Page 1


The magazine for alumni and friends of Sidney Sussex College    edition 28  autumn / winter 2011

SPORT AT SIDNEY Carolingians, Cherokees AND THE ‘CONFRAT’ History at Sidney in the 21st century

STUDENT FINANCE What do the changes mean for our future students?


Pheon Issue 28.indd 1

17/11/2011 15:36


pheon  n  autumn / winter 2011  n  from the master

From the Master

3–4 Sidney News

We have scarcely finished putting the finishing touches to our Annual when a new year is upon us, and with it a rush of new excitements to report on. You will notice that this edition focuses on history and sport and even the history of sport as uncovered by our Archivist. I for one was unaware of Sidney’s influence in taking the sport of football to increasingly far-flung destinations, including Hungary and Tibet. History has for a long time been a successful subject here at Sidney and we have been tremendously fortunate to have benefited from a number of talented Fellows in this subject, including Professors Derek Beales and Tim Blanning and now Professors Rosamond McKitterick and Eugenio Biagini (promoted to a personal chair this year) and Dr Bernhard Fulda. It is as a result of their stewardship, as well as that of their predecessors, that the Confraternitas Historica, or ‘Confrat’, has continued to flourish since its foundation over a century ago. As a sign of their antiquity, they still give their officers titles in Latin, although as a sign of the present, they do not always know what the titles mean! Looking towards next year, the College is excited to be running a telephone fundraising campaign, the first in many years, and I certainly hope that you will be as supportive of this as you are of our many other fundraising endeavours. It will also allow our student callers to make personal contact with you and to share experiences of Sidney that I very much hope you will find enjoyable. We look forward to sharing the results with you in future issues of Pheon. In the last edition I wrote about the changes to University funding and promised to update you further on this and how we at Sidney can provide support to our students to lessen the burden of increased fees and reduced support. We are now in a position to provide more clarity on this issue and the Bursar has put together an informative article detailing the new bursary scheme we plan to implement from 2012 onwards. This, however, can only be achieved with the continuing support of our loyal alumni and alumnae. Andrew Wallace-Hadrill

Pheon Edition 28, Autumn/Winter 2011 Guest Editor: Sally Simmons Pheon Editor: Hannah Williamson Front cover: The Blackboard, Porters’ Lodge, Sidney Sussex College by Dr David Beckingham Contact Us Development & Membership Office Sidney Sussex College Cambridge cb2 3hu Tel: +44 (0)1223 338881 Email:

Pheon Issue 28.indd 2

5 SSBC: Past and Present

6–7 Sport at Sidney

8–10 History and the ‘Confrat’ Bernhard Fulda and Rosamond McKitterick

11 Rapid Résumé Rachel Hyman

12–13 Development News

14–15 Alumni Event Reports

16 Forthcoming Alumni Events

http: //

Editorial management by Cambridge Editorial Designed by Paul Barrett Book Production Print management by H2 Associates, Cambridge Printed on chlorine-free 55% recycled fibre from both pre- and postconsumer sources together with 45% FSC certified virgin fibre from well-managed forests. Printed with vegetable-based ink.

17/11/2011 15:36

sidney news  n  autumn / winter 2011  n  pheon


Sidney News Arts Festival On a warm sunny Saturday back in July hundreds of people descended on Sidney Sussex to enjoy the second Biennial Arts Festival in our beautiful gardens. With a wide variety of music, ranging from the premiere of composer Eric Whitacre’s new piece, Alleluia, to a staging of Benjamin Britten’s opera Albert Herring in a sun-drenched Master’s Garden, as well as comedy, dance and photography, the festival offered something for everyone. Directed this year by graduating third-year Music student Henry Scarlett, the Festival was given excellent reviews by the student press in particular and it looks set to become a well-established feature of the College’s calendar for years to come.

Eric Whitacre appointed Composer in Residence In the last edition of Pheon, Eric Whitacre spoke of his pleasure in conducting the Sidney Choir and remarked that he could not wait to return to Sidney. It seems as though Eric will not have too long to wait as he has been appointed Composer in Residence for the next five years.

Master’s new book The Master, Professor Andrew WallaceHadrill, has recently published his new book, Herculaneum: Past and Future. Drawing upon a decade’s work

Pheon Issue 28.indd 3

by the Packard Humanities Institute’s Herculaneum Conservation Project, of which Professor Wallace-Hadrill is the Director, it is the first major study of Herculaneum since that of Joseph Jay Deiss, published in 1966. The book provides the definitive overview of what we know and understand about Herculaneum, what is still unknown and mysterious, and the potential for future archaeological and political discoveries. Mary Beard, Professor of Classics at the University of Cambridge and classics editor of The Times Literary Supplement, said that Herculaneum: Past and Future is ‘a must-read not just for anyone who plans to visit this amazing site, but for anyone who wants to understand how the ordinary Roman world worked’.

This appointment will allow Eric, who composed a beautiful setting of the College grace when here in 2010, to visit Sidney on a regular basis to teach on the University’s new MMus Choral Conducting course, as well as to support and enrich the work of our choir and Osborn Director of Music, David Skinner. Needless to say we are delighted Eric has accepted this position and we look forward to welcoming him back to Sidney.

17/11/2011 15:36


pheon  n  autumn / winter 2011  n  sidney news

Home and Away: 2011 Photographic Competition The winners of the College’s photographic competition, Home and Away, have been announced. Entries representing ‘Home’ reflected life at Sidney while ‘Away’ was the world beyond. Three entries by Sadia Malik, Paul Swinney and Dr Roderick Woods – representing students, alumni and Fellows and staff – were awarded first prize. Three other entries by students Katie Hunter, Sam Kirsop and Yangchen Lin, and one by Professor James Mayall, were also commended. The competition was judged by Martin Keene (1976), Group Picture Editor of the Press Association, and the Master, Professor Andrew Wallace-Hadrill.

