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History of the Hall

David Russell Apartments
Sir David Russell, Local Industrialist and University Benefactor, Chancellor's Assessor: 1938-1955

David Russell Apartments are named in the memory of Sir David Russell, former Managing Director of Tullis Russell the Fife paper-making firm, and his son Major David Russell, a distinguished soldier and businessman. Both had long and important associations with the University of St Andrews.
Sir David Russell (1872-1956) was a famous Fife-born papermaker, cultured humanist and a pioneer of New Age thinking. As a young man, he became a partner in his father's firm of Tullis Russell, but always his love of books and great ideas made him seek broader connections. The complementary qualities in his friendship with Tudor Pole led these men to embark on a great "quest" of archaeological discovery in the Eastern Mediterranean. The Russell Trust, established during his lifetime, has continued to finance excavations and scholarships throughout Scotland and the world.

His son, Major David Russell, (1915-1993) attended the St Andrews University, before he served with the 7th Battalion of the Black Watch in North Africa, Sicily and Normandy. It was his firm belief, as it had been his father's, that an independent well managed company could be the most efficient, flexible and humanitarian form of business enterprise. In pursuance of this ideal, control of the company was established, in 1975, in the Russell Trust, with the injunction that the interests of those who worked in the firm should be given greater emphasis than normal.

David Russell maintained his interest in the University of St Andrews throughout his life, becoming chancellor's assessor in 1963 and finance convener from 1964 to 77. The Russell Trust, originally established as a memorial to his brother Patrick, killed during the War, was a source of many benefactions to the University and to others; student expeditions, publications, research, are known objects of aid. In 1977 the University of St Andrews conferred upon him the honorary degree of LLD.

David Russell Apartments opened its doors in 2003, when the re-development of the old David Russell Hall was still under way. The original Hall was built in the 1960s and much of the layout was kept for DRA. Work was finished in 2007 and on the 23rd of February Chancellor Gordon Brown formally opened the £34.7m David Russell Apartments. The hall was praised for its state-of-the-art environmentally friendly features.

Fife Park
The Kingdom of Fife

With its unique character and appearance, Fife Park has always been popular with both new and returning students. Built in 1972, Fife Park continues to this day to provide an attractive home for undergraduates and postgraduates. Each of the 42 houses has a distinct personality due to subtle changes in the layout of each row of houses.

The name Fife Park comes from the Kingdom of Fife, which as legend has it, is one of the seven sub-kingdoms formed at the end of the Pictism realm. Fife Park itself mirrors this with its 6 rows of houses and open grassy areas, which on a warm day finds many residents outside surveying the landscape whilst contemplating their next intellectual activity or simply engaging in the fine art of procrastination.

Whilst Fife Park is found far out (for St Andrews) on the Western part of town, there is a thriving community spirit and there is always something happening, from regular events organised by the hall committee to impromptu Frisbee games that everyone is welcome join!  Fife Park is a hall where it is almost impossible to be antisocial, standing in any kitchen allows you to look out over at least half a dozen other houses and to see people as they walk by, indeed its far from uncommon that if someone is good at baking for the knowledge to spread and many visitors are soon guaranteed!

Outside of the houses, Fife Park has a small computer room that it shares with the David Russell Apartments (DRA) section of hall.  This room is often guaranteed to be the warmest place in Fife Park but rarely should be relied on for last minute printing as the toner always seems to be low! Residents share access to the facilities building with DRA, including the bar and TV room (Nisbet Room), allowing for even more social interaction.

Living in Fife Park is definitely an experience; it is by no means the most luxurious of the student halls but it by far exceeds whatever comforts you may initially miss with the friendly way that everyone lives together in such an environment. The Fife Park houses are a common bond between all residents, nearly everyone who has lived in Fife Park would return given the chance.

