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St Andrews in the News

October 2012


Welcome to the October 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.


League tables

St Andrews has been rated as one of the top 100 universities in the world in the QS World University Rankings 2012/2013. The rankings examine the performance of over 700 universities worldwide. In the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, St Andrews was placed 34th in the world for Arts & Humanities. The University has also been named among the top five in the UK, and top in Scotland, by the Sunday Times University Guide.

The R&A International Scholarship

The R&A, the body responsible for administering the rules of golf, has made a very generous donation of £500,000 to the University to support a new scholarship programme. The R&A International Scholarship will encourage students to broaden their minds in new, challenging and imaginative environments by funding international travel for undergraduates or recent graduates.

St Andrews at St Paul's

A special Service of Thanksgiving in celebration of the University’s 600th Anniversary will take place in the spectacular surroundings of St Paul’s Cathedral on Thursday 20th December 2012 at 7.30pm. The University of St Andrews Alumni Club, London is working with the Dean and Chapter of St Paul's to arrange the service, which will feature Christmas readings given by well-known graduates and honorary graduates of the University. The Rt Rev Dr John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, will give the Sermon. Tickets and further information are available from the London Alumni Club.

St Andrews launch of the Chancellor’s Circle

The Chancellor, The Rt Hon Sir Menzies Campbell, CBE QC MP, launched his Chancellor’s Circle, the University’s legacy recognition society last Saturday to say thank you to those who have made a legacy gift in their will in favour of St Andrews.

Preserving the sanctity of knowledge

The University has bought the historic Martyrs’ Church in North Street from the Church of Scotland with a view to enhancing and extending its library facilities in the town centre.

Rethinking evolution

Researchers at the University’s Scottish Oceans Institute have discovered that, contrary to the common perception of evolution, some animals have, over a period of millions of years, become genetically less complex.

Students celebrate the 600th

The Students’ Association has unveiled its programme of student-led fundraising and celebratory activities in support of the University’s 600th Anniversary. This includes the first-ever Students’ Association Prize Fund to endow a needs-based bursary.

Excellence in the evening

Congratulations to Lorraine Eccles, winner of this year's Fife Council Provost's Prize for the outstanding student graduating from the University's Evening Degree Programme.

Monkey see, monkey do

A new study by researchers in the School of Psychology and Neuroscience shows that vervet monkeys learn by copying others in their group, as human children do.

Sports report

A new monthly newsletter with information on the Athletic Union and Saints Sport has been launched.

Gateway to Computer Science

Following the success of our Gateway to Physics, the access programme is now being rolled out to prospective students in our School of Computer Science. The programme aims to provide an entry route for students who are academically gifted but, through social or educational disadvantage, might not otherwise be able to enjoy a St Andrews education.

Exposed to the light

The Department of Special Collections of the University Library has a new Tumblr blog called lux. Its aim is to cater to those who will enjoy receiving a steady stream of images which illustrate the scope of our photographic collection. Lux will give followers the opportunity to enjoying a sneak peak at some of the previously unseen and rare photos we have on offer.

Saddling up for the 600th

University staff and students are being challenged to take part in a cycle relay re-tracing the journey of the University’s papal bulls of foundation.

Ruddy irresistible

Psychologists from the University’s Perception Lab have discovered that women prefer men with a brightly coloured skintone because it indicates a strong alpha-male with dominant genes.

Student success

Three St Andrews students have been named as winners and a further 26 highly commended in the 2012 Undergraduate Awards (UA) – an international academic awards programme that identifies top students across the globe through their innovative undergraduate research.

Academy of Social Sciences welcomes new Academicians

The Academy of Social Sciences recently welcomed 63 leading social scientists as new Academicians of the Social Sciences. Among those honoured were Dean or Arts, Professor Nic Beech (left) and Professor Robert Gray, MBE, both of the School of Management.

Highbrow Hyenas

Biologists at St Andrews have shown that spotted hyenas are adept at problem-solving and may even be able to ‘count’, demonstrating that the animals may have the intelligence levels of some primates.


‘On Euroscepticism: What is the future of the EU?’

Lecture by former Prime Minister of the Czech Republic and President of the Council of the European Union Jan Fischer. A talk about the aftermath of the Eurocrisis, future prospects of European political integration and the role of the UK in EU politics. Free for members of the Czech and Slovak Society and the European Society; £2 for non-members.

Parliament Hall, South Street, St Andrews
Friday 12 October, 7.00pm – 8.30pm

Symposium: 'Historical Philosophy and Modern Echoes'

Featuring talks by Alex Long, Sarah Broadie, John Haldane, Jacqueline Rose and Simon Hope.

School II, St Salvator’s Quadrangle, St Andrews
Saturday 13 October, 10.00am – 5.45pm

Museums, Galleries and Collections Institute Annual Public Lecture

‘Imperial War Museum - Working with Difficult Narratives’
Lecture by Diane Lees, Director-General of the Imperial War Museum.

