The magazine for alumni and friends of Sidney Sussex College edition 30 winter 2012
Summer School at Sidney Rapid RÉsumÉ Warren Bennett Professor Sir Gabriel Horn Shakespeare and the Source of the Nile Research at Sidney Medical and Veterinary Science Fellows share their current research
pheon n winter 2012 n from the acting master
From the Acting Master
3–4 Sidney News
5 It is with great sadness that I report the death of our highly respected former Master, Professor Sir Gabriel Horn. Gabriel was an extremely distinguished scientist but perhaps most importantly a warm-hearted human being, much loved by all who knew him. Professor Dame Sandra Dawson, Gabriel’s successor as Master, recalls her memories of him and the impression he has left on College life on page 5 of this issue. In other news, the regular cycle of the year is well under way and as we prepare to welcome back our students for Lent term we have also just concluded admissions interviews for the next academic year. It is an important time for the College as we select our intake for October 2013, ensuring the standard is high while Sidney remains accessible. A large part of this is the result of the extremely positive work of our Admissions team; on page 10 you can read more about what they do, including the first Summer School run jointly with Christ’s College for students who aspire to study a STEM subject (Science, Technology, Engineering or Maths). We intend this Summer School to be something in which we can continue to invest, as funds allow, and expand to include other subjects. Access bursaries also play a large part in attracting the very best students irrespective of financial background. Since the UK undergraduate fees have risen to £9,000 per year it is even more important to ensure that those who are able are not discouraged from applying to Cambridge because of financial constraints. In the last year alone we have been able to establish 10 new bursaries due to the generosity of our alumni and friends. This will go some way towards easing the financial burden for students in need. We are also delighted to be able to include more contributions from the Fellowship in this issue, which features the research of those working in the Medical and Veterinary Sciences, and Dr Edward Wilson-Lee’s ‘Shakespeare in Swahililand’ project. We are keen to showcase the work of our Fellows and demonstrate the breadth and depth of expertise across the Fellowship. I hope that this will become a regular feature in future editions of Pheon. Richard Penty Acting Master
Pheon Edition 30, Winter 2012 Guest Editor: Sally Simmons Pheon Editor: Hannah Williamson Front Cover: Anna Barth (Natural Sciences, 2011), View from the College boathouse looking back towards Sidney Contact Us Development & Membership Office Sidney Sussex College Cambridge cb2 3hu Tel: +44 (0)1223 338881 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.sid.cam.ac.uk
Professor Sir Gabriel Horn
6–7 Research at Sidney
8 Extreme Electives
9 Shakespeare and the Source of the Nile
10 Summer School at Sidney
11 Rapid Résumé Warren Bennett
12–13 Development News
14–15 Alumni Event Reports
16 Forthcoming Alumni Events
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sidney news n winter 2012 n pheon
College Treasures Featured in Madrid Exhibition Four items from Sidney’s historic collections have recently been on display at the Fundación Juan March in Madrid as part of a new exhibition, Treasure Island: British Art from Holbein to Hockney. Richard Humphreys (English, 1972) is the guest curator of the exhibition. An art expert, Richard is also known to many in the College community as the author of the recent book Sidney Sussex: A History. The College lent three books to the exhibition that together attest to periods of religious change and conflict in Britain. The oldest item is a Psalter, probably produced in Exeter and illuminated in Oxford around 1330. The other two volumes are a 1612 copy of the King James Bible and a 1632 edition of Actes and Monuments, John Foxe’s account of the history of Protestantism from Wyclif to the accession of Queen Elizabeth, better known as Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. The exhibition also features Sidney’s remarkable portrait of Lucy Harington, Countess of Bedford (1581–1627), which was recently purchased by the College following a generous donation by Dr David Fyfe (Natural Sciences, 1963). Other members of the Sidney community contributed to the exhibition, which opened with an introductory lecture from Richard Humphreys and a concert of Elizabethan music. There was a performance of renaissance choral music by Alamire, under the direction of Dr David Skinner, Osborn Director of Music. Professor Tim Blanning contributed an essay on ‘England and the British Isles 1500–2000’ to the exhibition catalogue and delivered a well-received lecture to a full house at the Fundación’s theatre on ‘The Protestant Reformation and British culture 1500–1800’.
New Fellowship for Professor Richard Penty
Professor Richard Penty with Sir John Parker (L) and Lord Browne of Madingley (R) Acting Master and Fellow in Engineering Richard Penty has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. The academy commended Professor Penty for his work, which ‘has led directly to products using photonics technology that have contributed to billion-dollar markets’. Professor Penty’s current research interests include optical data communications, MMF systems (digital and analogue), high-speed optical communications systems, optical amplifiers, optical switching and routing, RF over fibre and short pulse and high power semiconductor lasers.
© Jo Kirby
Sidney Alumnus Elected President of CUEA
Virgin Saints – detail from College Psalter (MS 76, c. 1330–1340)
Dr Michael Purshouse (Engineering, 1970) has been elected President of Cambridge University Engineers’ Association (CUEA). As a Fellow Commoner of Sidney, Dr Purshouse has for many years taken an interest in the College’s Stephenson Society. More recently he has helped to organise an evening to launch the Donald Green Fund, which supports engineering at Sidney. He has recently retired from Thales UK, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2007.
pheon n winter 2012 n sidney news
Choir Tour News Over the summer the College Choir toured California and – a first for any English liturgical choir – also visited Las Vegas. The Choir sang to packed and appreciative houses in Grace Cathedral in San Francisco and Memorial Chapel at Stanford University; gave two recitals in Las Vegas; travelled to Fresno and Carmel; and ended their tour in Santa Barbara, where they were hosted by the Quire of Voyces, directed by Nathan Krietzer. The Choir proved to be excellent ambassadors for Sidney and Cambridge as a whole. While they were there they received radio and television coverage as well as extremely positive reviews from local and state newspapers. The Choir was supported in their latest endeavour by the College’s Parry Dutton Fund, which provides grants to students for
The Choir singing for their hosts on the beach-front in Santa Barbara, CA travel to the United States with the aim of strengthening Anglo-American relations. In addition they also received generous support from Ann Mather (Geography, 1978) who sponsored both the Grace Cathedral event and the reception following the concert in the Basilica at Carmel Mission.