Viscount Haldane of Cloan, Chancellor:1928

Richard Haldane was an accomplished politician, lawyer and philosopher. He was educated at the universities of Edinburgh and Göttingen (Germany). He read for the bar in London and thereafter built himself a successful practice. Indeed, in 1890 he was appointed a Queens Counsel. In 1885 he was elected Liberal Member of Parliament for East Lothian and held the seat until 1911, when he was raised to the peerage. In particular, he was raised to a peerage as Viscount Haldane of Cloan. He served as the Gifford Lecturer at the University of St Andrews between 1902 and 1904. From 1905 to 1911 he was Secretary of State for War under the administration of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman (1836 - 1908) and implemented of army reforms, including the creation of what is now the Territorial Army. These and other reforms of the military earned him considerable respect. In 1911 he entered the House of Lords and the following year was appointed to the post of Lord Chancellor in 1912. Haldane was honoured with the Freedom of the City of Edinburgh in 1912. In 1915, He was forced to resign his post as Lord Chancellor in 1915 having been accused of pro-German sympathies. In 1917 he chaired a committee which reviewed the machinery of government. The following year it produced the Report of the Committee on the Machinery of Government, known as the Haldane Report. It proposed that government should be reorganized according to the service provided rather than clients served. He joined the Labour Party in 1918. In 1924 he was made Lord Chancellor in the first Labour government led by Ramsay MacDonald (1866 - 1937).

In later years he was showered with honours and wrote a number of well-regarded works on philosophy. He wrote The Reign of Relativity (1921), an inquiry into the philosophical implications of the theory of relativity.

He died at Cloan (Perth and Kinross) and is buried at Gleneagles.

Lord Fraser of Allander, University Benefactor
Lord Fraser of Allander, or Hugh Fraser was born in Lanarkshire in 1903. Educated locally, in and near, Glasgow, Lord Fraser left school at the age of 19 to work for his father's business in Glasgow -- Fraser, Sons & Co., a large emporium in Glasgow. Fraser proved talented in the business with his father making him managing director in 1924. Several years after, his father died, thereby naming Fraser chairman.

Fraser proved an astute businessman, riding out the times of worldwide economic depression whilst expanding and extending his business. The business man proved himself time and time again, acquiring other businesses during periods of recession; ultimately, his most lucrative acquisition was in 1951 with the majority stake purchase of Scottish Drapery Corporation.

Fraser's acquisitions grew to become the now renowned House of Fraser Ltd. Biographers credit his success to his knowledge of the his trades, his hard work, careful and accurate calculations and his integrity.

While the businessman was the image most knew, Fraser was also known as a happy family man. His home was a sanctuary from the stress and difficulties of proprietorship. He had two children - a son and daughter. The former followed in his father's footsteps, succeeding his father as chairman of the House of Fraser and the other companies owned by the family.

Fraser suffered a massive heart attack in 1965, which he insisted keeping from the public. He was never able to return to the business world, dying in November 1966, in Stirlingshire. His funeral service was given at Glasgow Cathedral.

Sir James Donaldson, Principal of United College: 1886-1915

Donaldson is named for Sir James Donaldson, an educationalist and classical scholar, who served as Principal of United College (1886-1915). Donaldson was born in the Aberdeen area, residing there until university. Originally intent on becoming a Congregational minister, Donaldson attended New College, London. During the course of his studies, he furthered his knowledge of classical scholarship as well as education ideology. During his university career, Donaldson studied in Berlin, Germany, thereby strengthening his own educational philosophy. Donaldson left New College, London to assist John Stuart Blackie, a mentor from his collegiate years. Living and teaching now in Edinburgh, Donaldson contributed to various encyclopaedias as well as his own multi-volume work on early Christian writings and theologists. In addition to these scholarly writings, Donaldson also lectured on the history of education, promoting the training of teachers at the university level. Eventually, the educational ideas, which had been forming since his earlier years in college, influenced his political ones. Politically, Donaldson was in favour of Scottish home rule, objecting fervently to the Education (Scotland) Act of 1872. Returning to Aberdeen for four years, Donaldson was the chair and professor of humanity at the University of Aberdeen. Then, in 1886, he was appointed Principal of United College at the University of St Andrews. During his term, Donaldson presided over the negotiations to incorporate or affiliate University College, Dundee. There was also a great deal of expansion for the university, for which Donaldson secured the monies. Additionally, Donaldson acquired the benefactions of the marquess of Bute and Andrew Carnegie, both of whom also served as Rector during Donaldson¿s term. Lastly, women were first admitted to degrees during Donaldson¿s term. In 1907, Donaldson was knighted and he continued to work as Principal until a few weeks before his death in 1915.

Sir John Herkless, Principal of United College: 1915-1920

Sir John Herkless held the post of Professor of Ecclesiastical History at the University of St Andrews as well as that of Principal and Vice-chancellor. He was born as a son of an Engineer in Glasgow and went on to study at Glasgow High School and then on to study at the city's university. During his career he has written many books including: The Archbishops of St Andrews which he co-wrote with Robert Hannay and Francis and Dominic and the Mendicant Orders.

