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  • Porters Kevin Sargent and Ian O’Connor

    June 26th would have been graduation day at Selwyn. All this year’s ceremonies in Cambridge have been postponed because of the health emergency, but the college flew its flag anyway as a tribute to our graduands and their achievements. Porters Kevin Sargent and Ian O’Connor were photographed in Old Court before their climb to the Tower to hoist the flag.

    Flag flying over Selwyn


    A slideshow includes pictures of many of this year’s graduands:

    Another key part of the week’s events is the leavers’ service in chapel; and we can at least offer this online. It’s intended for people of all faiths and none, as one of the ways in which the community joins together for the celebrations ahead. This year, for the first time, there are prayers from the Jewish and Islamic traditions as well as the Christian ones. You can watch the service in full here:

    It’s hoped that a graduation ceremony in person will be able to take place during 2021. In the meantime, we congratulate our graduands and send them every good wish from the college.

  • June 24th would have been the start of graduation ceremonies across Cambridge; and that night at Selwyn we’d have been holding our graduands’ dinner. How we wish that were possible – and we look forward to the day when it will happen. We are hoping this will be in the next academic year.

    Another key part of the events is the Leavers’ service in chapel; and we're delighted that we can at least offer this online. It’s intended for people of all faiths and none, as one of the ways in which the community joins together for the celebrations ahead. This year, for the first time, there are prayers from the Jewish and Islamic traditions as well as the Christian ones.

    Everyone is welcome to watch too, as part of our tribute to the students who have contributed so much to the college in the last three or four years. Some of their photos appear at the end of the video.

  • The colleges and university of Cambridge have issued a statement about plans for the academic year 2020-21. The key points:

    • Colleges are looking forward to welcoming students into residence and are making preparations for teaching, welfare, social and extra-curricular activities during the year ahead. 
    • The academic year will start as normal and term dates will not be changed.
    • Where possible, teaching by seminars, practicals, and supervisions will be delivered in person, and it may be possible for lectures to smaller groups to be given on this basis.

    You can read the details here:

    Our homepage photo shows Selwyn freshers of 2019.

  • We congratulate alumnus Tim Davie on being selected as the next director-general of the BBC. Mr Davie studied English here in the 1980s, and was president of the JCR. He went on to become a marketing executive at Procter & Gamble and Pepsi, before moving to the BBC. His roles there include being director of radio and chief executive of BBC Studios. Here’s how the BBC reported his appointment:

    The master of Selwyn, Roger Mosey, has written about the challenges ahead for the new DG:

  • The college wishes a long and happy retirement to its alumnus John Sentamu, who has stood down as Archbishop of York.

    Dr Sentamu studied theology at Selwyn in the 1970s, and was awarded his PhD here in 1984. He is an honorary fellow of the college, and he keeps in close touch with news from Grange Road.

    This piece in The Observer gives an account of his remarkable life:

  • Every year the college awards the Williamson prize for musical performance. This year's winner is Alex Jones, a third-year undergraduate; and normally he would be invited to give a recital to celebrate. He has therefore performed this special piece: online, of course, but able to be shared and enjoyed even more than in the past. It is the first movement of Lauber’s Double Bass Quartet.

    The Williamson prize was endowed by Dr Matthew Seccombe, Keasbey research fellow of Selwyn from 1980 to 1983. It is named after a fellow graduate student of Dr Seccombe's at Yale - Carolyn Williamson - who first introduced him to a love of music, and to whom he felt a profound debt of gratitude. It was first awarded in 1981, while Dr Seccombe was still a fellow of the college.

  • Selwyn’s graduate students have made a short video to thank the college for the support they’ve received during the health emergency. Julie Ruth Malone, the MCR’s publicity officer, said: “We wanted to create a lasting show of gratitude that could be shared. This interesting time will be with us all for years to come, and we thought that perhaps such a video could digitally memorialize the care and effort of the college.”

    The college was particularly pleased that the efforts of its staff were recognised by the students; and we, in turn, are grateful for the strong sense of community that everyone has maintained through the crisis.

  • A joint statement from the heads of all 31 colleges at the University of Cambridge, including the Master of Selwyn Roger Mosey, has appeared in The Times.

    Roger Mosey

    The statement says in full:

    “As heads of Cambridge colleges, we have been concerned in recent days to see headlines around the world making the claim that Cambridge will be moving entirely online next year. These claims are wildly exaggerated and have caused unnecessary alarm to students and our wider community. We are a collegiate university, and our strength is that so much student activity takes place in colleges, from small group teaching and pastoral care to music and sport.

    "We will always take the latest public health advice and clearly there will be challenges in delivering all this in the next academic year. Online lectures will make a key contribution. But we are determined to do our best to bring the colleges and the university back to life with intensive in-person learning in the traditional locations and the widest possible range of activities.”

    Jane Stapleton, Master, Christ’s College; Athene Donald, Master, Churchill College; Anthony Grabiner, Master, Clare College; David Ibbetson, President, Clare Hall; Christopher Kelly, Master, Corpus Christi College; Mary Fowler, Master, Darwin College; Alan Bookbinder, Master, Downing College; Fiona Reynolds, Master, Emmanuel College; Sally Morgan, Master, Fitzwilliam College; Susan Smith, Mistress, Girton College; Pippa Rogerson, Master, Gonville & Caius College; Geoff Ward, Principal, Homerton College; Anthony Freeling, President, Hughes Hall; Sonita Alleyne, Master, Jesus College; Michael Proctor, Provost, King’s College; Madeleine Atkins, President, Lucy Cavendish College; Rowan Williams, Master, Magdalene College; Barbara Stocking, President, Murray Edwards College; Alison Rose, Principal, Newnham College; Chris Smith, Master, Pembroke College; Bridget Kendall, Master, Peterhouse; John Eatwell, President, Queens’ College; David Yates, Warden, Robinson College; Mark Welland, Master, St Catharine’s College; Catherine Arnold, Master, St Edmund’s College; Tim Whitmarsh, vice-Master, St John’s College; Roger Mosey, Master, Selwyn College; Richard Penty, Master, Sidney Sussex College; Sally Davies, Master, Trinity College; Daniel Tyler, acting vice-Master, Trinity Hall; Jane Clarke, President, Wolfson College; Michael Volland, Principal, Ridley Hall.

    There is further information about the position across Cambridge on the university website:


  • The college’s prestigious annual event – the Ramsay Murray lecture – was given on May 15th by Trevor Phillips OBE. Mr Phillips is a former chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and an award-winning television producer and presenter as well as writing for a range of publications including The Times.

    Trevor Phillips
    Trevor Phillips

    His lecture was entitled “The New Normal: Diversity, Difference and Discord”. It is available to watch in full, with a concluding question and answer session, here:

    The event was introduced by the master of Selwyn, Roger Mosey. In response to many requests from alumni and friends, we are looking at offering more events online in the coming months.