I’d like to extend the warmest of welcomes to Downing to new students – I hope this is the beginning of an inspiring and memorable experience for you. And welcome back to returning students. I hope you’ve had a refreshing break and are all set for the next chapter of your life at Downing.
I’m looking forward to meeting you all in the Lodge and around college as the new term unfolds.
I’ve just been installed as the new Master, so I’ll be getting to know the place alongside the freshers and we’ll all be relying on the returning students to help us out if we’re lost and floundering in our first few days!
My experience of the college during my preparations to come here has been hugely positive. I hope the returning students will agree that this is an open, spacious, outward-looking place, with a warm heart. The Fellows and staff are dedicated to making your time here happy and successful, both academically and personally.
I want this to be a place where you will have a rich and enjoyable experience, combining the pursuit of academic excellence with your choice from among the many fine opportunities on offer in music, drama, sport and the Downing societies.
We will thrive as a community not just by being nice to each other (though that’s a good start), but because we recognise our common purpose, we celebrate each other’s successes and share our sorrows, and we respect different views and value different identities. This makes for a mutually supportive environment that gives us the confidence to deal constructively with any issues that may occasionally crop up.
So welcome, and please accept my best wishes for the new academic year.
Published 1 October 2018.