international students on pier

St Andrews in the News

December 2019

Welcome to the December 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 Gayle MacIntyre

University news
View a full list of news from around the University
new graduate and family

Winter graduation: beginning a new connection

Congratulations to all our new alumni! Now that you have graduated, you begin a new connection with us. Remember to keep in touch with us.


New research on glacial melt

New research led by the University has found that the rate glaciers are melting in the Himalaya is being significantly accelerated by lakes already formed by glacial retreat. Read more.

students in st mary's

University receives £3.4m Templeton Foundation grant

The School of Divinity has secured a £3.4 million research grant from the John Templeton Foundation to support the creation and launch of a free, online encyclopaedia of theology. Read more.

Amy Rankine

A stellar academic career: women in STEM

Amy Rankine developed an interest in astronomy through the First Chances Fife project while she was a pupil at Buckhaven High School. She graduated from St Andrews with a degree in Astrophysics, and is now pursuing a PhD in Astronomy at Cambridge University. Read more.

christmas scenes

Alumni Club, London, Christmas Carol Service 2019

St Columba’s Church, Pont Street, London
Wednesday 18 December 2019 at 7pm

Last few tickets remaining! We look forward to welcoming alumni and friends to celebrate the festive season with the University of St Andrews Alumni Club, London in this special candlelit Christmas Carol Service. Online sales have closed, but we will be selling tickets (cash only, please) on the ticket desk on Wednesday on a first-come, first-served basis from 3pm until the service begins at 7pm.
statue of St Andrew

St Andrew comes home

The famous statue of St Andrew by renowned Victorian sculptor Sir John Steell has been restored and has now taken pride of place at the entrance to the Wardlaw Museum. Read more.

aerial view of st andrews

St Andrews students cut food waste

Research by Zero Waste Scotland found that students are the worst offenders at wasting food. In response, St Andrews students have removed food trays from hall cafeterias to tackle waste and carbon emissions. Read more.

la quinta

University of St Andrews Winter Gathering 2020

La Quinta Resort & Club, La Quinta, California, USA
January 24-26, 2020

Join Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sally Mapstone, alumni, parents and friends at the University of St Andrews Winter Gathering 2020. We are now delighted to announce an addition to our programme: David Watt, Director of Golf, will also be joining us at this special event. He is keen to meet parents, alumni and friends of the University and there is an additional opportunity to join our Saints Golf coach with a round of golf on one of the courses at La Quinta. We have reserved a block of rooms until 25 December, so book your ticket(s) now.
Ali Watson and Catherine Stihler

St Andrews women honoured by the Queen

Professor Ali Watson – an expert in international relations and co-founder of the Third Generation Project and Catherine Stihler – former Rector of the University and recently elected as the next Senior Lay Member of Court – have each been awarded an OBE recently. Read more.
groups involved with saintsfunder


We are very excited about the latest two crowdfunding projects launched this month.

The St Andrews Africa Summit (SAASUM) team is with us again to promote its 2020 conference, focusing on leadership, development and entrepreneurship. The team had a wonderful response last year and is eager to surpass that.

Our Museum and Gallery Studies students are fundraising in support of their exhibition Up in Smoke which charts the rise and fall of the tobacco industry through artefacts and artwork. The exhibition will also feature health and wellbeing and cessation information. NB: they are not promoting or supporting smoking!

And finally, don’t forget to check in on the travels of Milly and Sophie-Dorothe of Plastic Unwrapped who have just arrived in Kenya.

black and white image of students on pier

Annual Appeal – thank you!

The Wardlaw Scholarship appeal will help young people from challenging backgrounds to benefit from an outstanding St Andrews education. We have been receiving support from all around the world for this and for our other year end appeals (and some wonderful messages of encouragement for our scholars). Thank you: this makes all the difference to the lives of our students and the University community as a whole.


New seal research led by SMRU

Research led by the Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) at St Andrews has led to the development of a new method of recording breeding histories of seals, allowing for improved fecundity calculations. Read more.

students in lab coats

Humans of St Andrews:
Careers and connections from around the World 2020

Please join us for Humans of St Andrews – our winter careers networking nights in Washington, DC and New York City – where you will hear from panels of St Andrews alumni. We aim to celebrate the St Andrews community abroad, while also providing the opportunity for fellow alumni, current students, parents, employers and friends of the University to network and explore a wide variety of career experiences and opportunities.

Register for Washington, DC on Monday 13 January 2020: event begins at 6.00pm
Register for New York City on Tuesday 14 January 2020: event begins at 6.00pm
group photo with boat

Rowing for better mental health

Phil Packer – charity campaigner and fundraiser – was in St Andrews recently to promote Row Britannia. This project is encouraging teams throughout the UK to row 2020 miles to fundraise for and increase positive awareness of mental health issues for students and young people. Read more.

Canary Wharf

Saint Connect Careers Networking Night

Join us for a Saint Connect Careers Networking night at CitiBank in Canary Wharf, London on Tuesday 21 January 2020 from 6.30pm to 9.00pm, to celebrate the University of St Andrews community, give advice to students and recent alumni and promote career opportunities.

Whether you are working for a company that is currently hiring, or you have retired, come along and share your knowledge and experience with students and recent alumni to help them learn about different organisations and industries and to make connections with people who can give them appropriate advice.

Please register to attend via Saint Connect, the University's exclusive, global, online community. If you haven't already signed up to Saint Connect, you will need to sign up to be able to register to attend the event. You must register in advance, no later than Monday 13 January 2020.

Please note: This event is open to current students, alumni, parents of current students, employers and other professional friends of the University.