Paul Swinney Old Man of France

Roderick Woods Geese in Norfolk at Dawn

Women win blades in May Bumps 2011 Sidney’s W1 crew have won blades, after bumping Anglia Ruskin, Robinson, Jesus II and Emmanuel II. The crew, coxed by Aimée Muirhead, were tipped for a strong performance and did not disappoint the many Sidney supporters on the river. Their achievement leaves W1 in fourth place in the second division. There was also success for W2, who enjoyed one row-over and three consecutive bumps, leaving them top of the fourth division. The men’s first crew bumped Darwin and Anglia Ruskin, before two row-overs on the Friday and Saturday. M2 went down two places, one due to a problem with their boat, but there was better news for M3, who moved up three places in the men’s fifth division. M4 endured four tough row-overs.

Sadia Malik Bicycle

Pheon Issue 28.indd 4

17/11/2011 15:36

ssbc: past and present  n  autumn / winter 2011  n  pheon


SSBC: Past and Present SSBC in action during May Bumps 2011

A Year on the Water The first thing that struck me, and many others that I have spoken to, as we started our lives as ‘boaties’, was the SSBC enthusiasm. We may not be the biggest or richest boat club, we may share a slightly ‘retro’ boat house and have novices who try to wear jeans and scarves on outings, but we make up for it in dedication and inclusiveness and 2010–11 was a particularly successful year for SSBC. Michaelmas generated a good level of interest in 2010 with four men’s novice boats and three from the women’s side featuring in the Fairbairn Cup novice races. Braving the cold, Sidney’s boats finished with respectable times. Harsh weather conditions during Lent term made for some difficult rowing, especially during the Winter Head to Head. Strong winds meant that W2 were unable to row but both first boats and the men’s second boat put in strong performances. Both first boats also took part in the Bedford regatta with M1 doing especially well in winning one of the two categories they entered. Easter term saw nine Sidney boats take to the water, an impressive feat for such a small college. Crews were bolstered by the return of a number of more experienced rowers, including George Brown, a Blues trialist, Tasha Scott from the Blondie boat and Rose Tallon, who was a University Women’s spare.

In May Bumps, M1 bumped Darwin and Anglia Ruskin on the first two days; sadly, this was followed by two days chasing St Edmunds, whose boat had been considerably improved by the return of two Blues rowers. The second men’s boat also came up against some bad luck during the week, going down two overall, although this was compensated for by the third boat going up three, bumping Fitzwilliam, Jesus and Caius on the way. The women’s side, which looked to have a strong first boat from the beginning of term, bumped Anglia Ruskin, Robinson and Jesus on the first three days of racing with the final day spent chasing Emma W2, the same boat that had foiled our blades campaign the previous year. Though this proved to be a longer race than the previous days, W1 bumped just before Plough Reach, and having four bumps we carried the Sidney flag home with pride to be greeted with chocolate cake from the Captain and champagne from our new sponsor, Ernst and Young. The second women’s boat also had a successful Mays’ campaign following a hard term’s training with bumps on Darwin, Addenbrookes and Jesus on days two, three and four. Overall 2010–11 was a successful year for the Boat Club and I hope that this year will bring a similar combination of enjoyment and success. Kate Snow, Captain of the Boats 2011

An annus mirabilis During the year of 1972–3 over 60 students represented the College in competitive rowing – more than 25% of the College’s student population – and many of these represented the College or University at other sports, too, with the rugby boat, a golf Blue and a lacrosse half-Blue all winning their oars. From great performances in the Fairbairn Cup and Clare Novices Regatta, the club went on to win two sets of oars from three crews in the

Lent Bumps, due in part to our recruitment of coaches from town rowing clubs. Far from dropping off in the run-up to exams, enthusiasm for rowing grew after Easter with five boats in training, and the first and second crews on the water six days a week. Sadly, the fifth boat did not get on the river, but three days into the May Bumps the first and second crews were on three bumps each, the third boat already had four and the fourth crew just one.

On the Saturday the fourth boat returned to the boat house bedecked with willow and announced they’d overbumped and thus won their oars. We started to wonder if the impossible might just be possible. Thankfully, the three other crews delivered and Sidney finished with four sets of oars from four boats. This led to the award by the CUBC of the Michell Cup for the boat club giving the best performance on the river throughout the academic year. David Winch (1970) 1st boat, 1972–3: Richard Temple (cox), Mark Passmore (stroke), Rod Pratt, David Winch, Steve Tuft, Steve Nicholson, John Bryant, Alun Stedman and Donald Smith (bow).

Pheon Issue 28.indd 5

17/11/2011 15:36


pheon  n  autumn / winter 2011  n  sport at sidney

Sport at Sidney Sport is an important part of the student experience here at Sidney and has been for many years. Today, our students engage in a wide range of sporting endeavours, from croquet and jenga to more traditional sports like rugby and rowing.

