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Wolfson Alumni Memories

Student with rowing trophies, Wolfson College Cambridge

We are looking to compile a gallery of photographs, stories and notes.

By submitting your photos and anecdotes, newspaper clippings or leaflets, you’ll be able to share your memories with other alumni and enjoy discovering others. Not only will you have somewhere special to reflect upon your time at Wolfson College, but this could also be your opportunity to reconnect with old classmates and find out what they’re up to now.

If it is special to you, then it is special to us and other alumni too!

Coming back to Wolfson

I applied to Wolfson because of its diversity. When I was here, I was Chairman of the Drama Society and involved in three different productions in the year, including the Wolfson Review and The Real Inspector Hound. Wolfson was novel in Cambridge, due to the composition of the student body, its relative modernity and its location.

I must have one of the longest periods between two degrees, because I am currently a student at the College again studying for a Masters in Education. I have loved returning to the College after a career as a teacher and Head Teacher in this country and abroad.

I want to thank Wolfson for giving me opportunities that shaped my career the first time around. And I also want to say thanks for greeting me back with smiling faces in 2018, providing a lovely environment with great gardens and a focus to my life as I adapted back to living in the UK. Words of advice to current students: ‘Wolfson is a great college with a lovely family atmosphere. As with anything in life, the more you put in, the more you get out, so give as much as you can while you are here, and you will be rewarded many times over.’

Christopher McDermott (1975)

Christopher McDermott graduating in 1975

Christopher McDermott graduating in 1975

Alumni Memories

After meeting at Madingley Hall, my husband-to-be (Wyn Richards) and I entered University College when there were only 14 postgraduates. We played tennis on the courts that were where the car park is now. Very intimate May Balls were organised — we danced inside Bredon House and spilled out onto the lawn. I well remember the Madrigals and Music and Madeira nights. The highlight of our time there was The Boat Club, newly started the year before. After working abroad most of our lives, we visited Wolfson for a reunion dinner in 2013 and stayed in the Chancellor’s Centre. Imagine our surprise to see an old friend at the entrance — the statue of Prince Albert. He had once stood at the bottom of a ride at Madingley Hall, providing a lovely view from my window. A circle completed 46 years later, with one difference: Albert’s missing finger had been replaced!

Dr Sandra Richards (1968)

I was one of the first Fellows of Wolfson, when it was still University College. It started off as just Bredon House, but extensions were added rapidly which provided pleasant dining and then residential facilities. It was a breath of fresh air being a Fellow of the College, and meeting others from all over the world in all disciplines, both as postgraduate students taking the special courses, and as Fellows (some of whom are still at the College). I am grateful for the time I had there until I returned to my native South Africa in 1973. It was at Wolfson that I wrote the book The Large Scale Structure of Space Time with Professor Stephen Hawking, who was my colleague at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics in the old University Press building in Silver Street.

Professor George Ellis FRS (1967)

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