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As stated above, the University was founded in 1413 when a charter of incorporation was bestowed upon the Priory of St Andrews Cathedral[?]. The University grew in size quite rapidly; St Salvator's College was established in 1450, St Leonard's in 1511 and St Mary's in 1537. Some of the college buildings in use today date form this period as does St Salvator's Chapel. At this time much of the teaching was of a religious nature and was conducted by clerics associated with the Cathedral.
During the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries the University underwent many changes. The distinctive red gowns which are still in use today were adopted in 1672 and towards the end of the seventeenth century a move to Perth was considered and eventually rejected. In 1747 St. Salvator's and St. Leonard's Colleges were merged to form United College. During the nineteeth century student numbers were very low and the University having to close was a very real possibility. In the 1870s there were fewer than 150 students, perhaps partly in response to this the University was, in 1897, strengthened by the affiliation of University College in Dundee which became a centre of medical and scientific excellence. This affiliation ended in 1967 when Dundee University[?] became an independent institution.
The University has a strong link with America, both Benjamin Franklin and golfer Bobby Jones[?] were awarded honourary degrees. Also, three of the signatories of the 1776 American Declaration of Independence received degrees from St Andrews. It is also claimed that the dollar sign was invented at the University.