USA Rugby Tour Over the summer the Sidney Sussex rugby team toured the east coast of the USA. A squad of 26 players including undergraduates, graduates and recent alumni visited New York, New Haven and Boston. The Sidney team competed against strong university-level opposition from Columbia, Yale and Harvard, winning two out of four matches. Cultural highlights of the tour also included visits to the Rockefeller Building in New York, living on campus at Yale for a weekend and a Red Sox game at Fenway Stadium, Boston. Thank you to members of the 1596 Foundation who supported the tour, as well as the generous support from the Parry Dutton Fund. Tom McNeill (Medieval History MPhil, 2009)

The Porcupines Since 1899 the Porcupines has been Sidney’s premier gentlemen’s sports society. Today the Porcupines continue to draw great strength from the strong links between current and alumni members. Earlier this year 50 Porcupines attended the annual dinner held at 170 Queen’s Gate, Kensington and I am proud to say that over half were alumni. In 2012 the dinner will be held on Friday 16 March and I would strongly urge any Porcupine who has not recently attended this event to get in touch. If you are interested in attending any of the events or just want to keep in touch, please contact the new President Henry Englander ( Freddie Iron, Porcupines President 2010–11

The Porcupines’ Annual Dinner 2011

Pheon Issue 28.indd 6

Sidney Sussex College RFC – USA Tour Squad 2011

Mixed Netball Sidney boasts a range of competitive sports, from early morning sessions out on the water at the boat club to lazy afternoons in the grounds playing croquet or jenga; but anyone who has ever played will tell you that mixed netball is the sport that best defines the ‘Sidney atmosphere’. The spirit of mixed netball is very different from that of the ladies’ game: games are generally taken less seriously, as it is a rare occasion when all the players are aware of the rules. Netball is officially a non-contact sport, but spectators may be fooled into thinking otherwise as the inclusion of men can lead to a more rough-and-tumble style of play. Although mixed netball is mainly about having fun, meeting new people and occasionally pulling off outrageous gameplays, Sidney has its fair share of successes as well. Last season we improved our play dramatically, mainly by being able to recruit a full team on every occasion and becoming a more united team. Both ladies’ and mixed netball are supported by SSCSU. In previous years we have benefited from new kit bags, balls and pumps and this year we are applying for funding for the kit, which will be owned by SSCSU and passed down every year. This, I believe, will give the Sidney mixed netball team an edge, because we will be able to bring the Sidney colours, as well as an optimistic attitude, to the courts. Katie Hunter, Mixed Netball Captain

17/11/2011 15:36

sport at sidney  n  autumn / winter 2011  n  pheon


A Brief History of Football at Sidney


hen Oliver Cromwell was ‘one of the chief match-makers and players at Football’, it was a violent and unregulated game. Following a town-gown brawl in Chesterton in 1579, football had been limited to College precincts by the Vice-Chancellor. That measure was not officially rescinded until 1863, but as early as 1838 undergraduates met to play on Parker’s Piece. By 1853 order had been brought to the game with the adoption of the Laws of the University Football Club, from which the Football Association rules derive. In 1874–5, a year after the first Varsity march, a Sidney man, H. H. W. Sparham, was a member of the Cambridge team. In 1882–3 and 1883–4 J. E. S. Moore, the future headmaster of Llandaff Cathedral School, played for the University. There is then a gap in Sidney’s contribution to Varsity football until 1928–31, when George Durant Kemp-Welch (later to be killed by the V1 that landed on the Guards’ Chapel on 18 June 1944) was a player, captaining the team in his last year at Cambridge. Two Sidney men played a significant part in the worldwide spread of the game. In 1896 Arthur Yolland (1874–1957; matric. 1893) arrived in Budapest to teach English at the Francis Joseph Institute. He had been a keen sportsman at Sidney, playing cricket, tennis, rugby and football, and he soon investigated local sporting opportunities. In a letter to the Pheon, describing his experiences as a newcomer in the Hungarian capital, Yolland gives an amusing account of the version of football he encountered: ‘The number of players is unlimited, and anyone is at liberty to use his hands when and where he likes’. He proceeded to introduce proper Association Football. He was a player for the Budapesti Torna Club, which on 8 May 1897 had a match against the Vienna Cricket and Football Club. He was the referee at an Austria–Hungary international match in 1903. Yolland was also the Hungarian national tennis champion in 1899 and 1900 and led the Hungarian delegation to the foundation meeting of the International Tennis Federation in 1913. As well as becoming Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Budapest, he was president of the Budapest University Athletic Club from 1916 to

Cecil Frank Powell (middle row, centre), captain of the Sidney Sussex College Football Team in 1924–5. Powell was later awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics ‘for his development of the photographic method of studying nuclear processes and his discoveries regarding mesons made with this method’. 1947. Professor Yolland lived to see Hungary defeat England 6–3 at Wembley in 1953, a moment of consolation in the bitter years of lost territory and lost political freedom. More exotic was the contribution of the botanist and ornithologist Frank Ludlow (1885–1972; matric. 1905), who had been left back in the College team, and characterised as ‘exceptionally good all round – fine kick, unerring tackler, and good with his head’ (Annual, 1906). In the 1920s he ran an English school in Tibet. Ludlow’s pupils took to football with enthusiasm. On one occasion the 13th Dalai Lama enquired about the result of a match between the school and an Indian army detachment in Gyantse, and asked Ludlow if it was true that he was fond of kicking the ball with his head. The school closed as a result of political intrigue, but Tibetans retained a love of football. Tibetans in exile have formed the Tibet National Football Association, which in 2001 played its first international against Greenland (Greenland 4–1 Tibet). Nicholas Rogers Archivist

USA Football Club Tour

Supporting Sport

Through a generous grant from the Parry Dutton Fund, and also several travel grants given to students on an individual basis, Sidney Sussex College Football Club was able to embark upon a once in a lifetime trip to Southern California. The trip proved to be a resounding success, with the team getting the chance to sample the local culture of Los Angeles, including going to watch several of the local professional sports teams play. The highlight of the trip proved to be a fantastic performance and victory in our penultimate match of the tour over the California State Under-18 Champions. It was a memorable trip and all involved are grateful for the generous financial support we received from the College. Michael Grayling (Natural Sciences, 4th Year)

