Mr William Kirkman MBE MA

Emeritus Fellow

  • Formerly Vice President (1980-1984), Wolfson College
  • Formerly Head of the University Careers Service, Wolfson College
  • Secretary of The Cambridge Society,

Bill Kirkman has been a Fellow of Wolfson since 1968 and was Vice President from 1980 to 1984.

He began his career as a journalist on the Wolverhampton Express & Star, which he joined on graduating from Oxford. Bill then moved on to The Times, where he was Africa Correspondent and Commonwealth Staff Correspondent in the early 1960s, covering the period of rapid de-colonisation. He is the author of Unscrambling an Empire (Chatto & Windus 1966) and has been a columnist for The Hindu since 1994. He was a frequent broadcaster with the BBC World Service and Africa Service in the 1960s, and with BBC Radio Cambridgeshire in the 1990s. In 1983 Bill was awarded the MBE for services to journalism.

In 1982, Bill founded the Press Fellowship Programme, and was Director of the Programme for fourteen years – during which time Wolfson had received Press Fellows from more than twenty countries.

Bill was Head of the University Careers Service from his arrival in Cambridge in 1968 until 1992 (following four years as Careers Advisor at Oxford) and University Advisor on Public Relations 1992-1996. For more than ten years he was a non-service member of selection boards for the police, fire and prison services.

Since 1969, Bill has been a trustee (now emeritus) of the Sir Halley Stewart Trust, which awards grants for religious, social & educational and medical projects. He is chairman of CAMREAD, a Cambridgeshire charity for blind people, and is a trustee of Chaplaincy to People at Work in Cambridgeshire. He has just completed a period as a member of the Council for the University of the Third Age in Cambridge, and he serves on the Willingham Parish Council.