A major fundraising campaign launched by Scotland’s oldest university to mark its 600th anniversary has reached its £100 million total.
Scholarships, support for disadvantaged students and new student facilities have been big beneficiaries of the campaign run by the University of St Andrews and launched by former student and campaign patron, HRH The Duke of Cambridge, in February 2011.
Over 14,000 St Andrews graduates, current students, staff and supporters dug deep to help the University reach its target, one of the most ambitious fundraising efforts ever undertaken by a Scottish university.
A substantial focus of the campaign was to raise funds for new scholarships and bursaries, to ensure that a St Andrews education is accessible to all bright students, regardless of their background or circumstances.
Over £27 million was raised for scholarships and student support alone, while new student facilities including a redeveloped Sports Centre, refurbished Students’ Union, a new Music Centre and a Postgraduate Research Library have all been made possible by campaign funds.
The University has set up over 500 new scholarships for disadvantaged students as a result of the campaign.
St Andrews’ world-leading portfolio of research has also helped attract support from donors.
Campaign supporters have ensured that a new £14 million Scottish Oceans Institute in St Andrews will place Scotland at the forefront of international marine research, while projects in Medicine, English, Philosophy, History, Physics and Computer Science have all drawn support from donors in gifts and pledges.
Donations ranged from pocket money pledges from kids to individual gifts of over £5 million.
Student Geordie Stewart famously took a St Andrews University banner to the top of Everest to help publicise the international fundraising effort, while in 2014 the university literally stopped the traffic in New York with a gala dinner attended by TRH the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, both of whom are St Andrews alumni.
Honorary Graduate Sir Sean Connery chipped in by narrating and backing a major documentary film about the university, Ever to Excel, directed by graduate Murray Grigor and broadcast by the BBC.
The R&A contributed a new endowed travel scholarship, and both the R&A and the St Andrews Links Trust gave generous support to the university to allow a 600th Anniversary Golf Tournament in St Andrews which attracted players from across the globe, while US President Bill Clinton, former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond and actress Joanna Lumley were among those to send special birthday wishes.
St Andrews Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sally Mapstone, said: “The 600th Anniversary Campaign has been a remarkable team effort on the part of our staff and so many of our alumni and friends.
“It not only helped us realise a highly ambitious total, it has brought the St Andrews family across the world closer together than ever before, at a time when universities like St Andrews need the support and energy of their former students more than ever.
“It is particularly fitting that we are reaching the finishing line in the same week that we send another 2000 graduates out in the world, many of whom will have benefitted from 600th Campaign initiatives.
“In a time of tightly squeezed public funding, universities must increasingly rely on their imagination and drive to secure the resources needed for world-class teaching and research, and to support students who would otherwise miss the chance to fulfil their potential.
“We are hugely grateful to our patron The Duke of Cambridge for his unwavering support of this critically important initiative.”
The public launch by campaign patron HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, in February 2011 marked the anniversary of the formal charter granted to the University by Bishop Henry Wardlaw in February 1411.
At the time, the Duke described his university as “far and away the best university in the world”.
The Campaign was devised and planned by Professor Louise Richardson, then the principal of St Andrews and now Vice-Chancellor at Oxford University.
Robert Fleming, St Andrews Director of Development, said: “The enduring appeal of St Andrews continues, and we owe a huge thanks to our 14,000 donors who have not only made a difference for today’s students and academics, but for those who will choose to study and work at this university for many years to come.”
Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office.Fundraising