Victoria Bullard-Smith (History of Art, 2009)
The winners of the Sidney Sussex College Student Union (SSCSU) photography competition have been announced. Entrants were invited to submit enduring photos of Sidney or Cambridge. The winning entries roughly represent the seasons of the year and, as well as featuring in this year’s College Annual, have been made into beautiful canvases that now adorn the wall of the JCR TV room. In addition, Anna Barth’s (Natural Sciences, 2011) entry adorns the front cover of this issue. The images have greatly enhanced the recently redecorated space. SSCSU has a longer-term project to refurnish the JCR and provide a friendly and welcoming environment in which our undergraduates can relax.
Professor Rosamond McKitterick Lectures at Princeton Professor McKitterick visited Princeton University, New Jersey, recently to deliver the Eberhard L. Faber Class of 1915 Lecture, entitled ‘The Power of Words. Glossaries, Cultural Memory and the Transmission of Knowledge in the Early Middle Ages’. A group of Professor McKitterick’s PhD students accompanied her on her trip and participated in several events with their counterparts, graduate students studying early medieval history in Princeton. These included a two-day graduate workshop, informal discussions about their work with senior colleagues in the Princeton University Department of History and a seminar at the Institute of Advanced Study.
Alex Welbourne (Natural Sciences, 2011)
Katie Hunter (English, 2010)
Alumnus Appointed as Lord Chancellor Chris Grayling (History, 1981) has recently been appointed to the historic title of Lord Chancellor and in doing so becomes the first non-lawyer to be appointed in modern times. The Rt Hon Chris Grayling is the current Conservative MP for Epsom and Ewell and takes up a position that has existed for 1,400 years. As the new Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary, he has a number of substantial responsibilities, including the overall strategy on criminal justice, penal policy and rehabilitation of offenders.
professor sir gabriel horn n winter 2012 n pheon
Professor Sir Gabriel Horn (1927–2012) Professor Sir Gabriel Horn MD, ScD, FRS, FRCP served as Master of Sidney Sussex College between 1992 and 1999. A former head of the Department of Zoology and Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge between 1962–74 and 1978–92, he was awarded the Royal Society’s Royal Medal in 2001 and was knighted in 2002 ‘for services to Neurobiology and to the Advancement of Scientific Research’. As Master, Professor Horn worked tirelessly to increase the size and diversity of the Fellowship and improve the College’s facilities. Here Professor Dame Sandra Dawson, Gabriel’s successor as Master of Sidney, recounts her memories of Gabriel in association with Professor Sir Tom Blundell, Professor Tim Cox, Professor Alan Dashwood, Professor Alan Hughes, Professor Barry Nisbet and Professor Christopher Page.
n 2 August, while out riding his bike, Gabriel died suddenly and unexpectedly, leaving family, friends and colleagues bereft of a unique presence. Later, in our College chapel, a celebration of poetry, memories and music crafted by Gabriel’s wife, Prill Barrett, his children and their families revealed their deep love, great loss and piercing line of sight into the glories of life with Gabriel. Tim Cox’s eulogy, reported in the current College Annual, gives an account of Gabriel’s life and work; obituaries have appeared in the national and scientific press; and on 26 January 2013 there will be a memorial service held in King’s College, Gabriel’s ‘other College’. Our purpose here is to focus on Gabriel as Master of Sidney, a role he fulfilled with extraordinary imagination, innovation and dedication between 1992 and 1999. Gabriel had a remarkable gift for getting the best out of people and inspiring them to work together for the good of the College, creating that combination of high academic aspiration and social harmony that characterises Sidney today. This was achieved by example and by subtle, intelligent management – a light touch administered with a firm hand. The quatercentenary appeal in 1996 provided the basis for three special investment priorities: new fellowships that enhanced our distinguished and multi-disciplinary Fellowship, with consequent benefits for teaching, learning and the advancement of knowledge; the Mong Hall, which transformed our facilities for public and College use; and a step change in our understanding, communication and action to invest in undergraduate admissions so that the most able students, regardless of their background, would feel attracted, welcomed and supported by the College. Gabriel also originated the proposal to establish the 1596 Foundation to recognise and honour benefactors of the College and to draw in the personal and professional networks of
Fellows and alumni. That same combination of academic distinction with a profound commitment to establishing productive links with influential communities also drove the creation of the Cambridge University Government Policy Programme (CUGPOP) seminar series whereby Gabriel placed Sidney at the heart of UK science policy. Together with three other Heads of House he introduced Ministers and senior civil servants to frontier developments in natural and social sciences and their policy implications. CUGPOP led directly to the creation of the new Centre for Science and Policy (CSaP), which has put this activity at the centre of the University today. The magic of Gabriel’s legacy is that, once given life under his leadership, each development laid the basis for long-term benefit to the purposes of the College. Each will be remembered in the annals of Sidney when our successors look back over centuries still to come; but will the archive capture the spirit of the man? Three characteristics of Gabriel stand out. First, his universal humanity, always evident whether meeting royalty, interviewees, kitchen porters, Nobel prize winners, students, gardeners, alumni or distinguished academics. All were struck by the interest and seriousness with which they were treated. Second, his determination that the arts, poetry, music, performance and painting – the things we do for their own sake – should be the basis of a fulfilling life. Profoundly involved in science and public affairs, Gabriel always recognised the need for higher things, for studious and contemplative quiet. Finally, the environment he and Prill created so naturally from their residence in the Lodge; a welcoming place for all, where the conversation was always wide-ranging, and sometimes delightfully unexpected, and the hospitality warm and generous. When I succeeded him as Master, Gabriel offered me just one piece of advice: ‘Let the College love you and you will be sure to love the College.’ Sidney loved him and he loved the College. We are profoundly grateful for his legacy. Professor Dame Sandra Dawson Fellow in Management email@example.com
Supporting Sidney in honour of Gabriel The College wishes to recognise Gabriel’s contribution to College life by directing donations in his memory to provide additional financial support for those studying Sciences or Medicine at Sidney. To make a gift please visit www.sid.cam.ac.uk/giving or contact the Development and Membership Office.