Sport is an important part of the overall student experience here at Sidney. You can make a gift in support of sport at Sidney through the Annual Fund either by directly supporting the priority of enhancing the student experience or by making an unrestricted gift. Unrestricted gifts have the added advantage of benefiting Sidney’s other two priorities, student support and research and teaching. If you wish to discuss how your gift will support sport at Sidney, please contact Bill Abraham, Development Director, on +44 (0)1223 338864 or

Pheon Issue 28.indd 7

17/11/2011 15:36


pheon  n  autumn / winter 2011  n  history and the ‘confrat’

History and the ‘Confrat’ bernhard fulda and rosamond mckitterick


istory at Sidney has a proud tradition. In 2010 we celebrated the centenary of the Confraternitas Historica Dominae Franciscae Comitis Sussexiae, which was founded by the first Sidney history Fellow, J. W. Reynolds. ‘Confrat’ has earned the reputation of being the most active and lively College history society within Cambridge. This year’s Princeps, Kenton Whitehall, has organised an impressive programme that includes student papers, a panel debate on Jewish history, Helen Castor on how she is turning her book She-Wolves into a three-part BBC4 documentary and Odd Arne Westad from the LSE, world-renowned expert on the Cold War.

Confraternitas Historica Fund To commemorate the Confrat’s centenary, the undergraduates, graduate students and Fellows in history are launching an appeal to establish the Confraternitas Historica Fund. Its purpose is to encourage and sustain the study of history at Sidney. We usually have between 24 and 28 undergraduates reading Parts I and II of the Historical Tripos, and we currently boast 19 graduate students in history. In the light of the changes to the funding of higher education, it is crucially important to have a number of undergraduate history bursaries, to continue to attract the most able and promising candidates to Sidney. We should also like to increase the number and value of study grants, to fund, for example, Part II dissertation projects: many of our undergraduates have to work over the summer to earn money, so having to shoulder a substantial part of the costs of carrying out a research project (travel, accommodation, photocopying, book purchases) is a serious obstacle to embarking on a dissertation. Students wishing to move on to graduate research in history, moreover, have to contend with greatly reduced public funding for both MPhils and PhDs. They too need support. Jane Dinwoodie (2008) is one of our former undergraduates who was able to turn her passion for American history into an undergraduate dissertation, which she is now developing for the MPhil in Historical Studies – and we very much hope that her work will morph into a PhD and eventually make a remark­ able book. But to turn outstanding students into rising stars, we depend on the support of our alumni. Sidney is very fortunate to have a generous endowment from John Osborn (Classics, 1962) for the promotion of graduate research in early medieval cultural history. Under the guidance of Rosamond McKitterick – who was awarded the 2010 Heineken Prize for History by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences – this has allowed Sidney Sussex College to become one of the best places for research into the early medieval period in the world.

Pheon Issue 28.indd 8

Roll of the Confraternitas Historica, illuminated by Morton and Newey, Birmingham, 1910 We hope that with the help of our alumni, history at Sidney will continue to thrive over the next 100 years. If you would like to discuss supporting the Confraternitas Historica Fund or supporting a College bursary or hardship fund for Sidney students, please contact the Development Director, Bill Abraham on +44 (0)1223 338864 or

17/11/2011 15:36

history and the ‘confrat’  n  autumn / winter 2011  n  pheon


‘To turn outstanding students into rising stars, we depend on the support of our alumni.’

Medieval History at Sidney Ingrid Rembold is the current Osborn Research Student. Charlemagne’s conquest of Saxony was finally achieved after more than 30 years of war in 804. At that stage, Saxony appears to have lacked any unity as a region, whether in terms of politics, religion, ethnicity, language or material culture. There were no institutional structures of Christianity, that is, monasteries and bishoprics, and paganism still persisted in many areas. The entire region appears to have been economically underdeveloped compared to its Carolingian neighbours, and its elite seems to have been less clearly defined. This is a very different picture from that of Ottonian Saxony a little over a century later, which by then functioned as a political and ethnic unit, fully Christian and with a more stratified social and economic system. Ingrid, therefore, is investigating the development of Saxony in the century after the Frankish conquest. Also working under the supervision of Rosamond McKitterick on related PhD topics are Desirée Scholten and Graeme Ward, who are both associated with the Cambridge portion of a European HERA research project shared between the Universities of Cambridge, Vienna, Utrecht and Leeds on the theme ‘Cultural Memory and the Resources of the Past in Europe, c. 400–c. 1000’. The Cambridge group’s concerns are the study of historical writing and the degree to which the cultural resources of the past were deployed in new contexts and stimulated new developments. Desirée Scholten is focusing on the Historia Ecclesiastica Tripartita, a church history compiled and translated into Latin in the sixth century, using three Greek fourth-century sources, namely Sozomen of Cyprus, Socrates Scolasticus and Theodoret. Before his retreat to the monastery of Vivarium at the end of his career, Cassiodorus had been an active figure in Ostrogothic politics as quaestor and master officiorum under the Gothic rulers of Italy. This duality in the person of the compiler makes the analysis of the text a fascinating journey into complex ideas about politics and religion. It also reveals the diplomatic and rhetorical skills of the quaestor. The latter, especially, brings a subtlety to a text that deals with the position of bishops at a time when Rome tried to define its position in relation to Byzantium, and the Emperor Justinian attempted to reconquer the old western Roman Empire. The role this text played subsequently in eighth- and ninth-century understanding of the place of the church in society will also be explored. Graeme Ward is concentrating on the representation of the Christian Roman Empire, and in particular of its rulers within the Histories of Frechulf of Lisieux, composed in the 820s and 830s in the Frankish empire. Frechulf’s text chiefly comprises excerpts from earlier sources. The text therefore provides an

Pheon Issue 28.indd 9

From left to right: Ingrid Rembold, Graeme Ward, Professor Rosamond McKitterick and Desirée Scholton excellent insight into the transmission of late Roman Christian historiography to the ninth century. Frechulf’s editorial selections, furthermore, offer a rich case study for how these texts could be read and received in a Carolingian context, how the emphases of the Late Roman texts were changed to accord with ninth-century concerns, and whether the texts used by Frechulf, and the Histories itself, contributed to the imperi­al ideology articulated during the reign of the Carolingian Emperor Louis the Pious and afterwards.

