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Issue 32 Spring/Summer 2012


DURHAM ROWERS From 1815 to the 2012 Olympics KLUTE GOES UPMARKET Today’s students outraged

CAN YOU TELL IF YOUR CHILD IS GAY? Sex research centre opens

Durham First – the magazine for alumni and friends of Durham University


Vice-Chancellor’s Questions

Q:What does it mean for Durham to join the Russell Group? A: The Russell Group is often branded by the press as representing the elite universities and many people therefore assumed Durham was already a member. However, as the Russell Group was established as a grouping of leading research universities with a medical school, so Durham (whose medical school became part of Newcastle University in 1963) was excluded. The Russell Group has recently agreed to expand its membership from 20 to 24 to ensure it really does represent the leading research-intensive universities in the UK which, of course, had to include Durham. I am sure our membership will strengthen the influence of the Russell Group, but it will also benefit Durham in many ways. First, I and senior staff will be able to meet regularly and share insights with the leaders of other leading UK universities, including Oxbridge, with a similar research-intensive ethos to ours. Second, membership will give us a much stronger voice politically, with government and nongovernment organisations, to promote our values of true excellence in research and education. Third, it will help our brand and profile internationally, where Durham is perhaps less well known than it should be. Finally, expansion of the Russell Group

From the Alumni Relations Manager Welcome to the Diversity Edition of Durham First. You know as well as I do that Durham is special. Research-intensive and intellectually demanding, but with a unique collegiate system that allows students here the space and support to do more than just grow up while getting a degree. Durham creates diverse opportunities for people to develop in unexpected ways.

establishes an unambiguous grouping of the leading universities in the UK, and of course that is where Durham belongs as the University becomes a leading global player. Q:How has Durham University prepared itself for the new student fees regime? A: The new student fee structure only applies to a proportion of our students, specifically home/EU undergraduates. We knew these changes were coming and as students would now be paying the full cost of their education (rather than receiving government subsidies for a significant part of their education) it was clear that student expectations would be enhanced. I trust we are well prepared. Educationally, we are launching an international recruitment drive for 40 new professors and other academic staff ( to strengthen our research and teaching base. We have invested substantially in new facilities – a stunning library extension has recently opened, nearly doubling the size of the library and providing state-of-the art student work spaces, as well as expansion of the library on Stockton campus; a new student services centre (the Palatine centre) which will open this summer, bringing together all the student-facing services into one central

Many Durham alumni had never rowed before they came here, and it is this wonderfully photogenic aspect of Durham life that we celebrate on the cover and in this edition’s photo story. Most people give up rowing when they graduate, but, for a committed few, it becomes their life’s work. Alumnus Stephen Rowbotham arrived as a tennis player but took up an oar for the first time while at Durham and went on to become an Olympic bronze medallist. (Read more about Stephen and our alumni Olympic hopefuls on page 21.) But diversity is about far more than the opportunity to try new sports and pastimes. There is Richard Adams (page 16), who took inspiration from the Christian tradition at St John’s and created the Fairtrade movement. There is Professor Sheikha Al-Misnad (page 4), who used her Durham PhD to develop a vision of Arab education

and purpose-designed location including careers, international office, disability and counselling services, and academic support services; our new centre of sporting excellence, opened by the Minister for Sport and the Olympics at Maiden Castle and a new Olympic quality indoor sports hall at Stockton; and a major rolling programme of refurbishment of College rooms, JCRs and other facilities to enhance the student experience more generally. Finally, we have put in place one of the most generous bursary and scholarship schemes of any UK university to support undergraduates whose financial circumstances would otherwise make it difficult for them to accept the place they have won at Durham, part of our strategy to ensure Durham admits the most able students with greatest potential irrespective of background. I am pleased to say that our alumni and friends have been particularly generous in supporting student scholarships and bursaries. For example, a local businessman, Bob Young, has provided a £1 million endowment to ensure financial constraints do not limit the opportunity of students from County Durham who win a place to join our College and University communities. Professor Chris Higgins Vice-Chancellor and Warden

that she is now putting into practice as the first female president of Qatar University. And then there is the opening of the research Centre for Sex, Gender and Sexualities (page 18) pioneered by Professor Jo Phoenix, it shows how Durham can lead the way by asking (and answering) some of society’s most challenging questions. As we launch our international search for 40 new professors and other members of our academic staff (see VCQs above), it is an ideal time to celebrate how diverse we have always been. We hope this edition reminds you of what a great time you had when you were here.

Astrid Alvarez, Co-Editor











04 Icon

16 What Are Universities For?

02 VCQs

Sheikha Al-Misnad, President of Qatar University

Richard Adams – Founder of Traidcraft

Questions to the Vice-Chancellor

07 The First BA in Africa?

18 Can You Tell if Your Child is Gay?

02 From the Alumni Relations Manager

NS Davis has been found!

Sex research centre opens

Welcome to the Diversity Edition of Durham First

08 Rowing through Time

21 Ones to watch at the Olympics

24 Experience Durham

A photo essay

Our alumni contenders

12 The Big New Alumni Benefit

22 Leaving Durham a Legacy

Student achievement in sport, music, the arts and volunteering

Journals online for free

Would you consider leaving a gift to Durham in your will?

26 News in Brief

23 Research + Impact = Money

Back Cover – Alumni Events Calendar

Help solve the equation

Dates for your diary

13 Klute Goes Upmarket Today’s students outraged

14 The Great North Book

Alumni and University news

How you helped bring the Lindisfarne Gospels to Durham EDITORS Astrid Alvarez Alumni Relations Manager David Williams Development Communications Manager DEPUTY EDITOR Tim Guinan Alumni Relations Officer

IMAGES Andrew Bennison and George Ledger (Contemporary sports and rowing images page 11) Angus Alexander Macfarlane-Grieve (1891-1970) (Historical rowing images page 10) Andrew Heptinstall (Rowing tank image page 9 and Richard Adams) Ali Mohamed E Hussein (Sheikha Abdulla Al-Misnad)

DESIGN Crombie PRINT Elanders CONTACT US Alumni enquiries/Letters to the Editor Alumni Relations Team Durham University, University Office Old Elvet, Durham DH1 3HP T: +44 (0) 191 334 6305 F: +44 (0) 191 334 6073 E: W: © Durham University 2012

Front cover image: University College Rowing Crew 1895. Opinions expressed are those of individual writers. Requests for reproducing material should be made to the Alumni Relations Office, where permission will usually be given.


Icon Sheikha Al-Misnad President of Qatar University It’s got Al Jazeera, the 2022 World Cup and enough gas and oil to make its citizens the richest in the world, but one of Qatar’s other big claims to fame is that its national university has a female president. David Williams talks to Durham alumna Sheikha Abdulla Al-Misnad about being a leader in Arab education.


At the moment, Qatar has the resources to do more or less what it likes, and what it has chosen to do is offer a kind of intellectual direction to the Arab world. In Al Jazeera, it has the most influential media outfit in the Middle East; it has created a Museum of Islamic Art, buying up the best examples from around the world; and it is using its wealth to secure its place as a diplomatic and military leader in the region (it sent four jets to support NATO intervention in Libya in 2011). Eventually, however, the gas will run out. What then for the 250,000 or so Qatari nationals and the million-plus ex-patriot workers who support them?