pheon n winter 2012 n research at sidney
Research at Sidney Sidney has long had a reputation for
producing exceptional medics, including John Sterne (1641), who founded the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland, and George Mines (1904), a brilliant cardiologist who allegedly died as the result of self-experimentation in 1914. Here, we look at some of the research in which our Medical and Veterinary Science Fellows are currently engaged. Mother Nature and Father Time: Challenges in Autoimmune Disease Research
hronic illnesses, such as multiple sclerosis, diabetes and arthritis, are on the rise. The burden of these diseases is severe and lifelong, their impact on healthcare and the economy staggering. We know that the immune system, which normally defends us from infection, plays a self-destructive (autoimmune) role in these conditions: lymphocytes and antibodies unleash their destructive power against healthy tissues, rather than fighting infections. Why does the immune system commit these disastrous errors? The answer is complicated. In recent years, the genome of many patients has been scanned to identify dozens of gene variants that influence disease risk, but this has not shown how they contribute to autoimmunity. One reason is that proteins, whose production is controlled by genes, have more complex structures than DNA and carry out a bewildering array of functions, which must be investigated one by one. Another reason is that the gene variants in patients are part of the normal variation, and their effects on the immune system are subtle. Components of the immune system are continuously renewed and replaced. Many genes that influence the risk of autoimmunity may perturb this balance. Accordingly, my research group develops new techniques to measure the underlying dynamics. The renewal of body constituents can be tracked using radioactive tracer substances, but this poses risks to patients. We develop non-radioactive substitutes, which are safe to use, and which can be measured precisely by an analytical technique called mass spectrometry. Thus, we can measure the lifespans of immune cells and molecules that contribute to disease. Importantly, these techniques can be used to explore the impact of genetic risk factors. We focus on MHC genes, which are renowned for their remarkable variation between
We use this mass spectrometer at the Cambridge Centre for Proteomics to ‘weigh’ MHC protein molecules, enabling us to measure their lifespan by tracking the incorporation of non-radioactive tracers.
individuals. This variation shapes normal immune responses and triggers the rejection of transplanted organs. (The intimidating full name of the MHC, “Major Histocompatibility Complex”, hints at this.) Some MHC variants strongly increase the risk of developing autoimmunity, but we do not know why. In autoimmune diabetes, for example, it was thought that structural defects of the relevant MHC variants might shorten their lifespan, and thus impair their normal function in maintaining self-tolerance of the immune system. Our tracer techniques have enabled us to confirm that MHC molecules in a mouse strain that develops autoimmune diabetes are replaced rapidly. However, we found that this is not required for diabetes, and that it is actually under environmental, rather than genetic, control. We now believe that the replacement rates of MHC molecules are influenced by the response of immune cells to bacteria or viruses in the intestines of these mice. This is exciting because recent studies reveal profound influences of the gut flora on autoimmune disease, but these effects have been difficult to observe. Mechanistic insight will, we hope, enable us to develop much-needed better treatments for complex autoimmune diseases. Current treatments suppress inflammation but success is variable and normal immune defences are impaired. It is therefore important to understand how gene variation influences the dynamics of autoimmune disease, so that intervention strategies can be developed that target these processes appropriately. Much work remains before this vision will become reality. Dr Robert Busch Fellow in Medical Sciences firstname.lastname@example.org Further information: www.med.cam.ac.uk/busch
research at sidney n winter 2012 n pheon
Why are there so many bleeding racehorses?
t has been recognised for centuries that a small number of racehorses have nose bleeds during, or shortly after, racing. Endoscopic examinations of such horses have shown that the bleeding originates in the lungs and many racehorses bleed without the blood becoming visible at the nostrils. In all probability, the vast majority of horses are unaware of this haemorrhage and it does not usually appear to cause them pain or discomfort. Some time ago, we studied the prevalence of exerciseinduced pulmonary haemorrhage (EIPH), as the condition has become known, in British flat racehorses and diagnosed it in just over half of the horses that we examined. The proportion of horses found to bleed into their lungs during a given race increased with age from 40% in two-year-olds to 82% in animals aged four and over (Roberts et al. 1993). Racehorse trainers can request that their charges undergo a post-race endoscopic examination to determine whether they have had EIPH and this is commonly performed on horses that run disappointingly. However, opinion is divided concerning the effects of EIPH on racecourse performance and so it is
uncertain whether there is any value in this procedure. I have collated results from 166 such examinations to compare the frequency with which EIPH occurs in poorly performing animals with that of the general population. It was found that EIPH occurred no more frequently in poorly performing three-year-olds or older horses and, in a small sample of 9 two-year-old poor performers, EIPH occurred less frequently than in the general population. The Association of Racecourse Veterinary Surgeons has kindly sponsored the analysis of more data from racecourse endoscopy examinations to investigate further the effects of EIPH on performance, as well as to obtain further information concerning its occurrence in National Hunt horses (those that race over hurdles and fences), which have hardly been studied so far, despite being perceived to suffer more frequently from EIPH than flat racehorses. Dr Colin Roberts Fellow in Veterinary Science email@example.com
Get a Grip! New Methodology for Preserving Hand Function
n autoimmune diseases, the immune response is directed towards self tissues. Since immune mediators circulate in the bloodstream, the walls of blood vessels sustain significant damage. A devastating manifestation of this occurs in systemic sclerosis. This disease affects small arteries, starving the affected tissues of nutrients and oxygen, a condition known as ischaemia. This is usually most obvious in patients’ hands. Initially, the fingers turn red, white and blue as regulation of blood flow fails. Over many years, the ischaemia progresses inexorably. Fingers become extremely painful; ulcers develop when the blood supply to a small part of the finger is lost, and occasionally gangrene occurs when a larger area is cut off. The slow progression of ischaemia in systemic sclerosis is both good and bad news. It potentially gives clinicians time to intervene; yet, it also makes it difficult to assess the effectiveness of treatments, which remain inadequate as a result. This dilemma prompted our Hand Ischaemia Outcome Measures (HISOM) study. We studied two methods of quantifying the supply of small blood vessels to fingers. The first, laser Doppler flowimetry (LDF), measures blood flow using a laser beam directed at the finger, which bounces back from red blood cells flowing through the vessels. The light wave returning to the detector will be stretched if the cell is moving away, or compressed if the cell is moving towards the detector. Measurement of these changes can be used to estimate blood flow through the tissue. The second method, near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), uses the absorption of near-infrared light by haemoglobin, the red substance of blood, which changes in oxygen-starved tissues.
