students in foam

St Andrews in the News

October 2017

Welcome to the October edition of St Andrews in the News – the monthly e-newsletter that keeps all our alumni, parents, donors and friends in the loop about current news, information and events.

This year's Raisin Weekend took place with academic families enjoying the celebrations and culminating in the annual foam fight. A history of the Raisin Monday tradition has been written by Rachel Hart from the University Library’s Special Collections unit.

Photo credit: Harry Gunning, Tilted Frame Photography

University news
View a full list of news from around the University.
students jumping

St Andrews: UK University of the Year for Student Experience

The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018 recently named the University of St Andrews the UK University of the Year for Student Experience 2018 – the second year running that we have received a University of the Year title. Read more.

micro safe

Data Safety Grant

The University has been granted £1.5 million from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to create and manage a new Micro Safe Settings Network (MSSN) to support, strengthen and widen remote access to sensitive data held by data centres across the UK. Read more.

500th anniversary of Reformation

A number of events are being hosted by the University to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. St Andrews is the only town in the UK to be designated as a “City of the Reformation”. Read more.

Professor David Crossman

New Chief Scientist for Health

Professor David Crossman, Dean and Head of the School of Medicine at St Andrews, will be the new Chief Scientist for Health with the Scottish Government from 1 November. Read more.
Gala Malbasic

Young Software Engineer of the Year

Gala Malbasic – who graduated from the University in the summer – has been named Young Software Engineer of the Year 2017. Read more.


Out of the office

Almost the entire Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) team will be out of the office during the last week in October giving papers at the world’s biggest marine mammal conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. This team represents what is probably the biggest cohort from any one institution – not surprising since the research taking place at the SOI is considered to be world-leading. Good luck, all! Photo credit: Monica Arso.

Patrick Errington

Postgraduate student wins Poetry Competition

Patrick Errington – a postgraduate student in the School of English – recently won the 2017 Wigtown Poetry Competition and read at the Wigtown Book Festival last month. Read more.


Andrew Lang and the Folkloristic Legacy of ‘The Forest’

The University is hosting a lecture in honour of Andrew Lang – famed compiler of folktales – at 5.30pm on Tuesday 31 October in School 3. Dr Lizanne Henderson – a cultural historian in the School of Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Glasgow - will deliver the lecture. There is a reception in Upper College Hall afterwards. Read more.
Alumni news
View a full list of alumni club activities.


The St Andrews Alumni Austria group are taking part in the annual UK Alumni Pub Quiz on Friday 10 November from 7.00-10.00pm at The Golden Harp Landstrasse. For more information, contact the group on Facebook.


The St Andrews University Club, Cambridge will hold their 20th annual dinner on Friday 17 November from 7.00pm at St John’s College, Cambridge. This year’s guest of honour will be Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sally Mapstone. Tickets range from £45-£51. For further information, please visit the Club’s Facebook event or email Club Treasurer, Christine Butler to purchase your tickets.


Save the date: Launch of the “Verein der Freunde und Forderer der University of St Andrews” (German Foundation)
The University will be holding three launch events during November. Further details are to follow, but for now please save the dates!

Frankfurt – Monday 20 November
Munich – Tuesday 21 November
Berlin – Wednesday 22 November

New York

An evening with the PrincipalFriday 27 October, 6.30-9.00pm at The University Club, West 54th.
Further information and tickets

Alumni brunch with the Principal and Prof Brad MacKaySaturday 28 October, 1.00-3.00pm at Tribeca Grill, 375 Greenwich Street. In collaboration with the University of St Andrews Alumni Club, New York.
Further information and tickets

St Andrews Alumni Angels of New York

The St Andrews Alumni Angels of New York have a public event on Monday 13 November from 6.00-8.00pm at Hudson Yards in New York. Further information.

San Francisco

Alumni drinks reception with Prof Brad MacKayWednesday 2 November, 6.00-8.00pm. Further information and tickets


The University of St Andrews Alumni Club, Stockholm are holding a special whisky tasting event, kindly hosted by Edrington Nordics MD and St Andrews alumnus, Jeremy Speirs, on Wednesday 8 November from 6.30-8.30pm at Edrington’s office on Luntmakargatan. Further information can be found on the Club’s Facebook page. If you would like to attend, please email

Washington DC

An evening with Prof Brad MacKayMonday 30 October, 6.00-8.00pm at Jones Day, 300 New Jersey Ave. In collaboration with the University of St Andrews Alumni Club, Washington DC.
Further information and tickets

Save the date: Beijing and Hong Kong

Save the date now for alumni events in Hong Kong (14 November 2017) and Beijing (15 November 2017) where Prof Brad MacKay and Robert Fleming will provide University updates. These events are in collaboration with our St Andrews University - Hong Kong Group, and the University of St Andrews Alumni Club, Beijing.

