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February 2023
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His Majesty the King’s New Year Honours 2023

On the announcement of the King’s New Year Honours List 2023, we would like to congratulate and celebrate the achievements of our alumni, current staff and students, and friends who have been honoured. 

The 2023 New Year Honours List is the first issued by King Charles III. It recognises and rewards the public service of individuals from across the UK in a wide range of areas, including science, politics, sport, and the arts.

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Welcome to all new alumni

Two days of Winter Congregation at Durham Cathedral in January saw over 1,500 students from 120 countries celebrate the culmination of their degrees across six ceremonies. An honorary degree was awarded to Claire Malcolm MBE, the founding CEO of New Writing North, for her exceptional work with the Durham Book Festival.  

To our new alumni - congratulations on completing your studies and on joining our fantastic global and lifelong community of 200,000+ Durham graduates. You can enjoy a range of support and benefits, and we’ll help connect you to what’s happening in your local alumni community or at Durham. 

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Postgraduate Open Days

Thinking about postgraduate study, retraining or career advancement? With an in-person Open Day on Wednesday 8 February and a week of online Open Day sessions from Monday 13 February, you can explore your options further. 

Don’t forget that alumni are eligible for the Durham University Alumni Fee Scholarship, which will contribute part of the cost of tuition fees for all postgraduate taught Masters programmes across the University. 

Book your place
Durham joins Nature Positive Universities Alliance
We are delighted to announce that Durham has joined the Nature Positive Universities Alliance as a founding member. This will allow Durham to unite with global universities to address the important issue of restoring and preserving nature.

It also sees the University pledge to introduce more environmental sustainability into its research agenda, teaching curriculum and the Durham Award scheme. 
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Year of the Rabbit

In January, we ushered in the Year of the Rabbit. A range of exciting celebrations took place across the University and City to mark this special occasion.

We would like to wish our alumni a very happy start to the New Year. 

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Three new College Heads appointed

Durham University has appointed three new heads of College: Dr Sonia Virdee at Grey College, Professor Gillian Hampden-Thompson at Josephine Butler College, and Mr Nathan Sempala-Ntege at John Snow College. 

Professor Karen O’Brien, Vice-Chancellor and Warden, said: “Our Colleges are a crucial part of the Durham experience for our students. They have warm associations with our alumni long after they leave the University. I am sure our new Heads will take up their roles with enthusiasm and skill.”

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Join us for Durham Global Week

From 4 – 11 March, the first ever Durham Global Week will launch. An inspirational mix of events will mark the multicultural diversity of Durham University and celebrate the contribution of staff and students from over 150 countries to the culture and life of the University and the wider region. 

Durham Global Week will focus on different aspects of the University’s global strengths from research and scholarly activity, to languages and culture, and global citizenship. The week will culminate in an awards evening (Durham Global Awards). 

Join us to celebrate this special week through a signature or open event. 

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Our annual Telephone Appeal returns this month

From 20 February – 16 March, our team of student callers are reaching out again, and they want to hear from you, our alumni community. You will also be able to donate to the Student Opportunities Fund. These philanthropic donations are essential in these uncertain times to ensure that every Durham student has the equal opportunity to succeed.  

To learn more about this appeal or if you would like to arrange a call, please visit the website linked below. 

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Upcoming Events

The Extinction and Survival of Religious Belief in a Science Dominated World 
Wednesday 8 February 2023, 6.30pm 
Part of the Durham University Global Lecture Series 2022-23, Reverend Professor David Wilkinson, FRAS will address whether the growth of science and technology will lead to the extinction of religious belief or whether we are now hearing a dialogue between science and theology.  

De-Mystifying Will Writing: solicitor-led information event 
Thursday 16 February 2023, 5.30pm 
Book your place at our first solicitor-led will writing event. Elisabeth Gubb from Womble Bond Dickinson's Private Wealth team will set out impartial information clearly, to enable you to make your own decisions and organise your affairs. The talk will take place at Durham University Business School, with parking freely available. Book to attend in person in London or attend online.

