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St Andrews in the News
September 2013


Welcome to the September issue of St Andrews in the News, our regular e-newsletter for alumni, friends and supporters around the world. As we approach the start of the new Martinmas semester, we would like to say a big hello to our new intake of students while welcoming back our existing undergraduates and postgraduates. It is an exciting time to be at the University as we reach the culmination of our 600th Anniversary celebrations this autumn and look ahead to a seventh century of academic enquiry and discovery at this great university. Ever to excel!


Hillary Clinton honoured at Academic Celebration (13-14 September)

hilary clintonFormer United States Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will be visiting St Andrews on Friday 13 September to receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws in Younger Hall where she will address an audience of global academic leaders, university faculty and students. Secretary Clinton is being honoured in recognition of her roles as politician, diplomat and champion of education, human rights, democracy, civil society, and opportunities for women and girls around the world.

There has been an overwhelming demand from staff and students to attend the graduation ceremony, which will also recognise leading thinkers such as Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Dame Jane Goodall and The Right Revd Dr Rowan Williams. We are delighted that our alumni and friends around the globe will have the opportunity to watch the ceremony with a live screening via the University website.

Secretary Clinton is among some of the greatest minds of this generation who are coming to St Andrews for an Academic Celebration of the University's 600th Anniversary. They will look beyond the Anniversary to debate not only the future of education, but the ideas that will shape our world for the generations to come. As well as the live streaming of the ceremony on 13 September, the Academic Celebration will also include a number of historic processions, involving several hundred academics and dignitaries, and a spectacular fireworks on the harbour pier, at all of which spectators are welcome.

Last Chance to sign up for Ever to Excel screenings

evertoexcelReceive a free copy of the University film Ever to Excel, starring Sir Sean Connery, by signing up to host your own screening. Over the weekend of 19 – 20 October we hope that you will join other alumni and friends in your local area in celebration of the 600th Anniversary. We have extended the deadline for signing up to host a screening by one more week. You can sign up now, closing date is Friday 13 September.

Once all our hosts who wish to have other alumni and friends join them have confirmed their venue details and contact information we will be launching a 'public screenings' map on our webpage and we will also email you directly to inform you of any venues in your local area where you may be able to join in the festivities.

Papal bull relay

cycleAs part of the University's 600th Anniversary celebrations, staff and students are retracing the foundations of Scottish higher education by cycling the route travelled by the papal bull that granted St Andrews its authority. On 9 August the first relay team, led by Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Louise Richardson, set out from the castle at Peñíscola, Spain to begin the 1600-mile historic journey across four countries over 31 days, due to arrive back in St Andrews on 13 September.

Follow their progress.

Satisfied students

studentsSt Andrews students have voted their university the best in the country, according to the results of the 2013 National Student Survey. St Andrews is ranked the top multi-faculty university in Scotland and joint second in the UK.

Scientists in a spin

magnifying glassA team of St Andrews researchers has created the world's fastest spinning man-made object. They were able to levitate and spin a microscopic sphere, purely using laser light in a vacuum, briefly up to 600 million RPM.This speed is half a million times faster than the spin speed of a domestic washing machine and more than a thousand times faster than a dental drill.

Men more risk-averse

Kate CrossMen have become less willing to engage in physically challenging activities over the past 35 years, according to a new study. The findings, by a team led by Dr Kate Cross of the University's School of Psychology and Neuroscience, support the argument that some sex differences in behaviour have declined in response to recent cultural changes.

Material developments

epsrcGround-breaking research by St Andrews scientists, which aims to use nanotechnology to develop smart new materials, with a wide variety of applications from energy to healthcare, has been boosted by major Government investment.

Saints Sport Pre-season

boxingThis week over 600 students representing 30 different sports clubs returned to St Andrews for the Saints Sport 6th Pre-season training camp. Pre-season training provides clubs with sports specific, general training sessions and tailored session plans targeted towards the individual needs of our clubs. It is the perfect way to kick off what promises to be an excellent Saints Sport season.

St Andrews scientist tipped to change the world

per olaA University scientist who is inventing new ways for people to use computers has been tipped as one of the young innovators most likely to "change the world." Computer scientist Dr Per Ola Kristensson is one of 35 top young innovators named by the prestigious MIT Technology Review.

Signature sounds

dolphinsUniversity scientists have found that bottlenose dolphins can use the copying of signature whistles as a way of addressing or labelling animals on an individual basis.

