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Plans and Prospects

For all Wolfsonians around the World Issue 2: August 2012


Plans and Prospects


A message from our Acting President, Professor Christina Redfield 1 Research in progress: Insights into two new Research Clusters The year so far: College events Student activities Fundraising aims Meet some of our scholarship students Ways to support Wolfson Communications: How to keep in touch

Dear Wolfsonians, For the last few months the visible pace of change in the College has
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quickened. Construction on the Leonard Wolfson Lecture Theatre is well underway and the final building shape is beginning to appear. We are on target for its completion in Hilary term next year. Elsewhere in College other building works are progressing well. Temporary kitchens started operation at the beginning of June while the Colleges original kitchen is removed. The plan is to have the new kitchen and servery in operation before the beginning of next term. Lastly, the renovation of B-block, including the bar, began on 1 July. Kitchens and baths will be modernized, plumbing and wiring updated and most rooms made en suite. It is an exciting yet challenging time in College, and all staff are working hard to make sure daily operations and activities continue to run smoothly.

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The Alumni Relations and Development office has also seen a lot of change this year. Alex Talbot left us for the Princes Trust in January and Katie Watson and Anna Johnson have joined the team. We have also merged the College alumni data with the Universitys in order to simplify our work, to offer a more joined-up service to alumni, and to take advantage of the growing possibilities available with electronic communications. A considerable investment has been made in the College website in order to reflect the significant increases in academic activity in the College through the burgeoning achievements of the Academic Clusters, which are described in some detail in this edition of Plans and Prospects. In spite of builders everywhere, the College is a happy place. Admissions for 2012/13 are on target, guest nights and formal halls are full, the Boat Club has had an impressive year of achievements and we are in touch with increasing numbers of alumni. Our ambitions continue to grow and in spite of the global financial and political uncertainties of the times, the College goes from strength to strength.

William J Conner, Development Director


Academic agenda

It is my pleasure, in my role as Acting President while Hermione Lee is on research leave, to update you on recent College developments.

A message
Christina Redfield
IN OUR RESEARCH CLUSTERS AND ELSEWHERE, the Colleges academic life continues to thrive. In the past year appointments have been made to University Lectureships in subjects as diverse as Classical Philology, Migration Studies, and Physical Climate Science. These new Fellows will join the College in the autumn. In the next few months appointments will be made to at least five further posts associated with Wolfson including the Blavatnik Professorship of Global Health and Public Policy, and a University Lectureship in Soft Functional Nanomaterials. In October 2011 we welcomed over 200 new graduate students, and more than 20 new Research Fellows have joined the College in the past year. The importance of Research Fellows at Wolfson has been recognized by the appointment of Professor Harvey Brown as Research Fellows Liaison Officer, to encourage their academic development and to help them to integrate into the academic life of the College. As a Professor in the Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics within the Department of Biochemistry, my ambition during my six-month stint as Acting President is to raise the profile of science within the College and to foster collaboration within College, both amongst scientists and between scientists and non-scientists.

from the Acting President

academic clusters including Digital Research and Quantum Foundations, and Im delighted to report on a number of new areas we are exploring; these include clusters looking at climate-related issues and at the area of magnetic resonance, where Wolfson has a strong and longstanding tradition. This years Wolfson Lecture series on Climate Connections will, I hope, serve as a catalyst to spark the formation of a research cluster in this important and topical area. The recent appointment of Dr Andrew Wells as UL in Physical Climate Science will complement the interests of other Wolfson scientists including Ros Rickaby (Professor of Biogeochemistry) and Anthony Watts (Professor of Marine Geology & Geophysics). Professor Barbara Harriss-White (Emeritus Fellow, featured on p. 7) is also carrying out a research project on the impact of Indias informal

In October 2011 we welcomed over 200 new graduate students, and more than 20 new Research Fellows have joined the College in the past year.
Wolfsons Research Clusters (featured on pp. 3-7) are an important vehicle for this, providing a mechanism for collaboration across wide-ranging disciplines. The sciences are already represented in some of the established


Academic agenda

economies on climate change and Dr Benito Mller (Supernumerary Fellow) has an interest in the equitable sharing of the burden of climate change impacts between the developing and industrial countries, so there is much of common interest. Wolfson's link to magnetic resonance goes back to the early days of the College, when Sir Martin Wood (a former Fellow and now an Honorary Fellow) founded Oxford Instruments, the first substantial spin-off company of Oxford University. The high-field super-conducting magnets created by Oxford Instruments have had a major impact on the development of all areas of magnetic resonance, which most people are familiar with in the context of MRI, widely used in hospitals. In Audrey Woods history of Oxford Instruments entitled Magnetic Venture, she describes an order in 1976 by the Oxford Enzyme Group for a 10.5 Tesla

magnet. In 1978, Oxford Instruments delivered this magnet, which reached an even higher field of 11 Tesla (1H frequency of 470 MHz). I arrived in Oxford in 1980 and many of the NMR spectra included in my 1984 PhD thesis were collected using this 470 MHz NMR instrument. Oxford Instruments continued to have a major impact on biomolecular NMR in Oxford; we had the first spectrometers in the world operating at 600, 750 and 950 MHz all thanks to superconducting magnets made by the company. Others have continued the legacy established by Sir Martin Wood. Peter Jezzard, Professor of Neuroimaging and Co-Director of the Oxford Centre for Clinical Magnetic Resonance Research, was a Research Fellow at Wolfson from 2000 to 2003. Both nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and electron spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopy have been used to

