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St Andrews in the News

June 2012


Welcome to the June issue of St Andrews in the News, our regular e-newsletter for alumni, friends and supporters around the world.

NB. Please click on the feature heading for full details.


Ringing the changes


While in New York for the premiere of the film Ever to Excel, University Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Louise Richardson and Sir Sean Connery were invited to ring the opening bell which marks the start of the day's trading session on the New York Stock Exchange. This considerable honour was bestowed on the Principal and Sir Sean in recognition of the University’s 600th Anniversary celebrations.

Ensuring excellence


In the latest league table to be published, The Guardian University Guide 2013, St Andrews has once again performed extremely well, being placed 4th in the UK and first in Scotland.

Honorary degrees

Leading figures from the worlds of science, academia, literature, law and broadcasting will be awarded honorary degrees by the University next month. Famous names including the "father of modern linguistics" Noam Chomsky, Irish poet Paul Muldoon, science broadcaster Simon Singh, Man Booker Prize winner AS Byatt and Scottish writer AL Kennedy will be honoured during the June graduations.

Whistling dolphins

Researchers from the School of Biology have found that when groups of dolphins meet up, they swap whistles that outwardly sound the same but have individual signatures.


A great place to work

St Andrews is among seven UK universities to achieve the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award in recognition of its efforts to attract, develop and retain the best research staff from across the globe.




The University has established a new Centre for GeoInformatics under the directorship of Professor Stewart Fotheringham. The Centre will act as a focus for research into geoinformatics across both the School of Geography and Geosciences and the University as a whole.

Burnwynd bursars


In May, the Board of Burnwynd History and Art Company Limited met at the University to celebrate the work of the outgoing St Andrews Local History bursar, Miss Elizabeth Rhodes (above, second left). The committee also determined to award The Catherine and Alfred Forrest Bursary in Fine Art for 2012 to Miss Natalia Sassu Suarez Ferri to support her travel to Paris, New York and Panama to complete her research into colour theory as the root of the Optical Art movement.



Public Lecture: The Genius of Michael Faraday

Public lecture by Sir John Meurig Thomas FRS, FREng, Honorary Professor at the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, University of Cambridge, as part of the University’s 600th Anniversary celebrations.

School III, St Salvator’s Quadrangle, St Andrews
Tuesday 5 June, 5.30pm – 6.30pm

MUSA Collections Centre Tour

Come along to the MUSA Collections Centre to explore behind the scenes in the museum store. Discover items from the University's collection of over 112,000 objects. Find out about how we display and care for the University's collections of fine and applied art, silver, textiles, furniture, chemistry and historic scientific instruments.

MUSA Collections Centre, 87 North St, St Andrews
Wednesday 6 June, 2.00pm – 3.00pm

Museum Collections tours will also take place on Wednesday 4 July and Wednesday 1 August at 2.00pm

Inspired by the gauntlet gloves

Come along to MUSA to hear Dr Jacqueline Rose, from the School of History, talk about a stunning pair of embroidered gloves given by King Charles I to Sir Henry Wardlaw in the early 1600s. The gloves have not previously been on display in the museum, so this is also a rare opportunity to see these amazing and beautiful items up close.

MUSA, 7a The Scores, St Andrews
Thursday 7 June, 1.00pm-1.30pm

Olympic Torch relay


The Olympic Torch will be coming to St Andrews early in the morning of Wednesday 13 June as part of its historic nationwide journey to ignite the 30th Olympiad in London. To the sound of the Chapel Bells, the Torch will leave the University’s historic St Salvator’s Quadrangle at 7.00am for a tour of the town that takes in the Cathedral, South Street, West Port, Argyle Street, Hepburn Gardens and Buchanan Gardens.

St Andrews, starting from St Salvator’s Quadrangle
Wednesday 13 June, 7.00am – 7.20am

Brian Bannatyne-Scott 600th Anniversary fundraising concert

Brian Bannatyne-Scott (bass) delivers a broad and engaging programme encompassing English song, Russian songs, operatic arias, an aria from an oratorio and some popular songs from the shows. Vaughan Williams, Mussorgsky, Tchaikovsky, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Loewe and Kern number among the featured composers.

This is a fundraising concert, the proceeds from which will be donated to the University of St Andrews 600th Anniversary campaign and focused on two projects, for a new Music Centre and a Choral Foundation.

St Salvator's Chapel, North Street, St Andrews
Monday 18 June, 6.00pm – 8.00pm

Eugene Onegin

The forces of the University of St Andrews Opera Company, St Andrews Opera, (founded and conducted by Dr Michael Downes, Director of Music at the University) join with the Goodenough College-based Opera Company, Bloomsbury Opera, to perform Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, Opus 24, sung in a modern English translation by David Lloyd-Jones.

Tickets are available here.

Proceeds from ticket sales will support a new Music Centre and a Choral Foundation as part of the University’s 600th Anniversary campaign.

Great Hall, London House, Mecklenburgh Square, London WC1N 2AB
Wednesday 27 June, 7.00pm

Locke workshop

An opportunity to discuss current research on John Locke.