‘Research,’ she says in one of her speeches, ‘must go beyond publication in specialised and sophisticated journals. In fact, [it] should be used as the platform for solving social, economic, ecological, and technology issues and problems that we face.’

‘Excellence is honesty that must be seriously observed.’

bodies; otherwise you cannot function as a knowledge-based entity. Universities were global even before the word global became trendy.’ Her Durham PhD was titled The Development of Modern Education in the Gulf States with Special Reference to Women’s Education and was published by Ithaca, going on to become one of the key intellectual resources for those interested in education in the region. But it was becoming University President that gave her the opportunity to put her ideas into practice – the biggest moment of her career. In a decade, she has taken the University from what she describes as a ‘traditional institution’ (where learning was by rote memorization, administration was centralised and there was no room for new ideas) to one that is poised to become one of the leading intellectual institutions in the region. To achieve this, she has had to fight both the inertia of traditional culture and the entropy of wealth.

‘We have to be competitive,’ says Sheikha Al-Misnad (PhD Education, St Aidan’s, 1984). ‘We are blessed with economic ‘For us to add value to world knowledge, resources, but we have yet to develop we should capitalise on our comparative fully our range of professional human advantages,’ she explains in person. resources. The only way for Qataris to ‘For example, we can research new drive their country’s economic growth is ways to protect and sustain the marine to be competitive. We live in a resourceenvironment. In the social sciences, we based economy, but we are aware that have established a social and economic the resources will run out eventually. This is her maxim: ‘Excellence is honesty survey institute that studies how the We are a small country in an increasingly that must be seriously observed.’ attitudes of Qatari people are changing globalized world. If we are not competitive during what is probably the fastest social in the knowledge economy, everything ‘In our part of the world, we do not like transformation in history. By focusing we have now in terms of economic to speak openly about problems or on our local strengths, we can contribute resources and our progress as a modern to admit that there are sometimes to human knowledge globally. nation would be in jeopardy. For us Qataris, challenges and mistakes,’ she explains. it is the only way to survive in the future.’ ‘For me, honesty is about doing what you ‘Knowledge and science and discoveries Since becoming the first female President are human. They have no race, no colour, say you will do. When you say we will produce 1,000 new graduates, you no religion, and they are fast changing of Qatar University in 2003, Sheikha have to make sure that they are really all over the world. So when you produce Al-Misnad has continually stressed three competent graduates and not just knowledge as an academic institution, fundamentals: the University has to numbers. This is my struggle. How you have to share it globally. If you want produce competitive graduates; it has to do we achieve genuine excellence? to be a forward-looking institution and do world-leading and relevant research; You cannot reach excellence without and, in order to drive up standards, it has one that is in tune with the times, you to pursue international accreditation. have to link yourself to international facing challenges honestly.’


She talks about the pre-oil days, when the men were away diving for pearls from June to October and the women were independent and managed the family’s affairs. And she talks about the poverty and danger: how the pearl divers always owed money to the owners of the boats and how, if a man died, his widow might have to marry the boat owner to settle the family’s debts. And she talks about how her father’s generation had the hardest life on earth, living in the desert on only dates and fish, and of the deaths from famine during the Second World War. And you do think, why not them, the children and grandchildren of pearl divers, who were some of the poorest and most vulnerable people on earth, why should they not be the lucky ones now?

‘The youth in the Arab world are discovering themselves… We are just at the beginning of that process of revolution.’

‘Do you know what sometimes comes to my mind?’ she says. ‘My mother is still alive. She got married at 13 and saw nothing of the world apart from the inside of her house. And my daughter is in the same family, and she got her graduate education in the United States. The people of that era are living peacefully and happily with the youth of today.

‘This new generation is so different. They are more assertive, more self-confident, they express themselves freely, they have high expectations of what they want and they want to have a role in the world. This is what we wanted to happen. This is good. This is the generation that will be ‘Whenever I go to conferences or Then there is the entropy of wealth. more innovative, more creative, more meetings, the first thing journalists ask is ‘The youth of this country are perhaps critical in their thinking. Education about women. In the West, they have this the luckiest youth on earth,’ she says. and the internet have opened their eyes stereotype that a woman in the Middle ‘For education, for jobs, for promotion – to completely new worlds. They have East must be secluded, neglected, the opportunities are limitless for discovered that they can say their marginalised or demoralised. I am sure young Qataris. This is why I emphasise this is the case in some societies – Muslim opinion and that they can be different competitiveness in the global knowledge and that there is nothing wrong with and otherwise. But I must admit that this economy. The comfort of the life we has simply not been my experience. I have being different. In the past, youth may enjoy now makes it more challenging have been marginalized, but today they never felt that I have been discriminated to promote motivation and hard work.’ are have started to express themselves against because I am a woman. and they want to be treated with respect And then, of course, there is the habitual and have their opinion respected. The ‘In this country, 75 per cent of university question of female education in the students are women, most of the engineers youth in the Arab world are discovering Arab world. At Qatar University, at themselves. I am not saying it is going to are women, most of the doctors are the undergraduate level, lectures are be easy, by the way; it will take another women, most of the accountants are delivered separately to male and female two decades of turmoil for something to students and there are women’s and men’s women. And although I am sure there evolve which can contain all of them, and campuses. (The women have a Starbucks, are women who experience injustice in I don’t know what that will be. I don’t the Arab world, often alongside poverty the men don’t – and grumble about it.) and lack of education, that same injustice think anyone knows. We are just at the beginning of that process of revolution. falls on men too. Women in the Arab But ask her about her own experience When I see my graduates on Twitter or world, and especially the Gulf area, and you get short shrift. ‘Why this on Facebook, I know that we are seeing are much stronger than how they are fascination with a woman’s position and a new generation.’ perceived in the West.’ status in the Muslim world?’ she asks.


The First BA in Africa? NS Davis has been found! Two editions ago, in June 2011, we asked if you could help us prove that Durham created the first BA in Africa. At that point, we only knew that the graduate’s name was NS Davis. However, after a big response from Durham First readers, we now know more. Matthew Andrews takes up the story.

Fourah Bay College, Freetown, Sierra Leone, founded in 1827 by the Church Missionary Society as a much-revised version of a pre-existing school called the Christian Institution, was affiliated to Durham University on 16 May 1876.

Negroes, and this would be the first instance of their having obtained actual degrees in any of the universities, and he could not help but feel this spoke well for civilisation and Christianity in Central Africa’.

By the time of its affiliation, the College had already gained a strong reputation in the region and earned for Freetown the title of the ‘Athens of Africa’.

Sadly, the University’s actions also attracted racist attacks. CE Whiting recorded in his history of the University (Sheldon Press, 1932) the comments in a London newspaper, criticising the action of the Senate… ‘that the next step would probably be the affiliation of the Zoo’.

On being affiliated to Durham, Fourah Bay became a broader institution, with a curriculum embracing a wide range of topics including ‘Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, French, German, Comparative Philology, History and Geography, as well as Moral Philosophy, Political Economy, Logic, Mathematics, Music, and some branches of Natural Science’. The first six students to graduate were conferred their awards in December 1878; one student gained a Bachelor of Arts and the remaining five received the Licentiate in Theology. That BA graduate was Nathaniel Davis, who was ordained sometime shortly afterwards. Davis went on to become a tutor at Fourah Bay College.