MRI sagittal view of the Acting President's head. This was taken by Caroline (Lindy) Rae in 1997 as part of a research project she was conducting while she was a Non-Stipendiary Junior Research Fellow at Wolfson College (1993-1997). Caroline Rae is currently a Professor of Brain Science at the University of New South Wales in Sydney.

demonstrate the potential of a quantum computer. Andrew Briggs, an Emeritus Fellow and member of the Quantum Foundations Research Cluster ( academic/clusters/quantumfoundations), and his collaborators use ESR in their studies of quantum information processing. All of this suggests that magnetic resonance would be a natural field for the development of a new research cluster. Full details of the Colleges busy schedule of lectures and academic activities can be found on the website ( These are open to alumni and we very much hope to welcome some of you back to College to participate in these events.

22.3 Tesla magnet (950 MHz) located in the Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford. This magnet was produced by Oxford Instruments and installed in 2005. The 950 MHz spectrometer that is based around this magnet is the highest-field solution-state NMR spectrometer currently in operation in the United Kingdom. It is used by Professor Redfield's research group and many other researchers to study biological macromolecules in solution.


Wolfson Research Clusters

At Wolfson, students working toward research degrees, Research Fellows and Governing Body Fellows in humanities, science, social science and medicine interact on many levels. With a constituency of international graduate students from more than fifty countries, equally strong in the arts and sciences, multi- and interdisciplinary dialogue is part of our life.

This is a unique environment among Oxbridge colleges and has led to the development of interdisciplinary research clusters that draw on the outstanding scholarly strengths and interests at Wolfson. Eight clusters have been established and funded; others are still in development. Full details of each are available at Two of the more recent clusters are the Digital Research Cluster and the South Asia Research Cluster. The first recognizes that the World Wide Web has significantly changed the way much academic research is conducted, and provides a focus for research activity across the disciplines

Research Clusters at Wolfson

that use the web as their primary platform, so that sharing approaches and experience can be mutually beneficial. The South Asia Research Cluster recognizes the importance of this region, which many believe holds the key to global social development in the twenty-first century. Encompassing a fifth of the worlds population, the region is home to the worlds largest democracy and the second most dynamic economy, and boasts a dizzying cultural, religious, and linguistic richness.


Wolfson Research Clusters

Digital Research Cluster

The Wolfson College Digital Research Cluster is creating a centre of excellence in the application of Web technologies that will both support the work of College members and provide a University focus for activities in this area. It will promote and support disciplinary and interdisciplinary work for which the web is the primary medium of communication, where semantic enhancement of information and the creation of linked data are the norm, and where open data licensing is common practice. In doing so it will draw on the remarkable success of the Colleges CLAROS Project, an initiative that integrates information about classical art objects from academic centres across Europe and presents them in a single unified searchable and browseable interface to scholars and members of the global public. Formally launched in May 2011, CLAROS is the result of cross-disciplinary collaborative research that borrowed Semantic Web-linked data technologies developed for biological genomics research and applied them to similarly heterogeneous distributed datasets relating to classical art. The Digital Research Clusters research interests will be focused in three areas: n Scholarly data integration and public access to information, as exemplified by the CLAROS Project. n Semantic enrichment of scholarly communication, using the full potential of web technologies to enrich journal articles and other forms of scholarly communication, and to facilitate the open publication of the datasets underpinning research articles. n Provenance and workflows, enabling the origins and methods of creation of open data to be recorded, so that those wishing to re-use them are enabled to do so. The Cluster will have a number of project streams, all involving cross-divisional and international collaboration. Five of these are highlighted here to give some insight into the scope of the Clusters work.

CLAROS and Tibetan Studies The Digital Research Cluster is taking the CLAROS approach to digital integration and working in collaboration with institutions with complementary interests. For example, the University of Virginia's Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities incorporates a Tibetan and Himalayan Library Project. By linking their place names and geocoordinate data to the large collections within CLAROS, and then mapping these on to Google Earth, the Cluster can provide the international research community with a valuable tool. There are also possibilities to collaborate with the British Librarys International Dunghuang Project, creating links to their Central Asian data and to the Himalayan manuscripts that Wolfsons Tibetan and Himalayan Studies Centre wishes to digitize for the web.

