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Scotland’s first university welcomes new Rector

Friday 13 April 2018

Srdja Popovic new Rector featured image

Srdja Popovic was today (Friday 13 April) officially installed as the University of St Andrews’ 53rd Rector.

The official installation ceremony followed the traditional student ‘drag’ (Wednesday 11 April), which saw students lead the new Rector on an epic six-hour tour of student halls and local hostelries in a day of celebration, which included a procession through the town.

Srdja Popovic was appointed Rector in November 2017 for an initial three-year term. He is the Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Applied Nonviolent Actions and Strategies (CANVAS), a non-profit organisation based in Belgrade, Serbia, that aims to teach the use of nonviolence to make a change.

Mr Popovic said: “I am proud and honoured to serve as a Rector – a voice and empowerment of students of St Andrews. I am ready to commit my term to listening to the students and turning their initiatives into concrete action. The position of the Rector belongs to the students, and it will be my goal to empower students to use it in their best interest!”

Since 1858, the Rector has been elected by the students. Srdja follows in the footsteps of a long list of illustrious former Rectors, including authors J M Barrie and Rudyard Kipling, Monty Python founding member John Cleese and Catherine Stihler MEP. In addition to being President of the University Court, the highest governing body of the University, the Rector also plays an informal, pastoral role for students.

Srdja Popovic on a scooter surrounded by students

Lewis Wood, President of the St Andrews Students’ Association said: "The Rector’s Installation is a day of celebration to welcome Srdja to the University community. Srdja’s campaign and vision for St Andrews inspired a lot of students last October and we look forward to inducting him into our traditions and culture. Both myself and the student body wish him all the best for the three years ahead, and look forward to working closely with him.”


Notes to news editors

More information about the role of the Rector  

More information about the Center for Applied Nonviolent Actions and Strategies (CANVAS)

Notes to picture/online editors

Official Rector Installation photos are available via Dropbox

Photographs from the student ‘drag’ are available via Dropbox.

Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office. Contact Christine Tudhope on 01334 467320 / 07526 624 243 or christine.tudhope@st-andrews.ac.uk.