Meeting Minds: Alumni Weekend in Oxford (15-17 September 2017) - a review

We were delighted to welcome around 1,700 alumni and guests back to Oxford for the 11th Meeting Minds: Alumni Weekend in Oxford.

The packed three-day programme included sessions on everything from Greek music and Japanese to talks on autism and a lecture by World Wide Web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee on computer science. 

Almost 40 alumni group representatives from around the world also attended Friday’s groups’ component.

This included a talk on the effects of Brexit and a lunch attended by Alumni Board members and group officers – including former long-standing Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race Dining Club of Chicago chairman John Morrison [pictured], celebrating his 84th birthday that day.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the Weekend, thanks to the always excellent Oxford Alumni office team,’ said Peggie Rimmer of the Oxford and Cambridge Club of Geneva.

And first-time attendee and OUS Cambridge committee member Mike Story also offered his impressions of the Weekend.

“I went as a representative of the Cambridgeshire group, to talk to people from other groups about how they organised themselves,” he said. 

“Being able to mix with a wide geographical spread of representatives for the group officers' event was a huge benefit – most were from outside the UK, and included two from the Houston group! 

“The Friday started with the results of the recent alumni and alumni group survey followed by a talk by Professor Alastair Buchan about the effects of Brexit on the University. 

“Doom and gloom for research funding were predicted, despite Oxford’s apparent number one position in world ranking, and only one other EU institution being in the top ten. 

“The non-group talks were largely of a very high standard – the standout one for me was “The silk road to everything”, by Professor Vollrath, a talk on silk, and in particular about spider silk rather than silkworm silk, covering its remarkable properties and the equally remarkable way it is collected. 

“Saturday finished for me with “What’s new in physics”, an excellent talk in the rabbit warren that the Cavendish has become, while the new physics building is completed. Five star!”

Our next Meeting Minds events will be in:

  • Rome, 16-18 March 2018
  • San Francisco, 6-7 April 2018
  • Oxford, 14-16 September 2018

Former long-standing Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race Dining Club of Chicago chairman John Morrison with Christine Fairchild, Oxford's Director of Alumni Relations