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Professor Lorna Milne, Master and Deputy Principal; Professor Ailsa Hall, Director SMRU, Professor Sally Mapstone, Principal and Vice-Chancellor; First Minister Nicola Sturgeon; Professor Vincent Janik, Director, Scottish Oceans Institute

St Andrews in the News

November 2019

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.
University news
View a full list of news from around the University
Impeachment image

Speaking Truth to Power

This week St Andrews’ alumna Dr Fiona Hill (MA 1989), a former National Security Council Senior Director for Europe and Russia, joined fellow alumnus David Holmes (MLitt 2000), an aide to the top US diplomat in Ukraine, to testify before the House Intelligence Committee as part of its impeachment hearings in to President Donald Trump. Dr Fiona Hill, who has served under three American Presidents, studied Russian and modern history at the University. David Holmes studied Management, Economics and International Relations here before completing his studies at Princeton in 2002. Read more.

Raisin Monday - colourful costumes

Raisin Monday

It was another successful Raisin Monday this year, with all sorts of colourful costumes on display on Lower College lawn. Read more.

CSTPV Director Dr Tim Wilson

Handa CSTPV Silver Anniversary

Some of the biggest names in counter-terrorism and academia gathered in St Andrews recently to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence (HCSTPV). Read more.

Santander signing ceremony

Santander signing ceremony

We were delighted to welcome Matt Hutnell (Director Santander Universities UK) and Scott Burnett (Santander Universities UK Relationship Manager) to St Andrews on Wednesday 30 October to celebrate the signing of our latest three-year funding agreement for £334,500 – taking Santander’s commitment to the University to £1.5 million since 2010. This latest funding will focus on Education, Employability and Entrepreneurship, with a particular emphasis on providing opportunities for students from widening access backgrounds.

Students Silvia Ventura and Amber Ward spoke of how Santander funding and Internships have enabled them to make the most of their St Andrews experience and explore future careers, while 2019 Idea Explosion winners Alex McGregor and Alice Bugeja described the challenges of establishing their business – St Andrews Blanket Co. – while studying, and how their prize money has allowed them to expand the business.

A whale - new research on echolocation

New research on echolocation

Tenerife has revealed how whales have evolved to live in the world’s deepest oceans. Read more.

Chancellor’s Circle event image

Chancellor’s Circle

Over 80 alumni and friends of the University gathered in Lower College Hall on Saturday 9 November for the autumn meeting of the Chancellor’s Circle. Students from the Music Centre entertained the guests before and after a seated afternoon tea that featured the Chancellor in a ‘fireside chat’ with Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sally Mapstone. Topics of conversation included the University’s future priorities, an insight into the Chancellor’s three lives – sport, the law and politics – and the current political situation. Chancellor’s Circle members have kindly thought of St Andrews when preparing their wills and we are always glad to welcome more members to this group. Please contact us if you would like some more information about leaving a legacy to St Andrews. Here is a gallery of photos from the afternoon tea.

Virtual Dementia tour bus

Virtual Dementia Experience

A recent Virtual Dementia tour bus gave people in St Andrews the chance to experience what living with Dementia might be like. The tour bus (supported by Dementia Friendly St Andrews) was parked in Market Street, so members of the public could drop in throughout the day. Read more.

University of St Andrews Quad - Alumni Carol Service

Alumni Carol Service

St Salvator’s Chapel, St Andrews
Thursday 5 December 2019 at 7pm

Join us for this year’s Alumni Carol Service led by the University Chaplain, Revd Dr Donald MacEwan, followed by an optional mulled wine and mince pie reception in Lower College Hall. Tickets for the reception are £7.50 and can be purchased here. A ticket isn’t required to attend the Alumni Carol Service but it would be helpful if you could let us know if you are planning to attend.

Alumni Club, London

Alumni Club, London, Christmas Carol Service 2019

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

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. Buy your ticket(s) now.
La Quinta Resort & Club, La Quinta, California

University of St Andrews Winter Gathering 2020

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

Join Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sally Mapstone, alumni, parents and friends at the University of St Andrews Winter Gathering 2020. We have reserved a block of rooms until 1 December, so book your ticket(s) as soon as possible!

Farming in Africa

Safeguarding food security in Africa

Scientists from the University of St Andrews have been awarded funding of £1.1m from the UK Government to focus research on food security and health in East Africa. Read more.

mass extinction event image

Study shines light on mass extinction event

A new international study led by Yale University, in collaboration with the Universities of St Andrews and Bristol, confirms a long-held theory about the last great mass extinction event and how it affected Earth’s oceans. Read more.

Swimming turtle and snorkeler

PLASTIC: Unwrapped

Our two intrepid R&A Travel scholars – Milly Clover and Sophie-Dorothe Lieke – are currently seeking solutions to plastic pollution in the Galapagos Islands, where they are seeing so much evidence of the impact of twenty-first century plastic pollution on a wonderful natural habitat. Follow their progress on @plasticunwrapped.

Look out for new projects coming soon to SaintsFunder!

Students running through St Mary Quad

Autumn telephone campaign: It was good to talk!

Thank you so much to everyone who helped support our student telephone campaign this year. Our students have had some wonderful conversations and managed to secure an amazing total of £130,000 in support of our key projects – Wardlaw Scholarships, Area of Greatest Need, Mental Health and Wellbeing to name a few. The experience and memories of these conversations will stay with them for a long time. Thank you for taking the time to make this so successful.
University of St Andrews Shop Logo

University of St Andrews Shop

Christmas is fast approaching! Why not visit our new and improved web shop with a fabulous range of products that will suit every possible taste. Free shipping over £50.00 from the 1st of December until the 31st of January. The code for free shipping is FREE50. Read more.

