College was abuzz with activity during the last two weekends of September as we welcomed almost 300 alumni back to Oriel for the Alumni Weekend, and Gaudies for years 1976-1979 and 1984-1986.
Events began on Friday 16 September with the Annual Alumni Weekend Dinner. Orielenses returned to dine in Hall with an update from Geoffrey Austin (1983) Chair of the Oriel Alumni Advisory Committee and the Provost. A minutes’ silence was also observed to pay our respects to Her Majesty the late Queen Elizabeth II, and for the first time in 70 years Orielenses toasted “The King, Our Visitor”.
Alumni Weekend activities continued on Saturday with lunch in the Champneys Room (named for esteemed architect Basil Champneys who completed Third Quad by designing our building on High Street), followed by a fascinating presentation from Against Breast Cancer Senior Research Fellow Simon Lord on his research “Old drugs, new tricks: repurposing treatments for cancer” – you can watch it again below.
All was not quiet for long following the Alumni Weekend as on the same Saturday Orielenses who matriculated from 1976-1979 arrived to celebrate their Gaudy. With the Provost Lord Mendoza (1978) amongst their cohort, Hall was almost at capacity with 116 enjoying the festivities. Christopher Mahoney (1978) spoke fondly on his memories of Oriel, and what a special place the College remains after 45 years since the group’s matriculation.
The following weekend we welcomed back Orielenses from 1984-1986. Over 100 guests filled Hall, including a third of those from the cohort of Oriel’s first women in 1985. Laura Spindler (1985) gave a fascinating speech on her time working for the Foreign Office, linking humorously how being one of the first Oriel women prepared her for this.
It was marvellous to see so many Orielenses back in College, thank you to everyone who could join us!