Voice recognition technologies Automatic voice recognition technologies are still quite limited, but there are a number of promising projects that offer limited but useful tools. These include the tagging of

sound recordings with keyword metadata so that they can be searched in a similar manner to the way in which text files can be searched. The Clusters goal is to develop open-source tools that can provide open, accessible and useable indices of broadcast and other sound recordings. Achieving this will create a major breakthrough for research across disciplines; from humanities to politics, and from social science to finance. By doing so under open licences, the Cluster expects to facilitate future research projects currently unfeasible because of copyright restrictions.

Beyond the PDF Enhancing scholarly communication in the digital age The Cluster is working directly with publishers to bring about a revolution in scholarly publishing involving the creation of machine-readable vocabularies that permit semantic enhancement of scholarly articles and the references that link them. This will take scholarly information currently available in PDF format which simply mimics the printed page and provide opportunities for innovative interactivity between author and reader. The bigger objective is to liberate reference texts from the constraints of copyright protection by working with publishers to get subscription-access articles added to the corpus of open-access articles, thus widening access to them.

Research data publication Once the results from a research project have been published in peerreviewed journal articles, standard practice among academics is to move on to the next project, while original datasets rot in forgotten directories on the hard drives of departed postdoctoral students. Cluster members are working to change this, by developing tools that facilitate the management and publication of research datasets, particularly those that underpin research articles. They aim to facilitate the creation of rich metadata to describe them, and create bi-directional semantic links between the papers and their datasets. Cluster members are also working on the development of research objects, functional information aggregations of papers and their associated datasets that contain all the necessary information to make the contents meaningful. Open Research Reports As recently highlighted by an editorial in The Lancet, leading academic journal publishers have withdrawn free access to medical journals from developing countries such as Bangladesh, regarding them now as wealthy enough to afford subscriptions. This limitation stifles medical education and research, and compromises disease treatment. The Wolfson Digital Research Cluster intends to create and publish freely available Open Research Reports in Infectious Disease that will summarize key facts and conclusions contained within important research articles

published in subscription-access journals. Cluster members aim to make this concept and methodology generic, so that it can be reapplied in other domains such as climate change and education, with particular benefits in developing countries. The Digital Research Cluster also plans a number of activities designed to promote its work and draw in scholars interested in engaging with it. The first is a Digital Methods Incubator to encourage developments relating to wide-ranging digital and web-based research methods and services and to help develop scholars own skills in using them. A yearly Digital Methods Incubator Summer School and HackFest will bring to the College leaders, students, and developers in a particular area of digital research for a mid-summer week-long unconference to exchange ideas, techniques, and results, and participate in a hands-on hackfest of software development around a particular theme, service, or dataset.


South Asia Research Cluster

Wolfson is already a special base for South Asian studies in Oxford. Since the 1980s it has been college home to a number of outstanding anthropologists, Sanskritists, Tibetologists, Buddhist Studies specialists, and their students. In setting up the South Asia Research Cluster (SARC), Wolfsons vision is to create a portal into Oxford University for this region and to make this the natural college home for South Asian Studies in Oxford. There has already been a significant step-change, with many scholars of South Asia at Wolfson already researching a wide range of topics including development economics, anthropology, public health, international politics, religion and economic change, and political sociology.

The regions history, society, politics, and economy inspire an intensity and depth of debate that the cluster, under the leadership of Professor Barbara Harriss-White, aims to explore to the full, in effect, to become a laboratory for ideas in social science and humanities. By setting up the South Asia Research Cluster, Wolfson has enhanced an interdisciplinary environment that attracts students from the region working across a range of disciplines and subjects relating to their culture. This includes students and researchers from South Asia, not all of whom will necessarily be students of South Asia. However, a College Cluster in South Asian studies allows them to become part of larger conversations on research

in their home regions, giving them a sense of ownership and opening up possibilities for fruitful intellectual exchange and cooperation. The College has hosted a stream of international workshops and conferences convened by the Contemporary South Asian Studies Programme at Oxford. Topics have included Global India with Warsaw University; Finance and Ecological Services funded by the British Council; Market Town and Market Society, funded by Indias IFMR Trust; and The Agrarian Question and NonParliamentary Politics, funded by the ESRC. The College has also provided funds for a series of Work-in-Progress

Roundtables, a contemporary South Asian film series, and lectures from distinguished visiting scholars and leading public figures. The South Asia Research Cluster will engage in significant interaction with other Wolfson Clusters, both by geographical association with the Tibetan and Himalayan Studies Centre, and with the emerging Climate Research Cluster, through a two-year research project investigating the effects of Indias informal economy on climate change, further details of which are on the Research Projects page of the SARC website south-asia/research-projects.


