Events Round Up

Read our Newsletter round up of some of the exciting events that we have held in Oxford, London and further afield over the past year. Browse our photo albums for several recent events.

Michaelmas 2007


In June, the Annual Old Members' cricket match resulted in a narrow victory for the College. A full report by Nick Smith (1976) can be found here. This was followed by the Annual JCR Ball - the theme this year was " Through the Looking Glass". A significant number of Old Members returned to enjoy this College Ball. Finally, at the end of the month, the Beveridge Society Reunion packed the College Dining Room for a memorable evening, and the last event before the kitchen closed for the on-going major refurbishment and the creation of a new buttery. Professor Sujoy Mukerji, The Schroder Family Fellow and Professor of Economics, gave a pre-dinner lecture on "Robust Decisions and Uncertainty". John Ridding (1984) CEO: Financial Times, Kate Smirnova (2006) Beveridge President, and Dr Ngaire Woods, Old Members Fellow in Politics, spoke at the dinner.

In Australia, following an excellent Drinks Party in Perth University Club hosted by Robyn Carroll in April, there was a first Reunion Dinner in Melbourne in June hosted by John Daley (1995). He reports "Adrian Zuckerman, Professor of Civil Procedure, attended this reunion where eleven old Univ members gathered on a winter night so cold it almost felt like Oxford, which seemed a long way away for so many people to have such a strong connection to each other. Many old friendships were renewed. Adrian gave us confidence that the College remains at the forefront of Oxford life. The new Boathouse sounded as though it was a sufficient reason to revisit Oxford. And Univ clearly remains the vibrant intellectual community we all remember. Adrian told us that he is building strong bonds with Melbourne, and we look forward to hosting him again". The 3rd Annual Old Members' Dinner in Sydney was organized by Sarah Strasser (1991) and has clearly become a well established annual event. Finally, Virginia and Andrew Ligertwood (1967) hosted an outstanding Drinks Party in Adelaide, which generated very lively discussions .

In Canada, the first Canadian Old Members Drinks Party in Toronto in July was deemed a great success. Sixteen guests attended the home of Michael Macaulay (1983) - with the party carefully timed to take place between summer showers of rain. Very good remarks were heard from George Cooper (1965), David Harley (1953) and John Evans (1953), as well as from the Master's Scholar, Kristina Radermacher (2005). While not straying too far from the food or the drink, guests had a chance to catch up and hear some College news. The 2nd Toronto Annual Drinks Meeting has been scheduled for the 7th February 2008.

In September in Oxford, the Master and Lady Butler hosted a Drinks Reception to coincide with the Oxford University Alumni Weekend. The Master spoke about developments at the College and guests could not fail to observe, through the safety fencing, the on-going building works for the new kitchen and buttery. The Master was pleased to note that whereas a road development scheme in St Clements, a few hundred yards away, had been seriously delayed by the discovery of human skeletons, the archaeologists then excavating the Univ site had left each evening with long faces having discovered nothing as dramatic.

The Autumn Meeting of the USPGA at Frilford Heath Golf Club was well attended; the course looked as beautiful as ever, the weather was kind, the lunch was excellent and David Mills (1962) emerged a worthy winner of The Berkshire Trophy for the second time with 36 Stableford points.

One highlight of the Michaelmas Term was the 1957 Golden Anniversary Barbecue held in the Fellows' Garden when the Master (and Lady Butler) welcomed back to Univ many of those who had matriculated as undergraduates with him. Click to view photographs.

The Univ Society Edinburgh Dinner, held biennially in the lovely Raeburn room in the oldest part of Edinburgh University, was packed with a record number of Old Members. Warmest thanks are due to Cameron Cochrane (1954) and Shauna Bevan (1992) for hosting such a memorable evening. photo In November the Eldon Society enjoyed the Annual Drinks Party at Herbert Smith LLP, hosted in a breathtakingly elegant venue by Mark Turner (1976) to whom we are indebted. Maurice Allen (1974) gave an interesting and amusing talk on " Creating an International Law Firm - US v UK". Three Univ Fellows also spoke. John Gardner, Professor of Jurisprudence, Adrian Zuckerman, Professor of Civil Procedure, and Martin Matthews.