Seeing Beyond the Limit

seeing teamA new super-resolution microscope facility has been developed at the University, meaning scientists can see what they previously had only been able to imagine. The £½ million microscope will allow the investigation of biological processes at an unparalleled level of detail, such as how neural pathways are affected in Alzheimer's disease.

Co-leader of the project, Professor Frank Gunn-Moore of the School of Biology, has also been appointed an Executive Member of the Scottish Dementia Research Consortium, a major new group aimed at tackling dementia in Scotland.

IT awards

Steve WattThe University's IT department has won two awards with Steve Watt, Chief Information Officer at the University, being voted ICT Leader of the Year at the 2013 Holyrood Connect ICT Awards.

Safeguarding The Waste Land

ts eliotA rare UK first edition of TS Eliot's The Waste Land is the latest addition to the University's world- renowned Special Collections.

Alumni News, Clubs and Services

New York Ball


You are cordially invited to join us on December 6th, 2013 to celebrate the 600th Anniversary of the University of St Andrews. The night will begin with a cocktail reception where guests from around the globe will have the opportunity to chat and socialize. Shortly thereafter the banquet begins, where Professor Louise Richardson, the Principal and Vice-Chancellor, will speak briefly about this monumental event and the University's future.

Later in the evening we will be hosting a dance on the roof terrace of the Yale Club.

December 6th, 2013

Reception and Dinner 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm Grand Ballroom Yale Club of New York. Three-course dinner, unlimited drinks.

Dance 10:00 pm - 12:00 am Roof Ballroom and Terrace Open Bar
Tickets will be available from September 20th

Getting Involved: If you would like to get involved in the planning of the ball, or if you would like to know more information, please contact us at To join the St Andrews University Alumni Club of New York, please follow this link.

Young Innovators Challenge

innovation2013 Earth & Environmental Sciences graduate, David Townsend, has won the Renewables Category of the Young Innovators Challenge, a scheme run by the Scottish Institute for Enterprise on behalf of the Scottish Government. David's plans to develop a Geothermal consultancy which will provide predictions of potential hot saline aquifer geothermal targets within Scotland, with the aim of attracting key stakeholders to facilitate one or more district heating schemes.

University web store – discount available

storeA 10% discount is available to readers of St Andrews in the News at our online shop, which sells high-quality official University branded merchandise. The discount is only available online and is valid across the entire shop, excluding shipping charges. All purchases made on our online store help to directly support teaching and research at the University of St Andrews.

To get your 10% discount add the discount voucher code – SPARC600 – when prompted to do so.

The address for the retail store is


Save the date

University of St Andrews Alumni Club, London

Mark your diaries for the following two events hosted by the London Alumni Club.

Lord Mayor's 600th Anniversary Ball

Join the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Roger Gifford, for a celebration of 600 years of the University of St Andrews in spectacular style at London's majestic Guildhall.

Tickets on sale next week. More details to follow.

Guildhall, London
Saturday 2 November

Christmas Carols 2013

Further details to follow. Tickets available on Monday 16 September

Venue tbc, London
Tuesday 10 December


Doors Open Day

Visit the hidden sights of the Bell Pettigrew Museum, Senate Room, Parliament Hall and the King James Library during this popular, annual event. This event is free and no booking is required.

Various sites, St Andrews
Sunday 8 September, 12.00pm - 5.00pm

Thanksgiving Service for Professor Struther Arnott

arnottA thanksgiving service for the life of Professor Struther Arnott CBE, FRS, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University (1986-1999). The service will be followed by refreshments in Lower College Hall. All are welcome.

St Salvator's Chapel, North Street
Wednesday, 11 September, 4.00pm - 5.00pm

Friends of the Library AGM

Friends of the Library AGM, followed by novelist Meaghan Delahunt in conversation and reading from her work.

Psychology Old Library, St Mary's Quadrangle
Wednesday, 18 September 2013, 5.15pm - 7.00pm



Cedric Thorpe Davie Day

thorpeThis year we mark the centenary of the birth of Cedric Thorpe Davie. From 1936 until 1945 he taught theory and composition at the Scottish National Academy of Music and in 1945 came to St Andrews as the University's Master of Music. Two years later he founded the Department of Music here, and between 1973 and 1978 was Professor of Music. The day will feature an exhibition, film screening, talks and performances of his music.

