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

October 2019

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.
Main image (L-R): 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..

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

Official opening of Scottish Oceans Institute

The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon recently opened the new Scottish Oceans Institute (SOI) building on the East Sands, St Andrews. Read more.

Emma Bond

St Andrews academic awarded research prize

Dr Emma Bond, a Reader in the School of Modern Languages, has been awarded a research prize worth £100,000 from the prestigious Leverhulme Trust. Read more.

athena swan logo

St Andrews achieves new Athena SWAN awards

The Schools of Art History, Economics and Finance, and Geography and Sustainable Development are the latest to achieve Athena SWAN Bronze Awards in recognition of their commitment to the advancement of gender equality in academic, professional and support roles. Read more.

Professor Josep Call, Director of the Budongo Research Unit; Dame Anne Glover, President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh; Professor Sally Mapstone, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, University of St Andrews; Dr Charlotte Macdonald, Director of Conservation and Living Collections, RZSS Edinburgh Zoo; Corstorphine Primary School children

Launch of Budongo Research Unit

The Budongo Research Unit (BRU) – led by the University of St Andrews in partnership with RZSS Edinburgh Zoo – was launched recently at the Zoo’s innovative chimpanzee Budongo Trail enclosure. Read more.

Camerata Musicale Bonn

Music: the universal language

Two concerts were held recently to celebrate the cementing of the relationship between the Universities of St Andrews and Bonn. Read more about the concerts. Read more about the Bonn delegation.

Bruce Hoffman

Andrew Carnegie Lecture Series

Thursday 7 November, 6.15pm (doors open 5.45pm)
School III, St Salvator’s Quadrangle

We are delighted to announce that Professor Bruce Hoffman will be delivering the seventh instalment in the Andrew Carnegie Lecture series, made possible through the generosity of the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Bruce has been studying, writing and lecturing about terrorism and insurgency for over four decades. He was the first Director of the Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at the University of St Andrews, where he is currently visiting Professor of Terrorism Studies.

The event is open to all and free to attend on a first-come, first-served basis.

christmas scenes

Alumni Club, London, Christmas Carol Service 2019

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

We look forward to welcoming you once again to this special candlelit Christmas Carol Service to be held at St Columba’s Church of Scotland, Pont Street, in Knightsbridge, and invite our alumni and friends to celebrate the festive season with the University of St Andrews Alumni Club, London. Buy your ticket(s) now.
la quinta

University of St Andrews Winter Gathering 2020

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

Please save the date and join Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sally Mapstone, along with fellow alumni, parents and friends, for the University of St Andrews Winter Gathering 2020. Buy your ticket(s) now.
University of St Andrews Principal, Professor Sally Mapstone; Director of Student Services, Ailsa Ritchie; and Chair of the Division of Clinical Psychology at the British Psychological Society, Dr Alison Robertson

Recognition of student support

St Andrews is the first university in Scotland and only the second in the UK to obtain the prestigious Accreditation Programme for Psychological Therapies Services (APPTS) from the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Read more.

school of english

News from the School of English

There has been exciting news from the School of English this month: Dr Katie Garner was interviewed on John Keats’ ‘Ode to Autumn’ on Good Morning Scotland, Professor John Burnside has just published ‘The Music of Time’ and Professor Zinnie Harris’ London production of her play ‘Meet me at Dawn’ has opened at the Arcola Theatre. Read more.

Robin Robertson

St Andrews Booker Prize Project

The University has collaborated for over ten years with the Booker Prize Foundation to encourage new undergraduates to join with the wider St Andrews community to celebrate great contemporary fiction and share in a conversation about literature and ideas. This year’s novel is The Long Take by Scottish author Robin Robertson. It follows the recovery of a D-Day veteran and is a moving and compelling account of the traumatising power of violence, and the strength needed to move beyond it.

Robin Robertson will talk about his novel and sign copies of the book at an event on Wednesday 6 November from 5.30pm to 7pm in the Buchanan Lecture Theatre.

Why not host a book group – wherever you are in the world. Let us know if you are, and send us photographs!

Local alumni are warmly invited to attend a book group in St Andrews on Tuesday 29 October at 2pm. For details, please contact Jane Watkinson, President of the After Many Days Club.
Milly Clover and Sophie Dorothe Lieke

PLASTIC: Unwrapped

Thanks to an R&A International Scholarship, Milly Clover and Sophie Dorothe Lieke – two biology students who graduated in June 2019 – have set off to travel through six continents within nine months to seek solutions to plastic pollution. This month they are in Veracruz, Panama (see the photo above). With the help of 50 volunteers, they have cleared around 80kg of litter from 200m of beach! Follow their progress on @plasticunwrapped.

Visit SaintsFunder for more information about this and other exciting projects.

three students in red gowns jumping

Autumn telephone campaign: take some time to talk

Our student callers are looking forward to their forthcoming training session and are very excited about talking to you! They’ll be calling from Monday 28 October. If they get in touch, please consider taking some time to talk to them: they will let you know about the wonderful projects that are currently taking place in St Andrews.

principal and chancellor

Chancellor’s Circle Afternoon Tea

Saturday 9 November, 2.00 – 4.00pm
Lower College Hall, St Andrews

The Chancellor, The Rt Hon Lord Campbell of Pittenweem, CH CBE PC QC will host the autumn Chancellor’s Circle Afternoon Tea on Saturday 9th November in St Andrews. This event recognises the support of generous alumni and friends who have made provision for the University in their will. The event will take the form of a seated afternoon tea that will feature the Chancellor in conversation with Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sally Mapstone.

