St Andrews University reaches £100m fundraising target

The campaign will boost scholarships for St Andrews students  like these on the traditional Pier Walk
The campaign will boost scholarships for St Andrews students like these on the traditional Pier Walk
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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 £27m 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 £14m 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 £5m. 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 documentary film about the university, Ever to Excel, directed by graduate Murray Grigor and broadcast by the BBC.

St Andrews Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Prof 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 has brought the St Andrews family across the world closer together than ever before,”