World-Leading Lectures in St Andrews: Andrew Carnegie & The St Andrews Prize for the Environment

Whilst we know the vast majority of our alumni depart St Andrews for pastures new upon their graduation, we hope you know that you’re always welcome back to visit us. When you are back, there are often events taking place at the University that you could attend during your visit, be they lectures, plays by Mermaids, sports fixtures over at the University playing fields, or a concert by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in the Younger Hall. Next week sees three such prestigious lectures that are open to all.

Monday 28 April, 5pm, Buchanan Lecture Theatre
“What Money Can’t Buy: Markets, Morals and Civic Life”

“The world’s most relevant living philosopher”, Harvard University Professor Michael Sandel, will deliver the University of St Andrews’ Inaugural Andrew Carnegie Lecture. 

Professor Michael Sandel is the Anne T. and Robert M Bass Professor of Government at Harvard University, where he has taught political philosophy since 1980. He has been described in the media as “the most relevant living philosopher”, “the most effective communicator of ideas in English”, a “rock-star moralist” and “the most famous teacher of philosophy in the world.” Sandel’s writings have been translated into 24 languages. He delivered the BBC Reith Lectures in 2009, and now presents an ongoing series for BBC Radio 4 called “The Public Philosopher.” His legendary course “Justice” is the first Harvard course to be made freely available online and on television. It has been viewed by millions of people around the world, including in China, where Sandel was recently named the “most influential foreign figure of the year.” (China Newsweek)

Tuesday 29 April, 3:30pm, Medical Lecture Theatre
“8 People Who Changed the World”

The first of two public events as part of The St Andrews Prize for the Environment meeting for 2014. Eight previous winners return to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Prize. Following a presentation of their projects and how each has benefitted from being awarded the Prize will be your chance to ask some questions live or via Twitter using the hashtag #8changeworld

Wednesday 30 April, 5pm, Buchanan Lecture Theatre
“Beyond £’s: Valuing the things that really matter”

Join Dame Fiona Reynolds DBE, Master of Emmanuel College Cambridge, for this insightful lecture as the final part of The St Andrews Prize for the Environment programme for 2014. Dame Fiona was awarded the CBE for her services to the environment and conservation in 1998 and was appointed DBE in 2008. She was Director-General of the National Trust from 2001 to 2012 and led radical change in structure and management for this well-known institution giving it a more welcoming approach for its 4 million members.


All alumni, friends, parents, former parents, visitors are welcome to these three special events and are first-come-first-serve. We do hope that if any of you are around, that you’ll be able to get along and enjoy them! 


A Week in the Life of a Curatorial Trainee

Deirdre photoBy Deirdre Mitchell, alumna (MA Hons Scottish History 2012), and Curatorial Trainee (Collections)

As a Curatorial Trainee at MUSA I get the chance to work with the 112,000 objects which make up the University of St Andrews’ collection. It’s a large and varied collection which ranges from historic scientific instruments to contemporary Scottish art, with lots in between! My job is just a varied as the collection I work with and can include anything from cleaning objects, moving paintings and keeping object records updated to planning exhibitions and giving gallery tours. It’s a great opportunity to gain a wide range of practical experience and there’s never a dull moment because you never quite know what you’re going to be doing next! Here are just some examples of what I’ve been up to in just one week recently.


One of my main roles is to help with the management of the collection. This involves making sure the records for items in our collection are accurate, as well as creating new records when items are added to the collection. On Monday morning I researched and catalogued some earthenware crucibles from our Chemistry Collection, which were once used in teaching at the University.


Earthenware crucibles waiting to be catalogued and object marked

In the afternoon, taking a break from cataloguing objects, I turned my hand to design and started to come up with ideas for a poster to go outside the museum store on North Street. With so many locations to keep track of (including the store itself, MUSA, the Gateway Galleries and the Bell Pettigrew Museum) it’s important our visitors know where to go for events and exhibitions. Hopefully the new poster will help to highlight all of our different venues and direct our visitors to the right location!


