students in foam

St Andrews in the News

November 2018

Welcome to the November 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. Photo credit: Oli Walker, Tilted Frame Photography.

University news
View a full list of news from around the University
group shot

$10 million vote of confidence in University of St Andrews vision

The University of St Andrews has secured an unprecedented $10 million gift from the parents of one of its former students. This major commitment comes from US couple Frank and Beverley MacInnis (pictured with Principal Sally Mapstone and Professor Vincent Janik, Director of the Scottish Oceans Institute) and has been given on condition it is used to help realise the vision in the University’s new Strategic Plan. Read more.

two men looking out to landscape

Think tank awarded National Geographic grant

The Third Generation Project - a human rights think tank at the University – has been awarded a prestigious grant from the National Geographic Society. Read more.

Professor Stephen Reicher

€1m grant to explore the experience of minorities

St Andrews belongs to a consortium of universities across Europe that has been awarded a €1 million grant to explore the experience of minorities and their inclusion in or alienation from the majority in society. Read more.

Alex McMaster and Merlin Hetherington

Arclight Tandem Africa

Our two intrepid cyclists – Alex McMaster and Merlin Hetherington – have set off on their eight month cycling expedition from Cairo to Cape Town to distribute 2,000 Arclights. Please follow their progress on SaintsFunder and support them if you can.

We would love to hear from students, alumni and staff alike about fundraising initiatives that could benefit the University community using the SaintsFunder crowdfunding platform, so please contact us! If you’ve already been in touch, we’ll get back to you to carry on the discussion.
human cells

Imaging through tissue: seeing the unseeable

A UK research team – led by the University of St Andrews – has developed an innovative way to optically image through tissue. This could enable a more detailed diagnosis of the early stages of diseases including cancer. Read more.

view of st andrews

St Andrews selected for Equality Award

The University of St Andrews is one of ten UK organisations shortlisted for the PinkNews Public Sector Equality Award 2018. Read more.

students in red gowns jumping

Autumn telephone campaign

Our student callers are getting ready to begin our two week autumn telephone campaign on Sunday 4 November and may be contacting you either as an alum, parent or friend of the University . They would love to chat to you about your connections to St Andrews, or your time spent studying here and what you have been doing since graduation, as well as to talk to you about the amazing things currently taking place in St Andrews. Thank you for taking their call, they are very excited about speaking to you!


Chimpanzees share knowledge of more effective tools

According to a new study published by the Universities of St Andrews and Neuchâtel in Geneva, wild chimpanzees have the ability to use knowledge to develop more effective tools. Read more.

Fitzwilliam String quartet

University Music Centre: new Quartet in Residence

The University of St Andrews Music Centre has announced that the Fitzwilliam String quartet will take up a new role as Quartet in Residence. Read more.

autumn event

Chancellor’s Circle autumn event

Over 70 alumni and friends of the University joined the Chancellor, Lord Campbell of Pittenweem for afternoon tea on Saturday 20 October. Read more.

killer wahle in sea

Killer whales threatened by pollution

A new study involving researchers at St Andrews has found that chemical pollutants could deplete killer whale populations in the most heavily contaminated areas of our seas within 30 to 50 years. Read more.

Graeme Macrae Burnet

St Andrews Booker Prize Project

For the tenth year in a row, the University is working with the Booker Prize Foundation to celebrate great contemporary fiction and encourage new undergraduates to join with the wider St Andrews community in a shared conversation about literature and ideas.

This year’s St Andrews Booker Prize novel is His Bloody Project, by Scottish author and St Andrews graduate Graeme Macrae Burnet. Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2016, His Bloody Project is a compelling set of accounts about a remote crofting community in nineteenth-century Scotland rocked by three brutal murders.

Alumni and friends of the University are encouraged to read and meet to discuss the book. 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.

Simon Pepper

Dr Simon Pepper

Alumni will be sad to learn of the death of Simon Pepper, who was University Rector between 2005 and 2008. Simon was a former Director of the World Wildlife Fund (Scotland) and a board member of the Deer and Forestry Commissions in Scotland, as well as acting as an advisory to Scottish Ministers on sustainable development as a member of the Cabinet Sub-Committee on Sustainable Scotland. He was awarded the OBE in the Millennium Honours list for his services to Sustainable Development.
Alumni news

General Council News

Winter meeting of the General Council of the University of St Andrews
The next meeting of the General Council will take place on Saturday 24 November at 10.30am in Parliament Hall, South Street, St Andrews. Tea and coffee will be available from 10.00am.

In her capacity as Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sally Mapstone will preside and, as Principal, will deliver the University address. The new Convener of the Business Committee, Mrs Gillian Stamper, will update members on the Committee’s activities since the last General Council meeting in June. In addition, Dr Katie Stevenson, Assistant Vice-Principal (Collections and Digital Content), will talk about her new role in the University.

General Council members will be sent a link to the billet (meeting paper) in advance of the meeting. Printed billets will be available at the meeting and can also be requested in advance by contacting the General Council Office.

Further information about the General Council is available online or by emailing:


New on the blog this month, intern Daisy Sewell explores Raisin Weekend and we also meet our new student callers for the upcoming telephone campaign. Look out for award-winning alumna, Asha de Vos who is contributing later this month.

Careers Centre winter work shadowing

The Careers Centre is looking for support from St Andrews alumni, parents and friends in January 2019. You can give the current generation of St Andrews students get a head-start in their future careers by offering them work shadowing opportunities around the world while they are home during January.

If you are able to offer an opportunity at your place of work, please complete the registration form.

Share your exchange stories!

