On Thursday 18 May we held Wolfson's first City Party - a drinks reception and professional networking event at the London office of White & Case LLP (5 Old Broad Street, EC2N 1DW). As well as an opportunity to network with fellow Wolfson alumni, this event included a short presentation by Dr Ramana Ramaswamy (1986) about recent developments in the financial markets, particularly in relation to Brexit and the election of Donald Trump.
In conjunction with this event, we launched our new appeal for a Wolfson Alumni in the City Student Bursary. We hope that members who feel that their time at Wolfson helped them to forge their career will be inspired to make a gift to enable one or more Wolfson students in need of financial support to benefit from the same opportunities.
We are delighted to announce that one of our alumni has very generously offered to match donations to this appeal up to the value of £10,000. Therefore, if just 100 people make a gift of £100 each, this could enable the College to offer four £5,000 bursaries in October 2017 – a sum that would go a considerable way to helping our students meet the costs of their fees or living expenses. Regular gifts are particularly helpful as they allow the College to guarantee students support in the future, as well as the current academic year.
This appeal will help to bring Wolfson's 50th Anniversary Campaign to the best possible conclusion, whose primary focus is to provide financial assistance and the best possible facilities for our talented students. All donors to the appeal will be invited to an end-of-Campaign celebration event at Wolfson on 17 September, and their names will feature in the roll of donors in the Wolfson Review.
We are proud to support this appeal as alumni ambassadors, and we are delighted that so many of you enjoyed the Wolfson City Party on 18 May. However, even if you were unable to be there, we very much hope that you would like to make a gift to this new appeal in order to celebrate your affiliation with Wolfson and to join us in supporting the next generations of students at our College.
With very best wishes
Jonathan Louth, MSt in IDBE (1997)
David Fisher, BA in Law (1981)
Kriti Kapila, Former Fellow in Social & Political Sciences (2004)
Charles Reese, BA in History (2008)
Evelyn Tichy, PhD in Biochemistry (2009)
Even though the Master of Studies courses take place outside Full Term, College is always a welcoming and friendly place. More than that, Wolfson provides an unstuffy, interdisciplinary environment in which to research and discover more about one's subject (mine was Interdisciplinary Design for the Built Environment, which is enough words for a thesis on its own) and everyone else's interests too (try stopping them mid-flow at Formal Hall and you'll soon know).
For me, College – being there, coming from there, name-dropping from there – opens doors and enlarges mindsets. And College always welcomes you back!
Thanks for joining in this new initiative – please give and please come back, and please take part in what you have helped to build over the years to come.
The four years I spent pursuing a PhD in Biochemistry at Wolfson were some of the happiest and some of the most demanding of my life. Without all of the wonderful people I met at Wolfson I doubt I would have survived the 'PhD experience' with my sanity intact.
Beyond the many enduring friendships that began over a Saturday college brunch, a pint at the bar or a shared fear of falling into the Cam while rowing, Wolfson was the kind of unpretentious, welcoming place where you could just pop into the Club Room after a long day at the lab and find plenty of friendly faces.
The breadth and the depth of my fellow students' interests continues to astound me and I feel so fortunate to have had the privilege of spending four years with such an amazing bunch of people. As an 'old girl' I very much enjoy coming back to College to visit. I hope this appeal will help provide the same opportunities to many generations of students to come.
I still recall the excitement I felt the moment I realised that I had secured a place to read law at Wolfson. It was, perhaps, a naïve excitement based on a somewhat idealised fantasy of intellectual discussions lasting late into the night, but the reality of life at Wolfson proved to be more exciting, challenging and rewarding than I could ever have imagined. Looking back, I can say with total confidence that my three years at Wolfson changed me and my life. I certainly learned a bit of law, enough to see me through, but I learned so much more about people, life and, most importantly, myself, stuff that cannot be found in textbooks or, now, on the web. I am, of course, grateful to Wolfson, but an institution is no more than the sum of its human agents and I acknowledge a greater debt to those human and humane agents, from the then President, David Williams, to Tony the maintenance man and many others between, who guided, encouraged and helped me. Wolfson proved to be a place of great opportunity for me and many of my contemporaries. I want that same opportunity to be available to as many as possible. That is why I am supporting this appeal.
From the moment I set foot in Wolfson I found it a welcoming and friendly environment. It is very much a student-centred college and, although I was twice the age of most students, I felt right at home. Despite this, as one of the newer and less-endowed colleges, Wolfson needs to work hard to attract the best students from around the world, and offering a College bursary to a candidate who needs it is a great way of fostering the spirit of excellence. I commend this appeal to you.