Photo credit: Gayle McIntyre, University of St Andrews

St Andrews in the News

December 2020

Welcome to the December edition of St Andrews in the News. And welcome also to our newest graduates – we’re delighted that you’re joining our St Andrews Alumni community! It’s particularly important as you take your first few steps in this strange new world that you keep in touch with our support network – we’re here to help.

We hope you enjoy this month’s edition, which features news, live and watch-again events and 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
Stalls in the quad

Winter 2020 Appeal

Covid-19 continues to impact our lives in ways we previously couldn’t have imagined. We have therefore launched our Winter Appeal so we can continue to overcome the challenges it brings by focusing on student support, engaging with the local community and reaching the areas of greatest need at the University.

Find out how you can help us to emerge from this strange time even stronger and more resilient than before.
Peter Allis

In memoriam

We were sad to hear of the recent deaths of two honorary graduates – Peter Alliss and John le Carré (David Cornwell).

Peter Alliss
Peter Alliss – the much-loved ‘voice of golf’ – was awarded his degree on the eve of the 134th Open Championship in 2005. Over his career he had 31 professional wins and represented Great Britain in eight Ryder Cups, where he won 10 matches.

John le Carré
John le Carré – renowned author of The Spy Who Came In From The Cold and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy – was awarded his degree in 1996. He was thought by many to be the master of the spy novel and many of his books reached a wider audience through TV and film adaptations.
Man holding a mirror

Reflections from the Class of 2020

Students at St Andrews were conferred their degrees on Tuesday 1 and Wednesday 2 December 2020. To mark the occasion, some graduating students took part in a special socially-distanced photo shoot to mark their time here. Read more...
Lucy with her award

Lucy wins National Award

Lucy Cottee – a final year History student – has recently won Triathlon Scotland’s Young Volunteer Award 2020. Read more...
A woman in the water

St Andrews Prize for the Environment 2021

The University of St Andrews has recently called for entries for St Andrews Prize for the Environment 2021. For the first time in its 23 year history, the Prize is being funded by a growing consortium of donors who have enabled us to embark on the next phase of the Prize’s story. Read more....
Students on the pier

St Andrews’ Parents Can Do too

We want to take this opportunity to thank all our parents and families for being so proactive and engaged during the past year. Your support has been invaluable to us. Many of you will recently have received a letter from the Principal enclosing a message from fellow parents Michelle and Dee Baker.

Read more about their response to the challenges faced by the University.
Winter Festival graphic

Winter Festival for Alumni and Friends

Many thanks to all our alumni and friends who have come along (virtually!) to our Winter Festival events so far. If you missed Val McDermid on Tuesday 8 December you can watch her again here.

Brian Taylor was an entertaining Quiz Master on Saturday 13 December. Congratulations to The Kate Kennedy Club (winner), Shevantika Nanda (first runner up) and to Sophia Dearie and Lara Ouvaroff (second runners up). We have also had a wonderful response to our Saints Walk call out last month and will be premiering the first of your Walks in the New Year.

Thank you for all your support: since lockdown and our switch to online events, we have had had around 15,000 views of our content, whether live or on our YouTube channel. There are further events to look forward to in our Winter Festival in the New Year. More information to follow.
Concert graphic


We have three new SaintsFunder projects. The first – Sponsor A Scope – is from the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences. The School’s microscopes are over 30 years old and desperately need replaced.

The second – By the Seaside – is an exhibition focusing on the role of the sea in improved emotional, mental and physical wellbeing by MLitt Galleries and Museum Studies Students in collaboration with the Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstruther. Find out more about their exciting project.

The third – St Andrews CAN DO – is providing a Festive Programme for those students who are remaining in St Andrews during the holiday period. Find out more.

Class Gift 2021 is holding a Community Concert on Sunday 20 December. Find out more on the event page. The money raised will contribute to the Student Support Fund. Find out more and request a song on the event page.

SaintsFunder is open to all students, alumni and University staff, so send your ideas to
Sakshi Gupta
This month’s selection features a video from Sakshi Gupta – an MLitt Marketing student who arrived in St Andrews this semester – about her first magical walk around St Andrews. We also have stories from Matt Taylor (MA 2019) and Sally Sandison (MA 2020) about the key role that sport played during their time at St Andrews.
Inside St Salvator's chapel

University of St Andrews Christmas Service

The University’s Alumni Christmas Service was livestreamed from St Salvator’s Chapel on Sunday 13 December. Missed it? Read the Order of Service and watch again.
Saints Talk graphic

Saints Talk

Saints Talk: Home is the most dangerous place: Christmas and Covid-19 by Professor Stephen Reicher took place live on Wednesday 9 December at 5pm GMT.

Professor Reicher explored ‘the intimacy paradox’: the way in which we feel at our safest when we are with others and in spaces that are familiar to us, and how that can put us in greater danger.

If you have missed this or any of the past Saints Talk Lectures you can watch them again on our YouTube channel.
Culture at Home image


Help shape the future of the Museums of St Andrews by telling them what matters to you. Visit their Facebook page and have your say!

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

Book cover

Wilderness Therapy


Paul Cumbo, MLitt 2005


Book cover

Smoke and Mirrors: How Hype Obscures the Future and How to See Past It


Gemma Milne, BSc 2013

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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