Club History

Photo Credit: Oli Walker

Photo: Oli Walker

The Club has a long and distinguished history, having been founded in its current form on the 19th March 1954 when the “St Andrews University Club London” and the “St Andrews University Women’s Association (London)” amalgamated in a joint meeting held at Bedford College.

In the 60+ years since, the Club has provided opportunities for alumni to meeting in formal and social environments in and around London, maintaining the St Andrews connection among alumni in the Capital.

There is also an extensive archive, including newsletters, records of events and even old dinner menus from earlier iterations of the London Club. A comprehensive history of the Club is being written by former-Chairman of the Club, James North. Please contact alumni@st-andrews.ac.uk if you have any material which could be added to the archive. Recent additions to the Club collections include the Coat of Arms and the London Mace (both 2012), which you can find our more about below.

Click the headings below to read more.

Former Chairs

Chairmen of the University of St Andrews Alumni Club sine 1954

  • 1954 – Mr. R. Y. Payton
  • 1955 – Rev. W. A. Passmore
  • 1956-57 – Dr. D. D. Pratt
  • 1958-59 – Mr. Eugene Melville
  • 1960-62 – Mr.s Mary Oldham
  • 1963-64 – Dr. George Rankine
  • 1965-66 – Mr.. Peter Blair
  • 1967-68 – Mr.. David Wilson
  • 1969-71 – Mr.s Margaret Collie
  • 1972-76 – Mr. James Davie
  • 1977-78 – Mr. David Andren
  • 1979 – Mr. James Davie*
  • 1980 – Mr. David Andren
  • 1981 – Mr. James Davie*
  • 1982-83 – Mr. Martin Anderson
  • 1984-85 – Mr. John Lambert
  • 1986-90 – Mr. Bob Cook+
  • 1991 – Mr. Geoff Booth*
  • 1992 – Mr. John Duncan*
  • 1993-2000 – Mrs Phillipa Stone
  • 2001-04 – Mr. Ian Stafford
  • 2005-14 Mr. James North
  • 2014-15 Mrs Sarah Whitehouse*
  • 2015-Present Mr. Tom Pye

*Acting Chairman       +Died in Office

Honorary Positions

Honorary President and Vice-Presidents

  • Professor Sally Mapstone (President)
  • The Viscount Younger of Leckie
  • Dr Anna Ford
  • The Rt. Hon The Lord Steel of Aikwood KT KBE DL
  • Dr Brian Lang FRSE
  • The Rt. Hon Sir Menzies Campbell CBE QC MP
  • Dr Nicholas Parsons OBE
  • The Rt. Hon The Lord Forsyth of Drumlean PC
  • The Rt. Hon Baroness Boothroyd OM PC
  • Dame Helen Mirren
  • Dame Anne Pringle DBE MA
  • John Suchet MA
  • Rt. Hon The Lord MacGregor of Pulham Market OBE PC MA
  • Lt-General Sir Barney White Spunner KCB CBE MA
  • Sir Roger Gifford

Coat of Arms

Coat of Arms of the University of St Andrews Alumni Club London

STACL Just CrestThe Club’s Grant of Arms was matriculated with the Court of the Lord Lyon in Edinburgh in 2012. It is devolved from the University’s arms, amended suitably to reflect the Club’s London connections – the red swords are an ancient symbol of the City of London. The official matriculation reads as follows:

THE UNIVERSITY OF ST. ANDREWS ALUMNI CLUB, LONDON, having by Petition unto Us of date 25 February 2012 Shewn;  THAT the said Club was founded in its present form of date 19 March 1954 with the amalgamation of the St. Andrews University Club London and the St. Andrews University Women’s Association (London);

THAT the said Club provides social and networking opportunities for graduates of the university who live and work in and around London;

THAT certain Ensigns Armorial are recorded in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland (Volume 18, Folio 47) of date 24 November 1905 and further (Volume 81, Folio 112) of date 3 August 2006 in name of the University of St. Andrews;

AND the Petitioners having prayed that the foresaid Ensigns Armorial might be matriculated of new in name of the St. Andrews University Alumni Club, London, the Lord Lyon King of Arms by Interlocutor of date 28 May 2012 Granted Warrant to the Lyon Clerk to matriculate in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland in name of the Petitioner the following Ensigns Armorial, videlicet:-

Parted per saltire Argent and Azure, in chief a book expanded Proper leaved Gules in base a lion rampant of the last armed and langued Azure and in each flank a mascle Or, on a chief tierced in pale Argent, Gules and Argent a crescent reversed Argent between two swords points upwards Gules.

Alumni Mace

In 2012, to mark the 600th Anniversary of the University, the Club acquired a new mace. Attached are some notes on its background.

The Mace of the Alumni Club