Younger Hall, North Street, St Andrews
Saturday, 21 September 2013, from 11.00am

MUSA Young Archaeologist – Romans

Join us every month at MUSA to develop your archaeology skills and explore the objects left behind by the Egyptians, Romans and Greeks. Free but booking is essential.

MUSA, 7a The Scores, St Andrews
Saturday, 28 September 2013, 2.00pm - 4.00pm

MUSA has a full autumn programme of workshops, talks, walks and concerts for adults as well as children. For further details, please visit our Events webpage.

Professor Nigel Dennis Memorial Service

nigelTo commemorate the friendship and achievements of Professor Nigel Dennis.




St Salvator's Chapel, North Street, St Andrews
Saturday 28 September 2013, 2.00pm - 3.00pm

Varsity Rugby Match: University of St Andrews v The University of Edinburgh

varsityThe oldest university fixture in the world returns this season with a new date in the rugby calendar. University of St Andrews RFC will take on their oldest rivals University of Edinburgh RFC.

The Richmond Athletic Ground, Kew Foot Road, Richmond, London
Saturday, 28 September 2013, 6.00pm - 8.00pm

Discovering the University's Treasures

Inspired by the 'Treasured' exhibition, go behind the scenes and see the collections that live within University buildings that are not usually accessible to the public. Starts at MUSA, admission is free but booking is essential.

Tuesday 1 October 2013, 4.00pm - 6.00pm

St Andrews Voices

voicesSt Andrews Voices is a new festival of vocal music in Scotland. Drawing together the very best musicians from the UK and beyond, St Andrews Voices presents a range of concerts that celebrate the voice in all its many guises, including opera, cabaret, lieder, jazz, early music and folk.

Various venues, St Andrews
Thursday 3 – Sunday 6 October 2013

Keynote of the ACM Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces 2013 Conference

ITS is the premiere venue for research in the design and use of new and emerging table top and interactive surface technologies. The ITS 2013 Organising Committee are pleased to announce that Jeff Han, General Manager of the Perceptive Pixel group recently acquired by Microsoft, will deliver the Keynote for the ACM Interactive Table tops and Surfaces 2013 Conference.

Younger Hall, St Andrews
Monday 7 October 2013, 9.00am - 10.15am

General Council

The next meeting of the General Council will take place in St Andrews at 6.30pm on Wednesday 27 November 2013 in Parliament Hall, St Andrews. It will be followed by an alumni reception. Further information, including details about how to book a place, will be available from the General Council website later in the year.

For further General Council news, please visit our website.



treasuredDelve into a feast of the University's treasures and explore objects from all areas of the University's collections that span 600 years. Discover the craftsmanship and beauty in the University's teaching collections. Admire the intricate hand-blown chemistry glassware and marvel over medieval tooled leather. Use this opportunity to view objects rarely seen by the public and uncover hidden gems found in University departments and residences. Admission free.

Further information on the exhibition is available here.

Gateway Galleries, North Haugh, St Andrews
Continues to Saturday 14 December




Medieval Maces: Power and Ceremony

macesMaces are emblems of authority, status, wealth and power. To mark the University's 600th Anniversary this exhibition brings together 14th and 15th century university maces from Heidelberg, Tubingen, Basel and Glasgow, and the crozier of Bishop Fox, founder of Corpus Christi College, Oxford. Admission free.

Further information about the exhibition.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a varied events programme for adults, families and schools.

MUSA, 7a The Scores, St Andrews
Saturday 7 September - Sunday 8 December




Alumni Authors

Mr Putin, Operative in the Kremlin

blondeDr Fiona Hill, MA 1989 and Clifford G Gaddy

Price $29.95 from Brookings Institution Press

In the Shade of the Mulberry Tree

reality gpMrs Catharine Hughes (Withenay), BSc 1993

Price £9.15 from Amazon

Making a Gift

Our 600th Anniversary campaign was launched in 2011 by our campaign Patron and graduate, 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.

Social Networking

Alumni and friends can keep up to date with the University activities and events online via Facebook, Twitter and our blog IncomparaBubble.


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.

Questions: Please email

Development, University of St Andrews, Crawford Building, 91 North Street, St Andrews KY16 9AJ, Scotland
Tel: +44 (0)1334 462113

The University of St Andrews is not responsible for the content of external websites accessed via links in this e-newsletter.

The University of St Andrews is a charity registered in Scotland, No SC013532.

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