Future generations of students to benefit from legacy gift

The School of Divinity is to receive a substantial legacy from the late Reverend Professor Bill Shaw, Scotland’s most senior theologian and a former Principal of New College.

The £500,000 legacy will help the School broaden access to degree programmes and develop innovative teaching, opening doors to students from all backgrounds and providing them with opportunities to thrive once they are here.

Reverend Professor Bill Shaw graduated from the School in 1960, having previously worked in the legal profession following degrees in modern languages and law, also at Edinburgh. After serving as a minister, he returned to New College in 1963 as a lecturer in Divinity, later becoming Dean of the faculty and then Principal. He also served as the Dean of the Faculty of Divinity and Principal at the School of Divinity at St Mary’s College in the University of St Andrews.

Professor Helen Bond, Head of the School of Divinity, says:

“Bill taught me as an undergraduate (at St Andrews) in the late 80s, and I still remember his lectures, his legendary squash playing, and his good humour. He was a kind and remarkable man, and it’s no wonder he’s remembered fondly by so many of our past and present staff and students.

“Given Bill’s inspirational role as a teacher and mentor, directing the bequest towards teaching, scholarships and student support felt entirely fitting. All of this will make a huge difference to future School of Divinity students, most importantly by widening participation to include students from a variety of backgrounds – something we are particularly keen to promote. It is wonderful to think that many students will benefit from his generosity over the coming years.”


Read Professor David Fergusson’s obituary of Bill Shaw

Find out more about philanthropy at the School of Divinity