Patients with systemic sclerosis were invited to both ‘trial protocol’ and ‘outpatient protocol’ visits. The trial protocol was conducted in a temperature-controlled room. Patients were asked to abstain from drugs that might influence their blood circulation, and the measurements were conducted with standardised acclimatisation time and posture. In contrast, the outpatient protocol required an unprepared patient simply to sit in a chair. We found that NIRS gave more consistent data than LDF. Importantly for use in clinics, the trial protocol and the less stringent outpatient protocol correlated better for NIRS than for LDF. NIRS was also able to detect improved blood oxygenation in patients treated with Iloprost, a vasodilator. In contrast, the high variation of LDF obscured this effect. NIRS allows non-invasive monitoring of oxygen supply to ischaemic hands in patients with systemic sclerosis. This represents a promising new outcome measure to evaluate treatments for hand ischaemia. Although LDF was not a viable outcome measure in our protocols, whole-hand imaging by this technique is showing promise. We look forward to collaborating with other centres to explore the utility of these methods in guiding clinical trials. We hope this will enable new drugs to be developed to treat this debilitating condition more effectively. Dr Frances Hall Fellow in Medical Sciences and Consultant Rheumatologist firstname.lastname@example.org
pheon n winter 2012 n extreme electives
Extreme Electives An elective is a much-anticipated part of a medical student’s training. Electives can be used to explore a particular area of medicine, do medical research or practise non-clinical skills, such as teaching. Sugha Murugesu (Medicine, 2007) split her elective into two parts. Here she recounts her very different experiences at Yale University and in Tanzania.
began my elective by travelling to the USA to spend four weeks doing research with Joshua Johnson PhD, an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Reproductive Sciences at Yale University. Throughout my time in the lab I was able to perfect a number of techniques: electron microscopy, dissecting mice to collect tissue samples, PCR, primer design and production, reverse transcriptase PCR and stem cell passaging. The specific project I was working towards involved characterising a line of ovarian stem cells (OSCs). OSCs refer to cells isolated from adult ovaries (in this case from mice), which have the characteristics of dividing germ cells. However, female mammals are generally thought to have all their egg cells endowed at birth. Therefore, there is much controversy over whether or not these cells actually exist. In the 1950s, it was thought that women had a fixed number of eggs, which declined over time leading to the menopause. However, a study published in 2004 showed that oocyte renewal appeared to be occurring in adult mice. Further to this, a Harvard lab under Dr Jonathan Tilly published a paper showing that germ cells can produce oocytes in human ovaries. My aim was to verify that mouse cells imported from the Tilly laboratory would express all the gene markers reported in 2012. Unfortunately, I ran out of time to carry out analysis for the full set of gene markers; however, Joshua Johnson’s lab continued with the work and it was shown that 13 of the 17 gene markers were expressed in the cells. Although the results do not show that all the genes were expressed, they do show strong support for Tilly’s cells expressing germ line gene markers and thus possibly being ovarian stem cells. I also spent some time in an IVF clinic where I was able to observe procedures such as egg retrieval and infertility consultations. Spending time in the clinic also gave me the opportunity to meet couples going through the process of IVF and helped me to understand the reasons that lead them to undertake it.
After Yale, I spent a month in Tanzania dividing my time between Bugando Medical Center (BMC), the second largest tertiary referral hospital in the country, and Sekou Toure Regional Hospital, a regional state hospital more representative of the type of health care available to less wealthy Tanzanians. Here I was able to take advantage of clinical opportunities as far as possible, including assisting in classic caesarean sections and repairing a ruptured uterus. Many of the more unusual cases arose while I shadowed the on-call registrar during evening shifts. During one of my weeks in BMC, a specialist gynaecological surgeon had flown in from Nairobi specifically to work through theatre lists of complicated surgery. This provided a brilliant opportunity for me to observe some complex surgery. I also delivered babies on the labour ward, attended morning report, ward rounds and clinics. I was able to clerk in patients with the help of local medical students and presented cases during teaching. While I was in Tanzania I chose to focus on the care of HIVpositive pregnant women, as such patients are significantly less common in England. I got a good understanding of the management of such women and their babies. I carried out a clinical audit assessing obstetric management of HIV-positive women in the two Tanzanian hospitals against the relevant World Health Organization guidelines for resource-limited settings. The audit highlighted a number of improvements, including educating and empowering women, assessing HIV status early in the pregnancy and checks to ensure the appropriate treatment regimen is in place. On reflection I am glad I split up my placements to experience two extremes of medicine. My time at Yale allowed me to sample what life might be like as an academic physician, while Tanzania was at times frustrating due to the lack of resources. I did, however, learn a huge amount from both opportunities and I would like to thank Wellbeing of Women (Elective Bursary), Sidney Sussex College and Cambridge Clinical School (Association of Physicians Award and Desmond Hawkins Award). Without their support my elective would not have been possible.
shakespeare and the source of the nile n winter 2012 n pheon
Shakespeare and the Source of the Nile Dr Edward Wilson-Lee, Director of Studies in English, describes his current research, which tells the unlikely story of the part Shakespeare played in the history of East Africa.
lmost a century before Desert Island Discs began, moustachioed Victorian travellers were selecting the few books that they could afford to include with their expedition supplies as they set off on the great race to establish the source of the Nile. They came to very much the same conclusion as BBC producers in the 1940s: the Complete Works of Shakespeare was the one indispensable volume for those setting off into the wild. Printed in dense double-columns on thin paper (like the Bibles, which were optional for both the explorers and the Desert Island Discs guests), the Works provided an unbeatable ratio of beauty-toweight – an important consideration, even though the white men did not carry their own expeditionary kit. They might, however, have to choose between such luxuries and tradable commodities, as porters died from tsetse fly, malaria, starvation and attacks by local tribes. Richard Francis Burton and Henry Morton Stanley set a precedent in carrying Shakespeare into the African interior, a precedent followed by the motley crew of gentleman adventurers who came in their wake. This is where the extraordinary story of Shakespeare’s central part in East African history begins, a story I am following in my latest research project, and which is taking me back to the land of my childhood oddly equipped with the skills from my job as a scholar of Renaissance literature. A story that crops up with surprising frequency is one in which the Works is suspected by indigenous peoples to be a magic object. Stanley, reporting for the New York Herald from the West Coast of Africa in 1877, after having traversed the continent on their dime, recounted an episode in which a tribe (in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo) demanded that he burn his writing, which they considered ‘bad medicine’: I had a small volume of Shakespeare, Chandos edition. It had been read and reread a dozen times, it had crossed Africa, it had been my solace many a tedious hour, but it must be sacrificed. It was delivered, exposed to the view of the savage warriors. ‘Is it this you want?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Is this the medicine that you are afraid of?’ ‘Yes, burn it, burn it. It is bad, very bad; burn it.’ ‘Oh, my Shakespeare,’ I said, ‘Farewell!’ and poor Shakespeare was burnt. What a change took place in the faces of those angry, sullen natives! For a time it was like another jubilee.
