Vice-Chancellor praises alumni for their loyalty, generosity and curiosity

Professor Andrew Hamilton, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, complimented alumni during a wide-ranging speech at the beginning of the academic year. He remarked upon their enduring interest in developments at the University, and their support for the University’s activities.

The address, delivered on 6 October, was Professor Hamilton’s last annual oration as Vice-Chancellor as he will leave Oxford and become President of New York University on 1 January 2016.

Professor Hamilton explained how he will draw upon his experiences during the last six years at Oxford in his new role. He added: 'I shall take with me too, the incredible loyalty and generosity of our alumni. In Oxford, the UK, or overseas, wherever I have met them, our former students are consumed with curiosity about the University. They have a hunger to hear about our latest research, new student initiatives and very often the question that comes up, unprompted: "How can we help?"'

The oration covered many topics and announcements from the last year, including Oxford’s outstanding performance in the UK’s Research Excellence Framework, the £2bn milestone in the Oxford Thinking fundraising campaign, and the launch of the Digital Bodleian website (featuring more than 100,000 images).

Professor Hamilton also highlighted the pioneering and life-saving research of Professors Nick White and Nick Day of the Nuffield Department of Medicine. He spoke about visiting them and their research team at Mahidol University in Thailand, and how they have helped save more than a million lives thanks to artemisinin combination therapy for the treatment of malaria. Professor Hamilton said: 'Their fight continues on the Thai-Myanmar border, now against genetic changes which are increasing drug resistance. Their work encapsulates many of the Oxford strengths that I have tried to capture in this speech – academic brilliance, transcending national boundaries and transforming lives around the world.'

Read the Vice-Chancellor's oration