Principal's Blog: late April 2019

blogBowerscrop1USA visit:
Our trip to the USA (Suzanne, Liz Miller and myself) was hectic and, as always, very satisfying. We started the visit in Naples, Florida, staying in a beautiful house of an alumnus. There the transport was mainly by boat. For this part of the visit we were accompanied by Prof Russell Foster. One alumnus drove two and a half hours to meet us.

We met upwards of 120 alumni in New York, including a truly great party at the Harmonie Club near Central Park, attended by 85. They were young and relatively old from all sorts of professions. Most had great nostalgia for College. The party was sponsored through the generosity of Marty Gross (1972 PPE). A measure of its success was that alumni were still present ninety minutes after the party was due to end (and the Club staff eventually turned the lights off)!

Just before the party we had a helpful meeting of our informal US Investment Advisory Group, who directed questions and offered their advice to the Bursar.

We stayed just by Times Square and the roar of the traffic never left. Out of the hotel window could be seen a massive mural of Mo Salah, the Liverpool striker, which shows how small world is.

We were also delighted to be entertained in New York, along with other alumni on consecutive evenings, by Hugh Hildersley, Vice President of Sotheby’s New York, (1960 Jurisprudence) and Clifford Press (1972 English). We also met many alumni one-to-one.

In our downtime, we were lucky enough to see the new performance space The Shed, which is shaped like a roll-on luggage container. It is built under the High Line railway in the Meatpacker District which is being opened up as a new trendy hipster area. We also went to the Miro exhibition at MOMA and the Hilma af Klint exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum.

I went after the formal end of the trip to Cornell University where I had spent an excellent summer school when I was 18. It is such a beautiful campus.

During the trip, I read Harry Mount’s Summer Madness about the Brexit referendum campaign, Secret Empires by Peter Schweizer, Iran by Ali Ansari, and Chris Patten’s Memoirs First Confession.

Jubilee lunch:
On April 12 we were delighted to have back in College a lively group of old members and their partners who matriculated between 1960 and 1969.  A service in Chapel was followed by drinks in the Antechapel and a delicious lunch in Hall, only interrupted by the Vice-Principal, who was hosting in my place while I was in New York, sharing some thoughts on how Classics Mods was marked in 1899 and what a happy college Brasenose currently is. It was a very pleasant afternoon which would have been topped off perfectly, as a number of you told Llewelyn, with some coffee at the end, and we shall bear that suggestion in mind.

Professor Garman:
I am delighted to announce that our Professor Elspeth Garman will receive an Honorary DSc at the University of Durham, of which she is an alumna, on 3 July 2019 in Durham Cathedral. I hope to attend on behalf of the College. The announcement of the Honour includes this: “With over 150 published papers (and an extra 25 as book chapters), she has received numerous prestigious awards, including the American Crystallographic Association’s Fankuchen Medal and the British Biophysical Society’s inaugural Sosei Heptares Prize. Her research has informed the molecular basis for common drugs such as Tamiflu®. Outside of the lab, she teaches widely at national and international workshops, inspiring the next generation of crystallographers”. We wish her many congratulations.


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