History of St. Andrews University
The University of St Andrews, located in St Andrews, Fife, Scotland, is the United Kingdom’s third
oldest (1) University, it is predated only by Oxford and Cambridge. (2) Founded
between 1410 and 1413 by papal decree, students professors, and alumni of the University enjoy a
prestigious international reputation. St. Andrews welcomes representatives from over 120
countries into its student body each year. Although the University is notable for its rigorous
academic curriculum and robust social environment, equally notable, perhaps, is the rich and storied
history of the centuries-old institution and the relatively small seaside town in which (3)
The city of St Andrews is said to have been founded in the 8th century AD, when the Pictish king
Oengus I established a monastery on the coast of the North Sea due to its (5) strategic
crossroads location, its sheltered port and moorings for seaborne travelers, its proximity to the
European continent. Historians agree that the town’s growth was furthered through the end
of the 8th century and into the 9th by ongoing development of religious infrastructure in the area. It
is commonly held local lore that the city was named for St Andrew the Apostle, relics of (6)
whom are said to have been transported to Scotland by the monk St Regulus some
centuries before the town’s official inception.
(7) Although historians disagree about how rooted this legend might be in fact, one
thing is certain: the mythology surrounding these relics flourished throughout the Middle Ages.
Indeed, St Andrews's expansion is attributed in large part to (8) it’s resulting popularity
as a destination for Christian pilgrims. In 1160, a cathedral was constructed in St Andrews proper,
largely for the purpose of welcoming these (9) worshipers: and the modern landscape
of the town began to manifest shortly thereafter.
[A] St Andrews continued to grow in political, economic, and religious significance until the Scottish
Reformation of the mid-1500s drastically (11) redefines the national landscape. [B] This
lead to three centuries of rocky transition before the city largely regained its economic stability. [C]
The town is now associated most closely with golf--its historic Old Course is one of the world’s
oldest--and with education, as the University has continued to grow and thrive throughout the city’s
ups and downs.[D]
[A] The University of St Andrews itself is composed of three colleges: St Mary’s, Leonard’s, and
United. Its long history (13) had produced many traditions, both social and academic,
that the student body maintains to this day. [B] Students still wear, on special occasions, (14)
there unique scarlet academic gowns that were first adopted as official garb in 1672, and
participate in elaborate mentorship rituals dating back centuries, although these have been
modified somewhat in modernity. Some things, however, have changed over the course of the
University’s history. For example, although (15) admission to St Andrews in the beginning
was originally restricted to men, the school has accepted women in some capacity since 1876.
[C] The struggle faced by women in the face of discrimination has been a long one, and even today
many activists claim that latent discrimination in academia still exists. [D] The University has
produced six Nobel Laureates, and, of more popular interest in recent years, was attended by Prince
William and his now-wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton
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Students still wear, on special occasions, (14) there unique scarlet academic gowns that were first adopted as official garb in 1672, and participate in elaborate mentorship rituals dating back centuries, although these have been modified somewhat in modernity.