The sting in the tail of this story is that, using Stanley’s diaries, we can establish that it was at least partly a fabrication: there he says he simply burnt some scrap paper. Indeed, Stanley’s story sounds suspiciously close to one from the Shakespeare volume that he took with him – in Shakespeare’s last soloauthored play, The Tempest, the savage Caliban plots to get his island back from the magician Prospero by burning his books: Caliban Why, as I told thee, it is a custom with him I’th’ afternoon to sleep. There thou mayst brain him, Having first seized his books; or with a log Batter his skull, or paunch him with a stake, Or cut his weasand with thy knife. Remember First to possess his books, for without them He’s but a sot as I am, nor hath not One spirit to command — they all do hate him As rootedly as I. Burn but his books. Truth be told, Stanley and the other explorers arrived in Africa expecting to find natives who feared their books and wanted them burnt, because the most famous image of a savage in English literature told them to expect that. Perhaps, then, their insistence that they found exactly that is (and is not) surprising. These travellers initiated a cultural chain reaction with explosive consequences: Shakespearean texts were among the first printed in Swahili after the language was given a new Roman alphabet; they were performed by Indian travelling theatre troupes to the workers who came over to construct the railroads. The plays were a central part of colonial schooling for African students and a key part of the debate about native education, and they were translated by the first president of an independent Tanzania, Julius Nyerere. The story gets stranger and even more intriguing after that – but to find out, you’ll have to wait for the book! And if you’re wondering what other ‘item’ the explorers might have taken with them – as those on Desert Island Discs are allowed to do – the answer is probably effervescent salts, the properties of which rarely failed to distract antagonists for long enough to effect an escape. Dr Edward Wilson-Lee Fellow in English email@example.com
pheon n winter 2012 n summer school at sidney
Summer School at Sidney
n August, we ran our first ever summer school for prospective students. Together with Christ’s College, we hosted a four-day residential course for sixth-formers interested in studying STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects at university. Thanks to some very generous support from the Simon and Jill Campbell Foundation, and the Donald Green Fund for Engineering, we were able to welcome 24 students at Sidney, with another 19 staying at Christ’s. We advertised the course to selected schools in our link areas of Lancashire, north Manchester, Staffordshire and Kensington and Chelsea. We chose state schools that perform well at A-level, but do not necessarily have a strong tradition of applications to Cambridge and Sidney. The schools nominated students who were predicted to achieve A* grades in Maths and Physics at A-level or equivalent, and who wanted to study Maths, Physics or Engineering at university. During the summer school, students attended lectures, lab sessions and supervision-style classes in the various University departments. They were introduced to the concepts of Electrical Engineering in a lecture by Dr Andrew Flewitt, and then put these into practice in a lab session, programming and working a simple microprocessor. In the Maths Department they worked through some problems in a supervision-style class run by Drs Julius Ross, Berry Groisman and Wayne Boucher. In Physics they had a mechanics supervision class and a practical on laser diffraction, then heard a lecture on the Higgs Boson by Professor James Stirling, head of the Physics Department. All the activities were designed to stretch the participants academically and introduce them to the teaching style and range of topics covered in a Cambridge degree. We also wanted to give the students a taste of social life at the University, with a number of activities organised by our graduate student helpers. These included a punting trip (enjoyed by everyone despite the rain), a film and, on the final evening, a typical Cambridge formal hall. The dinner gave the students a chance to meet and talk to their lecturers socially – this was something they said they particularly enjoyed, because it was such a different experience from school.
The feedback after the summer school was excellent: the students said that their perception had changed for the better, and that they no longer felt that Cambridge was ‘too posh’ or ‘not for the likes of us’. Many also appreciated the chance to meet other sixth-formers with similar academic interests. The only criticism we received was that they would have liked the course to be longer! I am delighted to report that over 60% of the students who attended the summer school applied to Cambridge, and nearly a third of these chose Sidney. Being able to meet the students over the course of four days meant that we were able to give them very detailed and individual advice on preparing an application, and I very much hope that some of them will be successful and join us next October as undergraduates. There has been much media discussion about the proportion of state school students at Cambridge, and how we are working towards meeting the targets set as part of our access agreement with the Office for Fair Access (OFFA). The way to meet the targets is not by discrimination of any sort, but by making sure that we are able to select from the widest possible pool of academically able students. To this end, we want to focus the majority of our outreach efforts on encouraging those who would not otherwise apply, and experience at Cambridge and other universities shows that summer schools are one of the best ways of achieving this. With this in mind, we plan to repeat the STEM summer school in 2013, as well as initiating an arts, humanities and social sciences summer school. I hope that we will be able to continue both events on an annual basis. The summer schools are one part of an extensive outreach programme at Sidney Sussex: we host regular open days, arrange day and residential visits to Sidney for school groups, travel to visit schools across the country and also run admissions seminars for teachers. For more information about any of these events, or about supporting our outreach programme, please contact the Admissions Office. Dr Kirsten Dickers Admissions Director firstname.lastname@example.org
rapid résumé n winter 2012 n pheon
Rapid Résumé warren bennett
Warren Bennett (Engineering 2000) co-founded A Suit That Fits in 2006 with his school friend David Hathiramani. A Suit That Fits is an innovative and successful tailoring business that started online and is now present in over 30 locations in the UK.
