The R&A Ransome Scholarship: Funding Excellence

The Dr. Ernest L Ransome III Scholarship was initially established in 1994 as a way for the friends and associates of Ernest Ransome to recognise his commitment to philanthropy, education and athletics.

The scholarship’s mission is to enrich the experience of deserving postgraduate students by affording them the opportunity to attend the University of St Andrews. Due to the generous support of our wonderful donors, the R&A Ransome Scholarship has helped fund the full course of study for deserving students entering a one-year postgraduate course.

One such R&A Ransome Scholarship recipient is Imogen Hawley, from Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA. She is one of the three 2016/2017 postgraduate recipients and is completing a MSc in Global Health Implementation.

Imogen completed her undergraduate degree here in Social Anthropology and proved to be a highly active member of the St Andrews community. Now, she speaks on her experiences here as a postgrad:

Imogen Hawley

Imogen Hawley

“Though just a snapshot, this description of a day in my life encompasses much of my experience in St Andrews so far. After running twenty miles, I defend a policy on tuberculosis diagnostic methods used in sub-Saharan Africa during a tutorial. Later on, I attend a postgraduate executive forum, representing the Global Health Implementation course.

Well after the sun has set, I find myself in the Union café, reading about social franchising in maternal health organisations. My reading is interrupted by an email appearing in my inbox: a message informing me that the bake sale that I had held earlier in the week had raised £70 for Women’s Rights Initiative in Uganda.

I smile, warm with the feeling of being able to make a difference globally – even from this small fishing village tucked away on the eastern shore of Scotland.

The breadth of my course has kept me continuously curious, exploring a vast range of topics and theories. I have been able to develop practical skills in coursework and tutorial presentations, applying my knowledge to real world situations.

When I’m not studying or writing essays, I spend time volunteering, running and spending time around town with new friends.  I have also been involved in student affairs as a class representative, helping make improvements to the course curriculum as well as planning guest lectures and possible fieldtrips.

All of this is complemented by St Andrews’ unique environment, fostering academic prestige and ambition in a small, beautiful town on the sea.

I am confident that my experience in St Andrews this year has shaped the rest of my life – not only with brighter career prospects but also with stronger friendships and new perspectives. This formative opportunity would not be possible without the help of the R&A Ransome Scholarship, and for that I am extremely grateful.”

For more information about the R&A Ransome Scholarship and ways to donate, please visit or for further information about making a gift in support of scholarships at St Andrews please visit



Sallies Quad

Sallies Quad, or more formally, the United College of St Salvator and St Leonard, is one of the oldest remaining parts of the University of St Andrews and sits at the heart of the town, both geographically and spiritually. Former intern in the Development Office, Naomi Boon, investigated the history of the Quad and how it has changed over the University’s 600 year history…

The steeple of St Salvator’s Chapel is a well-recognised sight in the St Andrews skyline and is a rare but stunning example of the town’s late gothic architecture. The chapel was founded in 1450 as a part of Bishop James Kennedy’s College of the Holy Saviour and despite a long and varied history, remains the central hub of the University, popular with students and tourists alike.

old quad pic

Photo courtesy of Special Collections, University of St Andrews library

The college tower rises above the main entrance to the old college. It was originally finished with a flat summit, but a stone spire was added in the mid-16th century.  The oldest photographs show a clock featuring on the tower from the earliest times, situated immediately below the belfry.


Photo courtesy of Special Collections, University of St Andrews library

Today, the chapel is a mixture of old and new. It bears the scars of religious strife but remains a beautiful, living building much used by both students and staff. It is today very much as it was intended to be by Bishop Kennedy: the heart of the University.

The Quad has served a wealth of functions throughout the University’s history, hosting foam fights on the lawn on Raisin Weekend, to the old glassed-in cloister which has served as a social space for generations, from a space for the debating society, to a functioning gymnasium.

“The Gymnasium I remember vividly on the South side of the Quadrangle. It was a great meeting-place on wet afternoons. We had no instructor, and were left to the freedom of our own wills, so did not learn much. I am afraid the most popular bit of apparatus was the trapeze, used simply as a swing.”

Robert Stewart, University of St Andrews student, 1879-81.

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

Photo from 1911, courtesy Special Collections, University of St Andrews library

The refurbishment of St Salvator’s Quad in 2015 has ensured that this historically important space will remain a focal point of University life for many years to come. This redevelopment was one of the University’s 600th Anniversary fundraising initiatives.