Confraternitas Seminars Lent Term 2012 Monday, 23 January, 8.45pm – Professor Dominic Lieven (LSE) Russia and WWI ■ Monday, 13 February, 8.45pm – Professor Odd Arne Westad (LSE) The Global Cold War ■ Monday, 27 February, 8.45pm – Dr Glen Rangwala (Trinity) The Arab Spring in Historical Context The Princeps Senatus is responsible for putting the progamme together. For more information about attending a Confrat event please contact the Princeps, Kenton Whitehall, ■

Bernhard Fulda Fellow in History Rosamond McKitterick Fellow in History

17/11/2011 15:36


pheon  n  autumn / winter 2011  n  history and the ‘confrat’

Jane Dinwoodie explains why Sidney is the perfect base from which to research the extraordinary life of William Holland Thomas – Confederate colonel, Cherokee chief, entrepreneur, mad man and disappointing diarist.

The White Cherokee Chief: William Holland Thomas


ot many white men can claim to have been a Cherokee chief. Certainly, even fewer were able to combine this role with those of politician, Confederate colonel (of a unique Cherokee legion), leading Southern entrepreneur and, latterly, resident of an insane asylum. Seemingly functioning across nineteenth-century America’s cavernous racial divides, and leading a colourful life, William Holland Thomas’s appeal is obvious. I dreamt of becoming a historian from a young age and, captivated by an early American Tripos paper, it was perhaps inevitable that I would be drawn to Thomas when I stumbled across a tiny footnote mythologising this remarkable man. I was lucky enough to secure a travel grant from College and had the remarkable opportunity to travel to North Carolina at the end of my second year to delve into the archive of Thomas’s papers. Despite his terrible nineteenth-century handwriting, and a frustrating (if quaint) penchant for diary entries consisting of accounting sums or activities like ‘Today I read my book’, over my sunny fortnight at Duke University I gained a unique insight into Thomas, and devoured thousands of documents without which my study would have been impossible. My dissertation focused on Thomas’s involvement in the American Civil War, using the colonel and legion (the only unit of fighting Indians east of the Mississippi) as a lens through which to present a complicated symbiotic relationship both on and off the field of battle, nuancing traditional pictures of a rigidly racially divided America by the mid-nineteenth century. Building on my undergraduate findings, I have just returned to Sidney to complete an MPhil and to unravel further and illuminate the experiences of Thomas and the Eastern Cherokee. With its uniquely nurturing and encouraging history community, spanning professors and freshers, and its wealth of support, I can think of nowhere other than Sidney I would like to do so.

Pheon Issue 28.indd 10

above: William Holland Thomas Left: Jane Dinwoodie

17/11/2011 15:36

rapid résumé  n  autumn / winter 2011  n  pheon


Rapid Résumé rachel hyman

Rachel Hyman (History of Art, 1990) is manager of Knapton Rasti Asian Art, an Asian art and antiques gallery in St James’s, London. Here she charts her journey from Sidney to the fascinating and increasingly popular world of Asian art.


y first taste of working in an auction house was during my summer holidays while I was still at school, when I was fortunate enough to gain a few weeks’ work experience at Christie’s. Initially, I helped out in the sales clerks’ office, so was right in the heart of the auctions, watching the momentum and buzz in the saleroom. The attraction of the auction environment for me was that very momentum, the opportunity to value and handle different works of art as they came through the saleroom – and of course to meet all sorts of interesting collectors and dealers in the trade, many of whom have now become good friends. So, when I graduated in 1993 with a degree in History of Art, I had an idea of where I would like to be heading. But, as any art history graduate will tell you, there is no straightforward path into a large company, waiting with open arms at graduate recruitment fairs. Instead, there are a very limited number of openings into either private galleries or auction houses; and even armed with the most impressive linguistic skills or fabulous Masters degree, this is where some sort of personal connection is so important. Those summers I had worked at Christie’s gave me an opening and quite by chance I obtained a position in the Oriental Department, as it was then called, at Christie’s South Kensington. This was a completely new area for me, not only in the context of Asian Art, but also in handling objects as opposed to studying paintings. However, if there was ever the opportunity for a steep and swift learning curve, this was it. In those days, we held fortnightly sales of Asian Art with around 300 lots, selling from a few hundred to thousands of pounds. The valuation counter was a continual hive of activity, with people bringing in all sorts of pieces to be valued. In that first year, I quickly became acquainted with both Chinese and Japanese works of art from prints and paintings, to ivories, porcelain and jade.

