Over the weekend of 23rd-25th August, graduates from 1961 to 2016 gathered with staff to celebrate the 50th birthday of a Psychology department in St. Andrews (and if that sounds like a contradiction, it is because there was psychology before Psychology at the University – in philosophy).
Things began with a reception in the Friday night and Frank Quinault’s unforgettable rendition of a dubious drinking song from the early days of the department. But the core of the event was on Saturday. Our foundation chair Malcolm Jeeves started with an account of how he (and hence a Psychology department) came to St. Andrews and a vision for our future. That was followed by a member of staff and a student speaker from each of the five decades of our history.
But this was no dry colloquium. Others joined in with their stories and showed their photos. We were reminded of the fashion crimes of the 1980s, we relived Dick Byrne and Verity Brown as Basil and Sybil Fawlty (uncanny!), we saw Ken Mavor leading the postgraduates in Latin American dancing. As we had hoped, the event felt like a family reunion.
Indeed this sense of family was a constant theme of the weekend. Without conferring, nearly all the speakers referred to themes of friendship and community which made their time at St. Andrews special. We may have had brilliant individuals, but it is what we did together which has been the secret of our enduring success.
The day continued with an excellent meal and a ceilidh in St. Salvator’s Hall. The dancing is probably better described as enthusiastic than as graceful. But everyone joined in and we all left smiling. Then, on Sunday morning, the weekend was rounded off with Malcolm Jeeves giving an impromptu tutorial in his old office – the best room in the University! Everything from the lack of a corpus callosum in the marsupial brain to the sequinned jacket in which Dave Perrett turned up for his job interview.
Enough memories to last for another 50 years. Thanks so much to all who came and contacted us. Haste ye back!
50 Years Celebration The Morning Session Website Powerpoint file
50 Years Celebration The Afternoon Session
The Graduating Class 1981 (Photo Credit: Val Twinning (nee Allen))
As a precursor to the event we took this picture of many of our current academic, technical, and professional staff as well as some of our postgraduates.
Photo Credit: Aisha AL–Sulaiti (PhD Candidate, 2019)
Just as a filler and in case you are interested here is a link to our YouTube channel You can email us via this link St. Andrews Psychology 50th! or by pasting this address into your email account firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor Malcolm Jeeves with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Hot off the press two photographs from Dr Fergus Neville at the 2003 JH Reading Party
And a tea towel from our graduates of 2008-9