Welcome back to the blog – it’s been a while! What has been happening?
The end of Trinity term, as always, brought celebrations and farewells for those students graduating at the end of their courses. The Ball was a highlight for many, with a Game of Thrones theme which gave plenty of scope for the Ball Committee’s creativity. The College looked wonderful and the weather was kind.
Whilst most University Committees take a break during August, and our own kitchens close for the month, the College team has been at full stretch dealing with the admissions process, helping continuing students with their queries and making sure that the College facilities are ready for the new year.
Our wonderful Baxter Storey team are enjoying re-planned kitchen facilities and we are all loving the chance to see them at work in the more open layout. Did you know that they have been nominated for the UK catering industry’s equivalent of the Oscars? We all have our fingers crossed for the final awards. What’s more, they will be opening a brand new café-bar for us NEXT WEEK: open from 08:30 to 16:00 on weekdays. This will be a great addition to College facilities.
The College has also hosted a range of events and activities over the summer. Some are entirely external, some celebrations for College members, and some offer an opportunity to show the College to a wider audience. On 9 September, for example, with our colleagues at Pusey House, we opened the site for Oxford Open Doors. More than 300 members of the public came through the entrance on St Giles to enjoy our beautiful buildings, admire the art collection and generally ask all the questions they’ve ever had about life in an Oxford college. I’m very grateful to all those volunteers who helped make the day such a success – we literally could not have done it without them.
It was good to meet alumni in Berlin, for a boat tour and great conversations. In fact, everyone agreed that conversations were a key part of their memories of College and something which they would like to see at the heart of every alumni event. We’ll make sure that’s so.
On Saturday 15 September we hosted our traditional alumni tea as part of the University’s Meeting Minds weekend. The weather was kind and it was good to show more people who haven’t been back to College for a while just what has been achieved in recent years.
The next day, Victoria Cox and I set off for Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong to meet friends and alumni: much more to follow on this when we are back.
We will be travelling a lot this year: do check the schedule and let us know if you will be joining us: https://www.stx.ox.ac.uk/alumni. And if you would like to organise your own alumni event somewhere which isn’t on this year’s itinerary, why not get in touch with the alumni team (firstname.lastname@example.org) for advice on how to go about it?
And talking of travelling… David and I had a fantastic couple of weeks in Botswana in August, in the care of an incredibly knowledgeable guide, who helped our small group understand the geology and history of the country as well as getting close to its wildlife.
I even enjoyed the wild camping – not my natural environment at all.
In just a few days’ time we will be into Michaelmas term. We have speakers lined up to give talks on a wide range of subjects, and guests for dinners who bring a variety of perspectives – more on both in the next blog, which will also report back on our travels.
In the meantime
Do you know where in College you could find these alarming creatures?