Pheon Issue 28.indd 11

The Chinese art market was very different in those days. We had not yet seen the significant rise of the regional salerooms but, more importantly, it was not yet fuelled as aggressively as it is today by the Chinese, investing in their own culture, resulting in record-breaking sales each season and headlinegrabbing prices for Imperial works of art. This global phenomenon is not confined to the major auction houses; it affects any small provincial saleroom that happens to have obtained a desirable piece. It has been interesting to follow how this has affected collecting trends. Over the last ten years we have seen a steady decline in the export market, that is for pieces made in China for use in the West, and an inverse rise in objects made for the home market, and most desirably, the pieces made in the Imperial workshops for use by the Emperor and which bear his reign mark. In the summer of 2005, at Christie’s King Street, I watched what was then the most expensive piece of Chinese porcelain sold at auction. A Yuan Dynasty (mid-14th century) guan jar painted in blue and white with a beautiful narrative scene of figures in a traditional Chinese landscape of pine, bamboo, willow and rockwork, sold for   £14 million. However, following an extraordinary surge in the market, this sum, incredibly enough, seems quite modest compared with some of the prices we have seen in the last few years. In 2006, with a two-year-old son, I was looking for a more flexible position. I was fortunate enough to team up with two of my exChristie’s colleagues who had opened their own gallery a few years previously, Knapton Rasti Asian Art. Running the gallery involves coordinating our stock, and organising the shipping for exhibitions and auctions in the US and Asia. At the London end we are open for clients, but a lot of our business is done directly with private and trade clients in the US and Asia. In November we hold a catalogued exhibition to coincide with Asian Art week in London, a time when all the major auction houses and galleries hold Asian sales and exhibitions. When we are not exhibiting we are back on the road hunting down that next Qianlong Imperial jade carving or piece of porcelain that we can only hope has, as yet, gone undiscovered.

17/11/2011 15:36


pheon  n  autumn / winter 2011  n  development news

Development News Bursar’s Update  Financial Support for Students As I am sure many of you are aware, the government has changed the funding arrangements for undergraduates studying in the UK from the 2012–13 academic year. As a result, Cambridge University has decided to increase the level of undergraduate tuition fees to £9,000 p.a. while improving the package of financial support available. Under the new system, all students are eligible for a loan to cover the £9,000 p.a. tuition fees. Additionally, students are eligible for an annual living cost loan of up to £5,500, dependent on family income. For those students from families with a household income below £42,600 there is a non-repayable maintenance grant available, up to a maximum of £3,250. Repayments on these loans only commence once students have graduated and are earning over £21,000 a year. Repayments are at 9% of income above £21,000; any balance still outstanding 30 years after graduation is written off. In considering the level of support we are able to offer, the Colleges and the University have agreed two basic principles: first, that no student should be deterred from applying to Cambridge because of financial considerations, and

that no student should have to leave because of such difficulties; second, that the student experience, in terms of the standard of education and the availability of financial support, should not vary significantly according to the College to which the student is admitted. To secure these goals, the University and the Colleges jointly run a universitywide Cambridge Bursary Scheme that provides means-tested maintenance bursaries of up to £3,500 p.a. Colleges may provide additional support, but any amount in excess of £1,000 from a College bursary will be deducted from the Cambridge Bursary. The combined University-College access support package will allow a student from a family with an income of £25,000 or less to cover the full living costs of studying at Cambridge, without having to take out a maintenance loan, in addition to the tuition fee of £9,000 p.a. This is extremely important in limiting the psychological deterrent that high debt represents for potential applicants (and their parents) from poorer backgrounds. Until now Sidney has capped its bursaries at £1,000; however, it has become clear that many donors want to make a greater contribution. From 2012–13 if a donor to Sidney wishes to

1596 Fellow The College is delighted to announce that through the generosity of the 1596 Foundation Dr David Beckingham has been appointed as the College’s first 1596 Fellow. David joined Sidney as a Research Fellow in 2009 and will now help with the direction of studies and teaching in Geography. The post will also enable David to develop his research career. In his work, he examines the regulation of drinking and drunkenness in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Britain and its empire, focusing on policing and Dr David Beckingham

Pheon Issue 28.indd 12

commit to funding the full amount that a student would receive from a Cambridge Bursary plus a Sidney bursary, the College will receive a rebate from the Cambridge Bursary Scheme, with the proviso that this must be spent on education. So, the student would receive a bursary of up to £4,500 p.a. and the College would additionally receive up to £3,150 for education. The donor will have contributed both to supporting a student and to the cost of education at Sidney. This is a truly exciting opportunity for both students and the College. Last year Sidney undergraduates received £376,877 in support, and 109 students received awards. This is clearly a critical area for students and for the College as we wish to continue to attract the best students and help them make the most of their time here. If you would like to find out more about supporting a College bursary please contact Bill Abraham, Development Director, on +44 (0)1223 338864 or

From the Bursar, Nick Allen

licensing, the growth of the temperance movement and the relationship between alcoholism and mental health. Speaking of his appointment, David said, ‘Sidney has a famous tradition in Geography and I am delighted that, thanks to the support of the members of the 1596 Foundation, I will be able to stay at the College for the foreseeable future and work with a new generation of students.’ The 1596 Foundation was established to allow the College to recognise the significant contributions of our major donors, and in doing so it creates a very special bond between the College and its most generous supporters. To find out more about the 1596 Foundation, or to discuss becoming a member, please contact Bill Abraham, Development Director, on +44 (0)1223 338864 or

17/11/2011 15:36

development news  n  autumn / winter 2011  n  pheon


Sidney’s Global Reach Sidney Sussex College is delighted to be part of the scheme to promote greater links between Cambridge and Tsinghua University, Beijing, which would not have been possible without the foresight and generosity of our benefactor William Mong (1927–2010). This year we welcomed Claudia He Yun, the first recipient of the William Mong Visiting Studentship. Claudia’s research focuses on the problem of moral hazard in extended deterrence. The use of extended deterrence – the threat to retaliate against an adversary with nuclear weapons on behalf of a third party – is being increasingly complicated by moral hazard, where the protected nation, or protégé, risks provocation because of the presence of its protector. Claudia’s research will concentrate on an empirical analysis of the successes and failures of protégés, in particular those related to China and the USA. Claudia will be spending two terms at Sidney as part of the William Mong Visiting Studentship. Asked about her experience of Sidney so far, Claudia said, ‘I am very happy to be the first recipient of the William Mong scholarship, and to have a chance to experience the scholarly community of

Claudia He Yun at the helm of a US combat plane Sidney and the wider University. I have been welcomed by the College and am enjoying the chance to pursue my research and experience many aspects of English life. I am deeply grateful to the late Mr Mong for his generosity in making this possible.’