Lyse Doucet

Carnegie Lecture Series

We are looking forward to welcoming award-winning journalist Dr Lyse Doucet OBE CM to St Andrews on Tuesday 18 February 2020 to deliver the latest in the Carnegie Lecture Series, generously supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Lyse Doucet is the BBC’s Chief International Correspondent and a senior presenter who anchors news programmes for BBC World News television and BBC World Service radio.

More details to follow in next month’s edition.
book cover


Congratulations to Norman H Reid, former Head of Special Collections and Keeper of Manuscripts and Muniments in the Special Collections Department of the University Library. He was presented with The Saltire Scottish History Book of the Year Award (supported by the Scottish Historical Review Trust) for his book Alexander III; 1249-1286, First Among Equals (published by Birlinn).
Alumni news

Calling all St Andrews graduates:
get careers support and inspire others!

You might recently have been asked to complete a Graduate Outcomes survey, which is interested in how your career is progressing 15 months on from graduation. (To make sure you receive it, keep your contact details up to date with Alumni Relations.)

By completing this survey, you will help the next generation of students to feel inspired about their future careers.

Please remember that the Careers Centre is here to help you progress in your career up to three years after graduation – from accessing careers information to CV checks.

Alumni updates

We have replaced IncomparaBubble with a new Alumni updates section, which contains alumni stories and news. We hope you enjoy reading it! This month we hear how Robin Poulton’s life-long love of Scottish Country Dancing was nurtured at St Andrews.

If you think your story might be of interest to other alumni, then email the editor (Sue Hill) at We will consider a number of stories each month for publication.

Winter Work Shadow Programme: can you help?

This winter, St Andrews is once again running a worldwide shadowing programme where alumni, parents and friends of the University can host one or more students for a day (or longer).

If you are interested in hosting a student at your place of work for one or more days between 23 December 2019 and 27 January 2020, then please register now.
Alumni clubs
View a full list of University of St Andrews Alumni Club activities
After Many Days Club
Members and their guests are invited to our winter lunch on Saturday 25 January 2020 at 12.30pm for 1pm at the Scores Hotel. The guest speaker will be Robert Crawford, Professor of Modern Scottish Literature and Wardlaw Professor of Poetry in the School of English. His topic will be ‘The Challenges of Robert Burns’.

Remember to save the date for our Reunion weekend from Friday 26 June to Sunday 28 June 2020, in St Andrews!

Further information and Club contact details.

The University of St Andrews Alumni Club, Oxford invites alumni to a Harpsichord Recital at the Ashmolean Museum on Thursday 23 January 2020 from 2pm to 3.30pm. The recital features a selection of music on a Kirkman harpsichord.

San Francisco
Join alumni from St Andrews and other UK universities on the third Tuesday of each month at the bar on the fourth floor of the University Club (800 Powell), from 7pm to 10pm. Preferred dress code is business casual. Register here.

Tyne and Wear (formerly Northumberland and Durham Association)
Alumni are invited to join members of the University of St Andrews Alumni Club, Tyne and Wear for a Burns Night Celebration on Saturday 25 January 2020 at the Holiday Inn, Great North Road, Seaton Burn, Newcastle upon Tyne NE13 6BP. Enjoy a three-course dinner, address to the haggis and musical entertainment from the superb Northumberland Ceilidh band!

Book your place directly with the Holiday Inn by phone: 0191 201 9933 or email: stating that you are part of the University of St Andrews Alumni Club, Tyne and Wear/Barbara Inskip party, along with any special dietary requirements.

Washington DC
The University of St Andrews Alumni Club, Washington DC is hosting a holiday happy hour. Come and join us on Thursday 19 December from 6pm to 8pm at the Mission – Navy Yard, 1221 Van Street SE, Washington DC 20003. More information.
Alumni events
View a full list of University events in St Andrews and further afield

Save the date - Alumni Weekend 2020 – Friday 3 to Sunday 5 April

Mark your diary now for Alumni Weekend 2020! Whether you are celebrating a special graduation year anniversary or just want to come back and catch up, the Alumni Weekend is a great opportunity to relive your student days, catch up with old friends and find out what’s been happening at the University. There’s also a special Alumni Dinner in Lower College Hall on Saturday 4 April. The full programme will be available soon. Start planning your visit now! Don’t hesitate to ask for our help in organising a group to attend together. We look forward to hearing from you and to welcoming you back.
What's on
See the Byre Theatre’s full programme
See the Music Centre's full programme

Mother Goose

Byre Theatre, Thursday 28 November 2019 to Saturday 4 January 2020
(various times)

Once Upon a Time meets Shrek in this fun-filled Christmas panto!

SCO: New Year Gala Concert

Caird Hall, City Square, Dundee, Sunday 5 January 2020, 3pm – tickets available from the Byre Box Office
The Scottish Chamber Orchestra offers a smorgasbord of delights in its annual New Year Gala Concert.
book cover

Dr Emma Hart: Faculty lecture

Thomas Paine Cottage & Museum, 20 Sicard Avenue, New Rochelle, NY 10804
Tuesday 7 January 2020, 7pm to 9pm

Join Dr Emma Hart, Professor of Early American History at St Andrews as she talks about her latest book Trading Spaces: The Colonial Marketplace and the Foundations of American Capitalism. Spaces are limited. If you are interested in attending, please email
Alumni Authors
book cover

Beyond Fingal’s Cave:
Ossian in the Musical Imagination


James Porter, MA 1958

Price: Hardback £74.99
Available from: Blackwells

book cover

The Heart Beats in Secret


Katie Munnik, MLitt 2003

Price: paperback £8.99
Available from: Amazon


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