Save the date: Winter Work Shadowing

The Work Shadow programme helps our students to gain valuable workplace experience thanks to the generosity of alumni, parents and friends of the University. Register here – wherever you are in the world – if you can host a student at your place of work between 8 January and 29 January 2018.
alumni awards poster

Save the date: Alumni Festival 2018

The Alumni Festival Weekend will return for a fourth year in April 2018! From Friday 13 April to Sunday 15 April, St Andrews will play host to alumni returning from all around the world to take part in a range of sporting, society and university events. Whether you had a proficiency for pontificating in a debate, enjoyed an engaging evening with the postgraduate society, or flailed with a fencing foil, there will be plenty going on across the town.

Keep an eye on Facebook for updates and for the launch of the programme in November!


New on our blog this month – a feature on the University’s Alternative Format Suite which helps students with different learning requirements; some advice from graduate Hannah Brownlow on how to get into a creative career; and what links three St Andrews alumni from 2002, 2015 and 2016 – a year looking after the penguin post at Port Lockroy, Antarctica!

If you would like to contribute your story, email
Alumni events
mermaids poster

Calling all former Mermaids!
Join us for the Mermaids Centenary Anniversary Reunion Weekend!

The Mermaids (Performing Arts Fund) will be celebrating its 100th Anniversary between 3 and 5 November in St Andrews. Come along for a weekend of performances, cocktail nights and talks with alumni.

Contact us via Facebook or email Vice-President James to receive the latest information.
fingersmith cover

St Andrews Booker Prize:
Lecture and book-signing by Sarah Waters, author of Fingersmith

As part of the St Andrews Booker Prize, first year students have been encouraged to read and meet up to discuss Fingersmith. Alumni and friends of the University are encouraged to do the same and to attend the Lecture and book-signing in St Andrews at 5.30pm in the Booth Lecture Theatre, Medical and Biological Sciences Building, North Haugh on Wednesday 15 November.

If you would like to attend a local book group meeting in St Andrews on Monday 30 October, please contact Jane Watkinson.

If you would like to host a book group meeting to discuss the book wherever you are in the world, please contact us as soon as possible for further information.

Alumni Carol Service and reception – St Andrews

This year’s Alumni Carol Service will take place on Monday 11 December at 7pm in St Salvator’s Chapel, North Street. The Service will be led by Rev Dr Donald MacEwan and we are delighted that the Renaissance Singers will join us once again to lead the traditional carols. The Carol Service is free to attend.

Tickets for the optional mulled wine and mince pie reception in Lower College Hall following the Service will be on sale in November.

Alumni Carol Service – London
Wednesday 13 December at 7pm, St Columba's Church, Pont Street
(Further details next month)
rugby poster

University of St Andrews Rugby Club 160th Anniversary

The University Rugby Club is delighted to announce the date for their 160th Anniversary Celebrations, which will take place over the weekend of 2 – 3 July 2018. Alumni and friends of Saints Rugby are all invited back to St Andrews for a weekend featuring golf, exhibition matches on University Park and a celebratory dinner. If you would like to be added to the 160th mailing list or for more information please contact the club.

General Council News

The next meeting of the General Council will take place on Saturday 25 November at 10.30am in Parliament Hall, South Street, St Andrews. Tea and coffee will be available from 10.00am. General Council members will be sent a link to the billet (meeting paper) in advance of the meeting.

Further information about the General Council is available online or by contacting
What's on
View a full list of University events in St Andrews and further afield.

St Andrews Play Club: Travels with my Aunt

The Byre Theatre, Tuesday 7 to Saturday 11 November at 7.30pm (2.30pm Saturday)
When Henry Pulling - retired bank manager and dahlia enthusiast - meets his long lost Aunt Augusta at his mother’s funeral, he has no idea of the whirlwind of exotic adventures that lie ahead of him.

See the Byre’s full programme
See the Music Centre's full programme
men in boats

Encountering Africa:
Henri Gaden’s Life and Photography in Colonial French West Africa 1894-1935

MUSA until 25 February 2018

See MUSA's full programme
Alumni Authors
book cover

What a Way to Go


Julia Forster, MLitt, 2001

Price – paperback from £1.99
Available from: Amazon

book cover

The emergence of post-hybrid identities:
a comparative analysis of national identity formations in Germany’s hip-hop culture


Dr Marissa Munderloh, MLitt 2010, PhD 2015

Price – hardcover from £40.00
Available from: Amazon


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