One of the main objectives was to introduce a hidden infrastructure to allow the Quad to be a venue for major events, such as international celebrations, important community events and graduation parties. This was made possible by replacing the degraded tarmac with hard-wearing flagstone, restoration and extension of the central lawn, ramps making the space safer and more accessible, as well as installing hidden power, water and lighting for events.


In 2016, additional work was done to refurbish the appearance of the clock tower

The redevelopment captured the imagination of over 1,500 donors, whose generous support raised in excess of £700,000. Alumni from every corner of the globe responded to the flag stone campaign, with accompanying stories and special memories from their time at St Andrews.

graduation in the quad

Photo courtesy of the University of St Andrews

Thanks to the special Anniversary gifts given by generous alumni, the refurbished Quad is ready for future generations of students to enjoy and for another 600 years of memories to be made.


Photo courtesy of the University of St Andrews

These flagstones proved incredibly popular with donors wishing to see their loved one’s name etched into the future of the Quad. A second wave of flagstones was released at the end of 2016 and there are still a few available for alumni and friends to inscribe. For further information, visit

 For further information on the Quad and its wonderful history, see

Master of the Universe

Robin White (LLB 1967) studied Law at the University’s Queen’s College, Dundee campus, graduating in the year that St Andrews and Dundee split. Robin opted to accept his degree from St Andrews, but has maintained close connections with both institutions ever since. Here is his story…

I took the LLB between the years of 1964 and 1967. The 1964 cohort comprised between 30 and 40 students, only a few of whom did not graduate. We came from a wide variety of places within the UK, and the proportion from England (like me) was something much discussed.


Robin outside “the Terrapins” following his graduation in July 1967

Nearly all of us were straight from school (the gap-year not having been invented), but there were a couple of mature students and perhaps six women.

I have no idea where the great majority of that cohort are now. It is a safe bet that most are (possibly now retired) solicitors, but I do know one became Regional Procurator-Fiscal for Strathclyde, two became professors, and another went to jail.

The LLB dated from an 1894 Ordinance designed for part-time students, modified only in that it was now full-time. Thus, there was very little choice of subject, but it was considerably less challenging than it had originally been (and would shortly become). We had two or three lectures a day, generally in the traditional monologue form, and little by way of other work.

Half the staff were local practitioners, teaching part-time, as nearly all teaching in all Law Faculties always had been. Most memorable was Alistair MacDonald, part-time Professor of Conveyancing, and still with us. Full-timers were an innovation, but more obvious to students. Memorable ones included Arthur Matheson (Professor of Scots Law), Neil (later the famous Sir Neil) McCormick, Jim Robertson (both lecturers, very clubbable and known to attend student parties) and Ian Willock (Professor of Jurisprudence), all regrettably now deceased.

Social life was equally memorable. Gaudie Night, when Senior Women/Men took out their bejant/ines (yes, still called that) to get them drunk, flourished. Indeed, social life revolved around the Union Bar (then decorated by wonderful Breugelesque wall-paintings), the Tavern in Hawkhill, the Saturday Hop in New Dines, and parties in flats. There seemed to be a party somewhere every Saturday.

My other chief extra-curricular activities were the Folk Club (and I once heard Mary Brooksbank sing Coarse and Fine) and the Air Squadron (flying at Leuchars every Sunday) and, for a year, the Judo Club.


A recent photo of Robin

Finance deserves a mention since it was no problem in those days. Like almost everybody, I got a grant, merely supplemented by holiday jobs, at the Post Office (Christmas), and a building site and a bakery (over the summer). Indeed I saved enough to buy a large BSA motorbike in Second Year, and a large Alvis car in Third.

I can remember, one summer’s evening, between the exam results coming out and the date of graduation, standing outside the Ship Inn in Broughty Ferry, watching the sun set over the hills upstream of the Tay, and thinking I was a Master of the Universe.


Robin went on to forge a successful career in law, as a regularly-sitting Justice of the Peace, a member of the Judicial Council for Scotland and as part of the Advisory Committee of the Judicial Institute for Scotland. He is currently an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Dundee where he previously held the posts of Senior Lecturer and Associate Dean of the former Faculty of Law and Accountancy. He was the first recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Lifetime Contribution to Teaching by the University of Dundee upon his retirement and is now writing a history of law teaching in Dundee.