Principal's Blog: 16th November 2023

JB stock photo to use Sept 2021This term has been chock-a-block with events. One of the centrepieces was a presentation by Jo Baring, our Frankland Visitor, about the rehanging of artwork from the Ingram Collection in the Amersi Foundation Room on 9 November. Her team consisted of seven students who had been involved in choosing the paintings to be curated. Each of them gave an account of why they liked the art and what it contributed to the College. It was a remarkable evening and made me even more proud than usual of our great students. The contents of the talks will go onto the Bloomberg Connects app in due course. We are indeed very fortunate in having the loan of some of this this impressive collection (consisting overall of about 650 pieces) and again thanks to Jo Baring its Curator and our alumna.


I was privileged to attend the Enthronement of the new Bishop of Lincoln on 11 November, representing the College in a part of the world I know well since I grew up in North Lincolnshire. Lincoln Cathedral is one of the truly great church buildings, prominent over so much of the Lincolnshire countryside. I led the procession of four academic guests which included a representative from Lincoln College and the Provost of Eton, Lord Waldegrave. We look forward to working with Bishop Stephen Conway (formerly the Bishop of Ely) who is our College Visitor. It was a magnificent occasion and we wish him well in his ministry.

Kirsty Gunn our RLF Literary Fellow put on a wonderful event on Friday 3 November. The Old Library was packed to the rafters to hear about “how to get published” from Clare Conville, a well know agent and James Attlee the Royal Literary Fund Fellow at St Hilda’s. There was a lively discussion.

Dr Silke Ackerman the Director of the Museum of the History of Science gave a spirited talk to the first Graduate Dinner of the Academic Year. She spoke with great verve about the coverage of the Museum, which goes beyond what we have perhaps traditionally seen as science. She invited us all to go; I am truly ashamed to say I have not yet.

Sir Clive Lewis a member of the Court of Appeal spoke at the 101st Ellesmere Society Dinner, our College Law Society on 11 November. It was a hairy drive back from the Enthronement to arrive for the speeches. Jamie Turnbull the student President delivered a strong speech too.

Other events

I have been involved along with four other Heads of House in producing some “tips” for holding debates, upholding free speech and promoting an atmosphere of tolerance and respect. These were developed with input from students and academics too. We held the first debate on 2 November at Worcester College on immigration. We are planning another for next term.

The PPE Society welcomed Sir Paul Silk, one of our alumni and a former Clerk to the House of Commons. It is great that we have an enthusiastic PPE Society.

I was shocked but delighted to see four alpaca in the College on 7 November. They were surrounded by admirers and came as part of Welfare Week.


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