Fundraising Update

2012 Telephone Campaign

As a result of your support the College successfully raised £672,000 in 2010–11 for a variety of projects. More than 400 alumni and friends made a donation in the financial year ending in June 2011, representing 6.5% of all our contactable alumni. Donations supported a wide range of projects at Sidney in line with the College’s three priorities of student support, teaching and research, and College facilities. Perhaps unsurprisingly this year saw even more applications for hardship grants and, as a result of your generosity, the College was able to step in and fill the gap. Funds raised also supported College teaching officer positions in both History and English at Sidney; this will ensure that we remain committed to our priority of continuing to provide personalised teaching through the supervision system by research-active scholars. Image credit: alexbrn

In March 2012 the Development Office will be running a telephone fundraising campaign to increase support for the College’s Annual Fund. Current students of the College will be calling alumni over a two-week period towards the end of March and we very much hope that you will find your call an enjoyable experience. The main focus of the Campaign will be to encourage support for the Annual Fund. Each year the Annual Fund supports the most urgent causes in that particular year, which could mean providing much-needed student bursaries or hardship funds, contributing to teaching costs or maintaining the fabric of Sidney. This flexibility is absolutely essential to the College. The Campaign will also seek to encourage more alumni to make a regular contribution to the Annual Fund. Regular gifts in particular are of tremendous benefit to the College as they allow us to plan more effectively for the future. However, the focus is not solely on raising money and we very much hope that if you receive a call it will provide you with the opportunity to reconnect with the College, find out what life is like for a Sidney student today and how things have or have not changed since you were here. To find out more about the telephone campaign or to make sure we have your correct contact details please email

Pheon Issue 28.indd 13

17/11/2011 15:36


pheon  n  autumn / winter 2011  n  alumni event reports

Alumni Event Reports College Reunions Over 100 alumni from the matriculation years 1989, 1990 and 1991 joined us for a reunion in June with many bringing partners and children for afternoon tea, creating a wonderful atmosphere in Cloister Court. Later, after dinner in Hall, alumni heard from the Master about what life is like at Sidney today before he led a toast to the Foundress, Lady Frances Sidney. The dinner was brought to a perfect end with thanks from Michael Young (Law, 1990). The Decade Reunion took place in early September. Drinks were held in Hall Court followed by a buffet lunch in the Master’s Garden. Despite the unsettled weather, over 150 alumni and guests attended and it was a very relaxed and enjoyable event. A speech by the Vice-Master, Professor Richard Penty, was well received by the alumni who had gathered in the marquee to avoid the worst of the rain. The alumni reunion for matriculands of 1980, 1981 and 1982 also took place in September. Over 150 alumni, partners, children and guests attended an afternoon tea party in Cloister Court. This was followed by dinner in Hall where Reverend Prebendary Paul Hawkins, College Chaplain from 1980 to 1987, kindly said grace. After dinner the Vice-Master updated guests on what they may have missed in the years since graduation, which inspired many conversations into the early hours of the morning.

1596 Foundation Members of the 1596 Foundation and their guests enjoyed a relaxed Sunday lunch at Penshurst Place, Kent on Sunday 8 May. Penshurst Place is the ancestral home of the Sidney family and is currently home to Viscount de L’Isle, the College Visitor. Guests enjoyed tours of the house, arguably one of the finest examples of 14th-century domestic architecture in England, before enjoying lunch in the Sunderland Room.

Pheon Issue 28.indd 14

Hong Kong and Singapore Alumni Receptions As part of his recent trip to Hong Kong and Singapore, Sidney’s Development Director, Bill Abraham, represented the College at two alumni receptions. In Singapore around a dozen alumni and their guests gathered for a drinks reception hosted by alumnus and 1596 Foundation member Paul Supramaniam (1982) and his wife Margy. Guests included Sidney alumni from across the decades, including Mrs Lim Lai Cheng (1982), Principal of the Raffles Institution. Meanwhile Sidney alumni from the 1960s through to 2003 came

together for a networking reception in Hong Kong. Alumni remarked that this was the first time they could recall a Sidney-specific event in Hong Kong. Alumna and 1596 Foundation member Anne Farlow (Chemical Engineering, 1983) invited everyone to the China Club, located in the old Bank of China building in central Hong Kong. Bill Abraham welcomed everyone and reminded all that the Friends of Cambridge University in Hong Kong will be hosting an Alumni Conference in April 2012.

17/11/2011 15:36

alumni event reports  n  autumn / winter 2011  n  pheon


Sidney Club of Geneva This year sees the eighth anniversary of the Club’s foundation. The Club organised its annual dinner and talk on 18 June at the Hotel du Lac, Coppet. It was attended by 22 members and guests including several members from Cambridge (Bill Abraham, Lindsay Greer, Ron Horgan and James and Avril Mayall). The dinner was followed by a talk by Bill Abraham on the changes in university financing in the UK. Other Club events during the year included a trip to the Monet Exhibition in Martigny, and attendance at a

concert by the Symphony Orchestra of Geneva at the Victoria Hall. The Club has decided to hold a New Year dinner in January 2012 instead of a Christmas dinner in December. Other events in 2012 will include the annual dinner on 23 June at the Hotel du Lac, Coppet. William Jones, Fellow of the College and Professor of Materials Chemistry will speak on The Role of Materials Chemistry in Drug Delivery. Any current or past members of the College who would like to join the Club or find out more about it are

Professor William Jones encouraged to contact the President, Dr Ajit Bhalla,

Diamond Celebration

Sidney Sussex Society Visit to Duxford

On 9 September 2011, a group of eight 1951 matriculands, their wives and the widow of their ninth member, Richard Stranks, celebrated the 60th anniversary of their matriculation with a dinner in the Old Library followed by a cake made for the occasion by Eleanor Stranks in memory of her father. The group has met regularly over the decades since they graduated and for this celebratory event their guest was Professor Derek Beales, who is an almost exact contemporary. After dinner Professor Beales spoke informally about some of the changes in the University and College over the past 60 years and a memorable evening concluded with a lively discussion about his talk.

