Published 25 February 2011

It’s knowing that so many of Scotland’s finest brains and greatest achievers gained – and continue to gain - inspiration from this place

The Duke of Cambridge

Ladies and Gentlemen, fellow alumni and undergraduates of St. Andrews,

This is a very special moment for Catherine and me. It feels like coming home. Despite being one of Europe’s leading research institutions, the third oldest university in the English speaking world and, of course, far and away the best university in the world, St. Andrews still has that uncanny knack of feeling like home. And so it must have done to generations of undergraduates before us – in fact 600 hundred years worth.

It’s knowing that so many of Scotland’s finest brains and greatest achievers gained – and continue to gain - inspiration from this place, that makes me so proud to be the Patron of our university’s 600th Anniversary Appeal.

In true St. Andrews style, and despite the great mathematicians whom its halls have produced, we still can’t work out exactly how old we are. Are we 600 this year…next year…or is it the year after that? What does it matter? Let’s celebrate for three years!

But just to be serious for a moment. To mark this momentous anniversary, the Appeal we are launching today aims to raise £100 million to invest in people and ideas, ensuring that the brightest students - that’s you and me, of course - come to St. Andrews, regardless of background and circumstance…and, once they get here, are taught by the best teachers.

The Principal tells me that the National Student Survey consistently names St. Andrews as the university with Britain’s most satisfied students. You all seem pretty happy to me. I think I get what that means, and it’s reassuring to know that things haven’t changed.

So, Happy Birthday St. Andrews. Here’s to you, and here’s to the next 600 years.