It was wonderful to see some of our donors, supporters and partners at our Domus Dinner on Saturday 17th March. Thank you and congratulations to all who made it through the snow.
The Domus Dinner was an opportunity for the College to thank some of our and to hear from the Principal, Dr Margaret Masson, on all that has been going on in College including Intern: North East, the AIM project in collaboration with Park View School, the ongoing fundraising and scholarship projects, and the success of the kitchen, boathouse and other building work.
The event consisted of a drinks reception, followed by dinner in the quad. Many thanks go to the Bailey Quartet for their wonderful music during the drinks reception. After dinner we heard from Dr Masson before the bar was opened for the evening.
We were pleased to be joined by some of the research group who work out of the College on questions of social and economic policy affecting the North East. Dr Masson also took the opportunity to thank our partners at Park View School, and from the North East businesses who are participating in our new Intern: North East programme.
In recent weeks our MCR have hosted a variety of events including an Inter-MCR Formal, Welfare Walks, a Welfare Cafe Trip and an Ayyám-i-Há celebration combined with a charity fundraiser.
On Wednesday 28th February Chadsian Matthew Shanin held an Ayyám-i-Há celebration in St Chad’s. The event was organised by the Durham University Multi-Faith Society, and included food, a viewing of the film Persepolis, and information on Ayyám-i-Há. During the event money was raised for Durham Action on Single Housing, a particularly pertinent charity given the current weather.
Other recent MCR events have included the Inter-MCR formal on Tuesday 26th February. This was an event open to MCR members from any college, was Great Gatsby themed, and included a performance from the University Big Band. The formal allowed for cross-college integration, and a wonderful evening of entertainment.
Meanwhile the MCR Welfare team have been busy keeping everyone’s spirits up with weekend activities. The walks haven’t always ended up exactly where they meant to, but all in all Welfare seems to be going well, and at least everyone can manage to find Durham’s cafes!
Reading Allowed had its first meeting this Saturday past. Around 15 people came, many to share, some just to listen. We squeezed into a snug little room in Grad’s building. This, alongside the hot drinks and dim lamplight, added to the cosiness. We kicked off with a short children’s story about arrogant raindrops. Reading passed anticlockwise around the circle; with teas, hot chocolates and coffees frantically assembled in the intervening spaces. We had a huge variety of pieces: from Hungarian poetry to Silmarillion to Plath to two people’s own work to a passage on fecal analysis from a non-fiction book on wolves. We have no particular limitations on what can be read; speeches and song lyrics being examples of other writing people may share in the future.
There are currently around 26 people on the chat where we organise the meetings. As it is open-invite, more people are slowly trickling in as their friends recommend it. Overall it was a sort of gender-diverse Dead Poets’ Society; something that we didn’t realise until we actually started. There is another one planned this Saturday, hopefully then continuing every other week.
P.S. Much as we love a pun, we’re hoping that a quote will be shared at some point that makes for an even more fitting name.
The Governing Body of St Chad’s College is delighted to announce the appointment of Mark Woodruff as its next Chair.
Mark brings a great deal of governance experience and a long commitment to social justice and inclusion. He is currently a Programme Director of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts. Mark is also a musician and, as a priest, a writer in the field of ecumenism.
Mark knows St Chad’s well. He was a student here in the late seventies and has been actively engaged as an alumnus in recent years.
Mark succeeds Jonathan Blackie, who is near the end of his term as Governing Body Chair. The College is extremely grateful for Jonathan’s wise and kind leadership over the last eight years.
On Monday 20th November 2017, staff and students at St Chad’s College were joined by the North East England Chamber of Commerce and leaders of the North East business community for the launch of our new regional graduate retention initiative, Intern:NE.
The talent and energy of Chad’s graduates is often unfortunately lost to the North East when the vast majority of these students leave the region to begin their careers, most often in the South East. The new Intern:NE program aims to challenge students’ assumptions that you can begin or progress your career only in the South East by connecting our current students with exciting opportunities in the North East business community.
Through engagement with a North East business or organisation via internships graduates are more likely to consider working in the region after graduation. This helps the region to retain prized talent and energy, and gives North East businesses valuable early access to some of the most accomplished graduates in the UK.
The College is proud of its location and heritage in the North East, and is committed to contributing to the region’s economic and cultural success. Over the past six months, College staff have been building relationships with some of the most prestigious employers in the North East to secure offers of internships or work experience placements exclusively for students at St Chad’s. We were joined at the launch by partners, CEOs and Trustees of many of these employers, who had the opportunity to mix with and speak to our students.
James Ramsbotham, Chief Executive of the North East England Chamber of Commerce, addressed guests at the launch and said:
‘Improving our graduate retention rate is a key challenge for the North East. As a region, we are relatively successful at retaining students from the North East who go on to work here after graduation. However, we can do more to improve our attraction and retention of students from outside the region.
We know there are many great reasons to build your career in the North East, and we want to support businesses, particularly SMEs, to raise awareness of the opportunities they offer to graduates. The Intern:NE initiative developed by St Chad’s College at the University of Durham will help to address this issue by giving students an introduction to employers in the North East and providing valuable work experience.’
On Monday 13th November the Chapel Choir sang evensong in the cathedral for the first time this academic year.
The highlight of the service was undoutably the Vaughan Williams anthem: Lord, Thou hast been our refuge for choir, organ and trumpet, the final chords of which shook the building. Many thanks go to Tom Rickard, 3rd year Economics, for his trumpet playing and to Peter Swift, the College Organist, for playing the organ.
In sleepy Durham nothing much has changed but our graduates have moved on into the big wide world. But for one weekend they had the chance to journey back to Durham for two days of nostalgia, northern chills and necking reasonably priced drinks in the bar.
The bop of Friday saw Chadsians relive their adolescent days with the returners bop theme being childhood TV and film characters. I imagine the Cassidy Quad looked very similar to the CBBC production floor in the late 1990s and early 2000s as we were graced with the likes of Neil Buchanan from Art Attack, The Chuckle Brothers and all four Teletubbies!
Saturday was steak night for the returners’ on formal before they headed to the Princey B one last time! Apart from one attempt to dive into the river the night went swimmingly and the weekend, as a whole, was thoroughly enjoyed by all!