students on pier

St Andrews in the News

September 2018

Welcome to the September 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.

And an especially warm welcome to our new students (and their parents) who have travelled to St Andrews from all over the world! Photo credit: Oli Walker, Tilted Frame Photography.

University news
View a full list of news from around the University
renee powell and principal

Golfing legend opens new hall of residence

Golfing legend Renée Powell recently unveiled a plaque to celebrate the opening of a new student hall of residence in St Andrews, named in her honour. Read more.


Young children have many similar gestures to apes

New research from St Andrews has shown that of the 52 gestures that young children use to communicate, over 95% are shared with chimpanzees and gorillas. Read more.

varsity match poster

The Scottish Varsity Matches

Watch ancient rugby rivals St Andrews and Edinburgh universities go head-to-head on the international pitch at BT Murrayfield from 2.45pm (women’s match) and 4.00pm (men’s match) on Saturday 22 September 2018. Tickets are available from Scottish Rugby Online Ticket Centre. Find out more and if you can’t make it in person, join us wherever you are by watching the live stream!

students in quad

University’s contribution to the Scottish economy

According to a new economic impact report, the University of St Andrews contributes over £473 million per year to the Scottish economy and supports 6990 jobs. Read more.

st andrews voices logo

St Andrews Voices Festival 2018: 25-28 October

This year’s St Andrews Voices Festival presents the usual varied programme of events showcasing what the human voice can do in a broad spectrum of genres. Book your tickets here.

Alex McMaster and Merlin Hetherington

Arclight Tandem Africa

Arclight Tandem Africa is the latest exciting project on SaintsFunder. Two University of St Andrews R&A International Scholarship students are undertaking a 10,000km tandem-bike expedition from Cairo to Capetown to distribute Arclights (a device pioneered in St Andrews that helps in the fight against preventable blindness and deafness). Please follow their expedition 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, so please contact us! If you’ve already been in touch, we’ll get back to you to carry on the discussion.

New trial to combat tuberculosis

Medical scientists at the University of St Andrews are leading the medical monitoring of a new clinical trial to treat TB more quickly. Read more.

man and dolphin

The Swarovski Foundation award

The Scottish Oceans Institute (SOI) at St Andrews has been given a Swarovski Foundation award to support a detailed study of the Araguaian Boto dolphin in the Tocantins River in the Eastern Amazon region of Brazil. Read more.

hospital corridor

New Student Health Hub

From this month the University will provide a dedicated service at the St Andrews Community Hospital to direct students to the correct service – either within the NHS or the University – and so relieve pressure on GP appointments. Read more.


R S Macdonald Trust celebrates 40 years

The R S Macdonald Charitable Trust recently celebrated its 40th anniversary by giving the University of St Andrews a special award. Pictured above are (from left to right) Dr Tricia King (lead Trustee on medical research) with Professor Frank Gunn-Moore and Dr Laura Aitken, both of the School of Biology. The award will benefit their research into Alzheimer’s. Read more.

stephen reicher

New light shed on Stanford Prison Experiment

The University’s Professor Stephen Reicher and other leading social psychologists have called for open and respectful debate about the Stanford Prison Experiment, now that new information about the study has been revealed. Read more.

maggie winton

Maggie Winton

Alumni will be sad to hear that Maggie Winton died suddenly at home. Maggie - who headed up our Support Advising Team within Student Services – had been employed by the University since 1995, providing front-line support to students experiencing difficulties. The Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sally Mapstone said: “Maggie was a compassionate and insightful person with a gift for direct speaking and a strong sense of humour. Besides students, Maggie also loved animals, music, and all things Antipodean. Our thoughts go out to her family, while we are proud to have called her part of ours.”

nick rengger

Professor Nick Rengger

Many alumni will also be sad to hear that Professor Nick Rengger of the School of International Relations died suddenly at the weekend. In an email to the University community, the Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Sally Mapstone said: “As an impressive polymath he embodied the values he encouraged our students to embrace, the multifarious things a university education offers us. He encouraged his students and colleagues to think beyond their comfort zone, believing that a university is a place for conversations about things we hold dear and where we can disagree with civility.” Our thoughts are with his family.
Alumni news

General Council News

Date of next meeting
The next meeting of the General Council will take place at 10.30am on Saturday 24 November 2018 in Parliament Hall, with tea/coffee available from 10am.


New on the blog this month, 2013 graduate Geordie Stewart revisits the influence St Andrews had on him as he prepared to take on the gruelling Seven Summits while we also meet students Merlin Heatherington and Alex McMaster who are preparing to take on their own challenge cycling around Africa on a tandem distributing over 2000 life-saving medical devices along the way.

Alumni winners!

