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.