John C Shairp, Principal of United College: 1868-1885

John Campbell Shairp was born at Houstoun House, Linlithgowshire, the third son of Major Norman Shairp of Houstoun. He was educated at Edinburgh Academy and the University of Glasgow. In 1857 he became assistant to the professor of humanity in the University of St Andrews, and in 1861 he was appointed to that chair. In 1868 he was presented to the principalship of the United College, St Andrews, and lectured from time to time on literary and ethical subjects. In 1877 he was elected Professor of Poetry at the University of Oxford in succession to Sir F. H. Doyle . Some of his best works were published in 1881 as Aspects of Poetry. In 1882 he was re-elected to the chair of poetry at the University of St Andrews, and discharged his duties there until the end of 1884.

Sir Walter Scott, Scottish Novelist, Rector: 1825

Sir Walter Scott (15 August 1771 - 21 September 1832) was the Rector of the University in 1825 with the role of not only representing the university but also functioning as a link between the university Court, university officers and students. Scott took various identities during his lifetime, from business to politics, but he is probably more well-known as one of the most famous Scottish novelists and poets of his day. Born in the old town of Edinburgh, young Scott received his education in classics at the University of Edinburgh in November 1783 at the age of only twelve. Three years later, Scott was indentured to his father's office to train as a solicitor and returned to the university to study law afterwards. At the age of 25 he launched his literary career.

Scott was interested in periods of conflict, particularly conflict arising from the competition of societies and cultures in different stages of development. Critics say Walter Scott changed the world's understanding of history. His creative impact on Scotland was to define Scottishness in cultural rather than political terms, and so to maintain the idea of nationhood in a country which for the following two centuries was without independent political institutions.

Between 1814 and his death in 1832, Scott, as a productive writer, published twenty-three works of fiction and numerous poems and short stories. His famous works include Ivanhoe (1819), Rob Roy (1817), The Lady of The Lake (1810), Waverley (1814), The Heart of Midlothian (1818), The Bride of Lammermoor (1819), The Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border (1802-1803), The Lay of the Last Minstrel (1805) and Bonnie Dundee (1830). Nowadays his novels and poetry are still read not only all over Europe but also in Australia and North America, and many of his works remain classics of both English language literature and of Scottish literature. A memorial to him now stands in Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh and his image also appears on the front of all notes issued by the Bank of Scotland.

Field Marshall, Sir Douglas Haig, Rector: 1916-1919. Chancellor: 1922-1928
Sir Douglas Haig was born in Edinburgh, on 19 June 1861, being the last of eleven children. He was a forceful soldier and senior commander during World War I.

Haig devoted himself to his work from the start of his military career. And even though at some point he had an application rejected on account of colour blindness and a poor performance in a mathematics examination, he made it to Field Marshall later in his career! He first saw overseas service in India, in 1887, and returned to Britain in 1906 to assist the Secretary of State for War Richard Haldane in his reforms of the British Army. He commanded the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) from 1915 to the end of the War. Most notably, Haig was commander during the Battle of the Somme, the 3rd Battle of Ypres and the series of victories leading to the German surrender in 1918.

After ceasing active service, Haig devoted the rest of his life to the welfare of ex-servicemen, travelling throughout the British Empire to promote their interests. He assisted in the establishment of the Royal British Legion in 1921 and of the Royal British Legion Scotland the same year. These united existing associations of former servicemen in a single body for each country, and Haig became president of both organizations. Haig was Rector of the University of St Andrews between 1916 and 1919 and was Chancellor from 1922 to 1928. An avid golf enthusiast, Haig was captain of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, St. Andrews 1920-21.

Sir Douglas Haig died suddenly of heart failure, on 29 January 1928. He was accorded a state funeral in Westminster Abbey, in the course of which thousands of former servicemen turned out voluntarily to line the route. Quite some indication of the high respect he had!

Nowadays, you can still feel his presence. Look for the equestrian statue erected on the Castle Esplanade in Edinburgh, for example. And the sale of poppies which annually commemorates the war-dead of the UK, supported what for many years was known as the Haig Fund, with the letters `H.F.¿ printed on the centre of each poppy. Around DRAFP Sir Douglas Haig's work has also been perpetuated. You'll find HAIG in the Northern Western part of the hall, beautifully surrounded by fields!

