Home > Alumni > (COPY)

Ring True

Lion statue with bell

October 2021

'Greetings from a Wolfson which feels like normal again!'

The students are back and bedding into the academic year. The leaves are turning and we’re making the most of the last days of summer before autumn really bites.

Our students, fellows, and alumni are running a full programme of events here in Wolfson – and many of the will have an online presence, so wherever you are in the world, please sign up to receive our “This Week at Wolfson” emails to ensure you don’t miss a thing. In particular, we have the 2021 Annual Lee Seng Tee Distinguished Lecture - Race, Scientific Racism and Genetics to be given by Dr Adam Rutherford on 24 November. This will be live-streamed so please join us then, if you can’t be with us in person.

One thing you should be certain not to miss is the Sustainability and Conservation Research Hub’s week of events to mark Cop-26 at Wolfson. Starting this week on Monday 18 October there is really something for everyone. Please come along, online or in person.

Professor Stephen Toope recently notified the University Council of his decision to complete his term as the University of Cambridge’s Vice-Chancellor at the end of September 2022. You can read morehere. We all wish him well.  The process to recruit a new Vice-Chancellor will be underway shortly. 

Meanwhile we are finalising our Masterplan for the future development of our College over the next 20-30 years.  Thanks to all of you who responded to the consultation. There are many exciting possibilities in the final plan – from minor adjustments and upgrades to our current estate to plans for new buildings to house more students and provide them with 21st century facilities. Keep your eye open for more details which we will share with you all as soon as they become available. 

We hope that you enjoy this look towards the new term.

Professor Jane Clarke, President

Scholarships and Bursaries

Autumn is the time when we look to promote fundraising for scholarships, bursaries, and awards for the next year's intake of students. If you would like to give a gift to help to support Wolfson and our students, you can donate via our donations page. Academic funding and financial awards are some of the top priorities for students considering further education, and here at Wolfson we want to support as many students as possible, especially those who otherwise would not have the financial means to come to Cambridge.

"I migrated to England with my family in the early 2000s seeking a better life and more importantly better education. It has always been difficult to progress through the years, however, due to the financial situation of my family, and often I was left choosing between the quality of education and how best to support my family. I wanted to thank the Alborada Trust for their support during my studies. Having the award meant that I was able to get access to the necessary materials for my academic studies in year 1." - Muhammad, Alborada Award Recipient

"Without the funding I received from Wolfson donors, I would not have been able to study at Cambridge. It gave me the opportunity to pursue my interest in mental health, learn from experts, and challenge myself." - Anna, Award Recipient

"The extra funding has enabled me to engage fully with my academic and extra-curricular interests over the summer holidays of my first year without having to seek out further employment." - Leanne, Santander Award Recipient

Alumni Stories

Member of the Month - Navleen Kaur
Navleen matriculated at Wolfson in 2000 and studied for an MPhil in Education. We caught up with her at the September Wolfson Alumni Reunion.

How did you come to study at Wolfson College?
I had taken a gap year to work in a non-government organisation in India. I came across children in extreme poverty and who were indirect victims of torture. I wanted to further my skills and applied for an MPhil in the School of Education, where I was interviewed by Dr Joan Whitehead. She listened patiently to my passion and my dream to open a rehabilitation and trauma therapy centre in India. She asked which college had I applied to. "I am still thinking", I said. She replied, "you no longer need to think. Come to Wolfson. It is the right place for you." I was so touched by her stories of multiculturalism and diversity at Wolfson. It was decided in an instant: Wolfson was for me (Dr Whitehead was also an inspiration), and from that moment on I never looked back!

What is your current occupation and how did you get into this role?
I am an Educational Consultant... Read more

Alumni Reunion
It was fantastic to see so many familiar faces, as well as many of you who returned to College for the first time in many years, at the Wolfson Alumni Reunion and College Garden Party. We were blessed with some delightful weather for September, accompanied by wonderful food, music, and conversation. Photographs taken over both days of the weekend, the Saturday event, and the Sunday Garden Party, are available to be viewed on the Wolfson Flickr. If you would like to watch our panel discussion, In Conversation... 'Change to Still Ring True', you can view it now on  our YouTube channel. You can also watch the video of the Sunday Garden Party below!

College Sport

Boat Club
Update from Florian Sittler, Boat Club Alumni Officer
After some turbulent times of pandemic induced uncertainties and cancelled bumps, the Wolfson College Boat Club is back at full capacity! Not only have we been able to start the year with more optimism regarding outing regulations and unhampered training schedules, but we now also have new management to guide the Boat Club in these exciting times.

As the new captain of the Boat Club, Alex Chan (PhD candidate in Machine Learning) will be leading the Club’s fresh start. To assist him in this endeavour, the Boat Club has chosen Robert Humphrey (Men’s Captain and PhD candidate in Clinical Neuroscience), Laura Blenkarn (Women’s Captain and PhD candidate in Pharmacology), and Nancy Karreman (Novice Captain and PhD candidate in Medical Science). All of this brainpower should come in handy this year; with almost 130 people interested in joining, the captains are optimistic in their hopes to be sporting up to three boats each by the time bumps will be upon us.

Given the renewed opportunity to train up novices during Michaelmas term, Novice Captain Nancy Karreman is looking forward to introducing as many undergraduates and PhD candidates to the sport as possible to create more cohesive and experienced boats in the long run. Short term visitors from all backgrounds are still welcome, of course, and will be in the best of hands regardless of their rowing experience.

