Peter Redford Scott Lang (1850-1926) was a Professor of Mathematics at St Andrews University from 1879 until his retirement in 1921. He had studied at Edinburgh University, and taught there before being appointed to St Andrews. Having seen the “ordinary student fare of the mid nineteenth century and menus of term time dinners” he instigated the institution of ‘Common Dinners’ in the 1880s.
The original purpose of the dinners was to enable students to have a “decent and varied diet,” but ended up meaning much more than that to some. In 1926, L.J.D. Gibson wrote this about the dinners:
In 2015, the School of Computer Science invited its class representatives and student president to dine with the head of school, Professor Steve Linton and Director of Research, Professor Aaron Quigley at the annual Scott Lang Dinner. This was to thank the students for their service to their fellow students, the school and to the University. Everyone had a wonderful evening and it was a great opportunity to learn more about each other outside the school. We hope this is the start of a new and long lasting tradition for our staff and students.
Thanks to Xu Zhu who also attended for the images (CC by-SA 3.0 license).