Installation of new St Andrews Rector

Friday 20 February 2015

Rector drag

Catherine Stihler was today (Friday February 20, 2015) officially installed as the University of St Andrews’ first Rector to have their own Facebook page.

Stihler MEP is also the University’s second female Rector, and follows in the footsteps of Peter Pan author J M Barrie, Jungle Book creator Rudyard Kipling and comedian John Cleese.

The official installation event followed the traditional student ‘drag’ (Thursday February 19, 2015), which saw students lead the new Rector on an epic six-hour tour of student halls and local hostelries in a pink Packard car.

A St Andrews graduate, and former Student President, Stihler has been a Member of the European Parliament for Scotland since 1999 and is currently the only female MEP representing Scotland. She also serves the European Parliament as Vice Chair of the committee responsible for consumer rights and the digital single market.

Stihler’s election was uncontested, and confirmed her as the University’s 52nd Rector and only the second female to hold the position, replacing outgoing Rector Alistair Moffat.

Stihler said:

“Over the past three months I have got to know a whole new generation of students who I would never have had the privilege of knowing if I hadn’t become Rector. Alistair Moffat, my predecessor, said that this would be the best part of the role and I know he is right.”

‘New friends’ was the theme of her installation address. Stihler said:

“The people I have had the privilege to spend time with and get to know in the past three months are new friends but we will be friends for life.

“Their energy, enthusiasm and can-do positivity is a breath of fresh air for a fourth term politician who is now in her middle age but inside still feels like the third year International Relations student of her youth.”

Welcoming her appointment Student president Pat Mathewson said:

“Catherine Stihler has served St Andrews across the last 20 years, first as President of the Students’ Association and now as our Rector.  But it is clear there is much more than a sense of duty that ties her to the place.  For Catherine, St Andrews is not only a place of scarlet gowns and shaving foam, but of wedding bells.  She met her husband David here, who was also a sabbatical officer.  And there is no coincidence from where their son, Andrew, gets his name.  She is without a doubt, one of our own.”

The Rector presides over meetings of the University’s highest governing body, the University Court, and plans an informal, pastoral role. Stihler has already chaired her first University Court meeting.



Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office.

Images of yesterday’s Rectorial drag are available from the Communications Office – contacts below.

Contact the Communications Office on 01334 462530 or on [email protected].

Category University news

Related topics

Share this story