Member of the Month - Dame Sara Thornton

October Member of the Month: Dame Sara Thornton (2010)

Dame Sara Thornton

“Wolfson was a great opportunity to read widely, to think and to reflect”


1)  How did you come to study at Wolfson College?

I was completing a part time masters in the Department of Criminology.  I had started the course ten years earlier as a member of Fitzwilliam but after finishing a diploma had decided that with young children and a new job that there were just not enough hours in the day. I was then encouraged to return and complete the course, and as my sons were a lot older I felt I had sufficient time. For reasons I never quite understood I then came to Wolfson!

2) What is your current occupation and how did you get into this role?

I am the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner which is a public appointment established by the Modern Slavery Act 2015. Having competed 33 years in policing earlier this year I was looking for a new challenge.  

3) What do you most enjoy about your job?

The variety, learning so many new things and meeting new people and being part of something that is really important. 

4) How have your studies at Wolfson helped you in your career?

I find that I am better able to do my job if I understand the wider context and ask ‘why?’ Wolfson was a great opportunity to read widely, to think and to reflect. 

5) What is your fondest memory of your time at Wolfson?

Swapping a busy work schedule for cycling around Cambridge with only essays to worry about! And no housework, cooking or cleaning while staying in College. 


6) What is the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

Be kind.

7) Which book has had the greatest impact on you?

Impossible to say - my favourite novel remains Pride and Prejudice - great humour, so well observed and a happy ending!