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A Word from 1985 McEuen Scholar and 2018 Top Supporter Sandra MacPherson


Broadening horizons, opening minds, and inspiring a life-long love of learning in a diverse community of intellectual thinkers should be the aspiration of all universities. St. Andrews University does all of these things extremely well, in a uniquely beautiful setting of historical significance. But most of you reading this already know that. Now take a moment to think about how you know that.

For me, when I was 18 years old, I was given an incredible gift: an opportunity to study, and to truly immerse myself in the rare learning environment that is St. Andrews. Not only did I study a subject I found fascinating, but I got to know lifelong friends from many different places, backgrounds and philosophies that taught me as much out of the classroom as in it. And I got to connect to my Scottish family heritage, meeting relatives of my grandfather for the first time. 

I loved walking down the pier in a storm; watching my gel electrophoresis experiments materialize in the biochemistry lab; hitting the Eden river in a rowing eight at the crack of dawn; chatting in a small tutorial group about implications of the latest discoveries in genetics; launching a sailing dinghy in the surf of the East Sands; and finishing the day with a pint of ale commiserating about the vagaries of lab experiments. 

None of this would have been possible for me without the foresight and inspirational generosity of the McEuen family. 

When I received my opportunity to experience St Andrews 30-some years ago, I always hoped I would use my education to work my way into a position where I could return the favour. It is with both pride and humble gratitude that I say thank you to the McEuen Scholarship Foundation for having faith in me all those years ago. 

I have chosen to support the McEuen Scholarship Foundation because it gave me a chance to prove myself, to rise to challenges and to learn the satisfaction of contributing to my community.  I want others to continue to have that opportunity.

With two children who have recently completed their first degrees, I know how expensive post-secondary education is today. And I know first-hand the difficulties of raising funds for small charities.

For the past 10 years I have helped to organize a hands-on genetics experience for high school students across Canada. There are always many hundred more applicants than can possibly be placed. Those that are placed are exceptional, and I noticed recently in the McEuen Scholarship newsletters that two of those successful Gene Researchers for a Week went on to become McEuen Scholars. 

Placing students for this programme made me acutely aware of the high calibre of students in Canada, and the importance of supporting and encouraging our brightest young people by giving them the means to study and experience in an incredible place, without the struggle of financial concern.

I trust the dedicated people at the McEuen Foundation to pick their recipients well. And I am excited to see that with support from the McEuen community, the Foundation can remain financially viable and expertly governed well into the future, enabling more young Canadians to participate in the global conversation that is St. Andrews University. 


Donate Now
We need your support!
Please donate to the McEuen Scholarship Foundation. 
McEuen Foundation Scholarship Website

Thank you to our recent donors:

Cynthia Carsley and Vincent Lacroix, parents of 2018 Scholar Katherine Lacroix
Dr. Jeannie Callum, mother of 2017 Scholar Malcolm Risk
John Aylen
Sandra MacPherson

Are you in touch with any of these past winners of the McEuen Scholarship? If so, please pass this on and encourage them to contact us to get on our email list and join our Facebook page.


1978 Robert A. MacLean

1981 Mary C. Hunisett-Stewart

1982 Catherine Joy Archibald

1984 James Maitland Campbell

1986 Brenda Susan Rapley

1987 Margaret Rhiannon Purdy (Purdie)

1991 Hannah Cathleen Grant

1992 Suzanne M. Neilson

1993 James Alexander Irvine

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