Gallery: Norwegian Scholars' 100th Anniversary Reunion

Date Published: 13.09.2023

Around 30 Norwegian Scholars returned to Wadham for the (Covid-delayed) event.

Spanning the decades and dressed in an array of summer suits, skirts, shorts, polo tops and loafers, around 30 Norwegian Scholars returned to Wadham on 9 September to attend the (Covid-delayed) Norwegian Scholars 100th anniversary Reunion.

The programme began with a stimulating academic session on “AI and democracy: risks and opportunities”, delivered by Chris Summerfield, Fellow in Psychology and Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience. It triggered a lively Q&A that could have continued for hours, judging by the level of emotional and philosophical engagement.

The Warden, Robert Hannigan, followed this with a welcome to the scholars and guests, bringing the focus back to Wadham, with an update on the College’s ambitions and priorities for the years ahead.

With the late afternoon heat mellowing, it was the perfect opportunity afterwards for a drinks reception in the LSK Atrium, with guests spilling out into the Back Quad surroundings to catch up with old friends, Fellows and colleagues, before heading to the Front Quad steps for an impromptu group photo.

Dinner in the Old Library provided an opportunity to celebrate the Scholarship’s longstanding roots and to bring it to the present celebrations, with an address by John Arthur Skard (MSc Physics, 1967), whose grandfather established the Norwegian Wadham Scholarship Fund to ‘strengthen the ties of friendship, sympathy and mutual understanding between Norwegian and English academic youth'.

"I believe that my grandfather’s ambition – especially during a time when travel and communications were much more difficult – has been met with success," said John. He expressed "gratitude to Wadham College and to all the helpers on both sides of the North Sea, on behalf of myself and...all who have benefitted from the Norway Scholarship through the last one hundred years" before proposing a toast "to Wadham and another century of Norway Scholarships to Wadham".

The Warden went on to announce a donation of historic dimension to the Norwegian Scholarship Scheme: thanks to a generous bequest in his will, Frode Ernst Haverkamp (1972, History of Art) is planning for a part of his estate to fully endow a Norwegian Scholarship, adding one annual scholarship to the scheme. This will strengthen the partnership between Norway and Oxford into the future and the news was received with enthusiasm and a standing ovation, thanking Ernst for this wonderful act of generosity.

"A group spanning seven decades of Wadhamites will necessarily be quite diverse in most aspects, but we all came together in celebrating how well our old college is evolving. And the welcome!"

Iver Neumann (‘88), head, Norway Scholarship Committee