Durham University Ukrainian Talk series with Dr Markian Prokopovych: Decolonising East European History 
Thursday 16 February 2023, 6pm 
In the wake of the open invasion of Ukraine from 24 February 2022, join us for this event to explore new ways of approaching Eastern European history in research and in the classroom. It is part of Durham Global Week and you can book tickets to attend in person at Gala Theatre Durham, or attend online. 

Durham Inspired: Live Motivational Change and Realising Your Potential 
Thursday 23 February 2023, 6pm 
With Guy Richardson of Eiger Performance, this interactive workshop will focus on motivational change and realising your potential. Book your place to attend online. 

Durham University Ukrainian Talk series with Dr Markian Prokopovych: Ukrainian Refugees - Challenges and Possibilities 
Thursday 2 March 2023, 6pm 
The war in Ukraine resulted in massive migratory waves across the European continent. Join panel members from Durham, Zaporizhzhia National and Petro Mohyla Black Sea National Universities to explore how the state, humanitarian system and educational institutions could help refugees. It is part of Durham Global Week and you can book tickets to attend in person at Gala Theatre Durham, or attend online. 

Durham Alumni Entrepreneurs Network 
Thursday 9 March 2023, 6.30pm 
Durham alumni and investors are invited to join us at the Hazan Venture Lab in Durham for an evening of networking, nostalgia and fun. A selection of Durham students and graduates will pitch their early-stage businesses to a select panel of judges – angels though, not dragons! 

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Check our events pages regularly for all of the upcoming alumni events across the world.
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A meeting with the new Chancellor, Dr Fiona Hill
Many of our alumni and supporters joined us in November for a specially convened meeting of Convocation via Zoom, where Dr Fiona Hill was proposed as our new Chancellor. She grew up in County Durham, has advised three US Presidents on foreign affairs, and is an authority on Russian and European geopolitics.

Following an inclusive selection process which involved all our community, Fiona’s nomination was overwhelmingly supported by Council and Senate, and she joined the meeting virtually to accept the post. “I am very grateful for this opportunity to be able to engage with the most wonderful alumni and student group”. Fiona will be officially installed as Chancellor in a ceremony at Durham Cathedral in summer.
Watch Fiona's acceptance video
Durham alumna named new generation astronaut 
We’re exceptionally proud that Durham alumna Rosemary Coogan (University College, Physics & Astronomy, 2009-13; Physics, 2014-16) was named as a new generation astronaut in November. Rosemary was one of 17 successful candidates chosen from over 22,500 applicants by the European Space Agency (ESA). Of these 17, Rosemary was further selected as one of five career astronauts by ESA. She is currently undertaking training at the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany.
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Winter Congregation digital memories
Graduates from our Winter ceremonies in January 2023 completed memory cards for us where they shared messages and advice for fellow students, as well as happy memories from their time at Durham.
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Class Notes

Emma Chapman (Josephine Butler College, Theoretical Physics, 2006-2010), Gillian Foulger (Graduate Society (now Ustinov College), Geophysics, MSc 1976, PhD 1985), Simon Parson (Van Mildert College, Zoology, 1984-87), and Chris Terrill (Collingwood College, Geography & Anthropology, 1972-75) together represented Durham to take on rival university teams in the 2022 BBC University Challenge Christmas Special chaired by Jeremy Paxman.

Jacquetta Gomes (St Aidan’s College, Economic Sociology & History, 1972-75) was interviewed on BBC Radio Cumbria’s Sunday Breakfast programme in November as part of Inter Faith Week. This Week encourages people to remember the contributions of all faiths and none, and consider how best to create a just, peaceful, and harmonious world.  

John Ingham (University College, French & Spanish, 1968-72, Spanish 1972-78), former Daily Express environment editor, published his debut novel ‘Blood-Eagle Saga’, a Viking saga written in the style of Beowulf.

Dan Northam Jones (Hatfield College, BA Theology & Religion, MA Religion & Society, 2004-08) talks to Durham University to share his experiences from graduating in Theology through to his current position as Director of Strategy at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Visiting Fellow at the University’s Engineering Department.