s a young lad, I would knock on neighbours’ doors, wheelbarrow in hand, selling silk carpets and pashminas. I guess the entrepreneurial spirit set in at a young age, although we focused more on Engineering at my interview day at Sidney! Some years later, after graduating from Cambridge with my Masters in Engineering, I moved to Paris to study for an MBA at the Collège des Ingénieurs; while there I completed a consulting project for a French real estate firm and started a small import business with suppliers in India and Nepal. During my second gap year, following graduation from Cambridge, I volunteered in a school in Nepal, where I was introduced to a family of Nepalese tailors. This encounter sparked an entrepreneurial vision. I always had a passion for suits. Before that moment, I had planned on joining a corporate graduate scheme, as this seemed to be a sensible route for me. However, my meeting with the fantastic Nepalese tailors set the ball rolling for something that seemed more fun. I had been fortunate enough to visit several countries on previous trips and had regularly taken advantage of local tailoring skills on my travels – satisfying my love of affordable bespoke suits that served me very well at Sidney formal halls – and my trip to Nepal certainly didn’t disappoint when my tailor and I designed a natty olive green flared three-piece together. I was so inspired by the quality and fit of the resulting suit that I proudly wore it when meeting up with an old school friend and Compsci, David Hathiramani. He instantly recognised the quality of the workmanship, although he wasn’t keen on the flares, and together we set about creating an affordable highquality bespoke business that would ultimately be available on the UK high street. Quite literally overnight, we set up a website that was just about able to take payments. It enabled users to build up their bespoke suit by choosing options, including everything from the width of the lapel to the colour of the stitching on the buttonholes. Studying Engineering at Cambridge helped me to break down the mystique of tailoring lore into a series of systems and processes, allowing us to deliver a great suit and a great fit every time with very little intervention – something that remains very important in the operations of A Suit That Fits. We trialled our idea the very next day at Hampstead market, unsure what the response would be. Our engineering and computing backgrounds enabled us to apply a real sense of
logic; designing a suit is just a series of choices and it was this simple premise on which we based the tools for our mass customisation model. Armed with our revolutionary Style Wizard, we sold our first two suits within 20 minutes and never looked back! We began renting office space in London and now have over 30 locations nationwide. Six years since the business was founded it has really evolved. Most recently we launched a collection in John Lewis Oxford Street and we’ve even made a suit for the tallest man in the world! The mission, however, remains the same as it has been right from the beginning: to ethically hand-tailor highquality bespoke suits, making tailoring a realistic alternative to off-the-peg suiting. We are passionate about building long-term relationships through responsible business, and achieving commercial success while respecting people, communities and the environment. Having founded the business in Nepal, David and I were acutely aware of the economic situation in that area of the world and wanted to give something back to the community. We pay our employees in Nepal significantly above the local market rate to ensure that the quality demands of our customers are met and that our 110-strong tailoring team enjoys working for us. We are also proud to fund projects in the Nepalese school where I was volunteering when I originally met the family of tailors who sparked the idea for our business. Our vision for the future is to continue to work towards becoming Britain’s local tailor while keeping an eye on the international market for our service.
pheon n winter 2012 n development news
Development News New Student Accommodation Last summer saw an ambitious schedule of building work across the College. One of the key projects involved the creation of new student rooms; this is crucial as we will shortly have to return the 44 rooms we lease in Portugal Street to St John’s. Providing first-class facilities for all our students, including student accommodation, is one of the College’s three strategic priorities. With support from the Annual Fund we were able to create nine student rooms, a new kitchen and bathroom facilities in Sussex House by transforming the former Roger Andrew Room and neighbouring seminar rooms. Richard O’Connor,
South Court under scaffolding
a second-year graduate student in Experimental Psychology, is one of the occupants of the new rooms in Sussex House. He writes: ‘I’m finding the new room very pleasant. Last year I managed to get one of the (then) newly developed Galloway and Porter rooms, so I’ve been very lucky in my accommodation allocations! Both sites are obviously very convenient; those of us living here are very lucky to be able to live in the centre of town. Being able to have graduate students living within College fosters a good sense of community, too.’ The College replaced the seminar rooms lost in Sussex House with two new seminar rooms in Chapel Court and four in Jesus Lane. These are a great improvement on the old Sussex House rooms and provide muchneeded teaching space in College. Work has also been completed on C staircase, which now has vastly
Richard O’Connor (Experimental Psychology, 2011) improved and very welcome facilities for the students living there. In addition to the work to create new student rooms, maintenance work to address steel corrosion in South Court was also completed. This required the removal of tiling on the terrace and the temporary removal of the balustrade as well as relocating Fellows and office staff from X and Y staircases for the summer. A new terrace has since been laid, and the old stonework balustrade restored and raised on a new plinth. With the support of the Annual Fund we have ensured that South Court remains a safe building for our students, Fellows and staff for many years to come.
2011–12 Annual Fund – Thank You! As a result of the continuing support of our alumni and friends we are delighted to announce that in the financial year 2011–12 we raised £490,000 for the Annual Fund. Our total development income for the last financial year was just over £1 million but perhaps the most encouraging news is that we now have more donors than ever before making a gift to Sidney, almost 700 people – up from just over 400 in the previous year. One of the most important aspects of the Annual Fund is its flexibility. This allows the College to direct support to areas in most need during the year, whether that means providing additional hardship support for students or covering the shortfall in teaching costs. Gifts to the Annual Fund are also used to maintain and improve the fabric of the College, to ensure that we are able to provide the very best facilities and a safe and welcoming environment for our students.
This year the Annual Fund supported a wide variety of projects around College, including: • providing a number of hardship grants to both undergraduate and graduate students; • supporting Dr Bernhard Fulda’s teaching position in History; • part-funding Dr David Doupe’s Junior Research Fellowship in Natural Sciences; • supporting the Sidney Greats lecture series, which aims to introduce foundational texts to the entire College community; • creating nine new student rooms in Sussex House; • relocating the MCR to provide a social space for our growing graduate community. To make a gift in support of the Annual Fund in 2012–13 please visit www.sid.cam.ac.uk/giving or contact the Development and Membership Office.