Wolfson Research Clusters

Further initiatives on the horizon The Digital Research and South Asia Clusters are among the most recent examples of research clusters. They join a growing family of clusters at various stages of development including: n Oxford Centre for Life-Writing n Ancient World Research Cluster n Tibetan and Himalayan Studies Centre n Quantum Foundations Perhaps most importantly, the Cluster aims to provide substantial financial support for students from South Asia and for students and scholars interested in South Asian studies. The College believes that setting up this Cluster not only formalizes its rapidly growing reputation and capacities in South Asian studies but will enable it to leverage outside funds and provide unique advantages for its new, young, and expanding research community.
Clockwise from top: Paddy fields near Chinglepet, Tamil Nadu, 2012; Professor Harriss-White; Arni Town, Tamil Nadu (all images Professor Harriss-White: portrait photograph by Gilman and Soame)

Meet Professor Barbara HarrissWhite An Emeritus Fellow at Wolfson, and Emeritus Professor of Development Studies, I direct an ESRC-DFID funded research project on technology, employment and greenhouse gases in Indias informal economy. I am a political economist and field-economist with interests in the social ordering and state regulation of the market economy (studied through the production and distribution of basic commodities in various regions of South Asia and through four decades of field-research on a small market town and its rural hinterland), as well as its casualties (hence research into gender discrimination, poverty, destitution, malnutrition/ alcoholism, disability, social discrimination, and ageing). I am now interested in energy and materials in the food economy. Professor Harriss-White is formerly a director of Oxfords Department of International Development, Queen Elizabeth House, and founder-director of the Contemporary South Asian Studies Programme in the School of Area Studies.

n Law, Justice and Society Collectively they have added a significant new dimension to life at Wolfson a dimension the College is keen to enhance further. In April 2012, the Research Cluster in Law, Justice and Society was launched with a panel discussion entitled Europe on the Brink?, at which European Commission insiders and European experts assessed the economic, political, and constitutional implications of the Eurozone crisis. The Clusters purpose is to promote an understanding of the role of law in society and its creation recognizes Wolfsons long-standing link with the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies and the Foundation for Law, Justice and Society.

The College boasts a robust research culture which it seeks to share with the rest of the Oxford community, our alumni and the wider public. The welcoming culture of the College has proven a strong platform from which the research cluster strategy benefits.

PLANS & PROSPECTS . 2012 . 7

Events and activities

This academic year has been another busy one, with a full calendar of events and activities.

Events and activities 2011-2012

Our two London events provided an opportunity for current Wolfsonians to meet with past members. Our academic lectures have been well-received and attended, and we would be delighted to welcome as many of you as possible to future events. We aim to extend participation in College life beyond graduation, and to keep you involved in our community. Here, we give a selection of highlights from the year: A celebration of Wolfson College at Spencer House
On 13th March, Fellows and students of Wolfson boarded a coach to London for the second of our two London celebrations this year, held in the glorious surroundings of Spencer House. We were glad that many of our alumni could make it, and we had a full house of friends and supporters! Professor Hermione Lee began the proceedings with an introductory welcome, followed by presentations of current research at Wolfson by Fellows and students, which provided an
Lady Wolfson with students Mr Patrick Lee and Miss Stephanie Yorke.

insight into intellectual activity at the College. Lord Jacob Rothschild hosted the evenings entertainments and introduced the programme with his lively recollections of his friendships with two of Wolfsons founders, Isaiah Berlin and Isaac Wolfson. Excerpts from his speech are printed opposite. Pianist Imogen Cooper gave a superb recital of pieces by Schubert and Chopin, to resounding applause. Our thanks go to all who attended and made the evening such a success. A gallery from the event can be viewed in the photo section of the College Facebook page Wolfsonians Worldwide.

President Hermione Lee giving her introductory welcome.

Dr Susan Walker, Professor Jon Stallworthy and Professor John Barnard.


Its hard to imagine two human beings more different than Isaiah Berlin and Isaac Wolfson.

Excerpts from Lord Jacob Rothschilds Speech at Spencer House: Of all the people in this room tonight Im probably the luckiest in having known the individuals who have made Wolfson College the distinguished place it is today. First and foremost, my good fortune was through friendship with Isaiah Berlin and his wife Aline for more than fifty years. Its precisely fifty years ago that Isaiah took me on my first visit to Israel with Nicholas Nabokov, Raimund von Hofmannsthall and Isaac Stern. We went around Israel in the good old days listening to music in kibbutzim. From then on he guided and helped me throughout my life, as an undergraduate at Oxford, years later at the National Gallery, and he was the most wonderful Trustee of our Foundation, Yad Hanadiv. You all have memories and stories of Isaiah, let me just tell you one short story. Before he died I once asked him rather seriously whether he was alarmed, concerned, about death. He paused and then he said No, not at all; probably the only thing Ill miss is Francis Haskells conversation. One thing Im certain of. All of us who knew Isaiah miss him, his conversation, his brilliance, indeed everything about him. Now a very different character: Isaac Wolfson, whose commercial success made the creation of Wolfson College possible. Its hard to imagine two human beings more different than Isaiah Berlin and Isaac Wolfson. I was lucky enough to have known Isaac Wolfson pretty well. He was nothing less than the most brilliant and successful entrepreneurial genius and trader in the UK in the post-War period, and again I learnt so much from him. There are three other people here tonight. Isaac Wolfsons granddaughter, the daughter of Leonard, Janet de Botton, a chip off both blocks, her grandfather and father. She combines both her grandfathers humour and shrewdness with her fathers conservatism and attention to detail. Im also very happy indeed that Estelle, Leonards wife is here. Finally. Hermione Lee. The future of Wolfson College is in the best possible hands. Ive just been reading her brilliant biography of Virginia Woolf, a particular interest to me with its references to my maternal grandmother Mary Hutchinson, a key figure

