Visits far and near
Just before Christmas, Suzanne and I visited Los Angeles and San Francisco for College, meeting ten alumni spread across the two cities in a whirlwind tour. We also had visits round the Berkeley and Stanford University campuses. On 12 January, which was the day following our return, a group of some 25 Alumni of all ages gathered in the lovely home of Peter and Judy Folkman in Didsbury, Manchester for a Brasenose Regional Gathering. One alum actually lived near Southampton but happened to be bringing her daughter to the University of Manchester on that day. It was a great evening and I am always keen to get around the country to meet alumni. A major vote of thanks to Peter and Judy Folkman who did this for a second time.
Inauguration of our new chaplain
The Inauguration of our new chaplain the Rev. David Sheen took place on 24 January and was a most joyous occasion. As Principal I welcomed him as the new Chaplain and was supported by the HCR and JCR Presidents. The words I read as part of the service are “I present to you our new Chaplain. I commend him to your love and prayers”. The Archdeacon of Oxford, the Ven. Jonathan Chaffey gave a wonderful sermon drawing among other things on his period as the Chief Chaplain for the Armed Forces in Afghanistan. He spoke of all faiths believing in transformation, the important epiphany moments, and the need for spiritual awakening in our society today.
Hilary Benn multi tasker
On 25 January Hilary Benn MP did an excellent version of multi tasking for us. He had committed to a joint PPE Society and Principal’s Conversation with us at 5pm but then a Parliamentary vote was called and he was not going to let us down. Undaunted, Hilary took his ipad into the lobby to vote so that we got a tour of the inner sanctum of Parliament (including the Chamber) as well as a talk on relations with the EU and scintillating answers to a wide range of questions.
President Duque of Columbia
On 27 January the University International Relations Society held a speaker event with former President Duque of Columbia in the Amersi Room and we entertained him for tea in the Lodgings. He spoke about how personal relations matter in relations between states, and how important it is to look at other leaders eye to eye. He described the peace process in his nation. There was a lively Q&A with the 100 strong audience.
On 22 January Frewin Hall was featured in Digging For Britain on BBC2.
When the BBC wanted two excellent folk to talk about Nadhim Zahawi on PM on 26 January it was good to see that they went to two Brasenose alums, Lady Camilla Cavendish and James Johnson.