Eve Arnold (Hon DLitt, 1997) and Marilyn Monroe

“They were good friends. Marilyn Monroe was also very sensitive and an easy person with people that she trusted, and she certainly trusted Eve.

“Eve had a way of getting on with people, the mighty and the modest, in a way that was quite extraordinary. She became part of the lives of many of the people she photographed.”

Magnum Pictures photographer Elliot Erwin on the special friendship between pioneering photographer and St Andrews’ honorary graduate, Eve Arnold, and Marilyn Monroe.

What do you think is the secret to being a good friend?

We are celebrating the theme of friendship – and what makes St Andrews connections so unique and enduring – with a special online photo series.

Sophia Rink (centre) is a 22-year-old Canadian studying for an MLitt in Romantic and Victorian literature. We spoke to Sophia and her two closest friends about what friendship in ‘the Bubble’ means to them.

We met at a ceilidh in September, just after starting our degrees – we danced our little hearts out!

We found out we were all applying for PhDs and formed a group chat/bond dedicated to our application woes: the Literary Ladies’ Tea Party.

“It’s really wonderful having close pals who are on the same page when it comes to goals and stressors.

“I think the secret to being a good friend is being generous and judgement free with affection, not just when it’s asked for – my friends are great people and I want them to know how much I support them!”

Mia Furlong (23) from Plymouth is studying Modern and Contemporary Literature and Culture.

We met at a Ceilidh that the PG School of English ran! I think we’ve bonded a lot over deadlines and shared stress over PhD applications. We formed a group chat pretty early on and bonded through that really quickly!

“I think the secret to being a good friend is speaking honestly – especially in English lit where we spend our lives over-analysing other people’s words! It’s important having friends who you can trust to be honest, and vice versa.”

Sadbh Kellett (left) is a 24-year-old from Dublin also studying Modern and Contemporary Literature and Culture.

“We met at a ceilidh in the first few weeks of term! I think the defining moment of our friendship was bonding over PhD applications and working together to help each other succeed!

“I think the secret to being a good friend is being loyal. It is a responsibility of friendship that means looking after other people when they need you, even if it’s not always conveniently timed to your schedule!”

The Two Rosies

Rosie Bonfield (23) was born in Huntingdon but moved to Scotland at the age of nine. She graduated on 3 December 2019 with an MSc in Marine Ecosystem Management.

“I met Rosie through the integration of our individual courses through multiple modules. We bonded over our shared name, passion to learn and improve ourselves, and everything marine based.

“The defining moment was the bond formed and support shared through our struggles in mathematical and statistical modelling. We supported, and pushed each other through, every struggle and difficulty we faced, from learning R to using it in our thesis. The motivation we provided each other was phenomenal and I truly believe it was a real driver for my success.

“The secret to being a good friend is support and honesty. Being a true friend for me isn’t regular contact but the ability to pick up as if there’s no spatial or temporal distance between us. Always being there for each other throughout everything including the intensity of this course and the distance between us now.”

Rosemary Seton (63) from Montreal, Quebec, also graduated on 3 December 2019 with an MSc in Marine Mammal Research.

“We met in class. I think the the defining moment in our St Andrews friendship was when Rosie gave me heartfelt and genuine encouragement when I doubted my abilities.

“I think the secret to being a good friend is being there for you in your vulnerable times.”

Beatrice, Johnathan and Lawrence

Beatrice Omotosho (23), a British Nigerian, moved to St Andrews in September 2019 to start an MSc in Sustainable Development.

“I met Lawrence on Facebook whilst living in China before I moved to St Andrews, and Johnathan at my academic mum’s house during our first family meeting.

“The defining moment for the three of us as a whole was definitely Raisin Weekend. Lawrence also happened to end up being my academic dad and a great dad indeed he has been!

“The secret to being a great friend is communication and being there even when you can’t physically be ‘there’.”

Chi Hang Lawrence Ho (Lawrence, pictured right) is 22 from Belfast, Northern Ireland. He’s in his fourth year studying Economics.

“I met Beatrice online, whilst she was looking for accommodation on a Facebook page and I was looking for someone to rent one of my rooms. She had an interesting profile and had a similar background to me: experienced both British and Chinese culture, both studied Economics at undergraduate level and both did a year abroad in the US.

“I messaged her to ask if she wanted to meet and needed help with St Andrews life. We met the day she moved in and spent the afternoon walking and driving around town to get stuff for her flat, and got to know each other very well.

“The defining moment in our St Andrews friendship was when we had dinner at Maisha and had a great time together. There was great conversation, we understood each other very well and managed to form a good bond. It was also then that she wanted me to ‘adopt’ her as an academic father and introduced me to my academic wife/her academic mother.

“I think the secret to being a good friend is honesty: the ability to be honest and open and be able tell your friend anything.”

Johnathan Charles (above left, 23), from St Lucia, is a postgraduate studying for an MSc in Economics.

“I met Beatrice and Lawrence through the academic parenting tradition that the University has. Great people. Lots of fun. Lawrence is my academic dad and Beatrice my academic sister.

“The defining moment of our friendship was Raisin Weekend, definitely. It’s where we got to do all those silly but fun things and learned a lot about each other through mutual suffering – lol.

“There was also the night Lawrence cooked for us all and we had dinner together as an academic family, that was great, we got to talk about our shared love of cricket, among other things.

“There’s not really a secret to being a good friend, there is a degree of work inherent in any relationship of any kind and that includes friendships. Doing the simple things well, listening, making time, being respectful, kind thoughtful and supportive.

“A friendship has more of an operational definition for me: you do the best you can, keyword ‘do’, and always be sincere.”

Lenna Cumberbatch

Lenna Cumberbatch (centre) is a PhD student in the School of Management. We caught up with her and two friends, both fellow PhD candidates, taking a break from studies.

“We met at the School induction, by sharing a PhD office and through the amazing reading group organised by another friend Jasmin which she arranged for me to join via Skype.

“The defining moment of our friendship was Spoons at The Burn! It was an opportunity to get personal with people and step outside the norms of the PhD. Going from the most difficult and stressful discussions about life and study to laughing uproariously about absolutely anything.

“I think the secret to being a good friend is listening and sharing!”

Siobhan Dumbreck (above left)

“We met at the School PhD induction coffee and cake chat. Our friendship was defined by my realisation that I could rely on them to know when I am in need of some laughter time.

“I think the secret to being a good friend is listening and laughing.”


Annemarie Craig (above left) 

“I met Lenna and Siobhan through the PhD Journal group set up by another friend, Jasmin.

“The defining moment of our friendship was similar to Siobhan’s when I realised these people would eat cake and make me laugh.

“I think the secret to being a good friend is listening and laughing but definitely not agreeing. The diversity of perspectives is a lot of the fun!”



All photos by Gayle McIntyre.

Additional credits

Image of Marilyn Monroe taken on the set of The Misfits, donated by Hamish Brown in 1997. Image copyright: Estate of Eve Arnold. Image ID: SAUL-1997-2-1.


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