in Bloomsbury life and a friend, up to a point, of Virginia Woolf. I think Isaiah, Isaac, and Leonard would certainly have approved of our meeting in this beautiful room tonight not least because of the magnificent portrait of King David by Guercino which recently returned to this house having previously been here for some 250 years. Its a nice coincidence that over the mantelpiece theres a transcription of the painting by Hamilton of Guercinos Saul and David showing David in his youth. I am delighted that Spencer House should be the place where Wolfson College is holding this event tonight. Thank you so much.

Events and activities

L Tibetan Buddhist
kung fu nuns demonstrate their skills on the College lawns.

I Graham Avery,
Honorary DirectorGeneral of the European Commission introduces the Panel Discussion at the Inaugural Event of the Law, Justice and Society Cluster, 19th April 2012.

L Novelist and
Libyan exile Hisham Matar delivering a lecture for the Oxford Centre for Life-Writing.

I Alan Hollinghurst
in conversation with Hermione Lee, Oxford Centre for Life-Writing.


Events and activities

J College President Hermione Lee welcoming Wolfson alumni to Lincoln's Inn. K Sculptor and Honorary Fellow Sir Anthony Caro discusses his fifty-year career.

J His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa discusses Mindfulness meditation with Mark Leonard.

I Groundbreaking
for the newLeonard Wolfson Lecture Theatre.

J Fireworks night at


Student activities

by Ball Treasurer, Katrina Witt

A winter ball
For the first time in the Colleges history, the 2011 Ball Committee decided to let the members of Wolfson College vote on the theme for this years Winter Ball. The overwhelming majority of respondents chose a 1920s-inspired Speakeasy. Gangsters and molls from Wolfson College and beyond were welcomed in to a College transformed, to the playful sound of swing music. Wolfsons unique hideaway spaces meant that guests could discover (with a prohibition-era thrill?) the pop-up vodka luges, cocktail bars and coffee lounges concealed around the site. Guests were entertained with an interactive assassins game, lessons in the Charleston and other popular 1920s dances, a silent disco, and a hog roast. Whilst holders of non-dining tickets enjoyed imbibing bootleg liquor from the Duke of Cambridge, holders of dining tickets were treated to a champagne reception in the UCR and three-course meal of smoked salmon salad, cannon of roast venison with root vegetables and lemon posset in the Hall, which had been festooned with hundreds of fairy-lights. In conjunction with the Wolfson Development Office, this years Committee invited alumni to the Winter Ball, and we were glad to welcome so many back. For some, this was their first visit to Wolfson College in almost 30 years! Feedback from those who came to dance and feast was overwhelmingly positive, with many promising to visit us again in December 2012. On behalf of the 2011 Winter Ball committee I thank everyone who attended and made the Ball the occasion it was. All that remains to be said is bring on 2012!

Clockwise from top: Wolfson in snow; dining guests enjoy the champagne reception in the UCR; a threecourse dinner in hall; a glowing balloon transforms Berlin Quad.


Student activities

Pulling together
A Report from Wolfson College Boat Club

Above: Jill Betts and Aurlie Cunod. Left: Wolfson Women's 1st VIII storming down the river.

