Dining in style

11th September 2019

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Wadham alumni reunited in College for a weekend of celebrations at the 1610 and Alumni Society dinners.

  • Guests at the 1610 Society Dinner

Over 100 alumni gathered in College to celebrate the annual Wadham Alumni Society reunion, to hear Robert Hannigan (Classics, 1983) speak about his career, as former Director of GCHQ and cyber security expert.

In an animated presentation, Robert, from South Yorkshire, described how the politically radical and diverse Wadham of the 80s opened up to him a new world of different types of people from a variety of backgrounds and nationalities, particularly igniting his interest in Hong Kong and Singapore.

He gave wide-ranging remarks on working in the civil service, the global political climate, changes to traditional power structures, China’s growing capacity as a super-power in the cyber security domain and its increasing ability to compete with Western technology. He noted that Chinese academics are collaborating more and more with international academics and being cited in Western publications. Collaboration, and not isolation, should be the goal, Robert concluded. 

All Wadham alumni are automatically members of the Wadham Alumni Society and so invited to Society events in the UK and overseas throughout the year. Wadham is happy to assist Wadham Society alumni groups to arrange get-togethers in their own cities across the world. (Do get in touch with the development team for further information). 

Before the evening festivities, a well-attended Wadham Society AGM followed a college briefing from the Warden, Ken Macdonald QC.  Guests then proceeded to a pre-dinner drinks reception in the Cloister Gardens in splendid sunshine. 

Alumni, Fellows, staff and students who make up Wadham’s 1610 Society, came together for the Society's annual dinner on 6 September, enjoying haute cuisine and fine wines in Wadham’s Dining Hall. 

Following a welcome from Colin Drummond (Classics, 1969), 1610 Society President, Tracy Hofman (English, 1978), spoke of education as the passport to social mobility.

"My grandmother left school at 11 to become a seamstress and I, her grand-daughter, went to Westminster School and Oxford University...without financial support and access, many talented potential students are locked out of Tertiary Education and this is woeful," she said.

Prior to the dinner, guests were treated to an exhibition of Library treasures, including a book saved from the fire of London (White’s Sonus Buccinae ,1659) given to us by Thistlethwayte in 1771, our first edition Copernicus (1543) and Newton’s Principia (1687), hosted by Wadham Librarian Tim Kirtley, followed by a College update. Evensong in Chapel and drinks in the Cloister Garden preceded dinner. 

The 1610 Society brings together like-minded people to promote legacy giving and/or significant lifetime gifts that provide Wadham College with adequate funds to allow it to pursue its goals of academic excellence, independence and inclusivity. Membership of the 1610 Society is open to those who pledge to remember the college in their wills or who make donations totalling £10,000 or more in their lifetime. As a thank you to these donors, the College hosts the annual dinner in their honour.

  • Wadham Society guests

  • Our speaker, Robert Hannigan (Classics, 1983)