"We may scatter ourselves across continents, we may forget one another, but Univ has not forgotten or lost touch with us, and has an eschatological plan to bring us all together somehow."
Univ Old Members and their guests were welcomed back to College on Saturday 17 September for a special programme of talks, tours and a drinks reception, organised as part of the Oxford Alumni Weekend 2016. The programme included a walking tour of Univ's beautiful gardens with award-winning Head Gardener, Bruce Taylor, a talk by Univ's Sollas Tutorial Fellow in Geology Dr Lars Hansen (Associate Professor of Mineralogy and Petrology) and a drinks reception hosted by Univ's resident expert on Prince Felix Yusupov and Grigory Rasputin, Dr Mike Nicholson (Emeritus Fellow - Russian, Dean of Degrees) in the Master’s Lodgings.
Revd Alan Cook (1980, History) has kindly provided this report:
Univ, like God, has decided that we belong to one another. We may not believe it, we may not choose it, but that’s what the College thinks anyway. Having lived in Canada for the last 27 years, I have, thanks to an assiduous alumni office, never been unaware that Univ was part of my story, and that I, in some infinitesimal way, am part of Univ’s story, too. Now that I’ve returned to England, I decided to express my ‘belongingness’ by attending one of the occasional ‘Alumni Days’. About 35 alumni (from 1949 to 2009) plus family members, gathered in the Gardens, tramped to the Chapel and mingled in the Master’s Lodgings. We learned about the benefits of hydrangeas in shaded courts, about the relationship between plate tectonics and ketchup, and the attractiveness of the cross-dressing Felix Yusupov to the future Edward VII. All in all, about three hours, 13 conversations and a deeper sense of belonging to one another, and of Univ belonging to us. We may scatter ourselves across continents, we may forget one another, but Univ has not forgotten or lost touch with us, and has an eschatological plan to bring us all together somehow. Hence the Alumni Days, and Julie Boyle’s wonderful prophetic work, crying out for us to return, to find our identity and our joy in the bosom of our Alma Mater.
A selection of images can be viewed on our Univ Alumni Day Pinterest Board here – Note: If you do not already have a Pinterest account you will be asked to create one, supplying just an email address and password; it takes moments and the sign-up is non-intrusive. We hope you enjoy these additional images and memories.