Legacy giving

For six centuries legacies have made a considerable contribution to the life of the University of St Andrews, with the support of earlier generations creating an enduring foundation for the success of future students.

Why leave a legacy?

Making a legacy leaves a lasting impact by:

  • training tomorrow’s brightest minds
  • removing financial barriers for the most talented students
  • providing essential facilities to drive world-leading teaching and research
  • inspiring a student to discover new interests
  • conserving our outstanding historic collections for future generations
  • giving something back to the St Andrews community
  • leaving a lasting impression on your University.

How a legacy can benefit the University community

St Andrews is a wonderful place to live, work and study, and legacies have always played a significant role here in enriching the life of the University and of the wider community. Here are some of the civic projects that your legacy could benefit: 

Byre Theatre

Run by the University of St Andrews since 2014, this well-loved institution is valued as an artistic and cultural hub at the heart of St Andrews for the local community and beyond.


The award-winning Museum of the University of St Andrews (MUSA) displays key pieces from the University’s collections within four galleries and is the focus of a wide-ranging educational and community events programme.

Music Centre

Music has always been a key part of life at St Andrews and forms a valuable link with the local community. The Music Centre has outgrown its current home in the Younger Hall, so the University is planning a new, purpose-built Music Centre in the heart of the town.

Special Collections

The Special Collections department is used extensively for the University’s research activities. The Richardson Research Library at Martyrs Kirk was bought from the Church of Scotland in 2012 and was refurbished as a central Research Library and Special Collections Reading Room for use by academic staff, postgraduate research students and (on request) by members of the public.

Sports Centre

Sport is an important part of student life at St Andrews, and we have one of the highest participation rates of any university in Scotland. The phased £14 million refurbishment and extension of the Sports Centre has benefited both students and the community of north east Fife, and the University plans to add a much-needed swimming pool.

How a legacy can enrich intellectual life

Legacies make it possible to promote the intellectual life of the University by supporting visiting lectures, fellowships and permanent academic posts. The Berry Chair in English for example, was established by such a bequest in 1889 and has fostered the international reputation of the School of English as a centre for both academic research and literary creativity.

How a legacy can benefit research

Cutting-edge research is the lifeblood of any university, and we depend on donations and bequests to support this vital work. One such legacy left to the University in 2012 by Miss Mary Margaret Niven (MA 1938) is now supporting the development of ground-breaking techniques to research Alzheimer’s disease. 

How we recognise your legacy: Chancellor’s Circle

We established the Chancellor’s Circle in 2011 to recognise and thank those generous alumni and friends who have chosen to remember the University of St Andrews in their will during their lifetime.

All members receive regular donor communications and an invitation to annual events.

Country specific information

Click on the relevant link below for country-specific information on making a legacy.