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Official opening of Dow House

A house which was bequeathed to the University of St Andrews by two of the institution’s most vigorous supporters has been officially handed over to modern- day academics.

Professor David Dow and his wife Dr Agnes Dow, who both had a long association with the University, donated their home in Crail to visiting academics and senior staff after the death of Dr Agnes Dow in 1998.

Following a period of extensive refurbishment, Dow House was officially opened last week by Master of the United College and Acting Principal, Professor Colin Vincent. Also in attendance were the executors of Dr Dow’s Estate; Mr Alastair Bird, Mrs Margaret Bird and Mr Sandy McDonald, along with the first residents; Professor Roger Frech, a visiting academic in the School of Chemistry, and his family.

Dow House is part of an attractive terrace in Crail’s Marketgate. It first came into the possession of the Dow family in 1884 when it became the home and consulting rooms of Professor Dow’s father who was the town’s first resident GP, and it remained their home for over a century. Mr Jonathan Milne of the University’s Estates and Buildings Department supervised the renovation work on the B Listed property, with significant input from the Executors. Their task was to create a modern family home while retaining many of the outstanding original features.

The house consists of a spacious entrance hall with a study in the former consulting room, dining room, sitting room and kitchen downstairs with lounge, three bedrooms and bathrooms upstairs. There is also an extensive walled garden to the rear. The renovation work, which was paid for by the Estate, will ensure that Dow House will provide a comfortable dwelling for visiting staff with families for many years to come. A special plaque marking the bequest has been placed in the hall and a booklet written by Mr and Mrs Bird, describing the life of the Dows, was presented to those attending the opening ceremony.

Speaking of the bequest, Professor Vincent said, “The University is extremely fortunate to have been bequeathed such a marvellous property for the use of our distinguished visiting professors. The Dows were tremendous supporters of the University and its students during their lifetime and I am pleased that we shall have such a splendid and long lasting memorial to them in what was their home.”

Meanwhile, Mrs Margaret Bird said, “The Executors are delighted to see the first visiting academic in residence and are pleased to think that Dow House will now be used as Professor Dow and Dr Agnes Dow would have wished.”

Professor Dow graduated from the University with an MBChB degree with distinction in 1911 and was subsequently appointed to the Cox Chair of Anatomy in Dundee, then part of the University of St Andrews. He remained in the Cox Chair until 1958 when he retired as the first Master of Queen’s College, Dundee. Professor Dow died in November 1979 at the age of 92. Dr Agnes Dow, who died in March 1998, first graduated from the University in 1923 with the degree of MA. A number of years later she returned to study medicine, graduating MBChB in 1934. Following their marriage, both were involved in teaching students over a period spanning four decades from the 1920’s to the 1950’s.

ENDS

Issued by Beattie Media on behalf of the University of St Andrews For more information please contact Claire Grainger on 01334 462530, 07730 415 015 or email cg24@st-andrews.ac.uk Ref: dowhouse.ceremony/standrews/chg/2oc t2000

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