Department of Philosophy, Edgecliffe, The Scores, St Andrews
Thursday 28 – Friday 29 June, 9.30am – 3.30pm

World Saxophone Congress


The World Saxophone Congress is held every three years in important cities around the world. Directed by Richard Ingham, the University's Composer in Residence and Fellow in New Music, the Congress will see hundreds of saxophone players playing in venues throughout St Andrews. Gala concerts with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, and the wind band of the Royal Northern College of Music will feature major international soloists playing established works from the saxophone repertoire along with newly commissioned works from top composers. Full programme details are available on the website

Various venues, St Andrews
Tuesday 10 – Sunday 15 July 2012


Kenneth Dingwall

Kenneth Dingwall studied at Edinburgh College of Art and taught there before moving to the United States, where he lived and worked for twenty years. He returned to Scotland to paint full-time in 2003. The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated publication published by the School of Art History with essays by three distinguished St Andrews art historians, Natalie Adamson, Tom Normand and Alistair Rider.

School of Art History Reception, 79 North Street and King James Library, St Mary’s College, South Street
Continues to Tuesday 10 July


Fantastic Creatures

Exhibition of the winning entries from the 2012 MUSA Young Artist Award for schoolchildren across Fife. This year attracted a record 682 entries.

Gateway Galleries, North Haugh, St Andrews
Saturday 2 June – Saturday 25 August


Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition 2012: Drowned Landscapes

An exhibit proposed by Dr Richard Bates of the Department of Earth Sciences, ‘Europe’s Lost World: The Drowned Landscapes of the North Sea’, will form part of the 2012 Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition in London. The exhibit is a joint venture with scientists at the University of Birmingham, the University of Wales Trinity St David and the University of Aberdeen.

The Royal Society, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AG
Tuesday 3 – Sunday 8 July


A virtual visualisation of an Agent Based model of life in the Mesolithic on the Doggerbank. Credit: Dr Eugene Ch'ng, University of Birmingham

Champagne Gala Screening of Ever to Excel in Edinburgh


A champagne gala screening of the 600th Anniversary film, Ever to Excel, will be hosted by the First Minister of Scotland, the Rt Hon Alex Salmond MSP, and University Principal Professor Louise Richardson in Edinburgh on 14 June. The film, which has been made by alumnus and film-maker Murray Grigor OBE, thanks to an anonymous donation, stars Sir Sean Connery and celebrates the history of the University.

Alumni and friends will enjoy a champagne reception prior to the screening at the capital’s Dominion Cinema. Tickets at £50, with all proceeds supporting 600th Anniversary scholarships for Scottish students, are available here or on 01334 461916.

Alumni news, clubs and services

Reunion 2012: Friday 22 – Sunday 24 June

Image by Ben Goulter

It is not too late to book your place for Reunion Weekend. Details of events and accommodation are available here.

During the course of the weekend, there will be an opportunity to view Ever to Excel, the 600th Anniversary film about the University.

Please book all reunion accommodation and events as soon as possible to help us with our planning but by the extended deadline of noon on Friday 8 June at the latest.

The Alumni Team is here to help. If you have any questions or we can be of any assistance, please call us on T: +44 (0)1334 467194/461913 or send an email to:

General Council of the University of St Andrews

Please visit our website for the latest General Council news including information about the five candidates standing in this year’s General Council Assessor to the University Court election and the two candidates standing in the election of a member to the Committee of the Alumnus Association.  

Please note that voting for both elections is taking place online with the results announced at the General Council Meeting on 23 June 2012. Members who require a postal ballot should email the Clerk to the General Council or phone 01334 461913 as soon as possible and by 4 June 2012.

The next meeting of the General Council will take place during the annual Reunion Weekend at 10.30am on Saturday 23 June 2012 in Parliament Hall (please note earlier start time than usual) and will feature presentations on the University’s latest achievements and an update on the exciting plans for the development of the University’s Music Centre.

Social networking

Alumni and friends can now keep up to date with the University activities and events online via Facebook and Twitter.

Follow our 600th Anniversary celebrations on Facebook.

US parents Facebook group is looking forward to hearing from you!

Network professionally through the alumni-run University of St Andrews Alumni LinkedIn group.

Making a Gift

Our 600th Anniversary campaign was launched last year by our campaign Patron and alumnus, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge. We aim to secure £100 million to support a range of projects and aspirational new developments integral to the university’s ambition to consolidate its status as a world-class centre for teaching and research. To view the exciting and varied projects that make up the campaign, please visit our 600th website. You can make a gift to the campaign in a variety of ways.

You can also make a legacy gift to the University to safeguard its future.

We look forward to welcoming you to our community of donors, committed to securing a seventh century of excellence for this great university.

Let’s hear it for the girls

Following the success of their viral YouTube video ‘Royal Romance’, St Andrews’ a cappella group The Other Guys have released another single, this time to raise awareness for breast cancer.

The new video, ‘St Andrews Girls’, which was shot around the University and town has two aims: to raise money and awareness for Breast Cancer Care and to recognise the 120th Anniversary of the admittance of female students to the University of St Andrews.

You can watch ‘St Andrews Girls’online here.





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