Christ's College Alumni

Fellows Garden Autumn 4

Image: autumn leaves on a tree in the Fellows' Garden


Welcome to the Autumn 2023 E-Newsletter. 


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Image: a bee and flowers in Third Court


Greetings from the new Development Director, Alexandra Rowlands (m. 2003)

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It is a joy to be introducing our Autumn e-newsletter, my first as Development Director.

Already in the five weeks since I started my new role, I have met over 200 alumni from across the generations at our two September reunions and enjoyed speaking and corresponding with those who have so kindly been in touch to welcome me to Christ’s.  I look forward to meeting many more Old Members during my first year and do encourage you to attend one of our upcoming events, or to exercise your dining privileges and join us for dinner at High Table!

Whilst I am newly in post as Development Director, I am making a happy return to Christ’s. In the last week, as the weather turns (for the most part!) to autumn, and College has been busy with newly arrived Freshers, I am taken straight back to October 2003 when I matriculated and was welcomed into the Christ’s community. And whilst the warmth of that welcome, the sound of the chapel bells and the tranquillity of the Fellows’ Garden are just as they ever were, much has changed in this time.

There are en-suites in New Court (!), magnificent postgraduate accommodation in the newly opened Yusuf Hamied Court, and not one, but two College cats patrolling Third Court. There is a recently appointed Wellbeing Advisor, ever-growing means-tested support for Christ’s students (£800,000 last year alone) and exciting plans emerging to re-imagine what library and study space could look like for future generations. So many of these changes have only been possible with the generous and longstanding support of our alumni. And so I end with sincere thanks, and a warm invitation to call into V2 any time, I’d be delighted to see you.


New students and Fellows

Earlier this month, Christ’s welcomed 127 new undergraduate and 121 new postgraduate students of fifty different nationalities. An engaging and entertaining programme of events has been delivered by the JCR and MCR, and the college has been very lively.

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Image: a student signs the matriculation book in the presence of the Chaplain.

The college has also welcomed seven new Fellows. To see more information about the new Fellows, please click here.

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Images: pictures of some of the new Fellows: left, Dr Joanna Bellis; middle, Dr Arianne Urus; right, Dr Luca Sapienza.


Sandi Toksvig elected a Bye-Fellow

Popular author, presenter, and founder of the Women’s Equality Party, Sandi Toksvig OBE, has been elected a Bye-Fellow of Christ’s College and awarded the first Qantabrigian Q+ Fellowship by the Department of Sociology. 

During her time in Cambridge, Sandi will develop the Mappa Mundi Project, aiming to produce a digital resource which will allow women from around the world to share their personal stories, hardships, and achievements. She will also convene a series of workshops to promote the LGBTQ+ research programme, whose founding director is Christ’s Fellow Professor Sarah Franklin.

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Image: Sandi Toksvig sitting in Darwin's room, First Court. Photo: Graham CopeKoga


September Reunions  

In September, the college welcomed alumni back for two special events: the first reunion, for matriculants of years up to and including 1964, alongside 1973 matriculants; and the second reunion, for matriculants of 1995 to 1999. Both events were very successful and well attended. Alumni enjoyed good weather, good food, and very good company. Many opted to stay in college for an authentic return to their student experience.

The first reunion, on the ninth, coincided with one of the hottest days of the September heatwave. Afternoon tea in the Fellows’ Garden was followed by a riveting talk by Professor David Reynolds in the Yusuf Hamied Theatre. An excellent dinner was followed by an excellent toast to the college by Sir Martin Sorrell (m. 1963).

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Images: pictures from the first September reunion. More pictures can be found here.

The second reunion, on the twenty-third, coincided with the England-Chile fixture of the rugby world cup. Afternoon tea in the Fellows’ Garden was followed by a very engaging presentation from our chaplain, Revd Dr Helen Orchard, in the Yusuf Hamied Theatre. In the evening, the dining hall was full to capacity with well over one-hundred alumni. Dr Kieran West (m. 1995) gave a moving toast to the college. The buttery closed at 11:30pm, though the sentiment in First Court appeared to be that the night was only just beginning.

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Images: pictures from the second September reunion. More pictures can be found here.

These events remind us of the enduring bonds of the Christ’s alumni community. That, though the vocations and locations of its members may be very different, all are welcome to return to College and reunite as friends.


A selection of recent publications   

Professor David Reynolds’ new book, Mirrors of Greatness: Churchill and the Leaders Who Shaped Him, will be published by William Collins on 12th October. Alumni who attended the first September reunion were treated to a preview and early reviews have been extremely positive. Popular historian Adam Zamoyski called the book ‘A highly imaginative and thought-provoking way of exploring the personality of a man who, like him or loathe him, left an indelible mark on our age’.

Exploring Churchill’s path to greatness, defined by the leaders he encountered along the way, Mirrors of Greatness offers vivid new perspectives on Churchill’s life and work. It shows what this unique man saw in his great contemporaries and what those contemporaries saw in him.

