Distinguished Friends of Oxford
The Distinguished Friend of Oxford (DFO) Award was initiated in 1997 to provide the University with a means of formally recognising individuals who have acted as exceptional volunteers for the benefit of the wider collegiate University. The first awards were presented in 1998.
The Award recognises those who have given of their time, contacts and influence in support of an initiative beyond that which can be recognised through traditional channels. Their impact will have been profound and the results would have been impossible to achieve using current available resources. Separate from any financial contributions, their legacy will have had a lasting impact on the collegiate University and they will be perceived as role models to other volunteer contributors.
Recipients of the 2017 Awards were honoured at a ceremony at Keble College on 18 May.
For further information, please contact the Director of Alumni Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr David Boyle and Mr Colin Wyman (Balliol, 1959)
The strength and success of the Friends of the Ashmolean Museum are a direct result of the dedicated service of Mr Boyle (pictured, far left) and Mr Wyman (pictured, left). Mr Boyle has been chairman of the Friends since 2005, presiding over an extraordinary growth in membership. Mr Wyman has been treasurer of the group since 2007, and under his guidance the charity has donated more than £1m to the Ashmolean Museum. In 2016 the Ashmolean and the Friends Council decided to merge the Friends with the Museum, a complex transition from being a separate charity to becoming part of the Ashmolean Museum. Mr Boyle and Mr Wyman worked tirelessly to complete the merger successfully, managing the project with unwavering commitment and meticulous attention to detail.
Mr Gus (Keble, 1981) and Mrs Jenny Rose Carey (LMH, 1981)
The Careys (pictured, left) have championed the University for more than 30 years by reinvigorating alumni groups, brokering meetings with benefactors, and hosting senior academics during visits to the US. Mr Carey helped to re-establish alumni groups in New York and Philadelphia, and has introduced major donors to the University. Mrs Carey has hosted many alumni gatherings at their home and garden and has been a member of the LMH Advisory Council for many years. Since the mid-1980s, the Careys have formed meaningful and productive relationships with the Ashmolean, Botanical Gardens, Museum of Natural History, Bodleian, and the Saϊd Business School. They have also been tireless supporters of the work of the North American Office, and are loyal and helpful to their colleges. Both Mr and Mrs Carey continue to jointly maintain ties to both Keble and LMH. They are generous supporters, leading volunteers, and highly-valued friends of the University.
Professor Virander Chauhan (St Catz, 1974)
Professor Chauhan has served the University with unflagging commitment and energy as National Secretary for the Rhodes Scholarships in India, serving from 1997 to 2016. He has overseen the selection of almost 100 Rhodes Scholars from India, undertaking these duties with characteristic fairness and dedication, serving as an example to fellow volunteers within the alumni community. In recent years, the former National Secretary has overseen more than 400 applications a year. Professor Chauhan has been instrumental in appointing prominent individuals from sectors such as business and sport as Scholarship selection committee members. He has provided critical support in facilitating meetings for the Vice-Chancellor and Rhodes Warden with key influencers in India, and has hosted many events to benefit the University.
Mr Stephen Dixon
Mr Dixon has given tireless, outstanding and unremunerated service to the Oxford Union for 15 years. As Senior Treasurer of the Oxford Union, Mr Dixon fulfilled the all but impossible task of serving a society whose junior members have sovereign power, while restraining its periodic disposition to plunge into financial or other disaster. Mr Dixon accomplished this daunting balancing act with extraordinary finesse, winning the respect and cooperation of the young while insinuating the practical wisdom of the older. The stability of the Oxford Union and its immunity from formerly frequent crises can be attributed to his wisdom, tact and shrewdness.
Mr Gordon Orr (Brasenose, 1981)
Mr Orr has been a key alumni volunteer for the University. Being a member of the China Advisory Group and Vice-Chancellor's Circle, he has helped the University exponentially increase its reach within China. Together with other members of the China Advisory Group, he has actively provided insights and guidance. He also publishes online articles related to Oxford, which help to increase the University’s presence globally. As a trusted adviser to the Oxford China Office, Mr Orr has been generous with his time and unfailing in his support. Additionally, he has been a supporter of the Oxford China Centre since its opening day and has recently become an associate of the Centre. As an influential leader in the business community in China and Hong Kong, as well as a trusted alumnus of Oxford, he has used his unique position to advance the University’s standing in China. He is also a keen supporter of Brasenose College, giving talks to the student community on China.
Sir David Tang KBE
Sir David was the consummate volunteer for the University, helping to increase its network immeasurably within China and Hong Kong. He was instrumental in developing the relationship with Dr Chung Hon Dak, who became a member of the Chancellor's Court of Benefactors. Sir David was also a frequent generous sponsor to Oxford alumni events in China and Hong Kong. As a trusted adviser and volunteer to the Oxford China Office, he often used his prominent position to advance the University’s outreach in Hong Kong. Sir David met the Chancellor and the former Vice-Chancellor when he hosted dinners and organised a tour of the Bodleian treasures with a group of his prominent friends. These occasions led to significant pledges to the Oxford Thinking Campaign made by his friends. He was a Campaign patron and a supporter of the Ashmolean Museum. We were saddened by Sir David’s passing in August of 2017.
Mr Takashi Uyeno (Linacre, 1968)
Mr Uyeno has been a loyal supporter of the University and Linacre College in Japan since 1995. He has provided consistent and inspiring leadership to the Linacre Society in Japan, organising a committee of volunteers and spearheading 40th and 50th anniversary fundraising campaigns for his former college, where he is now an honorary fellow. His exemplary activities have resulted in donations from over one-third of Linacre alumni in Japan. Such a style of galvanising others in a fundraising campaign is unique in Japan. Mr Uyeno has also been a loyal friend and advisor to the University’s Japan Office. He has hosted dinners, provided fundraising advice, and has made introductions to business contacts, the late Prince Tomohito of Mikasa, and to Prince Tomohito’s daughter, Princess Akiko.