Selwyn will be remembering those who died in conflict with services in the chapel on Sunday November 11th. There will be a two minutes silence in Old Court at 11am; and later at 6pm the choir will sing Parry’s Songs of Farewell to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.
Our archive images for November feature the description of a chance meeting on the battlefield in 1918 by Montague Spinney (SE 1906, pictured below) and Robert Close (SE 1907). Spinney was serving as a chaplain while Close was a lieutenant with the Yorkshire Regiment when they met in May 1918 – only a few days before Close was killed on 27th May. Spinney had read Music at Selwyn and was a Music Scholar while Close had read History. Sadly, Close left a young wife and child when he died.
The letter reads as follows: “We were being driven back on the Lys, near Le Croix du Bac, V, tho’ I was Chaplain to the 13th East Surreys, we were so short of officers that I was in charge of building some trenches to try & stop the Boche advance. We were all being shelled & machine gunned rather wickedly when, suddenly up came The 50th Div., & a young officer came up to me & asked if I was in charge. I said “No”, he’d find them over in the farmhouse nearby”. He looked at me – for we all looked alike in our tin hats & khaki – and said “My goodness, Spinney, what are you doing out here”. Then we parted & I never saw him again. He was a fine lad & I always liked him at Selwyn.”
The college has named a room in honour of Kathleen Lyttelton (1856-1907): campaigner for women’s rights and social justice; journalist; and wife of our first Master.
The room, formerly known as the Tower Room, was opened on Sunday October 14th by members of the Lyttelton family. Pictured are her three surviving grandchildren – Ned, Lavinia and Kate – with a photograph of Kathleen from the National Portrait Gallery.
Kathleen arrived in Cambridge with her husband Arthur in 1882 when he took up the Mastership of the newly-founded college. She was an early suffragist, and meetings advancing the cause were held at Selwyn from its earliest days. Kathleen went on to have a national role in the campaign for women’s votes; and she became a writer and editor, and gave Virginia Woolf one of her first commissions.
You can read more about Mary Kathleen Lyttelton’s remarkable life in her entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/10.1093/ref:odnb/9780198614128.001.0001/odnb-9780198614128-e-50712
Our photograph shows Selwyn Fellows and friends gathered with the Lyttelton family at the opening event.
The college is now home to a new generation of graduate students and undergraduates, following matriculation ceremonies on Friday 29 September and Monday 1 October. We’ve been joined this year by a total of more than 200 new students.
Undergraduates were addressed in Hall on Monday morning by the Senior Tutor Dr Mike Sewell and the Praelector Dr Stewart Sage.
They then went into Old Court for the traditional freshers photo where they were joined by the Master Roger Mosey, the Chaplain Hugh Shilson-Thomas and deputy head porter Bob Watson.
We wish our new students happiness and success during their time at Selwyn.
The college admitted its latest Fellow Benefactor at a reunion dinner on Saturday September
Fellow Benefactor status is Selwyn’s highest recognition for philanthropy, marking a gift of
at least £1m. We were delighted to welcome Robin Jeffs to this cohort following his donation to the
college’s new library and auditorium project. Mr Jeffs, who is an alumnus now living in
California, has asked for his contribution to be named in memory of our distinguished former Fellow
Mr Jeffs becomes the fourth Fellow Benefactor since the creation of the role in 2016. Other holders
of the title are Jim Dickinson, Robert Martin and Katya Speciale. We are extremely grateful to them
for their support for future generations at Selwyn.
The college is looking forward to welcoming its new undergraduates at the end of September. This year they will total 119: 57 men and 62 women.
Of the UK students, 74% are from state schools. This is up from 71% in 2017, and compares with an official Cambridge University target of 63.4%.
There are 28 international students. The countries represented are Canada, China, Cyprus, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Romania, Singapore, Switzerland and Thailand.
Our photo shows some of the freshers from 2017. Their successors will formally become members of Selwyn on Monday October 1st.
Another new Fellow who will arrive at Selwyn this autumn is Dr Deepak Venkateshvaran – our director of studies in Physics, and a European Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at the Cavendish Laboratory. He comes to Selwyn from Fitzwilliam College on the completion of a three year teaching bye-fellowship funded by the Isaac Newton Trust.
Deepak’s research interests focus on understanding the fundamental properties of organic semiconducting polymers for their use in novel electronic devices. In 2014, his work on organic polymer devices for waste heat to useful energy conversion was published in the journal Nature [D. Venkateshvaran et al., Nature 515, 384-388 (2014)] and laid the foundation for multiple ongoing research projects on organic thermoelectrics at the Cavendish Laboratory.
Between 2014 and 2018, he worked on organic polymer-based computing and information processing devices, and demonstrated the experimental conditions under which electron spins are efficiently transported to long distances of over a micrometre. Deepak earned his PhD in Physics at the University of Cambridge. Prior to this, he worked as a member of technical staff at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Munich. Outside research and teaching, Deepak plays the Tabla in music ensembles that explore the confluence between Indian rhythm and western classical music.
We’ll be welcoming six new Fellows to Selwyn this autumn.
One of them will be Dr Katarzyna Macieszczak. She completed her PhD at the University of Nottingham, after taking her undergraduate degree at the University of Warsaw. She will become the Henslow Research Fellow.
Dr Macieszczak studies the area of ’quantum metrology’ which is concerned with making very precise and sensitive measurements by exploiting quantum mechanical effects. She is principally a theoretical physicist, but her research bears directly on the development of practical instruments and especially quantum computing. While in Cambridge she will be part of the Theory of Condensed Matter group at the Cavendish.
The latest graduation ceremony on Saturday July 21st saw a large contingent from Selwyn at the University Senate House – including students receiving PhDs, MPhils and becoming Masters of Studies. Our home page photo shows two of those awarded doctorates: Nick Jamieson and Joshua Maher.
The families and friends of our students joined them for the Congregation, and then returned to the college for drinks in the Master’s Garden and lunch in Hall.
Selwyn offers its heartiest congratulations to our new graduates.
The glorious weather made it a particularly memorable General Admission day at Selwyn. It’s the moment when our undergraduates become graduates, as they receive their degrees at a ceremony in the university Senate House.
Before and afterwards there were gatherings at the college with students’ families and friends – with drinks and food on Old Court lawn after graduation. The warm weather meant some stayed long into the night! We offer our congratulations to all our new graduates, and we wish them every success in future.
Elgar, Parry and Vaughan Williams are among the composers featured in the Selwyn choir’s summer tour – which will see them heading to the north of England and then to Scotland.
They start in London with a special pre-tour concert and what is promised to be a perfect way to enjoy a summer evening with a programme of English choral music from the early 20th century. The tour then takes them to Bradford, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh – with further musical treats along the way. We can, for instance, expect Delius to make an appearance in his home city of Bradford.
Details of all the concerts are below, and all are welcome.
Weds 11 July Pre-tour London concert, St Bride’s, Fleet Street (concert, 7pm)
Tickets £15. https://www.selwynalumni.com/choir-concert
Fri 13 July Bradford Grammar School (concert, 7:30pm)
Tickets £15. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/selwyn-chapel-choir-bradford-concert-tickets-45774122633
Sat 14 July Manchester Cathedral (concert, 7:30pm)
Admission by suggested donation £15.
Mon 16 July Glasgow St Aloysius RC Church (concert, 7:30pm)
Admission by suggested donation £15.
Wed 18 July Edinburgh St John’s Princes Street (concert, 7:30pm)
Admission by suggested donation £15.
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