Alice Oseman (St John’s College, English Literature, 2013-16), creator of the million-copy bestselling Heartstopper books, has had her romantic fiction novel released as a series of 8 episodes on Netflix.

John Sills (St John’s College, Combined Arts, 1968-71) has released a second book, ‘Attached to Coventry City’, a reflective psychological memoir about football fandom, following the release of his first memoir ‘Passionate – the psychology of a passionate life’. Published by Pitch Publishing under the pen name of James Adams.

Margaret Webster (Trevelyan College, Botany & Chemistry, 1970-73) published her first fiction novel, ‘The Façade' in November 2022. Available from Amazon under the pen name of Maggie Shepherd. 

Collingwood College

Collingwood’s 50th Golden Anniversary takes place over the course of this academic year, with the College holding a series of Reunion Dinners in Durham for graduate matriculation years to mark the occasion.  

Collingwood alumni are invited to join these celebrations by booking a space or table to enjoy a drinks reception, three-course meal with wine, tea and coffee, plus evening in the college bar. Find out more via the link below. 

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Josephine Butler College

Calling all Butler alumni! We are holding our annual ‘Meet your Future’ networking event and dinner on 3 March at the College. Alumni are warmly invited.

Share your career journey with current Josephine Butler students and pass on your best tips for success, as well as pitfalls to avoid.

For further information, please contact Sandra MacDonald using the link below. 

Contact us
South College
South College welcomed BBC Special Correspondent Allan Little to the College Christmas Formal in December. Little is a friend and former colleague of College Principal Professor Tim Luckhurst. Together they reported the Romanian Revolution in 1989 and the First Gulf War.

Little spoke to students about his experience as a conflict correspondent and his recent role leading commentary from Westminster Abbey of the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II for BBC Radio. 
St Aidan’s College

In celebration of St Aidan’s 75th anniversary, the College has launched a cultural project to mark its rich, diverse history from its origins to the present day. Entitled ‘Over the Rainbow: Aidan’s New History’, this project will culminate in a new book bringing together stories that have helped shape and sustain College identity.

St Aidan’s alumni are encouraged to share stories to help illustrate the College’s historical and cultural map. 

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St Cuthbert’s Society

Monday 16 January saw Vice-Chancellor and Warden Karen O’Brien officially open St Cuthbert’s much anticipated new building, the Tom Percival Annexe.

Located within the College’s Parsons Field site, the Annexe provides a new flexible social space, as well as a new Junior Common Room and gym.

Together with six other students, Tom Percival refounded St Cuthbert’s Society and became President of the new College committee in 1946.

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St John’s College 
St John’s College is currently celebrating 50 years of women being admitted to study! St John’s was the first undergraduate college of Durham University to become mixed, with female undergraduates joining in October 1973.

Over the course of this anniversary year the College is sharing stories, interviews and portraits of remarkable women in the history and present of St John's. Alumni are invited to make nominations below.  
Make a nomination
Trevelyan College
Join the Principal and Vice-Principal for an informal After Hours event at The Counting House, Cornhill, London, on Thursday 23 February at 6pm-8pm. 

The event will provide an opportunity to hear about recent developments at Trevelyan College, reconnect with fellow alumni, and discuss our plans for the future. We very much look forward to seeing you there. 
Book your place
University College

We have a couple of forthcoming dates for your diary:

22 June 2023 we will be in London, this time at the Royal Automobile Club. It’s an unmissable opportunity to reconnect with friends in a truly unique setting! 

12-14 April 2024 is our next Castle Society reunion in Durham. The Reunion is rescheduled from September 2023, to allow time for urgent internal developments in College.

Ustinov College 

Michaelmas Term 2022 at Ustinov College has seen an exciting range of scholarly, social, cultural and community events. September’s new cohort of Ustinovians, also heralded the appointment of a new GCR Executive and new Global Citizenship Programme (GCP) team. Both GCR and GCP teams have already run numerous events and campaigns, with many more planned. 

Read more below, and keep up to date with everything Ustinov by subscribing to our newsletter.

