Warden's Christmas Message

Date Published: 14.12.2022

Wadham has responded to a turbulent year with energy on all fronts.

As you might hope and expect, Wadham has responded to a turbulent year with energy on all fronts. Academically, the College continues to attract excellent students, undergraduate and graduate, who have produced impressive exam results against a particularly difficult pandemic backdrop.

At this time of year I am always struck by the extraordinary care, diligence and effort which Tutors put into the admissions and interview processes. In parallel, our Fellows continue to pursue ground-breaking research across all disciplines and we have celebrated a host of fine book publications this year.

The economic climate has had an impact both on our hard-working staff and, of course, on our students, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds. As I said at the long-overdue opening of the new Back Quad Buildings, including the Locke Access Centre, we should be very proud of Wadham’s track record in extending opportunity to very talented students who might not have considered Oxford or other top universities in the past. The Chancellor, Lord Patten, described Wadham as at the vanguard of these efforts and paid tribute to the sustained seriousness with which we have have approached the challenge over the years.

"Wadham is showing that widening access drives up academic standards."

The William Doo Undergraduate Centre and the Dr Lee Shau Kee Building have rapidly become the centre of student life and the Locke Access Centre has already been the venue for hundreds of school groups visiting. Wadham is showing that widening access drives up academic standards. We cannot change everything, but we can pioneer new approaches and show how these can work at scale.

None of this would be possible, of course, without the transformational generosity of our alumni and donors. That Wadham has one of the highest proportion in Oxford of alumni who give back says a lot about the College community. The crisis in higher education funding, which is unlikely to be solved anytime soon, makes this even more critical.

All of us in College are deeply grateful for your support and wish you the very best in these challenging times. We hope you will visit us in 2023, and draw some inspiration and optimism from the positive initiatives you will see here. Do save the dates for some of next year's events.

In the meantime, please enjoy the festive videos and photos below.

Robert Hannigan, Warden of Wadham College

Students sing the 12 Days of Christmas.

Clips of the College enjoying its light dusting of snow.

Merry Christmas from Wadham!