Samuel James Shand was born in Edinburgh in 1882 and died at Broughty Ferry, near Dundee, in April of 1957. It was at the Dundee branch of St. Andrews that his geological education began, and it was to the same institution that he returned, in a more or less unofficial capacity, a few years before his death. At college his first interest was chemistry, which he studied under James Walker. To this he soon added an avid curiosity about geology, a curiosity so strong that it prompted him, in concert with a number of fellow students, to petition the school for instruction in that subject. Graduating in 1905, he went from St. Andrews to Münster, where he studied under Karl Busz during 1905–06, doing a Ph.D. dissertation on the alkaline rocks of Assynt, with particular emphasis on the curious pseudo-leucite or quasi-pseudo-leucite called borolanite. In 1910 he received the D.Sc. from St. Andrews.