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Durham University Business School: Lucian Hudson appointed Professor in Practice


Lucian Hudson, Director Advancement, Marketing & Communications at Durham University, has been appointed Professor in Practice at the Business School. He holds 40 years of experience in communications and leadership, spanning media, government, business, higher education and civil society.  

His appointment will initially run for three years, during which he will continue to lead University Advancement (which includes the Development & Alumni Relations Office) to further global reputation and influence.

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New MSc in Energy Engineering Management launches
A brand-new Masters programme focusing on the Net-Zero transition is set to launch in September 2023.

The MSc in Energy Engineering Management is a joint programme between the Business School and the Department of Engineering and is designed to equip graduates with skills to ensure they can navigate both technical and business challenges with ease. 
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Department of Engineering: Skyscraper-sized wind turbines
In 2023, some 100 miles off North East England’s coast, the world’s largest wind turbines will start generating electricity. This first phase of the Dogger Bank offshore wind farm development will employ turbines that stand more than a quarter of a kilometre high from the sea surface to the highest blade tip point. Simon Hogg, Ørsten Professor in Renewable Energy at Durham University, explores more below. 
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Department of Physics: Ogden at 20 celebrations
Thank you to all alumni who helped us celebrate 20 years of the Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics. The creation of the Ogden Centre in 2002 marked a new era for physics in Durham and in the UK.

We celebrated with special events including a symposium discussing five key questions. Alumnus Sir Peter Ogden (pictured third from left) posed upon the Centre’s opening. Professor Jim Peebles, 2019 Physics Nobel Laureate, gave our keynote speech. 
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Team Durham: sporting highlights

To all sports fans, and in particular those who would like to know more about what’s happening at Maiden Castle (The Sports and Wellbeing Park), we have compiled a round-up of last term’s sporting highlights. For all the latest information about Team Durham, our national league programmes, our amazingly talented athletes, and updates on events hosted over the summer please follow the link below. To find out about our fixtures and results on a week-by-week basis, please connect with our social media channels (details within the linked bulletin).

We would also welcome any feedback so that we’re sure to publish the most exciting content.   

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Report calls on men’s professional football clubs to tackle sexism
Dr Stacey Pope (pictured) from the University’s Department for Sport & Exercise Sciences has penned a report calling on men’s professional football clubs to tackle pervasive sexism and misogyny in the sport. Dr Pope’s report suggests that men’s football could learn from the women’s game and the positive and inclusive fan culture around the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 tournament. 
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Hangzhou Alumni Chapter launch

On 26 November 2022, the Hangzhou Alumni Chapter in China was officially launched. 40 alumni attended the event and shared their memories of Durham over lunch.

Chapter lead, Irene Sun (MBA, Ustinov College, 2017-19) said: “Alumni at the launch event shared a passion to build a warm and helpful Durham family in Hangzhou. There are now more than 260 alumni involved in the Hangzhou Chapter and activities are going to be organized monthly, providing Hangzhou alumni with lots of opportunities to get to know each other and build their networks”.  

Get Involved
Share your career story with current students

The Careers & Enterprise Centre continues its themed Careers Weeks, after running a successful programme last term. Students have attended a variety of workshops, talks and fairs focusing on specific industries. Of particular note was a Durham BFI (British Film Institute) partnership led by UK film and TV industry professionals.

We’re also seeking alumni input to highlight our graduates’ career journeys and inspire current students. Can you share your career story? Any stories are gratefully received - we’re especially keen to hear from those who have experience of SMEs (Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises).

Share your story
Benefit your business with a Business Project
Do you have a particular business issue, idea or challenge you don’t have the time or resources to address in depth? Why not consider an MBA or Business Analytics project at no financial cost? Benefit from one of our Business School students providing you with leading edge research, data analysis, practical recommendations, fresh perspectives and a comprehensive final management report specific to your business. For more information use the link below. 
Get involved
Gifts from Durham University Retail Office  
Here at the Retail Office, we strive to provide staff, students and alumni with the best possible merchandise, to commemorate their time here at Durham. With stock ranging from stationery and jewellery to clothing and glassware, there is sure to be something that will take your fancy.
Shop now
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