We are indebted to John Oughton (1971) who addressed, and held spellbound, the students at a well attended Careers Evening focussed on the Civil Service.

The 3rd Univ Annual Seminar & Buffet Supper held at University College London debated the question " What has been the impact of New Labour on the conduct of politics?". Expertly chaired by Peter Sissons (1961) and with Matthew Oakeshott (1965), Wilf Stevenson (1966), Jonathan Powell (1974), Nick Robinson (1983) and Chris Philp (1994) as panellists, this proved to be sparkling debate: also involving questions from an audience of about 180 Old Members. Both the Master and the Master-elect spoke and everyone felt it had been a privilege to be present at such a stimulating discussion.

Trinity 2007


The largest Gaudy in recent years was held in March with 170 Old Members from 1988-1992 returning to reminisce about College and catch up with old friends. Mike Nicholson gave a most entertaining talk on Rasputin and Univ's part in his downfall. In April, Mike again delighted around 60 of Univ's modern linguists who gathered for the now infamous Rasputin Dinner.

In golf, Univ came joint 3rd in the 10th annual Inter-collegiate Tournament at Frilford Heath back in March, and the Greensome prize was won by our very own Tim Low and Nick Smith (both 1976). Christopher Bateman (1955) hosted the Spring USPGA in May at the West Sussex Golf Club. The 21 members, including an OM from Australia and one from California were joined by Bob Maskell, Univ's Head Porter who ostensibly was making up the numbers but was really sent by the Master to make sure everyone behaved!

Two subject reunion gatherings took place this term, the first was the Medical Sciences Reunion Dinner in March and Peter Jezzard's talk on Magnetic Resonance Imaging was given to a standing room only crowd in the Swire Seminar Room. In April, over 110 people came to the History Reunion Luncheon most of whom attended Ben Jackson's lecture on New Labour in historical perspective.

The William of Durham Club Annual Luncheon was also held in April with 60 people attending a delightful afternoon which ended with a programme of choral music performed by the Chapel Choir. And finally, we were very fortunate to have Philip Bernie (1980), Alastair Lack (1964) and Philippa Ronald (1997) join us for the last Careers Evening of the academic year which was on Broadcasting and Journalism.

Hilary 2007

We are delighted to report that Univ’s second Annual Seminar & Buffet Supper at UCL in December was a great success. Professor John Finnis (1962, Law), Fellows, and Univ Vice-Master, chaired the debate which was on ‘Is International Law a Practical Idea?’. We were fortunate to have a very distinguished panel which included Sir David Edward (1953), Lord Steyn (1955), Lord Mance (1961), Geoffrey Robertson QC (1970), Ambassador Thomas Shannon (1980) and Janet Rogan (1981).

In February, we had a most enjoyable London Dinner at the Oxford and Cambridge Club, kindly hosted by Richard Powles (1964). Lord Moynihan (1974) gave a very informative talk on the 2012 London Olympic Games in his capacity as a member of the Olympic Board and Chair of the British Olympic Association. It was a most entertaining evening and the date for next year’s event has already been fixed for 7th February. The 25th Anniversary Sollas Dinner was also a huge success with 100% turnout of present Univ earth science undergrads, and the best attendance from old members in recent years.

There have also been 2 careers evenings in Hilary Term, the first on advertising, marketing and PR with Ruth Collier and Sergen Ozbek (both 1997), and the second on broadcasting and journalism with Philippa Ronald (1997), Alastair Lack (1964), and Philip Bernie (1980). Again, we are very grateful to James Mallinson (1980) for co-ordinating these evenings, to the speakers for travelling to Univ (some from quite a distance) and providing students with careers information and guidance, and to Edward Gore-Randall (2005), our Student Careers Representative, for all his help with promoting the sessions and welcoming the students as they arrive in the Goodhart Seminar Room. And, as we go to print, we can report that nearly 100 Old Members and students took part in our Football Day on 4th March.

Michaelmas 2006

The summer programme of events started in July with the Univ Society Wine Tasting evening at the Ransome’s Dock Restaurant in London. Mark Savage (1967) hosted the occasion, providing expert advice on ‘American Wines for the Fourth of July’. The Australian Friends hosted their second Annual Dinner at the Union Club in Sydney, organised by Sarah Strasser (1991) and Rawdon Dalrymple (1952). We will be in touch soon with Perth residents about a get-together in your city.