John Lindsay of Balcarres (Lord Menmuir), Chancellor: 1597-1598

John Lindsay of Balcarres (1552-1598) served the University of St. Andrews as chancellor from 1597 until his death in 1598. After being privately educated at Edzell until about 1570, Lindsay moved to Paris to study with his brother, David Lindsay. Their stay proved to be short-lived as trouble between Huguenots and Roman Catholics forced the brothers to flee to England. John Lindsay moved on to Cambridge to study, and then onward to Scotland, where he became an advocate. Lindsay launched his career as a statesman as a Lord of Session, under the title Lord Menmuir, which his father had given him the benefices to when he was a young child. In 1583, he began his career in parliamentary affairs, which would include being a part of several parliamentary commissions, many which had to do with finances. He was appointed to the commission for the visitation of the University of St. Andrews, where he would later become chancellor. In 1586, Lindsay bought a great deal of land in eastern Fife, which became the estate of Balcarres. In 1596, Lindsay was appointed lord keeper of the privy seal, commissioner of the treasury and secretary of state. He was also appointed to the Octavians by James VI, a group of eight men who were in charge of the royal finances, and who were very unpopular in Scotland due to conflicts between Roman Catholics and Presbyterians. Lindsay advised the king, including a scheme to secure continuous local stipends to churches in Scotland. His fifty-five questions, which were sent by the king to different presbyteries, ultimately led to the restoration of episcopacy. Lindsay became chancellor of St. Andrews in 1597, at which point he was already seriously ill with the stone. He died on the third of September, 1598, having lived a full and distinguished life.

Lindsay House lends its name to an important figure in Scottish history, which helps tie residents to the university¿s impressive legacy. Despite being one of the more modern residences in the university, it is not difficult to look out the window at the land past the playing fields and imagine St. Andrews as Lindsay must have seen it nearly four centuries ago. Lindsay house facilitates the delicate balance between individual and community needs. Lindsay house is made up of several flats, which hold five to six students. The bedrooms are typically ensuite singles, which allow the student to study with few distractions and a large amount of privacy and independence. At the same time, there is a strong communal sense in the house as students share a lounge and a kitchen together. These areas become places for students to share common experiences and they necessitate cooperation, which makes a student feel that he or she has a well-defined role within a group. The residents enjoy the benefit of technological advances that have been made since Lindsay¿s time. The kitchen is well-equipped with appliances for students to prepare their own meals. Each room is equipped with a television, multiple outlets and a thermostat to control the heating. Walking around barefoot on a cold day to feel the heat rise out of floor makes it easy to forget that St. Andrews is Scotland¿s oldest university. However, one look out of the window at the wind and rain reminds us that we are students in Lindsay¿s land.

Sir Kenneth Dover, Chancellor of the University: 1981-2005

Sir Kenneth James Dover, was born in London, on the 11th March 1920 and was a distinguished British academic who was Chancellor Emeritus of the University of St Andrews from 1981 until his retirement in December 2005.

Sir Kenneth Dover was educated at St Paul's School in London and continued his studies at Balliol College in Oxford. After serving with the Royal Artillery during the Second World War and being mentioned in dispatches for his service in Italy, he returned to Oxford and became Fellow and tutor at his old college. Dover was appointed Professor of Greek at St Andrews University in 1955, and was twice Dean of the Faculty of Arts. Given his wide learning and Olympian manner, he was sometimes affectionately known as "The Sage of St Andrews".

Sir Kenneth Dover was one of the most distinguished classicists of the twentieth century. He was the first Chancellor in the University's history to be neither a peer nor an archbishop! He was also elected to the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1975 and received a knighthood two years later for services to Greek scholarship.

He received honorary degrees from the Universities of Oxford, St Andrews, Birmingham, Bristol, London, Durham, Liverpool and Oglethorpe. He was also a foreign member of the American and the Royal Netherlands Academies of Arts and Sciences.

Beyond his academic honours and pursuits, Sir Kenneth was well known for his skill and devotion to bird watching. Sir Kenneth Dover's noble contributions to the academia is perpetuated in DRA-FP.

