Student sitting on rock at the beach

St Andrews in the News

January 2020

Happy New Year and welcome to the January 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 McIntyre

University news
View a full list of news from around the University
The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews

R&A awards research grant to University’s scientists

The R&A has awarded a research grant of £90,000 to the School of Geography and Sustainable Development to investigate the impact of the changing climate and coastal erosion on the world’s top golf courses – including the Old Course in St Andrews. Read more

Oldest known view of Venice

Oldest known view of Venice unearthed

Dr Sandra Toffolo from the University’s School of History has discovered the oldest known city view of Venice, dating from the 14th century. Read more.

uncracking a lock

Cracking the uncrackable...

A new security system that achieves ‘perfect secrecy’ has been created by researchers at the University of St Andrews, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology and the Center for Unconventional Processes of Sciences. Read more.

three people

St Andrews awarded Leverhulme Trust funding

Three University of St Andrews academics have been awarded research funding totalling over £620,000 from the prestigious Leverhulme Trust. Read more.

saints funder fundraisers


We are very excited about the latest two crowdfunding projects:

The St Andrews Africa Summit (SAASUM) team is joining up 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 are now in Sydney, Australia! 
saints funder

Thank you from Annual Giving

We have been overwhelmed by your record-breaking generosity in support of our year-end appeal. The impact this has on both our students’ lives and the University community is unquestionable. Quite simply – thank you! We wish you all a healthy and happy 2020.
stone circles

Calanais Virtual Reconstruction Project

This project – a joint venture led by the University of St Andrews with the Urras nan Tursachan and the University of Bradford – has uncovered a potential link between ancient stone circles and the forces of nature. Read more.

la quinta

University of St Andrews Winter Gathering 2020

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

A few spaces are still available for our Winter Gathering 2020 at La Quinta Resort and Club in La Quinta, California this weekend. Please register as soon as possible.

stem cell imagery

New insight into Motor Neuron Disease (MND)

Using stem cell technology, scientists at the Universities of St Andrews and Edinburgh have identified a specific type of cell in the human body that can cause motor neurons to fail. Read more.
dr lyse doucet

Andrew Carnegie Lecture Series: Dr Lyse Doucet OBE CM

Tuesday 18 February, 6pm (doors open 5.15pm)

Booth Lecture Theatre, Medical Building, North Haugh
We are delighted to announce that Dr Lyse Doucet OBE CM will be delivering the eighth instalment in the Andrew Carnegie Lecture series, made possible through the generosity of 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.

The lecture is open to all and free to attend. However, we expect demand will be high, so this event will be ticketed: please register for your ticket here.
dr lyse doucet

Spring telephone campaign: take some time to talk

Our team of student callers is being recruited now and 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.

Alumni news
Graduate Outcomes

If you graduated up to 15 months ago, then tell us what’s happening in your career and help to motivate and inspire the next generation of students by filling in the Graduate Outcomes survey

The Careers Centre can help you in return by giving you information about careers, events, jobs and work experience and how to write a CV that will get you noticed!

Make sure your contact details are up to date with alumni relations and you’ll receive the survey.

Alumni updates

julia melvin
This month we hear from Julia Melvin about how four generations of her family have come to St Andrews – starting with her grandfather James Colquhoun Irvine, who matriculated in 1896 and died in office as Principal Sir James Irvine in 1952.

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!

Please see our website for further information and Club contact details.

Austin (TX)
Join the University of St Andrews Alumni Club, Austin (TX) for a Burns Night celebration on Saturday 25 January from 6pm onwards at the Central Machine Works, Chavez Street, Austin. Have a wonderful evening catching up with old friends and welcoming new ones! Register on Saint Connect.

Join the University of St Andrews Alumni Club, Cambridge for its annual Snowdrop Walk at Anglesey Abbey on Saturday 1 February. We meet at 10.30am inside the entrance. This National Trust property specialises in many different varieties of snowdrops and is well worth visiting. If you need a lift, please get in touch and we’ll arrange it. We’re meeting afterwards for lunch at the White Horse, Waterbeach. A menu is available for pre-booking. Please contact Erica Carrick Utsi for more information.

Join the University of St Andrews Alumni Club, Denmark (Copenhagen) for their next alumni event on Saturday 1 February at 12pm in Café Ofelia (Sankt Annæ Pl. 36, 1250 København K). Please contact Kathryn Jörgensen if you would like to attend the event.

