We stand on the threshold of our seventh century. This is an historic moment for Scotland’s first University as we look back on six centuries of tradition and of belief in the value of people, ideas and excellence. Now it is our duty to preserve these values for generations to come.
Considering also the peace and quietness which flourish in the said city of St Andrews and its neighbourhood, its abundant supply of victuals, the number of its hospices and other conveniences for students, which it is known to possess, we are led to hope that this city, which the devine bounty has enriched with so many gifts, may become the fountain of science… Pope Benedict XIII, 1413
International scholars have been coming to St Andrews to study, teachers to teach, and students to learn since the foundation in 1413. Through the centuries many great minds have been attracted to St Andrews, including – poet William Dunbar MA 1479, Benjamin Franklin honorary Doctor of Laws 1759, Nobel Prize Winner in medicine Sir James Black, James Gregory who designed the Gregorian telescope, Edward Jenner pioneer of the smallpox vaccine, Rudyard Kipling, John Stuart Mill, JM Barrie and John Napier the inventor of logarithms.
Although scholars will continue to debate the ‘official’ year of foundation, St Andrews will in 2011 begin celebrating 600 years of continuous existence during which time it has made an enduring contribution to the intellectual and cultural life of both Scotland and the wider world.