Professor Bruce Hoffman and the Principal

Carnegie Lecture Series

We were delighted to welcome Professor Bruce Hoffman to St Andrews to deliver the latest in the Carnegie Lecture Series, generously supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, on Thursday 7 November. Professor Hoffman’s lecture – Terrorism’s Terrible Price: The Assassination of Lord Moyne and Palestine’s Lost Opportunity for Peace’ – was attended by a capacity audience, including delegates attending the Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence (HCSTPV) 25th Anniversary Conference. Find out more about the series and listen to the lectures.

Strike action

Some lecturers and staff are currently taking strike action in St Andrews. This is part of a national UK dispute over pay, pensions and working conditions. We will be keeping students fully updated via dedicated online resources, face to face support and regular briefings as this fluid situation develops. Our aim is to avoid or at the very least minimise disruption to our students, and we’ll keep our friends, supporters and families closely informed of any key developments. Visit our website

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 30 November at 10.30am in Parliament Hall, South Street, St Andrews. Tea and coffee will be available from 10.00am.

The Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sally Mapstone, will deliver the University address. Ms Wendy Russell (the Convener of the Business Committee) will update members on the Committee’s activities. Professor Garry Taylor (Professor of Molecular Biophysics and former Deputy Principal and Master) will give a presentation: ‘Evolution of music and apes at St Andrews: the new Laidlaw Music Centre and the Edinburgh Zoo Budongo Research Unit’.

General Council members have been sent a link to the billet (meeting paper). 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
Saint Connect app

Saint Connect

Saint Connect welcomes University of St Andrews alumni, students and parents. It enables you to reconnect with former classmates and use the trusted University of St Andrews environment to expand your professional network. You can also use Saint Connect to give back, find out about events where you are and look for jobs.

Register now for Saint Connect
You can also keep St Andrews in your pocket with a brand-new app: Apple Store (download Graduway Community app, then search University of St Andrews), Google Play Store.

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

Those of you who finished your course 15 months ago will be contacted to complete the Graduate Outcomes survey. The survey aims to find out what activities you’re undertaking 15 months after graduation, and will help the next generation of students to feel inspired about their future careers. Please read more about the Graduate Outcomes survey here, and make sure that you keep your contact details up to date with alumni relations so you can receive it.

Remember that the Careers Centre is still looking forward to helping you progress in your early graduate career. From lots of careers information to CV checks, please visit this to get inspiration for your early graduate career and to learn how the Careers Centre can support you as a recent St Andrews graduate.


This month we hear how studying at St Andrews inspired Louis Supple to take part in a number of ultra-marathons and find out how Alistair Galloway is preparing for the expedition of a lifetime…
If you have an idea for a blog post, or would like to tell your story, please contact us

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 Clubs
The University of St Andrews Alumni Club Berlin invites all members to its annual Christmas Dinner on Tuesday 3 December in Kantine Kohlmann, Skalitzer Str. 64, 10997 Berlin from 7pm. Meet and mingle with fellow St Andreans in Berlin. This event is ticketed, with food and drink included in the cost. Buy your ticket

The University of St Andrews Alumni Club, Cambridge is hosting a St Andrew’s Day lunch on Saturday 30 November at the Oak Bistro in Cambridge, from 1pm. All alumni in the area are invited. Please contact if you are interested in attending.

Join the University of St Andrews Alumni Club, Paris to celebrate St Andrew’s Day with an event on Thursday 28 November at The Highlander – a Scottish bar in Paris at 8 Rue de Nevers, 75006, from 7pm to 10pm. Register here.

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.

Alumni events
View a full list of University events in St Andrews and further afield

Alumni Coffee Morning, St Andrews
29 November 2019
Join us during Community Relations Week for tea, coffee and cake.  Come along to Beacon Bar to chat, network and meet the St Andrews’ Alumni Committee. All are welcome.

Save the date!
Save the date for the following events next year:

After Many Days Club - Winter lunch
Saturday 25 January 2020 at the Scores Hotel
Please see our website for further information

Alumni Weekend 2020 – Friday 3 to Sunday 5 April
Mark your diary now for the Alumni Weekend 2020! Whether you are celebrating a milestone anniversary of your graduation, or just want to come back and catch up, the Alumni Weekend is a great opportunity to relive your student days, meet 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. Further information 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.

After Many Days Club - Reunion weekend
Friday 26 June to Sunday 28 June 2020, St Andrews
Please see our website for further information

What's on
Mother Goose poster

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!
Chorus Christmas Concert – A Rose in Winter image

SCO: Chorus Christmas Concert – A Rose in Winter

Holy Trinity Church, South Street, Wednesday 18 December, 7.30pm(tickets available from Byre Box Office)
Join the SCO Chorus for a festive and reflective mix of ancient and contemporary music.
A Night at the Opera poster

A Night at the Opera

St James’s Church, Paddington, London, Saturday 30 November, 7.30pm
This St Andrew’s Day, join alumni Laurie Slavin and Caroline Taylor for a Night at the Opera, accompanied on piano by Mairi Grewar. The programme features the best-loved scenes and arias from opera, operetta and musical theatre. First performed in St Salvator’s Chapel, St Andrews in May 2019, the trio are looking forward to bringing the show to London. Admission is free, with warming refreshments available during the interval.
See the Byre’s full programme/
See See the Music Centre’s full programme

Alumni Authors
book cover

Scotland’s Mountain Landscapes


Colin Ballantyne, DSc 2000

Price: paperback £25.99
Available from: Blackwells

book cover

The Tattoo Thief


Alison Belsham, MA 1985

Price: paperback £5.75
Available from: Amazon


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