School III, St Salvator’s Quadrangle, St Andrews
Wednesday 17 October, 5.30pm – 6.30pm

St Andrews Voices

The festival is the vision of Director of Music Michael Downes and promoter Sonia Stevenson and aims, for the first time in Scotland, to present an international wealth of vocal talent to celebrate the voice in all its guises.

Various venues, St Andrews
Thursday 18 – Sunday 21 October

King James Library Lecture

‘Adventures in the Libraries of the Ancient Greek and Roman Worlds’

Lecture by Professor Edith Hall, King's College, London

School III, St Salvator’s Quadrangle, St Andrews
Wednesday 24 October, 5.15pm – 6.15pm

Followed by a glass of wine in the King James Library, St Mary's Quadrangle.

St Andrews Brass Festival

Four concerts over three days celebrating brass music.

Younger Hall, North Street, St Andrews
Wednesday 31 October – Friday 2 November

Inaugural Lecture: Professor Aaron Quigley

‘Human Computer Interaction: bridging the digital physical divide’

Professor Aaron Quigley, School of Computer Science

School III, St Salvator’s Quadrangle, St Andrews
Wednesday 31 October, 5.15pm – 6.15pm

Social Dimensions of Health Institute (SDHI) day of public engagement

As part of the Economic and Social Research Council Festival of Social Science and Dundee Science Festival, SDHI are hosting a day of public engagement ‘Taking control of wellbeing and social participation’.

Lending Library Floor, Dundee Central Library, Wellgate, Dundee
Saturday 3 November, 10.00am – 3.00pm

Radio 4's Sunday Worship

Radio 4’s Sunday Worship will be broadcast live from St Salvator's Chapel.

St Salvator’s Chapel, St Andrews
Sunday 4 November, 8.10am – 8.50am (to be seated by 7.45am)

King James Library Tour

Dr Helen Rawson from the Museum Collections Unit will lead a tour of the King James Library. Free but booking is essential.

King James Library, South Street, St Andrews
Wednesday 7 November, 2.00pm – 3.00pm


A Royal Foundation: 400 Years of the King James Library

Poster This exhibition explores the foundation and early years of the Library through the beautiful and inspiring books, manuscripts and artefacts associated with it.

Gateway Galleries, North Haugh, St Andrews
Continues to Saturday 8 December

Alumni News, Clubs and Services

Tales from the 600th

The Development and Alumni Relations Office is pleased to introduce IncomparaBubble, a new blog designed to share glimpses into the life of the St Andrews community as it celebrates its 600th birthday. Throughout the year, we will be sharing posts from the students, staff and alumni who inspire our work.

Opening Ceremonies

The University welcomed its new intake of first-year students with special Opening Ceremonies held in The Younger Hall in September. The ceremonies were launched by an Academic Procession led by two mace-bearers and featured welcome speeches from the Principal Professor Louise Richardson and other key figures.

You can watch the Arts and Sciences ceremonies online.

The coolest job in the world!

Florence Barrow, who graduated in Modern History this summer, has landed a job running the world's most southerly post office in Antarctica. She will spend four and a half months living in a colony of 4,000 penguins.

University of St Andrews Alumni Club, London

The London Alumni Club is presenting two events this autumn in addition to the Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral.

A Choral Evensong and Reception to mark St Andrew's Day will be held at the Church of St Vedast Alias Foster on Foster Lane, in the heart of the City of London, at 6.30pm on Friday 30 November.

The following evening, Saturday 1 December, the 600th Anniversary Sports Ball will take place at The London Scottish Regimental HQ in Horseferry Road. Tickets now available from the Club’s website.

Alumni Carol Service 2012

Our annual Alumni Carol Service in St Salvator’s Chapel will take place on Tuesday 4 December. The service will be led by Rev Dr Donald MacEwan, University Chaplain, with traditional carols led by the University Chapel Choir. A mulled wine and mince pie Reception will follow in Lower College Hall at approximately 8 pm. Tickets for the Reception following the Carol Service will be available for purchase nearer the time from the alumni website.

General Council of the University of St Andrews

Meeting of the General Council and Graduate Reception, Glasgow

The next meeting of the General Council will take place at 6.30pm on Friday 23 November 2012 in The Wolfson Medical Building, University of Glasgow. The meeting wll be followed by an optional wine and canapes reception.

Further information, including details of how to register and book your tickets for both the meeting and the reception, is available from the General Council website.

Social Networking

Alumni and friends can 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.


John Keats: A New Life
Professor Nicholas Roe, School of English

Price £25 from Yale University Press

Saints and Symposiasts:
The Literature of Food and the Symposium in Greco-Roman and Early Christian Culture

Dr Jason Koenig, School of Classics

Price £70 from Cambridge University Press

Alumni Authors

Stories about Storytellers: Publishing Alice Munro, Robertson Davies, Alistair MacLeod, Pierre Trudeau, and Others
Douglas Gibson, MA English Language and Literature 1966

Price $32.95 CAD from ECW Press

London Art and Artist's Guide
Heather Waddell, MA French-Spanish 1972

Price £9.84 from Amazon

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.

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