Month: September 2015
As the flurry of posts to this website today demonstrates, the last forty-eight hours at Regent’s have been very busy and exciting. It was a great privilege to round off our Alumni Weekend activities yesterday with a visit from the Chancellor of the University, The Lord Patten of Barnes. The purpose of the Chancellor’s visit was to commemorate the successful migration of postgraduate and undergraduate students from Greyfriars Hall to Regent’s Park College in 2008, when the Hall closed. Greyfriars was a Permanent Private Hall of the University run by the Capuchin Order of Friars Minor (a branch of the Franciscan Order) and the successor of a medieval house of study which was suppressed in the sixteenth century. Greyfriars and Regent’s both received licences to matriculate Oxford students in 1957. The Chancellor last visited Regent’s in 2010, when he unveiled a sheild commemorating the arrival of the Greyfriars students, designed by and gifted to the College by Greyfriars’ last warden, The Revd Fr Mark Turnham Elvins (1939-2014).
Above: The Chancellor made a short speech in which he described Regent’s as one of the University’s hidden gems and congratulated the College for the successful integration of the Greyfriars community. The MCR played its part in this process.
Above: The commemorative sheild, which now hangs in Helwys Hall.
Above: Chris Patten with John Major.
Lord Patten became Chancellor in 2003 after a distinguished political career, during which he served in a variety of ministerial roles under Prime Ministers Margaret, Baroness Thatcher (pm. 1979-90) and Sir John Major (pm. 1990-97), including Chairman of the Conservative Party (1990-92). Lord Patten was also the last British Governor of Hong Kong (1992-97), Chairman of the BBC Trust (2011-14) and the principal architect of the visit of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI (p. 2005-2013) to the United Kingdom in 2010.
Many congratulations to MCR members who graduated yesterday. The Principal Emeritus and Dean of Degrees, The Revd Professor Paul Fiddes, led the procession to the Sheldonian Theatre for an 11 o’clock ceremony presided over by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Andrew Hamilton. Afterwards, many new graduates and their families returned to Regent’s for a reception in the Hall, which inevitably spilled out into the Quad, bathed in autumn sunshine.
Former MCR members will always be welcome to visit Regent’s and the MCR Exec. wishes all of them the very best of luck in their future endeavours.
Above: The Principal, The Revd Dr Robert Ellis, congratulated the graduates and their guests.
Above: One graduate was Ross Maidment (centre), MCR Vice-President from 2013-2015, pictured here with the Chaplain, The Revd Dr Myra Blyth (left), and the MCR President, Matthew Mills (right).
The University is holding its annual Alumni Weekend, when former students are invited to return to Oxford and visit their own and other colleges for a round of exciting events and activities. One such alumni event was a wine tasting at Regent’s on Friday evening, which was attended by some of our own alumni – including a number of former MCR members – as well as many others. Dr Lynn Robson (Lecturer in English) organised the event, in which an excellent wine tasting, facilitated by Regent’s alumna and buyer for the Wine Society, Sarah Knowles (2003, Geography), was interspersed with dramatic readings from poetry and prose on the theme of wine.
The latest phase of our MCR refurbishment project was completed today, when our new furniture arrived! The new chairs are (mercifully) lighter than the old red sofas and much easier to move; we hope that this will make the MCR a more versatile space which members can use for social and academic gatherings. The Exec. would like thank everyone who has helped with the refurbishment of the MCR and the MCR Study Room in the Library.
The MCR is now well into its second decade – a representative of the College’s Graduate Society was first co-opted on to the Governing Body in 2002/03 – and with each academic year it grows and diversifies, both academically and culturally, making a bigger impact in College! If this trend continues in the years to come, MCR members will need better facilities; hopefully this refurbishment is just the first phase of improvements in the long-term.
As before, here are some ‘before and after’ shots: