Royal couple returns to St Andrews
St Andrews alumnus Prince William, accompanied by alumna Miss Catherine Middleton, will return to the University of St Andrews to launch its 600th Anniversary later this month (Friday 25 February 2011).
The official visit will be Prince William’s first in his role as Patron of the 600th Anniversary Appeal and the couple’s first official engagement in Scotland.
The University of St Andrews 600th Anniversary will span three calendar years from 2011 to 2013. It will mark the formal charter granted by Bishop Henry Wardlaw in February 1411 and the achievement of full university status conferred by Pope Benedict XIII by Papal Bull in 1413.
Prince William and Miss Middleton will attend a reception and view the surviving Papal Bull. They will then go to the historic St Salvator’s Quadrangle, where they will meet students and staff and unveil a plaque to mark the launch of the 600th Anniversary.
Further details of the visit to St Andrews are expected to be confirmed in due course.
In celebrating its past, St Andrews is aiming to bolster its future, using the 600th Anniversary as a springboard to launch a £100m philanthropic fundraising appeal. The Appeal will lay the foundations for a seventh century of exploration and allow the University to continue to invest in people, ideas and excellence.
A substantial focus of the Appeal will be to generate new funds for scholarships, to ensure that a St Andrews education is accessible to all bright students, regardless of background or circumstance.
Welcoming the announcement of the visit, St Andrews Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Louise Richardson, said,
“I am delighted that Prince William has agreed to be Patron of our 600th Anniversary Appeal. Anniversaries are a time for reflection, celebration, and for action. St Andrews has much to celebrate and so much still to achieve.
“We are Scotland’s first university, among Europe’s most research-intensive institutions and one of the world’s top twenty Arts and Humanities universities.
“Our anniversary offers a wonderful opportunity to join with our alumni and friends to ensure we have the resources to continue a tradition of academic excellence.
“We hope that Prince William and Miss Middleton are the first among many who will reconnect with St Andrews and join in the celebrations.”
Prince William and Miss Middleton first met at the University of St Andrews and both graduated in 2005. Prince William graduated with an honours degree in Geography and Miss Middleton with an honours degree in History of Art.
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NOTE TO EDITORS
Founded in the 15th century, St Andrews is Scotland’s first university and the third oldest in the English speaking world. Situated on the east coast of Scotland and framed by countryside, beaches and cliffs, the City of St Andrews was once the centre of the nation’s political and religious life.
Today, it is known around the world as the Home of Golf and a vibrant academic centre with a distinctively cosmopolitan feel where students and university staff account for almost half of the local population.
The University of St Andrews is a diverse and international community of 9000, comprising students and staff of 120 nationalities. It has 7500 students, 6000 of them undergraduates, and employs approximately 1800 staff – 700 academic and 1100 support personnel.
St Andrews graduates include Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, Nobel Laureate Sir James Black and James Wilson, one of the fathers of the American Revolution. It has 1000 Honorary graduates, including Bob Dylan, Benjamin Franklin, The Dalai Lama, Severiano Ballesteros and Jack Nicklaus.
The University is one of Europe’s most research intensive seats of learning – over 40% of its turnover comes from research grants and contracts.
It is the top rated University in Scotland for teaching quality and student satisfaction and among the top rated in the UK for research. St Andrews is consistently ranked among the United Kingdom’s top five universities in university league tables compiled by The Times, The Sunday Times and The Guardian. It has five times been named the top multi-faculty university in the UK in the National Student Survey. In 2010, it was named one of the world’s Top 20 Arts and Humanities universities in the Times Higher World Rankings.
An international reputation for delivering high quality teaching and research and student satisfaction make it one of the most sought after destinations for prospective students from the UK, Europe and overseas. The university currently receives on average 10 applications per place. St Andrews has not entered clearing for several years and sets highly challenging asking rates to attract only the most academically potent students in the Arts, Sciences, Medicine and Divinity.
It runs an innovative Access Programme to attract new students from non-traditional university backgrounds and currently invests in a wide range of scholarships.
In recent years, the university has pursued a varied programme of investment.
It has recently opened a new £45 million Medical and Biological Sciences building and the provision of 250 new rooms for students. In the year ahead it will progress work on a major £14 million refurbishment of its Main Library, the construction of a new Biological Sciences Research Centre, the development of a wind farm to offset rising energy costs and the development of plans for a renewable energy centre.
As it begins its anniversary celebrations, St Andrews is also launching a highly ambitious £100 million fundraising campaign to support new scholarships and ensure it has the resources and infrastructure to continue a 600-year-old tradition of academic excellence.
Issued by the University of St Andrews Press Office
Contact Niall Scott / Gayle Cook / Emma Shea on 01334 462244 / 467227 / 462109.
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