Christ's College Alumni

                   E-newsletter Spring 2018

Welcome to the spring issue of the e-newsletter


GBE for Professor Sir Keith Peters

Honorary Fellow Professor Sir Keith Peters has been given an even higher honour in the New Year Honours list by being awarded a GBE (Knights Grand Cross of the British Empire) for Services to the Advancement of Medical Science.

Sir Keith, who was previously Knighted in 1993, graduated in Medicine from the Welsh National School of Medicine in 1961, later becoming Regius Professor of Physic at the University of Cambridge and head of the School of Clinical Medicine in the late 80s. His research interests focus on the immunology of renal and vascular disease, and in particular on how delineation of immunological mechanisms can lead to new therapies for these disorders. Sir Keith was elected an Honorary Fellow of Christ’s in 2005 and the College is enormously proud of his achievements.


Charles Blackham Memorial Competition

The winner of the 2018 Charles Blackham Memorial Competition was Simon Fraser (m. 2016). Simon is an oboist and he played Britten's Phaeton, from the Six Metamorphoses After Ovid; Rubbra's Sonata in C, 1st and 2nd movements (Con Moto and Elegie); Silvestrini's Le Ballet Espagnol. The competition took place on Saturday 27 January in the College Chapel. It is held every year in memory of the late Charles Blackham (m. 2007) and the winning musician receives a prize, generously donated by Charles' mother, Sally Blackham.


Looking to the future

The College has successfully completed a major upgrade to its computer network backbone using the very latest fibre technology that will support the current and future IT infrastructure requirements for at least the next 25 years. Christ’s were also the first college to migrate its main datacentre equipment to the University West Cambridge Datacentre (WCDC). This happened in December and we have already started a trend with Clare College following shortly after.


Putting Pen to Paper

Christ's alumnus, David Hunt (m. 1955), made the press recently when he published his book of poetry. David read English and History at College and after a career in education, he retired to Cumbria where he has been writing poetry ever since. Inklings: a Medley of Poems, is the result. His verse covers a wide range of topics, and his son Justin, a professional artist, has illustrated many of the poems, including the front cover.

David Hunt (m. 1955) at the launch of his book. Photo courtesy of The Westmorland Gazette.


2018 Oxford Cambridge Boat Race

Cambridge University Women’s Boat Club (CUWBC) has announced the crews to race in the 2018 Cancer Research UK Boat Races against Oxford. The CUWBC Blue Boat includes our very own Tricia Smith (m. 2013) who was in last year's victorious reserve crew. Tricia learned to row with the Christ's College Boat Club and came through the CUWBC Development Squad.

This year's Boat Races will take place on Saturday 24 March 2018 with the Women’s Boat Race at 4.31pm and the Women’s Reserve Race at 4.46pm. The Men's Reserve Race is at 5.01pm, with the Men's Boat Race following at 5.32pm.



The CUWBC Crew 2018 including Christ's student Tricia Smith (bottom row; second from right)


Christ's College Telephone Campaign 2018

Above: Some of this year's calling team


It's almost that time of year again for the College Telephone Campaign. We have now chosen a team of sixteen keen and interested Christ's students who are very much looking forward to picking up the phone and having some enjoyable conversations with alumni, whilst raising some much-needed financial support for College. The Campaign will take place between 9 - 23 April, so we look forward to speaking to you then!


Down at the Bottom of the Garden...

This issue, Oliver Neale, who is new to the gardening team at Christ's, takes us through the last few months in and around the College grounds:


This winter has seen the addition of an olive tree (Olea europaea) to First Court which was planted in February. The tree stands in the corner by the Chapel, recalling its symbolic meaning of peace.


 And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf pluckt off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth. Genesis 8:10-11


We believe that the olive tree is around 200 years old, its gnarled trunk being very impressive, and it replaces the Magnolia grandiflora which was removed in August 2017. The tree’s presence gives a Mediterranean touch to First Court, making us look forward to warmer months. 
Recent visitors to the Fellows’ Garden may have noticed the construction of a new path on the left-hand side as one looks down the garden from the main entrance. The path runs along the back of the Blyth Building, linking the main entrance to the door near the Yusuf Hamied Centre in New Court. We look forward to planting herbaceous borders on either side of the path in March. As members of a College which values tradition, readers may be reassured to know that the path is not a recent invention. While the Head Gardener, Sergio Ballarin, had the idea of the path recently, a map of the Fellows’ Garden from 1884 reveals that it once existed where the Blyth Building now stands.

On 29 December 2017, the Medlar tree (Mespilus germanica) which was situated next to Milton’s Mulberry came down in strong winds. Once we had removed the tree, we extended the lawn a few metres into the shrubbery, using turf we had dug out to make way for the path (every little helps!). The area is now clearer and the view of Milton’s Mulberry is less obstructed. We will plant a new Medlar in the same spot as the old one shortly, but it will be many years until it reaches the size of its predecessor.
We have been following the usual routine for the time of year. Every January, we spend two weeks turning the compost heap – it is very large! Otherwise, we have raked, leaf-blown, swept, dug, wheel-barrowed, cleaned, photographed and tweeted our way through the winter days, fuelled by sandwiches from the Buttery and cups of tea down at the bottom of the garden...  

For more regular updates about the garden, you are invited to follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Twitter: @GardensChrists

Instagram: @christscollegegardens

Facebook: @ChristsCollegeGardens


L: The olive tree in First Court, R: The path in the Fellows' Garden

As ever you can leave a comment or suggest a topic for the Gardening Diary on our online alumni NetCommunity pages here. Please log on and select 'Discussion Groups' from the Alumni Community drop down menu. If you have forgotten your password then click 'forgotten log in details' and follow the instructions. We'd love to hear from you!   



15 March: Alumni Evensong

7 April: MA Congregation

14/15 April: CCMAA Meeting 2018

10 May: Women's Networking Event

16 June: May Bumps Picnic


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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