On 20 August, 2015, we were very pleased to have with us the St Andrews University admissions director for North America and a Australia, Mr Alex Rougvie. Alex is more than just a visitor to these shores: his two daughters and their children both live in Australia, and so Alex has a reason for making the long trip from Scotland on a regular basis. Having attempted to retire three times from the University of St Andrews, he notes that 'being useful' and able to 'do America' has kept him in the service of Scotland's oldest university rather longer than many. A good number of parents and boys attended an interesting and well illustrated talk, which included two St Andrews currently working in Australia. They were excellent evidence that a St Andrews education not only expands one's international networks appreciably, but as Hayley Randall (Geography '2012) and Michael Phillips, Senior Consultant at Deloitte (Management '2005) noted, it has launched many thousands of St Andrews grads into 'great jobs' in some of the largest companies in the world. This is now the third visit by St Andrews staff to Scots, and we look forward to many other occasions.
Over 200 members of The Scots College community and friends were treated to a stimulating evening at the 2015 Clark Lectures last Thursday, the centrepiece of the two week visit to the College from the eminent historian Professor David Bebbington, of the University of Stirling in Scotland. Professor Bebbington delivered a masterful overview of the development of higher education in Europe since the 12th century, connecting this story in seven acts to changing expressions of Christianity. He raised some critical questions about the nature of contemporary education at schools and universities, particularly the consequences of teaching young people functional skills without helping them think through the big questions of life: Why are we here? What is our purpose? What is right and wrong? What makes life worth living?
In many ways these questions lie at the heart of what we aim to do at Scots, as we challenge young men to develop brave hearts and bold minds, to seek and pursue what is good with all their might. Through programs like The Clark Lecture Series, ScotsIdeas, student university pathways, and a number of cooperative research programs, the Research Centre aims to help us as a College in 'lifting our gaze' and thinking harder about how the big questions shape our daily educational mission.
For more information about the annual Clark Lecture Series please visit clarklectures.org.