On Saturday 15 October alumni, their families and guests joined the Sidney Sussex Society for their Autumn Event, which this year was held at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford. Alumni enjoyed lectures from Professor Dame Ann Dowling on the Silent Aircraft Initiative, Dr Bill Nuttall on the TSR2 advanced strike and reconnaissance aircraft programme (which was controversially cancelled in 1965) and Leo McKinstry (1982) on the Hurricane and its lead role in the Battle of Britain. Children enjoyed their own event in the activity room where they made and painted Airfix model planes,

badges and T-shirts and learnt about the ejection seat and how to make a parachute. After lunch alumni and guests took part in guided tours of the museum.

How You Can Help

From left to right, Brian Perryer, Robert Strick, David Griffith-Jones, Anthony Shepherd, Professor Beales, Stuart Cowan, Harold Wilson, Julian Oakley and Dennis Silk

Pheon Issue 28.indd 15

As well as events in College, the Development and Membership Office and the Sidney Sussex Society organise a programme of events throughout the UK and across the world – but regrettably it is only possible for us to visit a certain number of places each year. If you would like to help us by organising an event for alumni in your area or year group we would love to hear from you. Whether it is a get-together in your own home, an informal gathering at a local restaurant or a more formal dinner, the Development and Membership Office can help you make the initial contact with alumni in your area so you can get your event off to a flying start. To discuss organising an alumni event in your region please contact the Membership and Events Officer, Wendy Hedley, on +44 (0)1223 338881 or

17/11/2011 15:36

Forthcoming Alumni Events Friday Text to come13 – Sunday 15 April 2012 ■ Global Alumni Conference, Hong Kong Alumni can join the ViceChancellor in Hong Kong for the first Cambridge Global Leadership Conference, which takes place over one weekend in April 2012. On Saturday 14 the Vice-Chancellor along with Professor Dame Jean Thomas and an array of other distinguished academics will come together to provide alumni with a day of discussion, lectures and networking at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong. For further information please see

Tuesday 17 April 2012 ■ Sidney Sussex Society Spring Event at Westminster Abbey The Choir of Sidney Sussex College will be celebrating evensong at Westminster Abbey at 5pm on Tuesday 17 April. A drinks reception, open to all Sidney alumni, will follow this event (time and venue to be confirmed).

Saturday 12 May 2012 ■ 1596 Foundation Dinner The Master, Professor Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, President of the 1596 Foundation, invites members to dinner in College on Saturday 12 May. Further information will be sent out in due course. To find out more about the 1596 Foundation, or to discuss becoming a member, please contact Bill Abraham, Development Director, on +44 (0)1223 338864 or

Pheon Issue 28.indd 16

Saturday 19 May 2012 ■ MA Graduation Ceremony and Dinner Alumni who matriculated in 2005 are eligible to proceed to their MA degree and attend a formal dinner in Hall on Saturday 19 May. Invitations and further information will be sent in due course. To ensure information reaches you, please update your contact details at alumni/update.html. For information about the MA Graduation Ceremony please contact Suzannah Horner on +44 (0)1223 338810 or

Sunday 23 September 2012 ■ Decade Reunion Lunch The Master and Fellows warmly invite those who matriculated in the 1990s back to Sidney for an informal buffet lunch on Sunday 23 September. We would like to encourage alumni to bring guests to this event. The Decade Reunion Lunch coincides with the University’s Alumni Weekend (21–23 September) and although it is aimed at those who matriculated in the 1990s, alumni from other years attending the University Alumni Weekend are welcome to attend the Decade Reunion Lunch. Booking for this event will open in 2012.

Saturday 30 June 2012 ■ Sidney Reunion for matriculands of 1961, 1962, 1950 and older Further information will be sent closer to the event.

For further details about any of these events please contact the Membership and Events Officer, Wendy Hedley, on +44 (0)1223 338881 or

Saturday 22 September 2012 ■ Sidney Reunion for matriculands of 1974, 1975 and 1976 Further information will be sent closer to the event.

Friday 21 – Sunday 23 September 2012 ■ University Alumni Weekend Be inspired by all Cambridge has to offer at the 2012 Alumni Weekend. Each year the weekend attracts leading speakers and academics from across the University and more than 1000 alumni and their guests visit Cambridge for the three-day programme, which consists of over 100 lectures, tours and activities. For further information about the Alumni Weekend please see www.alumni. Sidney alumni attending the 2012 Alumni Weekend are also welcome at the Decade Reunion Lunch. Booking will open in 2012.

Could Sidney Sussex be the perfect place for your next event? We are able to host a variety of events in the beautiful function rooms and grounds of Sidney Sussex College. From small meetings to large conferences for 100 we have a room to suit. Sidney Sussex is proud of its awardwinning catering team who are able to cater for all your needs – from private dining for 10 to weddings or banquets for 120. The College can also accommodate groups overnight out of term time at special Alumni rates: Single Ensuite bedroom @ £57.30 Bed & Breakfast Twin Ensuite bedroom @ £64.00 Bed & Breakfast Single Standard bedroom @ £36.50 Bed & Breakfast For more details: +44 (0)1223 339703

17/11/2011 15:36

Pheon Issue 28  

Sidney Sussex College Pheon