Michaelmas Term 2019
“If you want to change the world, come to Somerville,” has become our unofficial slogan. As we celebrate 140 years of achievement – from pioneering scientists to prime ministers and novelists, Ewan Connell (History, 2018) summed up the response of many Freshers to this dazzling track record: “No pressure then”.
It was a pleasure to see so many of you at our anniversary celebration at the weekend. We heard from Shirley Williams (PPE, 1948), Esther Rantzen (English, 1959), and the Vice-Chancellor, Louise Richardson about the extraordinary life of this College, and our role in overcoming barriers at Oxford.
That progress and sense of purpose endures this term with the official opening of the latest addition to the fabric of the College, the Catherine Hughes Building. Somerville can accommodate its undergraduate community within its walls for every year of their course. The students are delighted with their new accommodation, and so are we.
We are particularly proud that in our anniversary year, Somerville’s new intake of undergraduates has the College’s highest proportion of UK students from a state school background in recent memory – 69%.
While we welcome new scholars and staff, the new academic year also brings some fond farewells. Last month marked the end of Roman Walczak’s 26 year tenure as our Tutor in Physics, and he was delighted that some of you were able to join him for a small celebration. Roman will remain a part of our community as a Senior Research Fellow.
We have produced a photo album and short film as a memento of our Family Day, in September which you can view here. We want to thank everyone we spoke to during this year’s annual Telethon. Your generosity will enable us to maintain the high quality of our teaching and research and provide extra support for students.
Looking forward to our events during the term ahead, the Somerville City Group are hosting another young alumni drinks next week, this time in the exclusive setting of Diageo’s private Soho office bar. On November 5th, our Lord and Lady McNair Early Career Stipendiary Lecturer, Achas Burin, will discuss ‘decolonisation’ and the ‘Rhodes must fall’ movement in our annual Law event. And on November 13th, mental health advocate, national policy advisor and social entrepreneur Poppy Jaman OBE gives the Monica Fooks Memorial lecture.
We hope to see you at Somerville soon.
With kind regards and best wishes,
The Alumni Relations team
We had a wonderful time welcoming you and your families back to the College for our 2019 Family day.
Three Somerville fellows have taken on new senior roles within the University’s teaching faculties.
The distinguished jurist Gopal Subramanium, a former Solicitor General of India and a Senior Advocate of the country’s Supreme Court, has been elected a Foundation Fellow of Somerville College.
The College’s new Catherine Hughes Building was formally opened by the late Principal’s widow, Trevor Hughes.
In the aftermath of the company’s collapse, writer Jane Robinson (1978, English) reflects on Thomas Cook’s pioneering role in opening the world to British women.
This year we bid farewell to Somerville’s longest standing Tutor in Physics, Roman Walczak. Richard Brearton (2013 Physics) and Kenneth Hughes (2013 Physics) reflect on Roman’s 26 years at Somerville.
Naiza Khan (1987, Fine Art) became the first British-Pakistani artist to show at the Venice Biennale and its inaugural Pakistan pavillion this summer. She reflects here on her exhibition ‘Manora Field Notes’.
In October, the College will publish Somerville 140 1879-2019. A Celebration of Somerville College, Oxford in 140 Objects. In this piece from the 2019 Alumni Magazine, Lizzy Emerson, who helped compile the text, tells us about the experience of delving into Somerville’s history.
Somerville Fellow and Tutor in Plant Sciences Renier van der Hoorn describes how plants fight back against bacterial invaders.
David Garrick expert Nicholas D. Smith has uncovered new evidence to suggest that Somerville’s Second Folio was once in the famous actor’s possession. He takes us through the evidence and what this changes about our approach to the book.
Dr. Radhika Khosla was appointed the Research Director for the Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development in 2018. In this interview, originally published in the 2019 Alumni Magazine, she discusses how the OICSD works towards solving the most pressing problems of our time.
The proportion of state school educated pupils among Somerville’s UK undergraduate intake is expected to rise to 69%, based on A-level results out this month.
Somerville students have been awarded the highest proportion of Firsts for at least the last five years in this year’s Finals examinations, with 35% of our undergraduate students awarded a degree in that class.
Somerville College and the Margaret Thatcher Scholarship Trust are to offer a new scholarship for undergraduates from Singapore, thanks to the generosity of ST Telemedia.
The JCR present a screening of the Theory of Everything as the first in this term's series, 'Portrayals' – four films centred around the lives of real people with Disabilities, as portrayed within popular culture.
A joint panel event with Balliol College and the Oxford India Centre for Sustainble Development, examing Gandhi's legacy today and his time in Oxford. Welcome and introduction from Lord Patten and H.E. Ms Rhuchi Ghanashyam.
We invite you to join us for an informal alumni panel discussion to explore the career pros and cons of post-graduate qualifications. On Wednesday 23 October from 6.30pm we will have exclusive access to Diageo’s Soho Office bar where a few alumni will share their experiences over drinks and canapes.
You are warmly invited to attend ‘Issues in Public Health in India‘, a Keynote talk and Q&A with Keshav Desiraju, former Secretary of Health & Family Welfare to the Government of India.
You are invited to join the Principal and members of the Somerville law faculty to a drinks reception and talk by our guest speaker, Achas Burin, at The Oxford & Cambridge Club, 71 Pall Mall, on Tuesday 5th November at 6.30pm
This year’s Monica Fooks Memorial lecture will be given by Poppy Jaman OBE. Poppy is an internationally respected mental health advocate, national policy advisor and social entrepreneur who has worked in more than ten countries.
This years lecture will take place from 17.30-18.30 on Thursday 12th March 2020 in the Flora Anderson Hall, Somerville College.
This year's (now retitled) Spring Meeting will take place on Saturday 14th March. Save the date!