The Durham University Journal (the official journal of Durham University 1876 and 1995) carried the remarks from the subwarden of the time on these first degrees, and we quote: ‘these students were pure

Students at Fourah Bay continued to take Durham degrees until 1969, when students then started to take degrees from the University of Sierra Leone, to which the College had become affiliated in 1966. To return to our original question, the history of Fourah Bay, and indeed whether it awarded the first BA in Africa, is closely related to the establishment of another West African educational institution, Liberia College. This was an Americanfunded institution founded in 1851, but which did not admit students until 1863. A somewhat sporadic success, it graduated only ten students between 1866 and 1902. To determine whether Durham created the first BA in Africa, we still need to ask further questions. First, what education

Pictured: the late Rev. NS Davis, MA formerly a tutor at Fourah Bay College.

was provided by Liberia College in this period? Liberia College, although not as successful as Fourah Bay, did produce ‘graduates’ earlier; but what was the status of these degrees? Second, although we now have an image of Nathaniel Davis (see above) from the archives of Palace Green Library, it would be wonderful to find out what else is known about him. The University Calendar records some of the simple facts of his career, but did he leave traces anywhere else? So once again, we are asking for your help. Do you know anything about Liberia College or the life and achievements of Nathaniel Davis? We would love to hear from you: This DF article is based on a fascinating article by Matthew Andrews (MA Seventeenth-Century Studies, St Chad’s, 1997-98 and BA Philosophy & Theology, St Chad’s, 1994-97). Matthew is currently studying part-time for a DPhil at Oxford University in the development of English higher education during the nineteenth century, with a particular focus on the foundation and growth of Durham University. The original article is available on request and can be viewed in full at



TIME University Boat Club, Grand Challenge Cup Winners, 1860

Grey College Men’s Crew in the new rowing tank at Maiden Castle 2012.

It’s a Durham thing. Maybe you hadn’t rowed before you came here and didn’t pick up a blade again after you left, but in the three or four years in between it was out of bed before dawn and – ‘next stroke, easy oar, drop’ – just before lectures. It’s always been a Durham thing. Did you know the Regatta started in 1815 as an informal procession of boats to celebrate victory at Waterloo? There is even a painting of the event (see page 11),


and we have taken this as the starting point for a meandering photo tour through Durham’s rowing, past and future. The course includes the magnificently static Grand Challenge Cup winners of 1860 and the first live-action shots of the 1920s, when the only equipment a coach needed was a loud-hailer and the élan to wear his shorts in the snow. From there we come straight up to date with an image of the beautiful curves

that can be seen at Queen’s Campus in Stockton-on-Tees and the first shots of our very latest coaching technology: a powered, indoor rowing-tank. Costing £1 million and one of only three in the UK, the tank can generate water speeds of up to three metres per second and it is the centre-piece of a range of new sporting facilities at Maiden Castle. To read more about our alumni contenders see page 21.


An Informal Procession of Boats on the River Wear to Celebrate the Victory of Waterloo (1815) Oil on canvas, by Edmund Hastings (1781-1861)



THE BIG NEW ALUMNI BENEFIT Journals are now available online for free! JSTOR is a service that allows all Durham alumni and retired staff to access thousands of electronic journals courtesy of Dunelm Community and Durham University Library. This service will allow you to access a wealth of information, enabling you to keep up to date with recent research developments from Durham University and beyond.

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REGISTER NOW You need to be registered and logged on to Dunelm online community to access JSTOR. Once you are, this service is free to use and can be accessed anywhere in the world. For more information please visit

‘Having JSTOR is the single most brilliantly useful thing you could do for alumni! Real open access to life-long #research #learning’ (@pamfic via twitter)


KLUTE GOES UPMARKET A new sign, smart décor, new cocktails, contemporary music. What is happening at Durham’s favourite student nightclub? Future alumna and Palatinate writer, Frances Weetman (Economics and Politics, Collingwood, 2010- ) reports on the changes and the student reaction. On a cold, depressing day in early January, news struck. The management of Durham’s famous nightclub Klute announced a radical change to its format. The club was being given a facelift and was to be transformed into a haven for contemporary, ‘popular’ music. And one thing was for certain: the students were not happy about it. Amazingly they weren’t objecting simply because they liked the way it used to be. They were objecting because Klute had become a Durham University institution. Durham without “their” Klute didn’t seem like Durham at all. This strong emotional attachment to the club is all the more surprising as Klute is famous for being ‘Europe’s Worst Nightclub’. (It was originally the second worst but got promoted when its rival in Eastern Europe burnt to the ground.) Recent generations of alumni will remember Klute as being an uncompromising club that watched what other mainstream nightclubs were doing, and then said no to them all. Klute did things the Klute way. It didn’t care for pretentions, or how you were dressed. It was the place for a wonderfully off-beat night out, without the pressure to listen to ‘popular’ music or to dress à la mode.

By removing the quirkiness, enforcing a dress code and infusing the club with popular music, my contemporaries and I feared the worst. Durham was surely to lose one of its (other) greatest institutions. So, has it really changed so much? In some senses, yes. Many of Klute’s endearing and signature features have passed into the annals of Durham history. The graduation boards that proudly welcomed you into Klute’s entrance, signed by graduands at the end of each year, have been removed. Those beloved TVs above the bar, which displayed vintage University rugby matches, are sadly a thing of the past. College nights have been scrapped. And, yes, they now play contemporary music.

the famous purple lady, now takes pride of place in the main entrance. It seems as though the initial student backlash kept the old Klute alive. The club’s Sunday-night DJ and Durham favourite, DJ Frosty, saw his Klutedemise with the new changes, but people-power resurrected him to remain an ever-present feature of Durham’s nightlife and he is now a regular fixture at college bops and formals. ‘Cheesy’ music is now played in Klute every Tuesday, thanks to the student response.

But the student backlash faded as soon as Klute reopened. And there is one real reason for this: it hasn’t changed as much as we had feared. Yes, it’s slightly different. But really it’s a Klute that has responded to the 21st century. Although the graduation boards have been replaced by interactive screens, every night still closes with the traditional Klute song, That’s Amore. The manager, Andy, continues to run the show. And the old club sign, featuring

So, despite the cosmetic changes, it’s the student atmosphere that makes Klute what it truly is. And although the changes may have been unwelcome at first, Klute will always be Klute, as long as Durham students will it to be.


The Lindisfarne Gospels are arguably the North of England’s greatest masterpiece.


THE GREAT NORTH BOOK How alumni helped bring the Lindisfarne Gospels to Durham for July to September 2013 It is the must-see event of 2013 – the Lindisfarne Gospels in Durham. A spectacular three-month summer exhibition that sees the Gospels on show in the City that cherished them for more than half a millennium and with the inheritors of the scholarly and religious community that first created them at a time before the dawn of England.