Calling alumni who participated in the St Andrews-Queen’s University exchange! We are now marking the 70th year of this very special exchange programme with Queen’s University, Canada. We are planning some exciting initiatives to mark this partnership. Please get in touch, telling us in which year you took part, and share any special memories or anecdotes from your experience of the exchange.
Alumni clubs
View a full list of University of St Andrews Alumni Club activities


We are holding our Annual St Andrew’s Day Dinner on Saturday 17 November from 7.00pm at the Lucy Cavendish College. This year the guest speaker is Professor Beverley Glover – St Andrews Alumna and Director of the Cambridge University Botanic Garden. If you would like to attend, please contact Christine Butler for further information.


Our next event will be on Saturday 17 November at The Globe to watch the Scotland football (soccer) team take on Albania. This event is in partnership with the Scottish Universities Alumni Group of Chicago. Register online.

Beijing and Hong Kong

The Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sally Mapstone, Vice-Principal (International Strategy and External Relations), Professor Brad MacKay and Director of Development, Mr Robert Fleming will be visiting Beijing and Hong Kong later in November.

Beijing: Monday 12 November between 6.00pm and 8.00pm at the Kerry Hotel (1 Guanghua Road, Chaoyang District)
Hong Kong: Wednesday 14 November between 6.30pm and 8.30pm at the British Council (3 Supreme Court Road, Admiralty)

They look forward to meeting with alumni, parents and friends at these events and will take the opportunity to share future plans for the University with attendees. Please RSVP by Monday 5 November to secure your place.

New England (Boston) Alumni Club

We are looking for new Alumni Committee Members. This is a great opportunity for leadership positions or to resume building and networking with fellow alumni from the Ancient Universities. Skills needed include marketing, social media, event planning and coordination. Alumni of all ages are welcome to apply. Our first organised event as a committee will be a Boston Pub Night this winter. Please contact Alexandra Habashi to find out more.
What's on
View a full list of University events in St Andrews and further afield


Meet the author
On Wednesday 28 November, Graeme Macrae Burnet will be coming to St Andrews to talk about his work. Save the date now and join us in the Buchanan Lecture Theatre (Union Street, KY16 9PQ) at 5.30pm to meet the author and have your book signed.

St Andrews book group meeting
Local alumni are warmly welcome to attend a book group meeting to discuss His Bloody Project in St Andrews on Thursday 15 November at 2pm. For details, please contact Jane Watkinson.

Andrew Carnegie Lecture Series: Sir Jonathan Mills
Buchanan Theatre, Thursday 6 December, 5.45pm (doors open 5.15pm)

We are delighted and honoured to welcome Sir Jonathan Mills to St Andrews at the beginning of December to deliver the latest in the series of Andrew Carnegie Lectures. The prominent Australian-born composer has an impressive curriculum vitae: he is director of the Edinburgh International Culture Summit and former director of the Edinburgh International Festival between 2007 and 2014. In addition, he is Visiting Professor at the Universities of Edinburgh and Yale, as well as being Vice-Chancellor (Professorial) Fellow at the University of Melbourne.

The event is free of charge. All welcome! Seats will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Alumni Festival Weekend 2019
Mark your diary now for Alumni Festival Weekend 2019, from Friday 5 to Sunday 7 April. Join us in St Andrews for a range of student-led and University events, including a special Alumni Dinner on Saturday 6 April. Whether you are celebrating a special anniversary of your graduation next year or just fancy making a return visit, the Alumni Festival provides a great opportunity to relive your student days, catch up with old friends and keep up to date with news and developments at the University. It is never too early to start planning your visit or to ask for our help in organising a group to attend together.

Look out for updates on Facebook and for the programme launch on St Andrew’s Day!
See a review of Alumni Festival Weekend 2018 on our blog, Incomparabubble.

Alumni Carol Service and Reception – St Andrews

This year’s Alumni Carol Service will take place on Monday 10 December at 7pm in St Salvator’s Chapel, North Street. The Service will be led by Rev Dr Donald MacEwan, with traditional carols led by the Renaissance Singers. The Carol Service is free to attend and attendance does not require a ticket. It would, however, be helpful if you could register in advance if you are planning to attend the Service.

Tickets (priced £7.50 each) for the optional mulled wine and mince pie reception in Lower College Hall following the Service can be purchased online or from Development at 91 North Street.


London Alumni Club Christmas Carol Service

We are delighted to announce that tickets are now available for our annual Christmas Carol Service on Tuesday 18 December at 7.00pm at St Columba’s Church, Pont Street. This event is run in collaboration with the University of St Andrews Alumni Club, London.

Please visit our web page to purchase your ticket(s). If you have any difficulties making your purchase, or have any other questions, please contact our Events team:
T: +44 (0)1334 461901

image of roses in field

Scottish Chamber Orchestra: Alstaedt plays Schumann Cello Concerto

The Younger Hall, Wednesday 7 November, 7.30pm (various ticket prices)
(tickets available online or from the Byre box office)
This special event represents a musical response to the legacy of war and the feelings of commemoration, love, loss, joy and peace it brings.


While I Breathe, I Hope – Stories & Memories at the Byre Theatre

The Byre Theatre, Thursday 15 November, 6.00pm (free but ticketed)
Gather together to mark the centenary of the end of WW1 with a homecoming walk and the launch of a new community archive. Join us at The Byre for stories with warming food and drinks and a chance to add your memories to the community website from 6pm.

See the Byre’s full programme
See the Music Centre's full programme
Alumni Authors
book cover

The Summer of Us


Cecilia Vinesse MLitt 2013

Price: paperback £8.49 and Kindle £3.99
Available from: Amazon

book cover

Wardrobe Wisdom: How to Dress and Take Care of Your Clothes


Alicia Healy MA 2005

Price: hardcover £7.65
Available from: Amazon


Update your 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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