Join the German Verein for their monthly Frankfurt Alumni StAmmtisch! The next StAmmtisch will be on Thursday 20 February at 7pm at Moloko. Going forward, the group will meet on the third Thursday of each month for a few drinks. The event is open to members and non-members of the Verein. Register on Saint Connect.        

Los Angeles
The University of St Andrews Alumni Club, Los Angeles will be meeting for drinks and dinner on Burns Night on Saturday 25 January at 6pm at The Pikey Cafe & Bar Scottish pub.

The Club has reserved the back room for this party. Please bring cash so we don’t need to give the servers multiple cards. Further information is on Saint Connect.

There is no need to RSVP. Bring who you want – all welcome!

Come along and join the University of St Andrews Alumni Club, Madrid for its next event on Friday 21 February from 8pm at the Dry Martini Bar, Calle de Hermosilla 2, 28001 Madrid. Please contact Regina Fritzsche and Irene Seco Serra if you plan to attend.

North West of England
The University of St Andrews Alumni Club, North West of England invites all alumni in the area to a drinks event on Thursday 6 February from 7pm to network and share St Andrews stories. (Venue to be confirmed.) Register on Saint Connect.

If you would like to join the committee, please let Jenna Johnston know so she can meet you for a chat. Otherwise, just pop along for a drink and say hi.

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

Rhine Ruhr
Join the University of St Andrews Alumni Club, Rhine Ruhr for a New Year’s Dinner on Friday 7 February at 7.30pm at Ado Genovese, Schirmerstraße, Düsseldorf. There will be a wonderful Italian three-course menu for only €32 per person. Space is limited to 15 people, so tickets are on a first-come, first-served basis. Register on Saint Connect.

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 on Saint Connect.

Are you a St Andrews graduate? Do you stay in the Seattle area? The University of St Andrews Alumni Club, Seattle is on the look-out for alumni to take over the running of the club in 2020. If you are interested, please get in touch with Alumni Relations.

Please join the University of St Andrews Alumni Club, Toronto for its annual Burns Supper on Saturday 25 January at 6pm. Traditional Scottish dress and regalia are highly encouraged! Register on Saint Connect.

Join the University of St Andrews Alumni Club, Switzerland (Zurich) for a Burns Night themed event on Thursday 23 January from 7pm at Oliver Twist Pub, Rindermarkt 6, 8001 Zurich. There will be whisky tasting, poetry reading and live music. Register on Facebook
Alumni events
View a full list of University events in St Andrews and further afield
alumni weekend

Alumni Weekend 2020

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 and catch up with old friends. You can also find out about (and see for yourself) exciting new projects such as the extended Wardlaw Museum and the brand new, purpose-built Laidlaw Music Centre.

The highlight of the weekend will be the Alumni Dinner in Lower College Hall on Saturday 4 April. Please 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
clothes hanging up

Fashion Swaptastic

Byre Theatre, Saturday 15 February, 1pm to 4pm 
If you’ve fallen out of love with your clothes, come and swap them for some new ones!

While you’re there, come and talk to Dr Katie Eagleton (Director of Museums and Collections) in the Byre Café Bar about her passion for mending, altering and breathing new life into clothes.
man with cello

SCO: Altstaedt Plays Shostakovich

Holy Trinity Church, South Street, St Andrews (tickets available from the Byre Box Office), Wednesday 19 February, 7.30pm
A wonderful programme: Shostakovich’s spiky, brilliant concerto, Beethoven’s theatrical Coriolan Overture and Schubert’s ‘Tragic’ symphony.

Save the date for StAnza 2020!

Wednesday 4 to Sunday 8 March 2020
Find out more about the readings, exhibitions and installations that are taking place this year in Scotland’s international poetry festival, launched by Scottish crime writer Dr Val McDermid (Hon DLitt 2018).
Alumni Authors
book cover

I Dance Therefore I Am: A Memoir of Scotland, America and Dancing


Robin Edward Poulton, MA 1969

Price: Paperback £11.30; Kindle £7.99  
Available from: Amazon

book cover

The Wreck of the Argyll


John Fulton, MA 1992

Price: paperback £5.99
Available from: Blackwell's


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