The Lindisfarne Gospels are the four gospels bound together into a single book. The book was made in a monastery on the Northumbrian island of Lindisfarne in the eighth century AD. It was the creation of a single artist-scribe named Eadfirth, who blended styles of writing and decoration from classical, Celtic and Anglo-Saxon art to create what is recognised as one of the great landmarks of human cultural achievement.


Originally created to honour the North East’s ‘patron saint’, St Cuthbert, the book became, together with the saint’s body, one of the treasures of the religious community that originated on Lindisfarne. It was taken with them when they fled Viking attacks during the ninth century and became part of the cultural, scholarly and religious inheritance that led to the foundation of Durham Cathedral – one of England’s greatest architectural achievements – and, eventually, to the foundation of the University. The Gospels were cherished in Durham for over 500 years until the dissolution of the monasteries, when they became the property of the nation. Arguably, they are the North of England’s greatest masterpiece.

Image captions: 1. Opening page of St Matthew’s Gospel, reads ‘The book of the generation of Jesus Christ…’




The Exhibition

The Law and Music libraries have been moved to specialist facilities near the Main Library, and this has created space to sensitively adapt the original 17th-century spaces within the World Heritage Site, so expanding the research area for the scrutiny of rare manuscripts, improving the facilities for conservation, and creating additional study and exhibition space.

From 1 July to 30 September 2013, the Gospels will visit Durham once more. They will be exhibited in new, world-class facilities in the University’s Palace Green Library. Visitors to the exhibition will see some of Britain’s most significant manuscripts and books alongside stunningly beautiful artefacts from Anglo-Saxon England that have been drawn from national and regional collections. Surrounded by St Cuthbert’s treasures, including his sapphire ring, jewelled cross and travelling altar, the Gospels will be viewed in a setting that evokes a sacred atmosphere of pilgrimage and homage. The centrepiece is a once-ina-lifetime opportunity to see Cuthbert’s treasures together with the book that was written in his honour. The University would like to take this opportunity to thank many of our alumni for their support in refurbishing Palace Green Library. Without the quality of exhibition space that alumni helped us to create, we could not have staged the Gospels exhibition in Durham. Over the last three years, Palace Green Library has been transformed from the eclectic and fascinating warren of rooms you may once have known into a state-ofthe-art research hub and exhibition venue.

The first-floor exhibition hall has been transformed into the Wolfson Gallery, a space that can accommodate and showcase world-class exhibits such as the Gospels, while at the heart of the building is a new and enhanced Special Collections Reading Room – a place in which researchers will be able to work with our precious collections in a comfortable but secure, supervised room. Why not join us next summer and come and see the Gospels? You can book accommodation online at Our Appeal remains open, so if you would like to contribute to the continuing refurbishment of Palace Green Library, please visit If you give £100 or more, you can have your name, or the name of someone you choose to honour, listed on the wall of one of the new galleries.

2. St Luke the Evangelist. 3. Carpet page from St John’s Gospel. 4. Cat detail from Lindisfarne Gospels.



What are universities for? Richard Adams, founder of Traidcraft, talks to Carmen Thompson about the movement he created – and the part that universities can play in changing the world today.

‘What are universities for?’, asked Richard Adams, Traidcraft founder, giving an after-dinner speech to students at Durham on 23rd February 2009.

Exactly three years later, Stefan Collini released a book with the same title. But before Collini, before the Coalition Government, before the changes to higher education teaching budgets and the unimaginable changes to funding for students, Richard Adams’ words anticipated a deeper challenge to higher education: not just what are universities for, but what are they good for? This ability to anticipate is one of Adams’ greatest qualities – one that is essential to this social entrepreneur, who founded Traidcraft in 1979, initiated the Fairtrade movement and pioneered the marriage of social values to the market. Today, we find it difficult to think about what we are buying at the supermarket without thinking about the people who made the goods on the shelves. We have Adams to thank for this act of conscience. He wanted to change the world, but he understood that change starts with people. He anticipated that people would rather make fairness an everyday choice above purse and profit. So as he strides into a tea house in Newcastle on a grey April day in 2012, he brings a warmth and openness. If we imagine that change has to start with people, who better to talk with about what this change could look like for universities? To understand why Adams is the type of person who chooses to change the world, we need to picture him as a student at Durham in the 1960s. The first person in his family to choose a university education, he remembers that: ‘One day I was at home, the next – a huge range of possibilities’.


He read sociology in the Department of Social Theory and Administration (newly founded in 1964) – a new subject for Durham, in an era of new ideas. ‘The 1960s was a time of change,’ he says. ‘There was significant decline in all of the major industries and a period of great uncertainty. The Department was really in tune with these changes. The late Professor John Rex [who died in 2011] knew what sociology meant to contemporary society.’ Living and studying in a time of uncertainty seems to clear the ground for new ways of being. This was the temperature of the 1960s, where ‘even the cultural revolution in China seemed attractive, this throwing out of the past’. However, Adams was able to see beyond uncertainty towards an as yet unimagined future, because he was grounded in his ‘newly minted [Christian] faith’. ‘Having the frame of reference was very useful,’ he says. ‘Thinking about personal injustice and the gap between rich and poor… This is all bound up with the ecological question – our impact on the planet, the personal and the environmental.’ For Adams, it is this complex meshing of knowing ourselves and understanding our connection to others and the world we inhabit which seems to be key to leading meaningful and sustainable change. This faith informed the shape, direction and growth of Traidcraft, bringing about not only fairer relationships between consumers and producers, but leading to innovative business models, which gave staff a say in the business – an idea which anticipated the movement we now see towards corporate social responsibility. For Adams, what is different now compared to the 1960s is that, although we are faced with great uncertainty, our ability to imagine the world differently, and to feel empowered to change it, is not as present. So what can education contribute towards this people-before-profit thinking, to replicate this meshing of personal and environmental responsibility, and empower future generations to lead change?

‘Universities are not microcosms of society,’ he says, ‘but they have the capacity to become exemplar communities, if they choose. They need to commit to take this package of global justice issues seriously and take a whole approach to live out a future model, examining every area, building resources, going deep and looking at what is taught and how relevant it is to the future.’ Although Adams acknowledges the constraints on universities to meet contemporary demands, for example to square finances and league tables, he asks: ‘If you can’t do it in that setting, where can you do it?’

