Famous names from the past have been shortlisted for the renaming of a student hall at the University of St Andrews.
From the University’s first female graduate to the inventor of the kaleidoscope, St Andrews students will decide this week who will take the title of a hall first opened in 1993.
Legendary Spanish golfer Seve Ballesteros, who died in 2011, is also in the running for the student-led vote. The popular Spaniard was made an honorary graduate of the University in 2000.
Next week, New Hall, its adopted title since opening 19 years ago, will be called after either the University’s first female graduate, Agnes Forbes Blackadder; abstract artist and honorary graduate Wilhemina Barns-Graham; biology professor and town planner Sir Patrick Geddes, former St Andrews Principal and inventor Sir David Brewster or the golfing great Seve Ballesteros.
Students living in the Hall – on the North Haugh, St Andrews – came up with the idea of renaming the not-so-new hall, as a way of marking the University’s 600th Anniversary. They invited nominations for a new, permanent name from staff, students and members of the local community.
Opened in 1993, New Hall is the largest hall of residence building in the University of St Andrews, housing over 550 Undergraduate and Postgraduate students. The building was initially named ‘New Hall’ as a temporary measure at the time of its opening.
Nominations came from students and staff at the University, alumni and from others who have associations with the University around the world. Following the difficult shortlisting process, current students who live or have lived in New Hall were given the final vote this week. The official count will be held today (Friday 13 April) and the winning name will be announced next Monday (16 April).
Note to Editors
The shortlisted candidates are as follows:
Agnes Forbes Blackadder Hall
Agnes Forbes Blackadder (1875-1964) is notable as the University of St Andrews first female graduate, who received her MA on 29 March 1895. She went on to achieve great eminence through a distinguished medical career as a consultant dermatologist in London, one of the first women to be appointed in such a capacity in a hospital which was not exclusively for women. She published papers on the forcible feeding of suffrage prisoners on hunger strike and played a central role as radiographer in the Scottish Women’s Hospital at Royaumont, France, during the 1914-1918 War.
Wilhemina Barns-Graham Hall
Wilhemina Barns-Graham (1912-2004) was one of the foremost British abstract artists, initially gaining recognition for her work as a part of the St Ives School. From 1960 she was a resident of St Andrews. She was completely dedicated to her art, with a drive and energy that sustained her for over 60 years of professional work. She was still working daily up to the end of her life. Later in life she received increasing recognition for her work, including an honorary doctorate from the University of St Andrews in 1992. She established the Wilhemina Barns-Graham Scholarship for postgraduate students at the University of St Andrews.
Sir Patrick Geddes Hall
Sir Patrick Geddes (1854-1932) the Scottish biologist and sociologist was an inspirational figure who is most widely known as the father of modern town planning, due to his work in transforming the slums of Edinburgh. He was a widely respected and influential as a polymath, who is known throughout the world for his work in botany, biology, sociology, education and the arts as well as housing and town planning. In the field of education he is recognised for the development of a new approach to understanding learning, based on the idea that, “by living we learn”. He held the position as Professor of Biology at the University of St Andrews.
Sir David Brewster Hall
Sir David Brewster (1781-1868) was a Scottish physicist, mathematician, astronomer, inventor, writer and university principal. He is perhaps best known today as the inventor of the kaleidoscope; however, he was also highly influential in the development of the sciences. His discoveries helped increase our understanding of light polarization and included the discovery of crystals with two axes of double refraction, and many of the laws of their phenomena. As well as having several discoveries and inventions associated with his name he was decorated for his work and received a knighthood in 1831. In 1838, he was appointed principal of the University of St Andrews.
Seve Ballesteros Hall
Seve Ballesteros (1957-2011) was one of the worlds most recognised and successful professional golfers and one of the sport’s leading figures from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s. Considered by many to be one of the most inspirational figures to grace the Old Course he won the Open at St Andrews in 1984 and developed strong links and associations with St Andrews. He maintained his links with St Andrews up to his tragically early death in 2011. He was presented with an honorary degree by the University of St Andrews in 2000 in recognition of his achievements. At his award presentation the Acting Principal described him as a genius who “has brought golfing fame and enduring respectability to Europe.”
Issued by the University of St Andrews Press Office
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