US tour

24th April 2017

News, Alumni news

At the first series of events on the West Coast of America for several years, Wadham welcomed alumni based in Los Angeles, Palo Alto and San Francisco.

Los Angeles and New York photos

  • Warden Ken Macdonald QC with his wife Linda Zuck (right) In Los Angeles

  • Guests at Wadham's New York reception

At a dinner with Wadham alumni, the Warden, Ken Macdonald QC, and the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Louise Richardson, the Vice-Chancellor shared candid views about the challenges faced by Oxford and higher education institutions today, both in light of Brexit and the wider global changes. 

Asked by a Wadham alumnus why she decided to take the Oxford job in the first place, Professor Richardson gave an engaging and personal account of her first year at the helm, and her fascination with Oxford’s pioneering research. The decentralised structure at Oxford can be a challenge when you are looking to run an efficient institution, Professor Richardson explained, however, this structure also allows independent and innovative scholarship to flourish, and has led Oxford to the top of the world rankings. This academic independence is at the heart of the University's mission, and the Vice-Chancellor emphasised just how important it is that Oxford is able to attract and retain the very best scholars and students from all over the world, now and in the future.

Wadham is fortunate that alumni are helping us in a number of ways by supporting scholarships and fellowships. A new scholarship scheme for US inner city applicants to study for an undergraduate degree at Wadham is also underway and will widen participation further.

In New York, Wadham alumni admired breath-taking views across Manhattan at the annual East Coast reunion. The Warden shared College news with some sixty alumni and their guests at an event generously hosted and sponsored by Fiona Schaeffer (BCL, 1993), at her firm Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, on the 47th floor of 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza.  

Guests, including former and current Sarah Lawrence College exchange students, were particularly interested to hear about the College’s Access to Excellence programme. The Warden also shared news of the commencement of work on the Dorothy Wadham Building in Iffley Road and plans for the replacement of the JCR and Goddard building on the Wadham site, where designs by internationally acclaimed architect Amanda Levete are well underway.  

Development Director Julie Hage, who is currently spending several months in Berkeley, California, is working to strengthen Wadham’s US based alumni network, and was delighted to welcome so many Old Members to events over the past weeks.

Palo Alto photos

  • University of Oxford Vice-Chancellor, Professor Louise Richardson

Calling US alumni

For information about Wadham College’s alumni programme in California and across the US, you are welcome to get in touch with Julie Hage: julie.hage@wadh.ox.ac.uk. Wadham Alumni Association Committee member, Sachin Patel (Physics, 2001), is also working out of San Francisco and supporting alumni networking in the area.

We currently have 850+ alumni based in North America and 200+ of those are living in California. Volunteers in Silicon Valley are creating a regional LinkedIn group to facilitate networking, so do get in touch if we can help to facilitate a similar group in your area.

Alumni traveling to, or based in, Northern California are also invited to an exclusive panel discussion on "The rise of the Fourth Industrial Revolution: How will the internet of things and artificial intelligence shape our future?" on 25 May at The Battery club in San Francisco. CEO of Rolls-Royce, Warren East CBE (Wadham, 1980) and AI professor Stuart Russell (Wadham, 1979) will discuss the nature of the current transformation with the director of the World Economic Forum Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Murat Sönmez.

Forthcoming event