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A Story of Philanthropy Dr Simon and Mrs Jill Campbell established the Simon and Jill Campbell Foundation in 2001 to support students from state schools across the UK who are pursuing a degree in Natural Science or Maths. Since the Foundation was established, nearly 100 students at Sidney and Christ’s have benefited from their bursaries and a variety of outreach activities. The Foundation also generously supported a Summer School, run jointly by the two colleges, with the aim of encouraging increased applications from state schools to Cambridge (see page 10). To mark the Foundation’s 10th anniversary, Dr and Mrs Campbell explain their motivation for establishing the Foundation, and why supporting higher education is even more important given the recent increase in student fees. ‘We were fortunate to enter higher education when grants were common and fees were paid, but unfortunately there has been a marked shift away from government and local authority funding towards families and individuals. We were concerned that some bright and able students would be deterred from applying to university without alternative forms of financial support. We were also worried about the negative impact of student debt, which has increased over the years, and which could be an additional barrier to pursuing a university education. We hoped that bursaries from our Foundation would help relieve students of some of that debt and more general financial concerns while at Cambridge, and when they entered the wider world post-graduation. ‘We have been delighted to have supported nearly 100 students at Cambridge, and additional bursaries have been endowed at Birmingham. It is most rewarding to see the high levels of achievement most Foundation students attain, and to hear firsthand how much they appreciate financial support at such a crucial time in their education.
We have focused to date on Natural Science and Maths as we firmly believe that a strong and vibrant science base will be essential for the UK to retain international competitiveness. ‘We can expect national and local budgets to be squeezed further over the next few years at least but, with tax concessions and government matching, individual donations are a most effective and satisfying investment in the education of talented students who will be absolutely essential for the future of the UK.’
A Student’s Perspective As a recipient of a Campbell Bursary I am very grateful to the Simon and Jill Campbell Foundation for their support throughout my time at Cambridge. Such bursaries offer much appreciated financial support at a crucial time in a recipient’s life. Personally, I hugely value the greater financial security and peace of mind this brings when accounting for day-to-day expenses and future debt. Another hugely powerful benefit of the Campbell bursaries is the feeling that you are personally supported by members of the Sidney community throughout your time here. In light of the recent rise in fees the importance of bursaries for eligible students is a key focus for the College and the Sidney Sussex College Student Union. Together we are deeply committed to promoting access to Sidney for the brightest students regardless of background, an aim which is echoed by the Simon and Jill Campbell Foundation. Ellen Brookes (Natural Sciences, 2010) JCR President
Record Number of Bursaries for 2012–13 Over the last 12 months we have been working hard to increase the number of bursaries Sidney is able to offer to its students to ensure that the College remains accessible and that potential students are not discouraged from applying as a result of the recent rise in fees. Thanks to the generosity of alumni and friends of Sidney we now have more bursaries than ever before to award to new students in financial need. At the most recent gathering of the 1596 Foundation we were delighted to be able to admit two new members who have both pledged their support to bursaries and student support. Malcolm Strong (Law, 1960) made a
gift to the Thornely Student Support Fund, which helps finance bursaries for undergraduates studying Law. The Thornely Society honours the memory of John Thornely by supporting many aspects of Law at Sidney, including Fellowships and academic and social events. The current Thornely Fellow is Dr Jillaine Seymour. Liz Copeland (Natural Sciences, 1976) is the most recent member of the 1596 Foundation. Liz has established two bursaries for students studying Natural Sciences that will be awarded from October 2013. These bursaries join others that we have established this year, thanks to the generosity of alumni and friends of
Sidney. They will go some way towards easing the financial burden on our students and encouraging prospective students to apply to Sidney.
Liz Copeland (Natural Sciences, 1976), front row, third from left, Malcolm Strong (Law, 1960), front row, fifth from left
pheon n winter 2012 n alumni event reports
Alumni Event Reports Alumni Reunions The reunion for those who matriculated in 1974, 1975 and 1976 took place on 22 September 2012. Over 130 alumni and their guests enjoyed tea and scones in the Master’s Garden despite the damage done to the lawns by birds searching for chafer grubs. After tea two of our undergraduate students, Sam Andrews (PPS, 2011) and Emily Iliffe (Economics, 2010), led alumni on tours of the College and gardens before everyone gathered for pre-dinner drinks in Cloister Court. This reunion was extra special as we were delighted to welcome back 24 of the pioneering women who were admitted to Sidney in 1976. Once in Hall the important matter of dinner and catching-up with old friends began in earnest, and continued over cheese and coffee in the Knox-Shaw Room and well into the early hours of Sunday morning in various rooms in the College. The following day we welcomed alumni who matriculated in the 1990s back to College for the Decade Reunion Lunch in the Master’s Garden. While alumni and their partners enjoyed drinks, their children played in the grounds and on the bouncy castle. With the onset of heavy rain, guests gathered in the marquee for lunch after which the Acting Master, Professor Richard Penty, gave an entertaining speech. Despite the wet and chilly weather outside, the atmosphere inside the marquee was warm and friendly and an enjoyable afternoon was had by all.
Alumni receptions in Washington and New York Unfortunately, Superstorm Sandy put paid to some of the planned alumni events during Development Director Bill Abraham’s recent visit to the East Coast of the USA. The event at the Willard Hotel in Washington DC was cancelled, and while the Sidney networking event hosted by Sidney alumnus John Ryding (Economics, 1977) in New York did go ahead, many alumni and friends of the College were unable to attend. We very much hope to be able to hold similar events at some point in 2013 so that we can connect with our alumni and friends in the USA but in the meantime our thoughts go out to all of those who were affected by the storm.
SSBC 175th Anniversary Dinner
Older than several Cambridge colleges, the Boat Club has just celebrated its 175th anniversary. To mark the occasion we held a formal dinner in Hall and, with a mainly alumni-based attendance of 75, the event was a huge success. As a result of the generosity of alumni and friends of the Boat Club we raised over £5,000 on the night and thanks to the generosity of an anonymous member of the 1596 Foundation, the Boat Club will now be able to order a new boat. Before dinner the SSBC organised a water outing for all those who dared give it another go, which to our satisfaction left the men’s first boat in one piece. The Boat Club has come a long way in its 175 years and Sidney has one of the highest numbers of athletes per head of any college. At Sidney we pride ourselves on inclusivity and diversity and the fact that we churn out the odd Blues rower every now and again. We are also proud to have a strong and active alumni club, the Lord Protector Boat Club, for those who still want to row with SSBC after graduating. The anniversary has not been just another milestone; for us it has been a year of reflection, celebration and competition and we are already looking forward to the next milestone. Daniel Worrall, Captain of the Boats
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Sidney Sussex Society Visit to Boughton The Sidney Sussex Society held another successful event at Boughton House in Northamptonshire in October 2012. Boughton House has been the home of the Montagus and their descendants since 1528 and is now the home of the 10th Duke of Buccleuch and his family. The house sits at the heart of the 4,500-hectare Boughton estate and has grown over the centuries, starting life as simple Tudor manor and evolving into its present palatial style, emulating Versailles. Alumni were treated to a tour of the house by Duke Richard, where
the highlights included the Great Hall, the state rooms with their ceiling paintings and Mortlake tapestries, the remarkable collection of oil paintings and furniture, the fascinating Audit Room, the armoury and the ‘unfinished wing’. After lunch Duke Richard and Charles Lister, the Duke’s Property Manager, led alumni on a tour of the grounds, which included the Broad Water lake and walled garden as well as the more modern 21st-century addition, ‘Orpheus’, a landscape art project by Kim Wilkie that was completed in 2009.
