lecture at Alumni Weekend 2016. credit: John Cairns

Praise for record-breaking tenth Alumni Weekend in Oxford

More than 1,800 alumni and guests took part in an action-packed three days of talks, tours and tastings during the largest Alumni Weekend in Oxford.

Former Oxford students participated in more than 100 intellectual and practical sessions at the popular annual event from 16 to 18 September 2016.

From perspectives on the US presidential election to the benefits of mindfulness, and from stargazing using the University’s telescope to handling ancient Greek pottery, the sessions appealed to a wide range of interests.

Alumni came from 29 countries (including Mexico, Japan, Uzbekistan and the United States) to the record-breaking event. Visitor numbers at the flagship alumni gathering were up by 500, representing a 36% increase, when compared with the 2015 Alumni Weekend in Oxford.

The activities were well received by alumni. Anthony Simon (The Queen’s College, 1963) said: ‘This is the first year that I have taken part in the Alumni Weekend and I was very impressed. For me, the Alumni Weekend surpasses Davos. The quality and calibre of the sessions was outstanding. I particularly enjoyed the panel discussion with former diplomats. They really spoke their minds, and the session was also full of humour. As an Oxford graduate you feel so at home in your university town, and it is a pleasure to come back.’

There were many highlights during the three days. They included:

  • Professor Louise Richardson FRSE, Vice Chancellor of the University, on terrorism in uncertain times
  • Professor Marcus du Sautoy, Charles Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science and Professor of Mathematics, on his latest book, What we cannot know
  • Olympic marathon runner Mara Yamauchi (St Anne’s, 1992) on motivational tips for sport and life
  • Dr Oliver Cox, Heritage Engagement Fellow at the The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH), on celebrating the tercentenary of Capability Brown
  • Hand-press printing at the Bodleian library
  • Many walking tours of Oxford: from Tudor Oxford to leisure and entertainment in Victorian and Edwardian Oxford
  • Wine, port and cheese tastings

Alumna Terry Slesinski-Wykowski (Pembroke, 1982), co-chair of Oxford's alumni group in Houston, said: ‘I have been to every single Alumni Weekend in Oxford. They are always intellectually stimulating, and a great opportunity to ask academics about their cutting-edge research. No wonder they are so popular.’

Daniel Seiderer (Mansfield, 2007) added: ‘The variety of activities is fantastic, from academic talks to hands-on experiences, from wine tastings to walking tours through Oxford. You always discover new aspects of this great university. This time I was lucky enough to take part in the hand-press printing at the Bodleian library. It was fascinating to create a printed document from scratch using such historic machinery. Next year’s Alumni Weekend is already in the diary.’

View the photo album from the Alumni Weekend on the Oxford Alumni Facebook page.

Save the date for the next Alumni Weekend in Oxford will be held from 15 to 17 September 2017. Join the events mailing list for further information about this and other alumni events