position of fourth in Division I, closing in on Christ Church each day and leaving University College far behind. Special kudos go to the Men's 2nd VIII for bumping three out of the four days, making it five straight years that they've recorded at least three bumps. The Women's 2nd VIII was only beaten by misfortune and klaxons, and is currently the third fastest 2nd boat in the ranks. Excellent performances from the 3rd boats proved the consistency and dedication of the entire Boat Club. Overall, Wolfson crews got 7 bumps and gained 3 net places, tying them for 9th place out of the 35 boat clubs. Wolfson College Boat Club (WCBC) has had another exceptional year. Michaelmas Term saw the arrival of over 30 novices to The Wolfpack, competing in Christ Church Regatta in November and then in their first taste of bumps racing at Torpids in February. WCBC was ranked the 3rd most successful college Boat Club in Oxford at Torpids, bumping twelve other crews in total. The Womens 1st VIII won blades by bumping Mansfield, Osler House, Balliol, and Keble colleges to finish third in Division 2. The Men's 1st VIII finished fifth in Division 1, having bumped up three places. There were outstanding performances also from W2 and M2 who were only defeated by klaxons or 1st VIII crews. Success at Torpids was despite the fact that several of our members have been training with the University crews. Congratulations to Jill Betts and Aurlie Cunod who were in the winning Oxford Womens Lightweight crew, and to Amy McLennan who was in the winning Oxford Womens Reserve crew. We were also proud to see Tyler Spencer stroke the Mens Lightweight crew. We were delighted that they were able to join us for Summer Eights. Here again, Wolfson Boat Club had great success, under glorious sunshine. No fewer than six of our boats competed in this year's races. The Women's 1st VIII bumped New College and moved up to the Head of Division II, narrowly missing out on catching Keble College in one of the weeks most exciting races! Our Men's 1st VIII retained their highest ever This year we have also been glad to build relationships with many friends and alumni of the Boat Club. Torpids dinner was attended by alumni from 1984 through to 2008 and we were proud that Mark Pottle gave this years Iffley Dinner Speech on the history of the Boat Club. Friends of the late Bernard Henry have donated generously to the Boat Clubs equipment fund this year, which is now in a position to buy a scull in Bernards name. We continue to look for long-term external sponsorship to support the Boat Club in 2012-13, and welcome enquiries from any interested companies ( Follow WCBC on facebook Wolfson College Boat Club, Oxford or via our website


News & aims in 2011-12
A message from William J Conner, Director of Development

This year our fourth the Wolfson Development team has been focusing on making sure we can stay in touch with our alumni more effectively. We have switched to a new and much better database for storing information. This means that if you would like to tell us about what you have been up to recently, or share your experiences of Wolfson and your thoughts about its future, we can keep a much fuller record. We want to know more about our alumni, and your lives beyond College; your past experience of Wolfson and your expectations for its future continue to be relevant to everything we do.

Better data facilities also mean that we are more easily able to send invitations to Wolfsons lectures and events, and to keep you updated with publications like this one. We are fortunate in having such a large number of Wolfsonians to communicate with there are more than 5,500 of you, living in all parts of the world. In due course, we look forward to offering a Netcommunity feature through our new database, which will make it even easier for you to stay in touch with your fellow alumni around the world. This year has been another very positive one for Wolfson fundraising, particularly in our successful efforts to secure major gift funding for a number of our new Research Clusters.

Wolfson Colleges fundraising aims

We have eight clusters established and funded, with three more in development. These are now actively disseminating their research to a wide audience. Last term, the Oxford LifeWriting Cluster held a series of prestigious lectures, featuring eminent literary figures such as Man Booker Prize-winning novelists Alan Hollinghurst and Hisham Matar. Climate Change has been the topic for this terms Lectures. The Law, Justice and Society Research Cluster gave us a thought-provoking inaugural event in April, looking at the situation in Europe and the implications for the future of the European Union. Behind these successes are the individual contributions of Wolfson academics, at all stages of their careers. We can support our students and academics as a direct result of the generosity of our alumni, and so wed like to begin by thanking those of you who give. You are making a difference, as you will see from the student statements on the next page. Whatever your history in donating to College, we hope that you can help us, now and in the future. This section of our magazine will provide an outline of our goals, and make the case for alumni giving and its all-important role in student support. With warmest thanks,

Fundraising for student support

At the heart of Wolfson fundraising is our effort to secure small, regular gifts from our largest support base our alumni and friends. The support which you give to Wolfson is the lifeblood of our Annual Scholarship Fund. It greatly improves our chances of securing funding from Trusts, Foundations, and Corporations. Your contribution encourages others to give. What is the Annual Scholarship Fund? As a former Wolfson graduate, you already know the value of a research degree, and it is these higher degrees that are most under threat in the current environment. In order to continue to attract the brightest students and thereby retain our reputation for research excellence, we must be able to offer attractive support packages to applicants. The Fund is the pool of money Wolfson accumulates each year for student support. We have over 580 current students, and so it is unsurprising that Wolfson spends in excess of 500,000 per annum in supporting them. Despite this expenditure, too many of our students remain underfunded. In the last few years, funding from research bodies in the UK and overseas has diminished sharply. We want to be able to do much, much more to ease our students financial anxieties. By creating the Annual Scholarship Fund we are able to pool alumni gifts, and through this pool attract matching grants which can effectively triple that money, increasing the number of available scholarships for outstanding students. 50 Scholarships for our 50th Anniversary a Four Year Plan In our last edition of Plans and Prospects (October 2011), we described our main goals for increasing our Annual Scholarship Fund, in the lead-up to Wolfsons 50th Anniversary in 2016. We have an ambitious but achievable goal of doubling our number of scholarships by this date; 50 for our 50th Anniversary. These will provide support for students across a wide spectrum of academic disciplines, building a solid foundation for the future. Would you be willing to become a donor for the first time? When we articulate our case for support, we are sometimes asked a simple question; how far can my money really go? The answer is, a long way! If every alumnus were to make a gift at a level that suited them, we could do great things. For example, a monthly contribution of 10 from each alumnus would create 660,000 in available funding. Taking into account Gift Aid from the UK government and other available matched funding, this would provide us with more than 1,000,000 to support our scholarship programme.