His values echo the ethos of his college, St John’s On a more practical level, he sees one of the roles of education as being to show people that certain types of change are necessary. Much of his current work as a member of the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels is concerned with how to engage the ordinary person with the energy debate and with their individual responsibility to change. ‘There are two things which politicians can take advantage of to make significant change,’ he explains. ‘The first is an educational process, the second is crisis. Education is far better.’ Adams’ vision for an education process that leads to significant change is founded upon strong values: ‘service, humility, understanding and valuing others’. This is not the familiar language of business that has rooted itself in the aspirations of education; nor is it the language of achievement for the sake of productivity. These values echo the ethos of his college,

St John’s. They are values which move beyond profit and productivity, to anticipate more complex measures of human aspiration. ‘In Europe, we are exploring alternatives to GDP, which include measuring wellbeing,’ he says. Adams’ ability to see this connectivity – to think beyond processes and to hold onto values – is part of a new self-discipline. He reveals that he has started to keep a record of his thoughts and feelings. This is partly ‘a reflective process,’ he explains, ‘but for the most part it is anticipation – where is everything going? Not just reflecting on the past, but making things relevant for the future.’ This practice is key to mapping out the pieces, imagining what could happen, rather than being trapped by the past. ‘It is possible for everyone to do this. If we did it more constructively, it might help.’ The challenge that Adams sees for universities hinges on how people feel valued in a more complex world, and this core challenge is set within the context of climate change and resource use. It is not just the responsibility of one student or one department but, he suggests, we must all try to be entrepreneurs in this way. ‘We need to think of universities as communities of connected and valued individuals,’ he concludes. ‘Instead of asking what they can get from each other, students, staff and alumni need to work out what they can offer to each other. In this way, positive change in the world might come.’ Carmen Thompson is Development Executive for Durham’s Institute of Advanced Studies. To see the latest information about Fairtrade initiatives at Durham, please go to fairtrade/fortnight2012


CAN YOU TELL IF YOUR CHILD IS GAY? It is perhaps one of the most provocative questions in our culture, one that transgresses into the hinterland between our notion of childhood innocence and adult sexuality. Because, surely, to be gay is not a lifestyle choice; it is, fundamentally, considered to be a sexual identity. And we do not agree that a child can have such a thing. We could as easily ask, but rarely do, ‘Is my child straight?’

Professor Kathryn Bond Stockton

David Williams, reports on the inaugural lecture for the Centre for Sex, Gender and Sexualities. The speaker, Professor Kathryn Bond Stockton of the University of Utah, had come to Durham to provoke. Her words, she said, were ‘playful, even entertaining, possibly wrong, though I don’t think so’. Her voice held the audience spellbound with its American cadences and subtle, stimulating parentheses. She had short, shock-white hair in a Tintin quiff and her T-shirt could have been a black dog-collar beneath her peach blouse, waistcoat and jacket. She looked like a vicar in negative.

But it was her ideas that intrigued. She argued that the idea of the ‘gay’ child illuminates the world of childhood. ‘If you scratch a child, you will find a queer,’ she said, ‘in the sense of someone “gay” or just plain strange. One boy says that he called himself a “filly”: a word, he thought, for a “homosexual seagull”. A girl of nine thought herself a vampire, a shadowy figure with shadowy secrets surrounding women. For what a child is is a darkening question. The question of the child makes us climb inside a cloud – “a shadowy spot on a field

of light” – leading us, in moments, to cloudiness and ghostliness surrounding children as figures in time. One kind of child brings these matters into view – and it is the means, the fine-grained lens, by which to see any and every child as queer.’ For Professor Stockton, the idea of the gay child makes us realise that our conception of our own childhood is always the act of an adult looking back. She stated: ‘The questions – “When did you know? Did you know as a kid?” – ask queer adults


to account for this child (as if they could)… What might the notion of a gay child do to conceptions of the child? Quite a lot, it seems.’

The mother then had the ‘nightmare’, in her words, of seeing the ‘death’ of her ‘dreams’ when she learned that her daughter, at the age of seventeen, was gay again.

As evidence, she discussed a 2005 edition of The Oprah Winfrey Show, ‘When I knew I was gay’. Guests on the show had taglines running under their names: ‘Carson – knew he was gay at age four’; ‘Billy – knew he was gay at age eight’. Another guest told of outing herself to her mother at ten and how her mother strategically forgot the trauma of this moment, by thinking her child was ‘too young’ to know ‘that’.

But, as Professor Stockton pointed out, these testaments were all from adults looking back, and, while it is certain that more children will start outing themselves at ever younger ages, it is unclear what they will be outing themselves as. Stockton asked: ‘Will they come out as “gay,” or “queer,” or under the banner of some other term? It’s too early to say.’

‘We want to bring the best thinking in the world, the most brilliant minds in the world to Durham.’

This, then, is how the category ‘gay child’ illuminates all children; it shows how our knowledge of childhood is always an act of remembering the past and that all children actually live in a stretched present, in which they are always being held back from adult activities and responsibilities. ‘The gay child makes us perceive the queer temporalities haunting all children,’ Stockton explained, ‘for no matter how you slice it, the child, from the standpoint of “normal” adults is always queer… For, despite our culture’s assuming every child’s straightness, the child can only be “not-yetstraight,” since it too is not allowed to be sexual. This child who “will be” straight is merely approaching, while crucially delaying, the official destination of straight sexuality, and therefore showing itself as estranged from what it would approach. How does any child grow itself inside delay? The question is dramatised, even typified, by the obviously queer dynamics of a gay child, who is so dramatically held at bay. ‘Such a child, with no established forms to hold itself in the public, legal field, has been a child remarkably unavailable to itself in the present tense. For this queer child, whatever its conscious grasp of itself, has not been able to present itself according to the category “gay” or “homosexual” – categories culturally deemed too adult, since they are sexual. ‘The effect for the child who already feels queer (different, odd, out-of-sync, and attracted to same-sex peers) is a feeling of time out of joint. Certain self-chosen markers for its queerness arrive only after it exits its childhood, after it is shown not to be straight… At this point, the designation “homosexual child,” or even “gay kid,” may finally, retrospectively be applied. “I am not straight. I was a gay child.” This has been the only grammatical formulation allowed to gay childhood. The phrase “gay child” is a grave-stone marker for where or when one’s straight-life died.’ For Professor Stockton, there is a kind of backward birthing mechanism, in which the gay adult hunts for the roots of his or her queerness through a retrospective search for feelings, desires and physical needs and so creates a ghostly gay child.


‘Given that children don’t know this child, though they move inside it, life inside this membrane is largely available to adults as memory – “What can I remember of what I thought I was?” – and so takes us back in circles to our fantasies of our memories. The gay child shows how the figure of the child does not fit children – doesn’t fit the pleasures and terrors we recall. I see the notion of the ‘gay’ child as figuring children as fighting with concepts and moving inside them, sometimes successfully, sometimes not… The ghostly gay child gathers other concepts of children in its wake.’ Professor Stockton came to old, Anglican Durham to shake it up, and that was the point. The new Centre for Sex, Gender and Sexualities was created to enrich the University, and the communities that interact with it, with the most radical thinking on these issues. Professor Jo Phoenix is the Centre’s Director. ‘We want to bring the best thinking in the world, the most brilliant minds in the world to Durham,’ she says. ‘There are 50 academics already here from every Faculty at Durham whose work feeds into the Centre, and together we can find ways as a group of scholars to influence some of the most profound debates of our time. What is justice? Do women have equality anywhere – formally, substantively? What is freedom? ‘Every human being alive today will have a life that is at least in some fashion shaped by sex, gender and sexualities. Whether that’s through the choice of our partners, the opportunities presented to us in schools, the opportunities that we take, the way people respond to us. Those are just some of the obvious ways in which these issues shape our lives. ‘We know that social change doesn’t come about from pointing out irrationality; it comes about through people standing up and saying what is acceptable. It is a progressive step in having the Centre to create research-led social change.’ Kathryn Stockton’s book The Queer Child or Growing Sideways in the Twentieth Century is available online. If you would like to learn more about the Centre for Sex, Gender and Sexualities, please visit

