New Hall no longer: shortlist of names released


A selection of famous names including legendary golfer Seve Ballesteros and the first female graduate from St Andrews appears on the shortlist for New Hall’s renaming.

New Hall, which was originally a temporary name, has been so called for the last nineteen years. However, to mark the approaching 600th anniversary, students, staff and alumni alike have offered their ideas to a list that includes the inventor of the kaleidoscope and the father of modern town planning.

Opened in 1993, New Hall is the largest hall of residence building in the University of St Andrews, housing over 550 Undergraduate and Postgraduate students.

The official count will be held today (Friday 13 April) and the winning name will be announced next Monday (16th April).

The Shortlist

Agnes Forbes Blackadder Hall: Agnes Forbes Blackadder (1875-1964) is notable as the University of St Andrews first female graduate, who received her MA on 29 March 1895. She went on to achieve great eminence through a distinguished medical career as a consultant dermatologist in London, one of the first women to be appointed in such a capacity in a hospital which was not exclusively for women. She published papers on the forcible feeding of suffrage prisoners on hunger strike and played a central role as radiographer in the Scottish Women’s Hospital at Royaumont, France, during the 1914-1918 War.


Wilhemina Barns-Graham Hall:Wilhelmina Barns-Graham  (1912-2004) was one of the foremost British abstract artists, initially gaining recognition for her work as a part of the St Ives School. From 1960 she was a resident of St Andrews.  She was completely dedicated to her art, with a drive and energy that sustained her for over 60 years of professional work. She was still working daily up to the end of her life. Later in life she received increasing recognition for her work, including an honorary doctorate from the University of St Andrews in 1992. She established the Wilhemina Barns-Graham Scholarship for postgraduate students at the University of St Andrews.


Sir Patrick Geddes Hall: Sir Patrick Geddes (1854-1932) the Scottish biologist and sociologist was an inspirational figure who is most widely known as the father of modern town planning, as a result of his work in transforming the slums of Edinburgh. He was a widely respected and influential as a polymath, who is known throughout the world for his work in botany, biology, sociology, education and the arts as well as housing and town planning. In the field of education he is recognised for the development of a new approach to understanding learning, based on the idea that, “by living we learn”. He held the position as Professor of Biology at the University of St Andrews.


Sir David Brewster Hall: Sir David Brewster (1781-1868) was a Scottish physicist, mathematician, astronomer, inventor, writer and university principal. He is perhaps best known today as the inventor of the kaleidoscope; however, he was also highly influential in the development of the sciences. His discoveries helped increase our understanding of light polarization and included the discovery of crystals with two axes of double refraction, and many of the laws of their phenomena. As well as having several discoveries and inventions associated with his name he was decorated for his work and received a knighthood in 1831. In 1838, he was appointed principal of the University of St Andrews.


Seve Ballesteros Hall:Seve Ballesteros (1957-2011), on the left, was one of the world’s most recognised and successful professional golfers and one of the sport’s leading figures from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s. Considered by many to be one of the most inspirational figures to grace the Old Course he won the Open at St Andrews in 1984 and developed strong links and associations with St Andrews.  He maintained his links with St Andrews up to his tragically early death in 2011. He was presented with an honorary degree by the University of St Andrews in 2000 in recognition of his achievements. At his award presentation the Acting Principal described him as a genius who “has brought golfing fame and enduring respectability to Europe.”


  1. Sir Patrick Geddes did more than that. He planned the only successfull town in the 20th century anywhere, despite the modernistic aspirations. It is Tel Aviv, as intense and as diverse that can be. My new book “An Urban Miracle” is in publication.


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