William J Conner Development Director


Wolfson Colleges fundraising aims

This is an ideal, and we have realistic goals in mind, which would do wonders for student support at the present moment.

We would like to increase the number of donors giving small, regular gifts. Just 400 alumni supporters making this commitment every year would make a great difference.

We hope that you will consider helping us meet these aims. Our students are more eloquent than we could ever be in making their case for support, so well leave the last word to them!

Meet some of Wolfsons current scholarship recipients

provide an atmosphere of calm amongst the bustle of Oxford life. I can say with absolutely certainty that my doctorate would not have been possible without the assistance of my scholarship and, again, am so thankful to have had this opportunity. Last year I was co-captain of the Wolfson Womens Boat Club rowing team, and it was a phenomenal experience. Rowing at Wolfson has taught me how to challenge myself, lead others to approach challenges, and deal with failures. All these experiences have contributed to helping me grow as a person and indirectly make doing my academic work even more of a pleasure. Researching and writing a DPhil is difficult work, as I am sure many of our alumni will know! It is motivating and encouraging to be able to come home after a long day to a solid, supportive community of friends at Wolfson. This community, together with the funding that Wolfson has generously afforded me, has made my time in Oxford an absolute pleasure. Ben Sorgiovanni DPhil student in Philosophy Wolfson is a terrific college, which caters extraordinarily well to its community of graduates. The Colleges facilities are first-rate, but above all its the friendly, informal atmosphere which, in my experience, really sets it apart. The environment is incredibly supportive. As a graduate student at Wolfson you have numerous opportunities to discuss your research and ideas with students and academics working in a wide range of disciplines.

Karina McHardy DPhil student in Public Health I am currently in the third and final year of my DPhil in Public Health. My time at Wolfson College has been nothing short of transformative. I know that I will continue to benefit from the unique skills, knowledge and experience gained throughout these years for the rest of my personal and professional life. I have found Wolfson to be a consistently exciting, engaging, diverse, and supportive environment as I have progressed through this degree. I am proud to be associated with the College and particularly value the egalitarian ethos that can help

Megan Robb DPhil student in Oriental Studies The Wolfson Graduate Bursary made it possible for me to come to Oxford, which was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I am currently on field research in India, taking intensive language courses in Urdu to improve my ability to translate texts for my thesis.


Wolfson Colleges fundraising aims

The Wolfson development team

William J Conner Development Director and Fellow William Conner has been in charge of Wolfsons Development programme since the Office was first established in 2008. He is pleased to be joined by two new members of staff this year. Im fortunate enough to be a recipient of the Wolfson College Isaiah Berlin Scholarship. I can honestly say that I wouldnt be completing my DPhil at Oxford University if it werent for the support which this scholarship provides. It is quite literally invaluable. It also means that while Im at Oxford Im able to pursue my research singlemindedly, without having to fit my studies around paid work. Hear more from our Senior Tutor and students about the need for student support at Wolfson (http://podcasts. Anna Johnson Development Officer In January Alex Talbot left the Development Office for pastures new after three years at Wolfson. Anna Johnson joined us in March this year as the new Development Officer, having recently been awarded her DPhil in English Literature from Brasenose College. Alongside her studies, she spent several years working as Assistant to the current Vice-Chancellor, Professor Andrew Hamilton. She is delighted to be in charge of the Annual Fund, and has greatly enjoyed overseeing Wolfson's successful telephone fundraising campaign this June which reached its 40,000 target in gifts and pledges. Katie Watson Development Assistant In September we appointed a Development Assistant to help with the general running of the Development Office. Katie Watson has experience in running a busy office and has helped to orchestrate the transfer to the new Development and Alumni Relations System (DARS). She has also been involved in organizing our two major London events over the past year, including a lecture from the President, Professor Hermione Lee, at Lincolns Inn in October 2011 and our Celebration of Wolfson College at Spencer House in March.

Anna Johnson and Katie Watson pictured in front of our recognition board, naming Wolfson donors.


Wolfson Colleges fundraising aims ways to support Wolfson

Supporting Wolfson
Four simple ways to make your gift
We have a range of payment methods to make giving easy according to your preference: online, over the phone, or by post. Online giving

Online banking

You can use online banking to make a single gift from your bank account. (Click here for our online donation page)

If you live in the UK or anywhere except the USA, please donate online at our special website You can set up regular giving there, or make a single gift with a credit or debit card. Or, if you live in the United States, you can donate online through Americans for Oxford at Giving online works for your convenience and allows us to focus on maximizing the benefit of your donation. Online giving also allows Gift Aid to be added automatically, substantially increasing the value of your donation. For details, see the section on tax efficient ways of giving.