UPCOMING LECTURES AT THE CENTRE FOR SEX, GENDER AND SEXUALITIES OCTOBER 2012 Topic: Hedgefunds and gender scripts – becoming an adult in financial services Prof. Jo Brewis, School of Management, Leicester University and Kat Riach, Essex University

JANUARY 2013 Topic: Evangelical Christians and US policy on traffic in women Prof. Elizabeth Berstein, Barnard College, New York


Professor Jo Phoenix

Topic: Families, law and equality Prof. Martha Fineman, Emory University

IS HE GAY OR IS HE BRITISH? ‘Playful, even entertaining, possibly wrong’ another highlight from the inaugural lecture ‘If you compliment a young straight man in the US on his clothes, he will claim he has no relationship with the shirt that he is wearing. He will then tell you how his girlfriend bought it, or claim that he has no idea how this shirt got on his body. You even see this strategy on the red carpet. I saw Leonardo Dicaprio interviewed at a premiere recently, and he literally made it seem that he had no idea who the fashion designer of the suit he wore might be. They just simply have to disavow any relationship to their own male clothes. This is why, given how dapper many British men seem to be, it does give rise to the phrase in the US – Is he gay or is he British?’


ONES TO WATCH AT THE OLYMPICS Six Durham alumni are in contention to feature in the 2012 Olympics, reports Tim Guinan

Durham Powerhouse: Women’s Eight, with Taylor, Reeve, and Maguire at 4, 5 and 7.

Durham University has the most WOMEN’S EIGHT successful undergraduate rowing EMILY TAYLOR (BA Economics with French, Hatfield, 2005-09) programme in the country. World Cup Silver medallist in 2011, Led by Senior Rowing Coach and former Olympic Sculler Wade Hall-Craggs (Archaeology, Grey, 1985-88), Durham has won the British Universities Championship nine years in a row. The Olympic Regatta starts on 28th July, these are our likely Olympians:

Rowing for Gold: Quadruple Scull, featuring Rowbotham at stroke.

World University Rowing Champion in 2010 and U23 World Champion in 2009. LOUISA REEVE (BSc Natural Sciences, Hatfield, 2003-06) Finalist in both the Women’s Pair and Women’s Eight at the Beijing Olympics and Silver medallist in the 2011 World Cup. LINDSEY MAGUIRE (MSc Developmental Psychopathology, Ustinov, 2003-04) World Rowing Championships Bronze medallist 2011, Lindsey was won Gold, Silver and Bronze in the 2010 World Cup Series.

WOMEN’S DOUBLE SCULL SOPHIE HOSKING (BSc Natural Sciences, Trevelyan, 2004-07) World Cup Gold and double World Cup Silver in 2011, Sophie was the fastest in the Lightweight Single Sculls at GB rowing trials in 2010 and 2011.

QUADRUPLE SCULL OR SECOND MEN’S SINGLE SCULL STEPHEN ROWBOTHAM (BA Business Economics, Collingwood, 2000-03) Olympic Bronze medallist in the Double Scull at Beijing in 2008, Steve won double World Cup Bronze in 2010 and Silver in 2011.

COACH: LIGHTWEIGHT MEN’S FOUR ROB MORGAN (BA History, St Cuthbert’s, 1986-89) World Champion Coach with the GB Lightweight Men’s Four in 2010, Rob coached them to a Bronze in 2011 having also coached Louisa Reeve at the Beijing Olympics.

PARALYMPIANS Current Durham University students Lily van den Broecke (Philosophy, Politics & Economics, Castle, 2011- ) and Gemma Collis (Law, St Cuthbert’s, 2011- ) are also likely to feature in the Paralympics. KEY DATES FOR 2012 • 6th June Olympic squad announced

• 17th June • 28th July World Cup III, Munich Start of Olympic Regatta

• 1st – 4th August • 31st August Olympic rowing medal Paralympic rowing events

• 4th – 8th September Paralympic fencing


Leaving Durham a Legacy Would you consider leaving a gift to Durham in your will? Christine Reay wanted to commemorate her husband by making provision in her will to establish a financial support fund for Law students.

“My late husband Gordon was born in Durham and I can’t begin to tell you how passionate he was about the City and the University. He had very strong feelings for bright people who had missed the opportunity to advance their learning due to financial difficulties. ‘As Gordon was a barrister and I am a solicitor, it was easy to decide to assist students with financial need who are studying Law. I trust the University to keep the memory of my late husband alive by awarding this gift where it will make a real difference.” If you choose to make a gift, it could be directed towards the aspect of your time at Durham that you treasure most, from supporting academic endeavours to cherishing college life or enabling the pursuit of sporting excellence.

Whichever cause you choose to direct your gift towards, making a gift in your will can be an enduring and fulfilling way to support Durham and to remember your time at the University. We already know what a loyal and supportive alumni community you are, and we are keen to help those of you who feel the time is right to put Durham in your will. If you would like to speak to us about directing your gift to a particular area, please contact Louise McLaren, Legacies Officer, at University Office, Old Elvet, Durham, DH1 3HP. Or email her at or phone her on +44 (0)191 334 6313. This is an ideal way to give a gift that would not be possible during your lifetime, and so make a lasting positive impact on future generations of students.


RESEARCH + IMPACT = MONEY Can you help solve the equation? Universities are changing. The way universities are paid for is changing. You probably know all about the way student funding is being revolutionised this year, with the financial burden moving from the tax payer to a long-term loan taken out by individual students and paid back during their working lives. But something else is going on. Professor Andrea Noble, Professor of Latin American Studies and Deputy Head of Faculty (Research) for Arts and Humanities explains what is happening.

Prof Stefan Przyborski (Department of Chemistry, School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences) at Reinnervate, a leading company specialising in enabling technologies for use in cell growth and function.

The way research is paid for is also changing. In the past, panels of academics have made judgements about the quality of research done by departments in individual universities and the amount of government research funding was then allocated according to their decisions. This system is also about to be revolutionised. Instead of research money coming to Durham simply because of the quality of our research – and that has always been good, as we hope you know – in the next funding round, a significant proportion of research money will come to Durham because of the impact of our research beyond academia. And this is where we need your help. Impact is difficult to define. This is the first time it has been measured, and no one really knows how the assessors are going to interpret it. But there are some things we do know. • It is not about ‘hoopla’ in the papers or on the television • It is measurable • It has to change the world – ‘an effect on, change, or benefit to the economy, society, culture, public policy or services, health, the environment or quality of life’ • It could be a spin-out company or some other commercial activity

• But it could be something we haven’t thought of, and this is where you come in. Did a piece of research by Durham academics change your professional life? Did it change the way that you or your employer did things? Did it give you new tools for thinking? For example: • Research on counter-terrorism by academics in Law has informed UK government policy debates • Durham historians have run workshops on governance and local justice in Kenya and Sudan for governmental and nongovernmental organisation staff from a range of different countries

Did Durham’s research change your professional life? • Science spin-out companies have emerged from scientific research and are trading internationally in sectors as diverse as fine chemicals, artificial intelligence, pipeline technology, semiconductor materials and life sciences • Research into Islamic banking and finance is helping to increase understanding between countries,

especially the Western world and the Middle East, and is furthering the interests of international trade. Whether Durham research has impacted on your professional life or not, it is certain that the relationship between the University, its students and its alumni will be forever changed by this new emphasis on the impact of research. It means that this University, like every other in the UK, will be more outward looking; there will be a stronger intellectual relationship with alumni as the work we do here informs your life; while at the same time, your expertise transforms our understanding of what professionals want from their alma mater. An example of this at Durham is the way that the Faculty of Arts and Humanities has recently created a Faculty Advisory Board. Made up of Durham graduates who have gone on to occupy key positions in related industries, the Faculty Advisory Board will meet on an annual basis for a day of exploratory workshops with Durham academics. The aim is to exchange ideas and for our alumni to bring back to Durham some of the wide and varied professional experiences and perspectives they have gained since graduating. If you can help please let us know.


