On this day 1412: St Andrews University founded

St Andrews University in 1947. Picture: TSPL

St Andrews University in 1947. Picture: TSPL

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ALTHOUGH there is some doubt over the exact date of the founding of the University of St Andrews, it is believed that Bishop of the town Henry Wardlaw formally incorporated masters and students at the centre of higher education at St Andrews as a ‘university’ on this day in 1412.

The institution itself was not officially inaugurated until nearly two years after, when Pope Benedict XIII’s Bull of Foundation was enacted.

Prince William and Kate Middleton are famous alumni. Picture: PA

Prince William and Kate Middleton are famous alumni. Picture: PA

In 1560, the University became a teaching base for Protestant clergy, after Scotland formally split with the Papacy - despite St Mary’s College being founded in 1538 for the study of law and divinity and to encourage traditional Catholic teachings in opposition to the Scottish Reformation.

The university today still makes use of some buildings from this era, most notably St Salvator’s Chapel, St Leonard’s College Chapel and St Mary’s College quadrangle.

Known for its many traditions including the wearing of distinctive red gowns, the Sponsio Academica oath, Raisin Weekend and the May Dip.

Notable alumni include John Knox, James II of Scotland, former First Minister Alex Salmond, former Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Forsyth, Baron Cullen of Whitekirk, the poet Robert Fergusson and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.


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