLachlan, School of English, and Ronald W Renton

Price £12.50 from The Association for Scottish Literary Studies

Alumni Authors

3The Neptune Conspiracy

Polly Holyoke, exchange student 1979-1980

Price £7.99 from Amazon

4Women, Travel and Identity: Journeys by sea and rail, 1870-1940

Dr Emma Robinson-Tomsett, MA 2002

Price £65.00 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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