Ben Franklin, the famous American scientist, writer, and politician received an honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of St Andrews in 1759. You can see a plaque commemorating Franklin’s time at St Andrews on the gate of St Salvator’s Quad on North Street.
Ben Franklin was a signatory of the Declaration of Independence, and is recognized as one of America’s most influential founding fathers. Ben Franklin was a self made man and encouraged others to be the same. He invented the lightning rod, bifocals, and the carriage odometer. He also started Pennsylvania’s first fire department and public library.
He made the trip across the atlantic for the ceremony. Franklin said of Scotland and St Andrews 'I believe Scotland would be the country I should chose to spend the remainder of my days in' if I did not have so many commitments elsewhere.