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Images: cover artwork for Mirrors of Greatness and After Nativism

Former Christ’s Fellow Professor Ash Amin CBE has recently published After Nativism: Belonging in an Age of Intolerance. This book examines the rise of strongarm nativist politics and questions whether progressive forces could mobilise a politics of belonging in its wake. 


On the origin of theses 

Chloe King (m. 2021), a Christ’s PhD student in Conservation Leadership, is conducting research in the Galápagos Islands. Her research will explore the effects that “regenerative tourism” may have on the ecosystem of the islands.

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Images: a photograph of tourists in the Galápagos Islands and Christ's student Chloe King.


This fieldwork follows a three-day policy workshop held in August, part-funded by the College’s Charles Darwin and Galápagos Islands Fund. The workshop examined regenerative ecological projects involving tourists as active participants, working to remove invasive species and planting native flora.

The workshop was convened by the Galápagos National Park in collaboration with the Charles Darwin Foundation, Galapagos Conservation Trust, Galapagos Hub, and the University of San Francisco in Quito.


Archives acquisitions

Last month, Christ’s alumnus Nigel Hensman (m. 1954) donated a boating singlet to the college archives. Remembering his time rowing for the College, he says: 

‘This singlet is the one I wore when rowing bow in the CCBC first boat in the May Races in 1955. We started 5th and were bumped once, so ended as 6th on the river. As bow, I may well have been the Christ's oarsman ever to row so close to the "Head of the River"!’ 

Nigel has previously donated a beautiful boating blazer (pictured, rather than the singlet) from when he was a member of the first boat.

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Image: a first team blazer with a rose embroidered on the chest pocket.

Also newly donated to archives, a large collection of autobiographical writings, dating back to the 1960s, from past College organ scholars. This material was collected during the organ scholars’ reunion earlier in the summer. More will be written about this collection at a future time, but the oral history potential of this material is striking.

If you would like to contact the archivist, Dr Lucy Hughes, please email


Lady Margaret Lecture  - Tuesday 24 October

Professor Lyndal Roper, Regius Professor of History at Oxford since 2011, will give a Lady Margaret Lecture 'Brotherhood: Masculinity and the German Peasants' War 1524-1526', in the Yusuf Hamied Theatre on Tuesday 24 October 2023, 5:30pm to 7:00pm. All alumni are very welcome to attend.

Lyndal Roper is the first woman, and the first Australian, to hold the post of Regius Professor of History at Oxford. A distinguished historian of early modern Europe, she has written extensively on gender, witchcraft, and Martin Luther. She is now working on the German Peasants' War - the largest popular revolt in western Europe before the French Revolution.


Christmas with Christ’s, Temple Church - Monday 4 December, 6.45pm – 9.30pm

With thanks to Master of the Temple Robin Griffith-Jones (m. 1986) and Bencher of Inner Temple Tommy Teague (m. 1972), we are delighted to invite you to start your festive season with Christ’s at the Temple Church on Monday 4th December! 

Under the direction of Professor David Rowland, the choir will interweave seasonal music with readings from students and Fellows, in the glorious surroundings of the Temple Church. They will also launch their new CD of works by Annabel Rooney (m. 1991). The current choir will be joined by alumni for selected pieces and there will also be carols for all to enjoy singing together. 

After the hour-long performance, drinks and canapés will be served in the beautiful 12th-century Round Church from 8.00pm to 9.30pm. 

The cost of the event is £55 per person for alumni who matriculated prior to 2010 and thier guests. For alumni who matriculated between 2010 and 2020, and their guests, the cost is a reduced £45 per person. You can book by clicking here. For further information please contact the Development Office on or by telephone, 01223 766710.

Choir Association Members – if you would like to join with the current choir for a small number of items in the programme, there will be a short rehearsal at 6pm before the doors open at 6.45pm. As well as booking your place via the link above, please email the Development Office on with a note of your voice part so that we know to expect you!

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Images: exterior and interior of Temple Church.


With best wishes from the Development and Alumni Relations Team.


Coming up at Christ's: The 2024-2025 year

31 October 2023 Christ's London Circus

4 November 2023 Life Sciences Network

12 November 2023 – Fisher Society Lunch*

*NB: Fisher society invitations will be posted this week

4 December 2023 Christmas with Christ's

14 March 2024 – Alumni Evensong

6 April 2024  – MA Congregation

13 April 2024 – CCMAA Conference

13 June 2024 – Alumni Evensong

15 June 2024 – May Bumps Picnic

24 June 2024 – Old Members' Reunion Lunch (m. 2000 to m. 2005 inclusive)

29 June 2024 – Association Dinner (open to all alumni and guests)

30 June 2024 – Family Day Picnic

7 September 2024 – First Reunion Dinner (up to m. 1965, m. 1974)

14 September 2024 – Blades Regatta and Reunion Dinner

21 September 2024 – Second Reunion Dinner (m. 2006 to m. 2010 inclusive)

 Please keep the Development Office updated with your preferred address details.
You can view the contact details the College holds for you by logging into the alumni portal at: 


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