Experience Durham Bringing Sport, Music, the Arts and Volunteering together by Quentin Sloper, Head of Sport, Music and Theatre

Images by George Ledger/Yoursportsphoto

News from Team Durham As term drew to an end, our sportsmen and women had reason to celebrate as Durham currently sits second in the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) points table, with only Loughborough ‘the sport’ University ahead of us. The BUCS Championship (knock-out cup) Finals in Sheffield were dominated by the Palatinates who won eight national titles over the five day period, during which there were some extraordinary team and individual performances.

Lacrosse and Hockey

Volleyball and Basketball


The first national title for Durham was won by the men’s lacrosse team who resoundingly beat Manchester University 17-0. For the first time ever, both our men’s and women’s hockey teams played in the Championship finals; the men lost out to a very strong team from Exeter 4-3, but the women held on in a nerve-wracking game to beat Birmingham to take the title. The women’s futsal team had a titanic tussle with Northumbria in their final, but Durham clinched the title in extra time.

Our volleyball team dispatched their opposition from St Andrews and Kingsway College, resulting in yet another national title. Finally, it was time for our basketball teams to take to the courts and they didn’t disappoint. The women took on competition favourites and defending championships University of Wales Institute Cardiff, but this didn’t faze them, with Durham putting on a remarkable performance and winning the title with a score of 74-35. Unfortunately for the men’s team, they lost a magnificent battle against Worcester, 88-81. Worcester is currently second in the elite professional British Basketball League, which puts such a close game into perspective.

On the water, it was another great year for University and College crews at the Head of the River races in London. In the women’s race 287 crews completed the course and our women’s 1st VIII finished in 11th place, winning the Intermediate One Pennant.

Fencing and Tennis The women’s fencing team faced difficult competition and lost to Imperial in the semi-finals, but Kira Roberts won her third individual national sabre title. In tennis, our men’s team lost out in the quarter finals and our top men’s player Slavko Radman faced a hugely challenging match in the semi-finals, eventually losing in the final set. In the women’s competition, Durham dominated, with both the singles and doubles finals being all-Durham affairs more national titles were claimed for the Palatinates!

Rugby Ten days after the BUCS Championships it was the turn of our Men’s Rugby Club to take centre stage. The first team returned to Twickenham for the second year in succession but there was to be no fairy tale ending this time around as Hartpury turned out to be far too strong on the day. There was a national title for the second team though, who defeated a host of university first teams on their way to defeating University of the West of England first team in the Trophy Final.

The Colleges were well represented and there were excellent performances from Collingwood finishing 107th and Grey who finished 144th. Other Colleges finishing positions were: St John’s 188, Butler 196, University College A 211, Van Mildert 218, University College B 223, St Aidan’s 262, St Hild and St Bede 263. In the men’s race 394 crews completed the course and the University 1st VIII had an excellent row finishing in 8th place, up from 18th last year and winning the Churcher Trophy. This is one of our highest ever recorded finishes. Hatfield College 1st VIII had an excellent row finishing in 148th place. Hild Bede was another College to get into the top half of the field finishing in a very strong 177th. University College 1st VIII finished 225, Grey College 231, Collingwood College 277, St Aidan’s 281, Van Mildert 286, Hatfield 2nds 293, University College 2nds 322, St Chad’s 368, Van Mildert 2nds 376, St Cuthbert’s 383 and St John’s 385.


We know Durham University has some of the most loyal alumni in the world, and this life-long bond starts when you are a student. Durham students excel at multi-tasking, not only achieving the highest academic standards but also performing in all areas of sport, music the arts and improving the lives of the communities around them through voluntary work.

The Arts The Assembly Rooms, home of Durham Student Theatre, was packed for end of term performances including Durham University Light Opera Group’s (DULOG’s) production of hit musical RENT, there was also an Oscar Wilde extravaganza, with ACT Theatre Company in Durham presenting Dorian Gray, while students at Queen’s Campus produced The Importance of being Earnest at the ARC Theatre. College theatre companies were busy too: Collingwood performed Cabaret!; Van Mildert turned their talents to Guys and Dolls; Trevelyan belted out Cole Porter’s Anything Goes; Hild Bede staged the Little Shop of Horrors, St Chad’s Green Door Theatre Company put on Love and Understanding, Castle Theatre Company entertained with Dracula and Durham’s youngest college, Josephine Butler opted for Chatroom, a play that documented the ups and downs of life online.

Volunteering Following the success of the Team Durham Community partnership with Sport in Action Zambia, seven current students involved with Durham Student Theatre travelled to Zambia over the Easter break

to work with children and young people from disadvantaged communities. Through the medium of drama, the students developed and delivered workshops and activities to young people within the Zambian capital, Lusaka. Their time in Zambia was a huge success and will certainly be emulated next year.

Music Durham University Orchestral Society, Chamber Choir and Choral Society all performed at Durham Cathedral on separate occasions throughout March. Durham University Big Band wowed judges and audiences alike at the Great North Big Band Festival, being the first band ever to win the festival for a second year running, beating off national and semi-professional competition to retain their title Best Band. Florian Cooper bassist in the jazz trio which performs live at Summer Congregation and Musical Director of Durham University Big Band and current student at Collingwood College said: Our final piece, ‘Crusin’ for bluesin’ showcased our saxophone section which led to the adjudicators comments of “fearless” and “I simply put my pen down and listened” – our saxes subsequently won the award for best section of the day!

Alumni and friends are always welcome at any student theatre and music productions or sporting events. For more information please see

Image captions, from top left to bottom right: Rent – DULOG, Hild Bede Poster, Little Shop of Horrors, Dracula – Castle Theatre Company, Rehearsal, Little Shop of Horrors – Hild Bede. Images courtesy of the Student Theatre Manager and Music Coordinater. Rent – DULOG. Durham University Boat Club student volunteer coaching local school children, part of the Junior Rowing programme.


News in Brief Honorary Graduates Durham University awards Honorary Degrees to individuals with a Durham link whose achievements in their chosen fields have been outstanding. Their unique contribution must be meritorious and highly regarded over time. This summer Durham is pleased to be awarding nine Honorary Degrees to the following distinguished individuals for their incredible achievements.



