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University of Aberdeen

King's College, University of Aberdeen
©2016 Gazetteer for Scotland

King's College, University of Aberdeen

Scotland's third-oldest university, the University of Aberdeen was founded in 1495 by William Elphinstone (1431 - 1514) who was Bishop of Aberdeen from 1484 to 1514 and Chancellor of Scotland. By 1505, King's College - named in honour of King James IV (1473 - 1513) - had been completed in Old Aberdeen as an institution primarily designed to train clergy, medics and civil servants in the service of the King. Elphinstone was the first Chancellor of the University and the distinguished historian Hector Boece (c.1465 - 1536), the first Principal. In 1593, George Keith, 5th Earl Marischal of Scotland (c.1553 - 1623), founded a second university in New Aberdeen to be identified with the Reformed Church. Named Marischal College, this foundation eventually united with King's College in 1860. The motto of the united University is Initium Sapientiae Timor Domini - 'the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom'. The University, which has over 11,000 students and is noted for its law and medical schools, retains its base at King's College, with its medical school based at Foresterhill since 1938. Marischal College has been leased to Aberdeen City Council and became the Council's new headquarters in 2011.

In 2001, the University took over the Aberdeen campus of the Northern College to create its Faculty of Education. Northern College had itself formed as a merger of the former Aberdeen College of Education and Dundee College of Education in 1987. Aberdeen College of Education had been founded as Aberdeen Training College in 1920. The Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health merged with the University in 2008 to become part of the College of Life Sciences and Medicine.


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