Hilary Term 2020
We began 2020 with the wonderful news that Aditi Lahiri, our Professorial Fellow, has been awarded a CBE in the New Year Honours for her service to the study of Linguistics.
Professor Lahiri’s long and distinguished career has included founding Oxford’s Faculty of Linguistics, Philology and Phonetics in 2008 and pioneering multidisciplinary approaches to her subject as Director of Oxford’s Language and Brain Lab, and we are very proud to see her achievements recognised.
Professor Lahiri was also the first Indian woman to hold a professorial chair at Oxford, and her success is a reminder of the importance of supporting diverse talent. We are thrilled that Raj Tulsiani, the CEO of Green Park, has partnered with us and the History Faculty to create a new scholarship for a BAME postgraduate History student at the College, with the first scholar starting in October 2020. The award was announced at a special dinner celebrating the University’s BAME community in November.
Our new Head Gardener, Sophie Walwin, has been at Somerville for a term now. Sophie, who trained at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew and previously tended to the grounds of Merton College, has started a new Gardener’s Blog to take you behind the scenes of her work and showcase some of the delights of each season in the grounds. We hope that you might be able to come here and see Sophie’s handiwork for yourself soon – particularly in light of the changes coming to the grounds during the upcoming renovation works.
The much-needed refurbishments will see massive improvements to the dining hall and kitchens. Unfortunately, this also means that they will be out of use for the 2020-21 academic year. Temporary buildings will be erected in the quadrangle from the end of Trinity Term 2020 until the beginning of Michaelmas 2021 to accommodate everyone while the work proceeds.
You will be happy to hear that our alumni events will continue as normal. We are particularly excited to welcome TV doctor Xand van Tulleken (1996, Physiological Sciences) back to Somerville as this year’s special guest at the Spring Meeting (formerly Winter Meeting) and AGM of the Somerville Association on March 14th.
Professor Dame Julia Higgins (1961, Physics) gives this year’s Dorothy Hodgkin Lecture on March 12th, where she will be discussing her groundbreaking polymer science research. Dame Julia was inspired to study Physics by her school Physics teacher, Nancy Edwards (1945, Physics), also a Somervillian.
And we will be looking at the impact of new technology on modern medicine at the Medics’ Day on March 7th here in Somerville, which is open to all Somervillians with a professional interest in medicine.
Are you based in mainland Europe rather than the UK? Our Principal, Jan Royall, is visiting Berlin on the 21st and 22nd of March for the University’s ‘Meeting Minds’ alumni weekend, and we would love to catch up with you there. To register, please visit the University’s ‘Meeting Minds’ page.
We will also be reuniting with our US alumni in New York on April 17-19 during the University’s Meeting Minds North America reunion. Highlights include an exclusive opportunity to hear from Sir Simon Russell Beale on 19th April, who will be fresh from the stage of the Broadway run of Olivier-nominated play ‘The Lehman Triology’, directed by Sam Mendes. Invitations with booking details will be circulated soon.
We hope to see you at Somerville soon.
With kind regards and best wishes,
The Alumni Relations team
Malak Al-Shaikhali is a doctor from Gaza who completed an MSc in Immunology at Somerville last year as an Oxford Qatar Thatcher Scholar.
Sophie Walwin was appointed as our new Head Gardener last term. In the first installment of a new seasonal blog, she describes the sights and smells of the grounds in winter, along with the work she and fellow gardener Dave Townsend are carrying out to prepare the gardens for the Spring.
Somerville’s Professorial Fellow in Linguistics, Aditi Lahiri, has been made a CBE in the New Year Honours.
In this article originally published in the 2019 Friends of the JS Mill Library Newsletter, Professor Albert Pionke reports on a surprising early discovery from the ongoing project to document the marginalia – markings on the pages made by Mill – of the philosopher’s library.
Chemistry was the subject studied and taught by Dorothy Hodgkin, one of our most notable alumnae. Now, Sue Scollan (née Green, 1978, Chemistry) and her husband Kevin have made a transformative gift to secure the future of the subject here and establish the Sue and Kevin Scollan Fellowship in Organic Chemistry.
Professor Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University, gave the opening address of Somerville’s 140th birthday panel.
In her Michaelmas Term blog, the Principal reflected on the the last 140 years of Somerville - and the next.
Somerville hosted a celebration of Oxford’s BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds) community last term.
Somerville College and the History Faculty of the University of Oxford are launching a new postgraduate scholarship for a UK BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) student with philanthropic support from Raj Tulsiani, the co-founder and chief executive of executive recruitment and diversity consultancy Green Park.
Our Fulford Junior Research Fellow Dr Susan Dunning writes about the deification of humans in Roman religion.
In October 2019, Somerville celebrated the start of its 140th academic year with the release of the short film 'Somerville at 140'.
The Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development celebrated Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary by discussing his relevance to challenges of sustainability today. Gandhi was one of the great leaders of the 20th century.
A new graduate scholarship at Somerville College, focusing on sanitation and health in India, has been named in honour of Rakesh Kapoor, former chief executive of Reckitt Benckiser (RB), and his wife Ritu.
Amanda MacKenzie OBE, CEO of Business in the Community, discusses what responsible business means in 2020.
This debate, chaired by Clive Astlet and featuring Professor Dieter Helm CBE, Professor Alistair Driver, the Director of Rewilding Britain, Clare Pillman, the CEO of Natural Resources Wales and Dr Trevor Dines, Botanical Specialist at Plantlife, asks whether rewilding is benefits flora in the same way as fauna.
We will be looking at the impact of new technology on modern medicine at the Medics’ Day on March 7th here in Somerville, which is open to all Somervillians with a professional interest in medicine.
Professor Dame Julia Higgins gives this year's Dorothy Hodgkin Lecture on March 12th, where she will be discussing her groundbreaking polymer science research.
This year’s (now retitled) Spring Meeting will take place on Saturday 14th March, featuring special guest Xand van Tulleken
The Somerville City Group host an event around health and wellbeing at Pure Sports Medicine
The annual commemoration service. This year's address is given by Gill Bennett (1969), formerly the Chief Historian of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
A symposium on climate change featuring insight from guest speakers. Save the date!
During the last weekend of June we shall be celebrating with matric years 1980-91 and we hope you can join us.