Of Princes and Saints and Kings: Wishing the University of St Andrews a Happy 600th Birthday

by Anna Blanch on February 25, 2011

Today, in 1411, Bishop Wardlaw signed the charter establishing the University of St Andrews. The Papal Bull granting full university status to the institution was signed in 1413 because the Pope was in Spain and it took a little while for the boat to travel the distance! So technically, (drumroll please) today is the University’s 600th birthday.

….well, the beginning of the celebrations anyway. They’ll continue for the next 3 years. And as HRH Prince William said this morning, St Andrews will pretty much take any excuse for a party!

There were 500 tickets for the anniversary launch for members of the university. There had to be a ballot, because 3500 students and 600 faculty and staff put their names in the proverbial hat! 

I’m sure the launch itself was wonderful. I’ll reserve my opinions about the surrounding hype and way in which preparations were handled in town – but noone I talk to is blaming the Prince or Kate for that!

On a much more positive note: I’ll, hopefully, be able to share some photos taken by friends who were lucky enough to be at the launch today. I was stuck at home in the cottage (but that’s a story for another day).

The image to the left is the “new” university shield with the Homeric motto provided by King James “ever to be the best, ever to excel.” Below is the University seal featuring Saint Andrew.

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