Spaces are limited but ensure your space, RSVP to no later than Thursday 31 October.
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.

In her capacity as Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sally Mapstone will preside and, as Principal, will deliver the University address. The Convener of the Business Committee, Ms Wendy Russell, will update members on the Committee’s activities since the last General Council meeting in June. In addition, Professor Garry Taylor, former Deputy Principal and Master, will give a presentation entitled: Evolution of music and apes at St Andrews: the new Laidlaw Music Centre and the Edinburgh Zoo Budongo Research Unit.

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


This month we hear how Kate Howatson (MA 1982) and her daughter Olivia walked 500 miles to raise funds in memory of husband and father Kevin Kerr (MBChB 1980), who died of Motor Neurone Disease in 2015.
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 Club activities
Alumni in Austria are invited to a pub quiz on Friday 25 October at The Golden Harp in Vienna from 7pm to 10pm. Let’s try to win the trophy back, together with our friends from Warwick!

The University of St Andrews Alumni Club, Cambridge is holding a Welcome Drinks event on Friday 25 October at Browns Cambridge from 6.30pm to 9.30pm. Raise a glass to our Alma Mater, whether you’re new to the Cambridge area or you’ve been here for years.

The University of St Andrews and the Verein der Freunde und Förderer der University of St Andrews invite you to join them for drinks and nibbles on Monday 28 October from 7.30pm onwards in the Onyx Bar of the Kameha Suite at the Morgan Lewis Towers, following the annual AGM of the Verein. It will be a great opportunity to meet members and fellow alumni! Please RSVP if you plan to attend by emailing

Hong Kong
Calling all alumni in Hong Kong! The University of St Andrews Alumni Club, Hong Kong is looking to organise a table for the St Andrews Ball at Hong Kong Football Club on Saturday 30 November from 7pm. Tickets include a four-course meal (including haggis), beer and wine, plus live entertainment. Please register to attend and share a table with Alumni from other Scottish Universities.

The University of St Andrews Alumni Club, London is holding its AGM (followed by a club social) on 13 November at The Banker on Cousin Lane from 7pm-10pm. All alumni in the area are warmly welcome. This is a wonderful opportunity to reconnect and network with other St Andrews graduates based in the capital, and to consider taking on one of the Committee roles available.

New York
Join the University of St Andrews Alumni Club, New York for Halloween Happy Hour on Tuesday 29 October in the Highlands, 150 W 10th St, New York from 6pm to 8pm. Find out more on Facebook. Costumes are encouraged!

North West Alumni Association (Manchester)
We are looking for engaged and enthusiastic alumni based across the north west to contribute to our growth. We are based in Manchester, so if you’re within travelling distance and are interested in helping us develop into an active support network for alumni of all ages, please contact us

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 Paris, France.

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.

The University of St Andrews Alumni Club, Stockholm will be holding after-work drinks on Wednesday 27 November, just before St Andrew's Day. Join fellow Stockholm alumni from 6.00pm onwards. Location TBC. More details will be available nearer the time. To register your interest please contact Maria Petersson

You are invited by Anna Turner and Bill Morland to join the University of St Andrews Alumni Club, Toronto for Wine & Cheese to celebrate St Andrew's Day on Saturday 23 November at 7.30pm. Please RSVP by email to Anna Turner to confirm attendance and any edible contributions!

Western Australia
We are planning another catch-up this year around St Andrew's Day. The group is considering joining up with other like-minded souls from the Auld Country to take several tables at the St Andrew’s Day Ceilidh (run by the St Andrews Society of WA) on Friday 29 November in Perth. Contact Robert Malabar if you’re interested in coming.

United Arab Emirates
The University of St Andrews Alumni Club, United Arab Emirates invites alumni to join them for an event on Saturday 26 October from 7pm onwards at Flair No. 5 within the Ritz-Carlton in Abu Dhabi.
What's on
See the Byre Theatre’s full programme
See the Music Centre's full programme

SCO: Bohemian Rhapsodies

Younger Hall, Wednesday 30 October, 7.30pm
(tickets available from Byre Theatre Box Office)

An evening of Bohemian music featuring Suk, Janacek and Dvorak – three good friends who happened to be amongst their nation’s foremost composers.

Terrorism: Its Past, Present and Future Study

A Symposium to Mark the 25th Anniversary of the Foundation of CSTPV
Upper and Lower College Hall, 7 and 8 November 2019
Alumni and friends are invited to attend a 25th Anniversary Symposium on 7 and 8 November to mark this special anniversary of the Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence. Places are limited, so please view the programme and register now.

Just So Society: Chicago

Byre Theatre, Tuesday 12 November to Thursday 14 November, 7.30pm
Musical theatre at its best. Chicago is an eternal favourite that it would be criminal to miss!

Save the date!

Alumni Carol Service – St Andrews
Thursday 5 December at 7pm in St Salvator’s Chapel, North Street
Alumni Authors
book cover

War Doctor: Surgery on the Front Line


David Nott, BSc 1979, Hon MD 2017


book cover

F**K Business: The Business of Brexit


Iain Anderson, MA 1989



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