Sidney Club of Geneva On 23 June 2012, the Sidney Club of Geneva held its annual dinner and talk at the Hotel du Lac in Coppet, Switzerland. Bill Jones, Fellow of the College and Professor of Materials Chemistry, spoke on ‘The Role of Materials Chemistry in Drug Delivery’. The event was very well attended with members travelling from far afield, not only from Cambridge but also Grenoble, Zurich – and Nairobi. 2013 marks the Club’s 10th anniversary and plans are already underway to celebrate it in both Switzerland and Cambridge. Activities are likely to include a New Year dinner in January 2013, a visit to the University of Basle (the oldest university in Switzerland) in April, the annual dinner and talk in Coppet in June and a trip to Cambridge in September. Alumni of the College who would like to join the Club or find out more about it are encouraged to contact the President, Dr Ajit Bhalla, email@example.com.
How You Can Help 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 area please contact the Membership and Events Officer, Wendy Hedley, on +44 (0)1223 338881 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sèvres pot-pourri vase c. 1759
Lady Frances Sidney Circle Afternoon Tea On Friday 21 September 2012 the Development and Membership Office welcomed back alumni and friends of the College who have pledged a legacy to Sidney to inaugurate the Lady Frances Sidney Circle. Named after our foundress, the Circle recognises the generosity of those who share Lady Frances’s vision for the future of Sidney. Over 30 alumni and their guests joined us for afternoon tea where they heard from the Acting Master, Professor Richard Penty and the Bursar, Nick Allen, who recounted his fond memories of the late Sir Richard Powell, one of the College’s most significant benefactors. Sir Richard made several gifts to Sidney in his lifetime but also included the College in his will. As well as the Powell Arts and Music Fund, the Powell Library Fund supports the operational costs of the library. A gift in your will can be one of the most meaningful ways in which to support the College and ensure that your generosity makes a difference for future generations of Sidney students. To find out more about the Lady Frances Sidney Circle and how you can remember Sidney in your will please contact Hannah Williamson, Development Officer, +44 (0) 1223 338851 or email@example.com.
Forthcoming Alumni Events Saturday 16 February 2013 ■ Triennial Reunion Dinner for Engineers Alumni who read Engineering, including Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Sciences, Electrical Sciences and Electrical and Information Sciences are invited to a reunion dinner in College. Paddy Lowe (Engineering, 1981), Technical Director at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, will give a talk prior to dinner. Online booking is available at www.sid.cam.ac.uk/alumni/sss/ TriennialEngineeringDinner.html
Friday 12 April 2013 ■ Sidney Sussex Society Spring Event at Westminster Abbey The Choir of Sidney Sussex College will be celebrating evensong at Westminster Abbey at 5pm on Friday 12 April. A drinks reception, open to all Sidney alumni, will follow (time and venue to be confirmed). Saturday 11 May 2013 ■ MA Graduation Ceremony and Dinner Alumni who matriculated in 2006 are eligible to proceed to their MA degree and are invited to attend a formal dinner in Hall. Invitations and further information will be sent in due course. To ensure information reaches you please update your contact details at www.sid.cam.ac.uk/alumni/update. For further information about the MA Graduation Ceremony please contact the Praelector’s Secretary, Angela ParrBurman (firstname.lastname@example.org). Saturday 18 May 2013 ■ 1596 Foundation Dinner The Master, Professor Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, invites members to dine in College on Saturday 18 May for his final 1596 dinner as President of the Foundation. Further information will be sent in due course. To find out more about the 1596 Foundation,
or to discuss becoming a member, please contact the Development and Membership Office. Saturday 22 June 2013 ■ Sidney Sussex Arts Festival For one day at the end of May Week, the Sidney Sussex Arts Festival will take over the stunning college gardens offering a series of acts, concerts and exhibitions celebrating artistry to the highest standard. This year’s festival will include music, poetry, visual art, film, dance and theatre, centred on a performance of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. For more information please contact the Festival Director, George Parris (email@example.com).
to Sidney for an informal buffet lunch. We would like to encourage alumni to bring guests to this event. Invitations will be sent later in the year.
Saturday 12 October 2013 ■ Sidney Sussex Society Visit to Bletchley Park The Sidney Sussex Society invites alumni and guests to its autumn event, which will be held at Bletchley Park. Bletchley and Sidney have a distinguished history. Ten members of the College worked at Bletchley Park, many of them recruited by Gordon Welchman, a Research Fellow in Mathematics at Sidney. Further information about this event will be available later in the year. For further details about any of these events please contact the Membership and Events Officer, Wendy Hedley, on +44 (0)1223 338881 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday 29 June 2013 ■ Sidney Reunion for matriculands of 1983, 1984 and 1985. Friday 27 September 2013 ■ Lady Frances Sidney Circle Afternoon Tea Alumni and friends of Sidney who have chosen to remember the College in their will are invited to afternoon tea. If you have left a legacy to the College but have not notified us and wish to attend, or if you are unsure that we are aware of your planned legacy, please contact us. Saturday 28 September 2013 ■ Sidney Reunion for matriculands of 2001, 2002 and 2003.
Sunday 29 September 2013 ■ Decade Reunion Lunch The Master and Fellows invite those who matriculated in the 1960s back
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 @ £63 Bed & Breakfast Twin Ensuite bedroom @ £70 Bed & Breakfast Single Standard bedroom @ £41 Bed & Breakfast For more details: +44 (0)1223 339703 email@example.com