By phone

If you live in the UK or anywhere except the United States, for a secure, single gift card payment over the phone, please call Anna Johnson in the Development Office on +44 (0) 1865 611041, or if you live in the United States, you can call the team at Americans for Oxford on (212) 377-4900 for a secure, single gift card payment, or to set up a regular giving plan using a credit card.

By post

You can find a pdf donation form on our website here to print and return to us.


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Wolfson Colleges fundraising aims

Tax efficient ways of giving

According to where you live and whether you are a taxpayer or not, there are several ways you can make your gift worth much more to your College, at no extra cost to yourself. UK taxpayers Please make sure to cover your donation under Gift Aid so that your gift becomes 25% greater at no cost to yourself (the difference is paid by the Inland Revenue, as we can reclaim the tax at the standard rate). The Gift Aid scheme, combined with matched funding from the UK government, can as much as double the face value of your gift. USA residents Please use the online giving method. It enables you to make a tax-deductable gift through Americans for Oxford, a 501(c)3 charity. You are entitled to a federal income tax deduction of up to 50% of your adjusted gross income for cash gifts, and can also secure the UK government matched funding. European residents There are special arrangements for tax-effective giving in many European countries. Details can be found at transnationalgivingeurope. Canadian taxpayers All gifts are tax-creditable, and a receipt can be provided on request. Please become a College Benefactor We know that you have many claims on your time and attention. However, we hope that this appeal from your College will encourage you to take part and give to the 2012 Annual Fund. Please give as generously as you can to help us exceed our targets. We thank you enormously for whatever you can do. William J Conner Fellow and Development Director Email: Telephone: +44 (0)1865 284333 Anna Johnson Development Officer Email: Telephone: +44 (0)1865 611041

Chair campaign
Since the arrival of our beautiful new Dining Hall chairs, we have run a successful campaign, asking alumni to sponsor and name a chair. Many have now been spoken for, but it is still possible to stake a claim! For a donation of 300 you can choose a name or phrase which will be engraved on a brass plaque, which will then be permanently displayed in the back of your chair. This is the perfect way to support the College refurbishment programme. It also provides a unique gift opportunity for landmark occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, and graduations, or to honour the memory of a loved one. Sponsors of chairs who are UK tax payers are asked to Gift Aid their donation, so that we can reclaim 384 including tax, making your gift go further. Please contact Anna Johnson on +44 (0)1865 611041 or by email at for more information on how to sponsor and name a chair of your own.

Staying in touch
We take pride in the achievements of our alumni long after graduation, and aim to stay connected with our fellow Wolfsonians, wherever they are in the world. We can offer you a great many opportunities to engage with the College and with your peers, both in person at our alumni events, or through the content and communications channels available online.
Wolfson Online Wolfsons website continues to evolve to reflect the ever-increasing academic activity at the College, and in order to host a number of interactive features. We hope that these will bring you closer to the news that interests you. Our new-look homepage features some of the developments of which we are most proud, and which you can hear all about in the Presidents video message ( Theres a new events calendar to give an at-a-glance view of all the academic, cultural, and social events happening in College, and youll find news of all the latest research breakthroughs and academic achievements on the homepage, and on the research cluster micro sites within the Academic Life pages. For those who prefer their news on the go, theres also a Twitter feed for instant updates, and you can easily keep an eye on all the latest news and events at Wolfson through our Mobile Oxford site at


Catch up with Wolfson podcasts If you arent able to participate in the academic and cultural events at Wolfson in person, you can easily catch up at the Wolfson Podcasts channel, where a wealth of audio and video content of eminent speakers from the worlds of art, literature, politics and philosophy is available to download. Recent highlights include a frank assessment of the Eurozone crisis from the Honorary Director-General of the European Commission, Booker-Prize winning author Alan Hollinghurst in conversation with College President Hermione Lee on the art of biography and fiction, and renowned sculptor and Wolfson Honorary Fellow Sir Anthony Caro in conversation with Art Historian Tim Marlow. As part of our commitment to open access, Wolfson podcasts are also available on iTunes U, a free site of educational resources for enquiring minds around the world, which has received over 1 million downloads to date. Your professional network of College colleagues You may already know of Wolfsonians Worldwide, where nearly 1,000 members past and present post stories and keep in touch, but you can also benefit from the professional networking opportunities afforded by our LinkedIn group of over 600 Wolfson alumni. Whether youre looking for an expert opinion, seeking to recruit trusted talent, advance your own career, or simply want feedback on your latest project, just visit and search Wolfson College Oxford to join your College colleagues and tap into a rich resource of expertise and experience. Updating your details As always, we are eager to know if your details change, and you can update your personal information here development/alumni-pif. Alternatively, please call our Development Team on 01865 611041 to request a hard copy of the form by post.

The Development Oce . Wolfson College . Linton Road . Oxford OX2 6UD William J. Conner, Development Director . Anna Johnson, Development Ocer . . +44 (0)1865 611 041 Katie Watson, Development Assistant . . +44 (0)1865 611 042