Sometimes items which come into our collection are in need of a bit of TLC so part of my job is to help with object cleaning. On Tuesday I was working on a silver bowl which has recently become part of the collection. When it arrived it had several marks on it, including what seemed to be paint and tape residue, which could have caused damage to the bowl in the future if they were left. Cleaning it up proved quite a challenge and I ended up spending several days trying to remove all of the marks but on Tuesday I finally finished it. Seeing the final result, compared to how it had looked before, was very satisfying and all those days of cleaning definitely seemed worth it!


Silver bowl before and after cleaning


Even though we can’t put all of our collection on display all of the time, members of the public and researchers are more than welcome to make appointments to come and look at specific items which we keep in our store. On Wednesday I had a meeting with a local artist who was interested in seeing some prints by the artist Frances Pelly. One of the most rewarding parts of the job is seeing how much enjoyment people can get from the collections so I was very pleased to be able to show the artist these works and hear about how they might inspire her own artwork too.


Quite an important part of my role is to sort through object information and tidy it up so that it’s easier to understand and more accessible. On Thursday I was working through some data for our Natural History collection and standardising it all so that it can be imported into our main database, where it will be easier for staff and researchers to locate any information they are looking for. Although this does involve a lot of wading through Excel spreadsheets it can be entertaining as some of the animals in this collection have very unusual names! My particular favourites were the Marvellous Spatuletail and the Resplendent Quetzal!


On a Friday I spent the day working Front of House in MUSA, our museum on The Scores. When I’m working at the Reception I help with the daily running of the museum, from cleaning cases to welcoming visitors. It was a great way to round off the week and I really enjoyed getting the chance to meet all the different people who came to visit the museum. Speaking to them about the collection, and seeing how interested they are in learning about the University’s history, is definitely one of my favourite things about this job, and what makes it so rewarding.


Our main museum, MUSA, on The Scores

Events in the USA in April

April looks set to be another busy month for our alumni activities in the USA. We hope that some of these events may be of interest to you where you are. If there aren’t any alumni events happening in your area, contact the Alumni Relations team and see about holding an event of your own!


April 3, 2014 – Professor Frank Gunn-Moore – New York City, New York, USA

Professor Frank Gunn-Moore visited the Alzheimer’s Association in NYC on 3 April to deliver a talk to members on his research. The event was attended by some St Andrews alumni, parents, and friends.

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April 5, 2014 – Annual Tartan Day Parade – New York City, New York, USA

The University of St Andrews Alumni Club of New York is proud to be part of the annual Parade this year. Please join in representing the University of St Andrews Alumni Club, New York.

12:00 PM – 1:45 PM

St Andrews Pub
140 West 46th Street
New York, NY 10036

An informal brunch will be held prior to the start of the Parade at the St Andrews Pub in midtown. There will be a special menu for the parade with entrees ranging from $14-$30.

1:45 PM – 3:00 PM

If you are just joining us for the parade, please rendevous at the St Andrews Pub. The parade will start promptly at 2:00 PM at West 45th Street and will march up 6th Avenue to 55th Street.

Reserve your spaces here. Please feel free to bring your friends and family!


April 25, 2014 – Oxford and Cambridge Society of New England Spring Event – Boston, Massachusetts, USA

The Oxford and Cambridge Society of New England (OCSNE) is holding their Spring Event on Friday 25 April, 2014 from 6-9pm in conjunction with the Algonquin Club, 217 Commonwealth Ave., Boston.The evening includes a reception, followed by a panel discussion on Unlocking the Mysteries of the Brain and concludes with coffee and dessert. Further details can be found here.

St Andrews alumni are very welcome to attend and do not need to join the OCSNE as the St Andrews Alumni Club, New England, has an affilliate membership already. When booking, simply enter the University name in the ‘college’ field.



April 22, 2014 – Professor Richard English – San Francisco, California, USA

Speaker: Professor Richard English

Topic: Understanding Terrorism In The Twenty-First Century

Time: 6.30pm: Reception, 7.15pm: Presentation

Tickets: $15. Purchased here


April 23, 2014 – Professor Richard English – Los Angeles, California, USA

Speaker: Professor Richard English

Topic: Understanding Terrorism In The Twenty-First Century

Time: 6.30pm: Reception, 7.15pm: Presentation

Tickets: $15. Purchased here