This year, the aforementioned rowing experience shall no longer be limited to early morning quasi-hypothermia and ERG induced quad-cramps. Having started the term on a high note with one pizza night and a BBQ at the boathouse, the Boat Club is committed to creating a more social atmosphere throughout the terms. After last week’s social swap with the Corpus Christi College Boat Club, we are optimistic and excited to be planning more social swaps throughout the year. However, this term will also offer an exciting opportunity for our alumni to return to Cambridge’s most lovable college for the Boat Club’s Christmas dinner on Friday 3 December (save the date!).

Photograph Request
The Gym is getting redecorated and we are looking for photos of Wolfson and University athletes, both past and present! 

If you have any images of yourself that you would like to be added to the new posters in the gym, please send them along to us by filling out our Google Form here!

News From the Wolfson Community - Spotlight on Fellows

Dr Olga Petri
The urban historical geographer reframing St Petersburg
Olga is an urban historical geographer and a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Research Fellow in the Department of Geography. Aside from the obvious influence of an academic family, the main early inspiration for her academic career was the city – St. Petersburg, where, she says, “virtually all of my known ancestors lived and where I was born.”

Olga feels fortunate to have grown up in the centre of the city, and as a fifteen-year-old walking to school along the Moika River near Palace Square, she began to think about how people in the past experienced the same urban spaces... Read more

Dr William Simpson
Dr William Simpson awarded prestigious philosophy prize

Wolfson Junior Research Fellow, Dr William Simpson, has been awarded the prestigious Cardinal Mercier Prize 2021 for his thesis, ‘What’s the matter? Toward a neo-Aristotelian Ontology of Nature’.

“I was delighted to learn – on my birthday, as it happens – that I had been awarded the Cardinal Mercier Prize in philosophy,” said Dr Simpson. “I was humbled too, when I reflected upon the careers of a number of scholars who have been awarded this prize in the past... Read more

The Humanities Society
The Humanities Society is back for this academic year
On Tuesday evenings in full term, Wolfson College hosts a talk in the arts, humanities or social sciences. Humanities is widely defined, including  history, literature, languages, economics, law, political science, music and fine arts. Please see the College website for their upcoming events.

There are many societies at Wolfson that run their own programmes throughout the year. Please, see the website for information.

Other news and events

Wolfson Review News
This year’s edition will be emailed with postal copies sent on request. Please, look out for information on mailing preferences coming soon.

Booking College Rooms and Formal Hall 
Please note that Alumni are now able to book College Rooms and Formal Hall, including one guest place, subject to Coronavirus guidelines

Covid-19 Guidelines
Please visit our website for Wolfson College's latest Coronavirus guidance.

Dates for your calendar

18 - 24 October 2021
COP26 at Wolfson
The Wolfson Sustainability Research Hub is hosting a series of events throughout COP26 Week devised in the build up the United Nations COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow. There are activities both online, and in person that everyone can get involved with. If you can join us in Cambridge, there will also be a guided visit to the Cambridge Botanical Gardens led by our own wonderful College gardeners. To find out more information about COP26 at Wolfson, please visit our website.

26 October 2021
Opening of Art Exhibition: Irini Bachlitzanaki's, The Combination Show
The official opening of the Wolfson College Cambridge Royal Academy Schools Graduate Prize Winner for 2021, Irini Bachlitzanaki's, The Combination Show. Borrowing its title from the name of the room, The Combination Show brings together a selection of older and more recent works that employ various embroidery techniques to create different versions of everyday objects we share our lives with... Read more

The exhibition will run from 24 October 2021 to 9 January 2022.

11 November 2021
Commemoration of Benefactors' Dinner
Our annual event for major donors, the President Circle, and members of the Morrison Society. If you have any queries regarding the dinner please contact our Development & Alumni Office on alumni@wolfson.cam.ac.uk

24 November 2021
Lee Seng Tee Lecture
We end our Wolfson Explores ✱BORDERS programme with Dr Adam Rutherford, who will speak at this year's Lee Seng Tee Distinguished Lecture. The roots of biology are inextricably bound to the politics of empire. Human classification began in service of European expansion, and with it come the foundations of race and scientific racism that we endure today... Read more

The Lecture will take place in College in the Lee Hall and will be followed by a drinks reception. Tickets are free, and can be booked here. If you are unable to attend the lecture in person, we will also be livestreaming the event via our website

11 December 2021
Festive Event
Join us in College for the Wolfson Festive Event. Expect great stalls, delicious food, and festive fun! Keep your eyes peeled for more information coming soon!

January 2022
London Drinks
In January, we will once again be hosting our annual London Drinks at the Oxford and Cambridge Club. Further details about this event will be available soon.

You can sign up for the College's weekly event e-newsletter, This Week at Wolfson, to get an email of the week's events in your inbox every Monday during term. You can also visit our website to check what exciting events are coming up!

Keep in touch

If you have news to share or need to update your contact details, please email development-admin@wolfson.cam.ac.uk or use our form.

You can also sign up for This Week at Wolfson to get notifications about College events, every Monday during term.

Alumni can reconnect with old classmates through Wolfson Connect.

Shopping through Amazon?

Use AmazonSmile and Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchase to Wolfson. Login to your amazon.co.uk account using this link to nominate Wolfson as your chosen charity, and make all your future purchases through smile.amazon.co.uk (same products, same prices, same service). Purchases must be made through AmazonSmile and not the main site to qualify. For more information about the AmazonSmile programme, see the AmazonSmile Q&As.

Wolfson College is a Registered Charity (No. 1138143). We promise to ensure our fundraising is legal, open, honest and respectful.

registered with fundraising regulator

Contact Us

Privacy and Cookies

Copyright 2018 Wolfson College, Barton Road, Cambridge CB3 9BB Tel: +44 (0)1223 335900 | Registered Charity Number 1138143 | VAT Registration Number 195 8858 32