Restored statue of St Andrews outside the Wardlaw Museum
Photo credit: Gayle McIntyre, University of St Andrews

St Andrews in the News

November 2020

Welcome to the November edition of St Andrews in the News.

This month find out how to commission your own Saints Walk, watch Saints Talk lectures again and read some fascinating alumni stories and experiences. Please contact us if you would like to contribute your story, video or podcast to share with our online community!
Find out what’s happening in the University community
ever to excel poster

Sir Sean Connery

We were sad to hear of the recent death of Sir Sean Connery – an honorary graduate and much-loved and valued supporter of the University. In Sir Sean’s memory, we would like to share a trailer of the 600th Anniversary film – Ever to Excel (2012) – which he narrated and appeared in.

The film was directed by award-winning filmmaker Murray Grigor – a graduate and honorary graduate of the University. The premiere of Ever to Excel took place in New York in May 2012. It was followed by other premieres in St Andrews, Los Angeles, Glasgow, Edinburgh and London, and also by a worldwide film night where alumni from Hong Kong to Hawick hosted screenings in cinemas and in their homes.

Watch the trailer

If you would like to purchase a copy of the full DVD Ever to Excel please visit the online University of St Andrews shop.
aerial view of st andrews

Commission your own walk around St Andrews

It's not easy for you to come back to St Andrews at the moment, so we thought we would bring St Andrews to you.

We are creating a series of filmed 'Saints Walks' – videoed perambulations from point A in St Andrews to point B anywhere in town – and we are inviting you to suggest one that has a special meaning for you.

It could be the route you took every morning from your hall of residence to your first lecture. It could be the walk from your department to the library, or from the library to the pub or your favourite restaurant. It could be the route you were taking when you met the love of your life, or the person you married – or both! We can even add some labels to the video, highlighting those places on the walk that mean something to you.

Tell us about your favourite walk! We’ll select some to film and will send them back to you to share with your friends and family. We’ll also share your memories with the rest of the St Andrews alumni community.

Here’s a walk we filmed earlier to inspire you.

Complete our online form to tell us about your walk.
xmas tree in st salvators quad

University of St Andrews online Christmas Service
Sunday 13 December, 7pm

Students, staff, alumni, parents and other friends of the University are warmly invited to join us for our online Christmas Service, to be live streamed from St Salvator’s Chapel. The Service will be led by the Chaplaincy team, with readings, prayers and a reflection from the Chaplain, Revd Dr Donald MacEwan, called A touch of skin. Music will be provided by St Salvator’s Chapel Choir, led by Director of Chapel Choirs Claire Innes-Hopkins, accompanied by Campbell Watterson Organ scholars and brass ensemble.

To join the online congregation, simply visit the Chaplaincy’s website at 7pm (GMT) on Sunday 13 December, select Livestreamed services and then the 'View livestream' link. You will also find a link on the same page to download an Order of Service to enhance your viewing experience and fully take part.
holding a christmas bobble

Winter Festival for Alumni, Parents and Friends

During the dark winter months we are planning a series of exciting events to keep you entertained and engaged in the life of the University community.

Save the date for the first two:

Val McDermid and brian taylorVal McDermid photo credit K T Bruce
Meet the Author with Val McDermid on Tuesday 8 December 2020
The “queen of crime” and honorary graduate will be joining us to discuss her latest thriller Still Life and her new book of chilling short stories Christmas is Murder.

Online Global St Andrews Quiz with Brian Taylor on Saturday 12 December
The political editor and alumnus will be acting as our quiz master for the evening.

We are also planning a Burns Night spectacular and themed Saints Talks – watch this space for more details! We would be delighted if you could join us at one, some or all of these events.

Email for more information.
people with facemasks on in street

Covid-19 and public compliance

New research led by the University of St Andrews throws fresh light on the conditions under which people in groups follow the behaviour of others. This can help us understand human behaviour in relation to Covid-19 restrictions. Read more...
class gift graphic


Calling all book lovers! Class Gift 2021 has designed an original bookmark featuring an iconic St Andrews view. It will be revealed shortly so keep watching this space.

The money raised will contribute to the Student Support Fund.

Please support the Class Gift Committee if you can or sign up as a follower/helper and look out for the great ideas they’ve got coming up this year.

SaintsFunder is open to all students, alumni and University staff, so send your ideas to
st marys quad

Winter meeting of the General Council:
Saturday 28 November 2020

Unfortunately, as a result of the continuing Covid-19 pandemic, it will not be possible for the University to host an in-person meeting of the General Council this autumn. Instead, a video update will be made available from the General Council meetings webpage on Saturday, 28 November at 10.30am, the date and time the meeting was due to have taken place.

The Chancellor, Lord Campbell of Pittenweem, will welcome members, and the Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Sally Mapstone will deliver a University Address. Following the Principal’s address, questions may be submitted by members for written response to:

A billet (meeting paper) has been circulated to members by email. A printed copy will be made available, if required, upon request to the General Council Office
heart drawn in the sandPhoto credit: Oli Gage Walker

Family Programme: Love from Home

Our popular online Love from Home service (temporarily suspended as a result of the pandemic) is back!

Visit our website to place an order with local baker and confectioner Fisher & Donaldson or to find out more about the Family Programme. Or email with any questions.
double decker bus
We hope you enjoy this month’s selection of stories from Margaret Hills (neé Hardisty) (MA 1968) who describes an unforgettable journey in a double decker bus from St Andrews to Istanbul in 1968 and Mick May OBE (MA 1981) who explains how writing his recently published book Cancer and Pisces triggered memories of his time at St Andrews.
Dr James Rae

Saints Talk

Our latest lecture in the Saints Talk Series took place on Tuesday 17 November 2020 at 5pm, when Dr James Rae talked about Climate Change: Simple, Serious, Solvable.

If you have missed this or any of the past Saints Talk Lectures, you can watch them again on our YouTube channel.
laidlaw music centre


Join the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in one of their autumn season of streamed concerts at the Laidlaw Music Centre on Wednesday 9 December 2020 at 1.10pm. Filmed from the McPherson Recital Room at the Laidlaw Music Centre, this chamber concert will be broadcast via the SCO and University of St Andrews Facebook pages and YouTube channels. The programme includes Carreno Serenade for String Orchestra and Dare Scottish Rhapsody.

Enjoy lots of other high-quality online performances, music, images, objects, films, poetry, literature and podcasts from the University of St Andrews:

Book cover

My Mother Has Alzheimer's - Am I Going Mad?


Nick Pennington, BSc 1978
Price: $9.90 ebook/£7.70 kindle edition


Book cover

I Love St Andrews


Carly Brown, MA 2014, Illustrated by Gillian Gamble
Price: £14.99 hardback

Students on west sandsThree students in their ‘flat bubble’ on the beach


While in-person events continue to be restricted by the pandemic, remember that you can still keep in touch with alumni clubs, friendship groups and old classmates online. Let us know if you want help to reconnect. If you’re a Club, we would be delighted to help you promote your online events. Just get in touch at

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