Three events were held in September. The USPGA Golf Day was hosted by David Filkin (1961) at the Hampton Court Palace Golf Club. Then there was the 1983-1987 Gaudy in which Dr Marc Stears (Fellow in Politics) gave a lively talk on Good Leadership. The month ended with the Triennial Eldon Society Dinner, with Lord Hoffmann (Honorary and Former Fellow) as guest speaker. The 2006 Global Economic Governance Annual Lecture was given by The Hon Dr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman of India’s Planning Commission. We also held two careers evenings: one on Academia and one on Law, hosted by James Mallinson (1980).

Trinity 2006

Over 150 OMs returned to College for the 1978-82 Gaudy in March, where highlights included Jon Mee’s illuminating talk on Percy Shelley, and Sian Fisher (1981)’s reminiscences after dinner. Later that month, the 2006 North American Reunion in New York City - which combined Univ’s own programme with that of the University - attracted over a hundred Univ guests and provided a terrific opportunity for OMs to meet and network with lots of other Oxonians. The Univ programme included a cocktail reception courtesy of Bill Bernhard (1956) and Catherine Cahill at the Harvard Club, followed by a dinner at which Roz Savage (1986) recounted her recent solo voyage across the Atlantic. The next day, John (1961) and Clare Reid hosted a wonderfully-attended brunch at their home behind Central Park. We are already looking forward to the 2008 Reunion! The Boyle Society Dinner for physicists and engineers took place over the same weekend at Univ and welcomed back over fifty OMs for a talk by Prof Robin Nicholas on “Developing nanotechnology with nanotubes - forces for good?” followed by a black tie dinner. Our next two subject reunions are Classics (23rd June) and Law (30th September).

There were also two golf events this Spring. In April, a Univ team which included Martin Matthews (Fellow in Law) and nine Old Members finished second out of thirteen colleges in this year’s intercollegiate golf event at Frilford Heath; and in May, John Raines-Smith (1956) hosted the USPGA at Edgbaston, to which one foursome arrived by helicopter! The Master successfully avoided an upset to finish respectably in mid-table, before heading back to Univ to host the annual Roger Short (1963) Memorial Dinner the same evening. As well as introducing this year’s travelling scholars, the dinner provided an opportunity to launch phase two of the Roger Short Memorial Fund: to establish a scholarship for Turkish students to study at the Said Business School in Oxford. Finally, in early June, at the annual Old Members versus current students cricket match, experience triumphed over youth as the OM team, captained by Nick Smith (1976), swept to victory by 82 runs. Andy Butler (1987) scored 110 for the Old Members.

Hilary 2006

Old Members seemed thoroughly to enjoy February’s Univ Society London dinner, once again kindly hosted by Richard Powles (1964) at the Oxford & Cambridge Club on Pall Mall. Paul Gambaccini (1970) gave a wonderful speech on his double life as a Univ undergraduate, balancing PPE essays with national radio broadcasts and celebrity interviews (from Richard Nixon to Elton John). We hope to continue this dinner annually as an excellent opportunity for all Old Members to dine enjoyably with one another, and for alumni to network across generations.

There have also been careers’ evenings in Hilary Term on investment banking, with Steven Bishop (1974), Dermot Coleman (1981) and Oliver Walker (2001), and management consultancy, with Joel Bellman (1995) and Mark Vandevelde (2001). Many thanks to James Mallinson (1980) for co-ordinating them and to the speakers, without whom they would not be possible. Finally, there were two enjoyable dinners held at Univ in February for the Dinosaurs & Cassandrians (First VIII rowers) and for the Sollas Society (Earth Scientists). Both groups will be holding dinners again next year when it is hoped many Old Members will make a special effort to come back – the rowers will be celebrating the imminent opening of the Univ boathouse in 2007, and the geologists will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Sollas dinner!

To book events online, please click here. For information about Degree Days or Careers Evenings please use these links. If you would like further information about our full events programme, please contact the Alumni Relations Officer.


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