BIDDY BAXTER (BA Social Studies, St Mary’s, 1952-55) joined the BBC in 1955 and is best known as the Editor of children’s television programme Blue Peter. She helped transform the programme into a national institution with far-reaching national and worldwide influence. Biddy believed that children were entitled to the best that was available, and throughout her BBC career she fought hard and tirelessly to achieve this. IRINA BOKOVA is the Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Elected in 2009, she is the first woman to head UNESCO. A Bulgarian national, she has served as her country’s Secretary of State for European Integration and Minister of Foreign Affairs. She has been actively engaged in international efforts to advance education for all, gender equality, human rights and cultural dialogue. BRENT CHESHIRE (Geology, St Cuthbert’s, 1973-76) has become a leading figure in the energy industry in the UK over the last 36 years. He has worked for a number of international companies, and in 2004 became DONG Energy’s first UK employee, a company now spearheading the development of the UK offshore wind industry. He was instrumental in supporting and advising DONG Energy to fund new posts in Earth Sciences and in the School of Engineering and Computing Sciences at Durham.


GARY FILDES was born and brought up in Sunderland. Seventeen years ago, he joined Sunderland’s astronomical society and, after observing the dark skies above Kielder, he lobbied hard to build an observatory there, and was appointed as astronomical advisor to the project. In April 2008, the Kielder Observatory opened to the public. It now runs 14 events per month, hosts star camp parties, and has been visited by over 18,000 people since it opened. He is a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. DAVID INSHAW is considered to be one of the great modern British artists, particularly known for the impressive The Badminton Game, which now resides in Tate Britain. He has taught at the West of England College of Art, Bristol, and has held a two-year fellowship at Trinity College, Cambridge. He is an inspiration for developing appreciation of modern art. PHILIP PULLMAN is the best-selling author of numerous books, including the critically acclaimed trilogy His Dark Materials. He studied English at Oxford University and was an English teacher at various Oxfordshire middle schools. He taught BEd at Westminster College and became a full-time writer in 1996. He was the first children’s writer to win the Whitbread (now Costa) Book of the Year Award. He was appointed a CBE in 2004.


JOHN RUTTER is well known as a national figure in choral music. He first came to notice as a composer and arranger of Christmas carols. Today his compositions, including such concert-length works as Requiem, Magnificat and Mass of the Children, are performed around the world. He is active as an international conductor and choral ambassador. In 2007 he was awarded a CBE for services to music. JEREMY VINE (BA English Language, Hatfield, 1983-86) is presenter of the Jeremy Vine Show on Radio 2. He studied English at Durham, where he also edited the student newspaper Palatinate. After graduating, he became a BBC news trainee, later joining Radio 4’s Today programme and then Newsnight as one of three permanent presenters. He returned to Radio 2 in 2003 and has won three Sony Gold Awards for his work. CHARLES WILSON (Geography, Grey, 1983-86) transformed the fortunes of both Marks & Spencer and (as Chief Executive Officer) of Booker Ltd, the UK’s largest food wholesaler. His business flair was in evidence during his Durham days, where he set up a record-selling business while at Grey College. His philanthropic contributions continue to have a huge impact on the Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience at Durham. He is also the current President of the Institute of Grocery Distribution.


New Chair of Council

New College Appointment Olympic Torchbearers

Robert Gillespie (BA Economics, Grey, 1974-77) takes over as the new Chairman of University Council in August this year, succeeding Anne Galbraith CBE (LLB Law, King’s College 1960-63), who has served as Chairman since 2006. Robert is an active supporter of sport in the University, having been involved in the development of the University Rowing Club and of University sport more generally through the Friends of Durham Sport Steering Group since 2000. He joined the University Council as a lay member in August 2007 and is Chair Elect of Council, Acting Vice-Chair of Council and Acting Chair of Finance and General Purposes Committee until 31 July 2012.

University College welcomed Professor David Held as Master of the College in January. David is Professor of Politics and International Relations at the University’s School of Government and International Affairs. His main research interests include the study of globalisation, changing forms of democracy, and the prospects of regional and global governance. He is a Director of Polity Press, which he co-founded in 1984. Held is also General Editor of Global Policy Journal, an innovative and interdisciplinary journal bringing together world class academics and leading practitioners.

Dr Naomi Hoogesteger (BA Modern Languages, St Hild & St Bede, 2000-05) and Kira Roberts (BA English Literature, Castle, 2008-11) have been selected to carry the Olympic Torch through County Durham on Sunday 17 June. Naomi set a world record for the fastest Atlantic rowing crossing as the only female crew member in 2011 and top five British fencer Kira won Gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. They will be joined by England U21 hockey player and current undergraduate, Steph Elliott (Sport Health & Exercise, Stephenson, 2009- ). Girl Power, Durham’s Olympic Torchbearers, L to R: Naomi Hoogesteger, Steph Elliott and Kira Roberts.

New Year Honours for Durham Alumni Our warmest congratulations go to those who received a CBE: Stephen Hammersley (Maths, Grey, 1980-83); and Thomas Worsley (BA Economics and Law, Castle, 1966-69). Our very best wishes go to those who received an MBE: Ralph Allwood (Music, Van Mildert, 1968-72); and Denise Rowland (MA Leadership and Management in Education, 1993-98). Our best wishes also go to all those who received an OBE: Robin Hodge (Economics and Politics, Hatfield, 1972-74); Peter Latchford (BA Philosophy, Collingwood, 1982-85); and Ian Sumnal (Geography, Van Mildert, 1966-69). wear it with pride

JUNE 2012






Team Durham Alumni Event Celebrating Sporting Success Past and Present House of Commons, London

St Cuthbert’s Society Reunion Weekend Durham

Josephine Butler College Alumni Reunion Manchester




St Chad’s College ‘Decades’ Alumni Reunion Durham

St Chad’s College Advent Procession Durham Cathedral

Durham Business School Reunion Weekend Durham WEDNESDAY 20TH

Fifth Annual Hatfield Association Summer Lunch Leicester SATURDAY 23RD

Celebration Events Day for St Cuthbert’s Catholic Chaplaincy Durham FRIDAY 29TH – SUNDAY 1ST JULY

Van Mildert Association Reunion Weekend Durham SATURDAY 30TH

Henley Regatta Henley-on-Thames


John Snow College Alumni Event London


Collingwood College Ruby Anniversary Reunion Weekend Durham FRIDAY 14TH – SUNDAY 16TH

St John’s College Five Year Reunion Weekend, Class of 2007 Durham

Josephine Butler College Alumni Reunion Weekend Durham


St Chad’s College Chadstide Northern Festival Weekend Durham



St Mary’s College Annual Reunion Weekend Durham

St Chad’s College Chadstide Southern Festival Weekend London



College of St Hild & St Bede Reunion Weekend Durham

Grey College Reunion Weekend Durham





Van Mildert College Reunion Weekend Durham



Durham University Convocation Middle Temple Hall, London



Dunelm Society Annual Dinner Middle Temple Hall, London



Trevelyan College Alumni Event London


St Aidan’s College Annual Reunion Weekend Durham

Hatfield Association 2012 Reunion Weekend Durham


Durham Castle Society Reunion Weekend Durham

For more information, please see or telephone +44 (0)191 334 6305

Durham First issue 32  

Durham University's alumni magazine - Spring/Summer 2012

Durham First issue 32  

Durham University's alumni magazine - Spring/Summer 2012