Eden Court and The River Eden

Eden was named after the River Eden which is one of the two main rivers in Fife, the other one being the Leven. The River Eden is almost 50 kilometres long and it starts its flow from Burnside, near the border with Perth & Kinross, across the Howe of Fife and continues through our neighbouring town Cupar and from there to Guardbridge, where it finally enters the North Sea via Eden Estuary. Eden Estuary is one of the conservation areas in Scotland and is famous of its wading birds which you can sometimes see if you take the bus from St Andrews to Dundee. The river is also popular among local fishermen as it is famous for its wild brown trout and hosts salmon and sea trout. The Eden was also very important for the local industry as its water was used to power mills on its banks, one of the most famous ones being the paper mill in Guardbridge and which you can see on your way to Dundee.

Sir Robert Hamilton, Regent of St Salvator's, 1668

Hamilton has been described as a zealous covenanter who took up arms against royalist troops maybe most famously when they attempted to repress field conventiclers in the latter half of 1677. For this action the Scottish Privy Council denounced him as a rebel on 15 March 1678 and declared his property forfeit.

Hamilton and his close friends, David Hackston of Rathillet and Donald Cargill, were among the men who drafted the famous Declaration of Rutherglen (1679) which proclaimed their allegiance to the national covenant and the solemn league and covenant, and condemned episcopacy, royal supremacy in the church, and the policy of indulging ministers who compromised. Only three days after the declaration Hamilton was found in Drumclog with approximately 1500 men who forced the royalists to retreat to Glasgow. This was not enough for our Hamilton and he with his group that included even the Minister Thomas Douglass declared that they rejected the king, the indulgence, and any clergy who accepted it. Hamilton never compromised his ideas or visions but he was reportedly among the first to flee after the battle at Bothwell Bridge on June 22, 1679. A royal proclamation subsequently ordered his apprehension, but he escaped to the Netherlands.

Hamilton continued his work in the Netherlands and it is claimed that in 1682 he joined the radical covenanters known as the United Societies and worked for them as an agent and seeking to help them in various ways at the University of Groningen.

Because of his social status, Hamilton was exempted from the general pardon issued by James II shortly after his accession to the throne. After the revolution of 1688 Hamilton's attainder was reversed and he returned to Scotland, where he succeeded to the baronetcy following his brother's death. However, he opted not to claim the entailed portion of the family estate because this would require recognizing sovereigns who had not taken the covenant. He continued to support the more extreme faction in the societies, opposing those who formed the Cameronian regiment. On 20 October 1701 he died at Bo'ness, where he was then living.

Andrew Lang, Scottish Folklorist and Author

Lang house is not (as sometimes assumed) named after Brian Lang (Principal 2001- 2008) but is in fact named for the Scottish folklorist Andrew Lang(1844-1912). Lang was a collector of fairy stories, this is why Lang house has a resident witch on the ground floor, a fairy on the second floor, and genies that come out of kettles. O.K., so maybe that last bit isn't quite true. Lang has the usual DRA house set up, with stunning views of the nursery and of Fife Park, making it a, erm, particularly sought after location. Other than that, it's the same modern design, en-suite bathrooms and under floor heating that you expect from DRA.

If you want to go and read any of Lang's (Andrew Lang not Brian Lang!) fairy stories, then the university library is no help. However, if you fancy reading a hefty tome, then there are plenty of "academic" books (biographies etc) that you could take out and enjoy one weekend when there is nothing better to do. Or, you could try the St Andrews public library. Or maybe your granny has a copy from when she was little. There's several "fairy books", and they all have different colour covers, so would look really good on your shelves in your room. Alternatively, you could just have a fairy tale party. Just warn everyone before you turn up at anyone's door dressed as an ogre!


James Wilkie Nisbet,

(1903 - 1974)

Professor of Political Economy

James Wilkie Nisbet (1903 - 1974) was a Professor of Political Economy at the University from 1947 to 1970.  Nisbet House is one of 3 DRA houses set asidce for the exclusive use of postgraduate students and is a melting pot of people from all over the world providing a great place to meet new friends and experience new cultures.  It is situated close to the laundry, computer room and nursery and is located between Lang and Shairp. It also has great views over the pond and Fife Park areas of hall.

As well as lending his name to Nisbet House he is also associated with the Nisbet Room: which is home to DRAFP's large screen projector, DVD player, X Box 360 and Playstation 3, making it by far the most popular area of the hall after the Bar!