During graduation this year we ran a prize-draw competition for those submitting their communications preferences and we’re delighted to announce the three prize winners. The winner of the Amazon vouchers is Anna Shackleton with runner-up prizes going to Rachel Hastie and Sally Thomson – well done to you all!
Alumni clubs
View a full list of University of St Andrews Alumni Club activities


We are holding our annual New Graduates Drinks Evening on Wednesday 10 October from 7.30pm at Browns, 23 Trumpington Street, Cambridge. All alumni welcome! More information.

We are also hosting our annual dinner on Saturday 17 November at Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge. Our guest speaker is the Director of the Cambridge University Botanic Garden and St Andrews alumna, Professor Beverley Glover. Further information on how to book will follow in the October St Andrews in the News.


We are organising our first meeting in Dusseldorf on Friday 27 September from 8.00pm at McLaughlin’s Irish Pub on KurzeStrasse 11. Join us for drinks and good company! Contact

Hong Kong

We are hosting ‘An Antarctic Adventure: Science, Shipwreck … and Penguins!’ on Wednesday 24 October between 6.30pm and 8.30pm at Sheung Wan, Hong Kong Island. Professor Tom Brown, Dean of Science at St Andrews will join us to talk about his work deploying the first-ever advanced laser imaging system in Antarctica. Reserve your ticket.

Northwest of England

We are having a Manchester drinks social on Friday 4 October between 6.00pm and 8.00pm at Browns, 1 York Street. Pop in for a drink, meet some of our other members and hear all about our plans for the future. Non-alumni also welcome, so bring a pal with you! More information.


We are hosting a happy hour cocktails event on Wednesday 26 September from 6.30pm at M Brown’s Bar, 401 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia. Alumni and parents are welcome! More information.

UAE (Abu Dhabi)

We are hosting a brunch on Saturday 5 October from 10.30am at Le Royal Meridien. There is day-long pool access and a special overnight discounted rate for rooms. Contact Guy Perry for more information.

UAE (Dubai)

You are invited to the St Andrews Ball, hosted by the Scottish Association on Friday 9 November from 6.30pm at Asateer Tent, Atlantis the Palm, Dubai. The event includes a reception, dinner and ceilidh and features Foot Stompin’ – one of Scotland's top ceilidh bands – who are flying in for the event!

Tickets will go on sale on Platinum List at AED645 for members and AED695 for non-members. Please contact Karyn Macdonald or, Partnerships Secretary, Scottish Association or telephone: 050 457 4160.

Washington DC

Come and meet other St Andrews alumni at a get-together on Friday 27 September from 6.00pm at Bar Deco, 717 6th Street NW. Read more.
What's on
View a full list of University events in St Andrews and further afield


Alumni Carol Service – St Andrews
Monday 10 December at 7pm in St Salvator’s Chapel, North Street

Alumni Carol Service – London
Tuesday 18 December at 7pm, St Columba’s Church, Pont Street, London

Careers Centre winter work shadowing
The Careers Centre is looking for support from St Andrews alumni, parents and friends in January 2019. You can help 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. Further information on how to register your opportunity will be in the October edition of St Andrews in the News.

Study UK Alumni Awards 2019
Applications and nominations are now open for the Study UK Alumni Awards 2019. These awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of alumni from UK higher education institutions who are now living outside of the UK. Find out more.

St Andrews alumna, Dr Asha de Vos was the GLOBAL Alumni Award Winner (Professional Achievement) for 2018 and recently returned to St Andrews when back in the UK to collect her award. We’ll have more on Asha’s visit next month!

lecture poster

‘The House of Lords: its role within the UK Constitution’

Buchanan Lecture Theatre, Tuesday 25 September, 6.15pm
We are delighted that James Younger, 5th Viscount Younger of Leckie – an alumnus of the University – will give a public lecture on the role of the Lords within the UK constitution. The lecture will be followed by a reception in Lower College Hall.

Audrey Kurth Cronin

Paul Wilkinson Memorial Lecture

School III, St Salvator’s Quadrangle, Thursday 27 September, 5pm
The lecture is being given by Audrey Kurth Cronin, Founding Director of the Center for Security, Innovation and New Technology at American University in Washington DC and Professor at the School of International Service. She is widely published on strategy and nonstate actors. More information is available on Facebook.

old illustration of man

Byre World: Beyond the Bards

The Byre Theatre, Wednesday 3 October at 6pm (free but ticketed)
The School of Modern Languages, in collaboration with The Byre Theatre, offers an exciting programme of events drawn from literature, film and cultures across world.

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



Emma Parfitt, MLitt 2002 Creative Writing

Price: £2.99 Kindle edition
Available from: Amazon

book cover

The Heart of the Run


Maggie Mackay, MA 1972

Price: £5.99 + VAT
Available from: Lulu


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