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October 2nd 2017 Hugh and Us

The actor Hugh Laurie visited Selwyn on September 25th and took part in a question and answer session with students. Hugh is a Selwyn alumnus (SE 1978) who studied archaeology and anthropology, and he is now an Honorary Fellow of the college.

There was a packed Master’s Lodge for his session with current Selwynites. Hugh talked about his family connection with Selwyn: his father, an Olympic gold medallist, studied here – as did his brother. He spoke about his rowing – he was in the 1980 Boat Race – and how during his time in Cambridge he moved into acting and writing, and met Stephen Fry.

He also talked about the roles he’s played – moving from comedy to drama, though he said he thought there was a lot of humour in the series ‘House’; and about how pleased he is that today’s students also enjoy his comedy from two or three decades ago. He finally mentioned that he’s back in a recording studio later this year to make another album as a musician.


September 13th 2017 Language Centre

Selwyn has a tradition in Japanese studies through its former Master, Professor Richard Bowring, and also retired Fellow Haruko Laurie. We’re therefore particularly pleased to welcome Dr Vicky Young to the Fellowship this autumn. She is the newly-appointed University of Cambridge Kawashima Lecturer in Japanese literature and culture.

Vicky completed her undergraduate degree at Trinity Hall, holds an MA in Japanese Cultural Studies from Birkbeck College, University of London, and received her PhD from the University of Leeds in 2016. Her doctoral thesis focuses on the writings of Sakiyama Tami, Yi Yang-ji, and Tawada Yoko: three writers whose work represents her broader interests in Okinawan, resident Korean, and ‘transborder’ literature respectively. 

The college now has a considerable strength in modern languages. There are Selwyn Fellows or bye-fellows in German, Italian, Russian, Spanish and French – and we’re delighted to strengthen our links with the Faculty of Asian and Middle East Studies. Vicky Young will be formally installed as a Selwyn Fellow at the start of October.

August 28th 2017 Who’s next in line?

Our freshers arrive at the end of September, and in the past few days we’ve confirmed the places of those who’ve been accepted – and they’re now getting all the information they need about the new academic year.

So here’s what we know about our 2017 undergraduate intake. There will be 123 of them – 62 men and 61 women. Of the UK students, 94 in total, around 70% went to state schools. 12 of our new students come from the EU (up 1 on last year); and 17 come from overseas (up 3 on last year). The countries represented in addition to Britain are Australia, Austria, China, Ecuador, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Italy, New Zealand, Romania, Singapore, Sweden and the USA. 

We look forward to welcoming them all to Selwyn.

August 10th 2017 Brilliant Prospects

Selwyn has an extensive outreach programme to show young people from all backgrounds that Cambridge could be for them. We visit schools across the United Kingdom, and we host a number of groups who explore the college and the city. Much of the activity is focused around years 11 and 12, but we also welcome younger children for their first experience of what a university is like.

This summer we particularly enjoyed meeting 36 Year 5 pupils from Bonnygate Primary School and Cranbrook Primary School (both in Essex) and Dersingham Primary School in East London. The pupils were here at Selwyn in association with the Brilliant Club for their ‘launch’ trip to mark the beginning of a Scholars’ Programme where they have weekly tutorials and produce a final research assignment. Our photo shows some of the children from Dersingham outside the college.

Read more about the Brilliant Club here: http://www.thebrilliantclub.org/. There’s more information about our access and outreach work online: http://www.sel.cam.ac.uk/prospective-students/undergraduate/access-outreach/.

July 29th 2017 Bill Simmonett's Retirement

Our catering manager Bill Simmonett will be retiring next month, and people from across the college came to a lunchtime party to mark the occasion.

Bursar Nick Downer (right) thanked Bill for his 26 years of service to Selwyn, during which the college and its catering & conferences operation had grown massively.

Bill in return said that friendliness was at the heart of Selwyn, and he would greatly miss his colleagues and friends here.

We wish Bill a long and happy retirement.

July 16th 2017 How the West was sung

The Selwyn choir's tour of California began in the spectacular setting of Grace Cathedral, San Francisco. There was a large audience for a concert that ranged from Tallis to Mealor, and included the North American premiere of James MacMillan's One Equal Music.


The concert was introduced by the Master of Selwyn Roger Mosey, who thanked the alumni and benefactors who had made the trip to California possible. He added that in troubled times it's essential to retain the bonds between the people of the United States and Britain – and music is one of the ways of bridging continents.


Before the concert there was a reception for all University alumni hosted by 'Cambridge in America'. Among the Selwynites present were Julian Abdey (1991), Zach Marcus (2010) and Sabrina Abdey.


The other stops on the choir tour are Sacramento, Fresno and San Diego.


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