St John's College Alumni eNewsletter - November 2021

College and Alumni News for November 2021


I joined St John's in June this year, having previously worked across various roles in publishing at Routledge and Oxford University Press and completed my undergraduate degree at St Edmund Hall. As Communications Officer I help to oversee all aspects of College communications, including the website, social media, student communications, and our annual print publications TW and Benefactors, as well as some videography and photography work. It's a wide-ranging role, and I'm enjoying working closely with all the different teams in College and getting to know everyone who makes up the St John's community!

It's a busy time in the Comms office with the beginning of the new academic year upon us, as we've been refreshing the People's pages on our website with the new Senior Members joining us this year and organising new photographs for staff and Fellows. We've also been lucky enough to attend some of the first events to happen in College in the last 18 months, including 40 Years of Women and the Inspire Teachers' Conference. I've also been planning our social media output for the term, including our recent Groves tour on Instagram stories which we've had lots of great feedback on from the alumni community. We're always looking for more ideas for the social media so if there's anything you would like to see more of, please let me know!

Charlotte Mapp

Communications Officer

Click here to read more about Charlotte

College News

Hillary Rodham Clinton Chair: Inaugural Lecture

Professor Brenda E. Stevenson, the first Hillary Rodham Clinton Professor of Women's History, gave her inaugural lecture on 25 October 2021. For those who were not able to attend, the lecture was recorded.

Dejan Draschkow receives Early Career Excellent Teacher Award

Congratulations to Dr Dejan Draschkow, Lecturer in Psychology, who has received the award as part of the 2021 Teaching Excellence Award Scheme under the Medical Sciences Division.

Dr Samuel Derbyshire wins Vilakazi Prize

Dr Derbyshire was awarded the prize for his article 'Trade, Development and Destitution: A Material Culture History of Fishing on the Western Shore of Lake Turkana, Northern Kenya'.

Ever wondered what Net Zero means?

In this video Professor Myles Allen (1985, Physics and Philosophy), alumnus and Honorary Fellow at Sj John's, explains what Net Zero is, why it's important and his hopes for COP26.

Alumni News

Alumnus appears on ITV's The Chase

Robin Geddes (2012, Literae Humaniores) recently appeared on the quiz show - beating the chaser and splitting the jackpot.

Alumni authors: North American Office's book of the month

The University of Oxford's North American Office feature Professor David Winter (1960, PPE) author of their book of the month.

BBC 3 podcast: Road Trip to Sichuan and Yunnan

Recent graduate Yijia Tu (2020, Musicology) shares a musical journey introducing traditional Yi music from Sichuan and Yunnan.

Infinite Jest and the writing of David Foster Wallace

Poet Dr Tom Tracey (2004, English) explores the works and life of American Author David Foster Wallace in this podcast.

Memorial Concert for Dr John Byrt

At 6.30pm on Friday 24 June 2022, a memorial service will be held at St Peter's Church, Tiverton for Dr John Byrt (1959, Music). The concert will consist predominantly of John's own compositions and all those who knew him at St John's are welcome to attend. 

Alumni Requests

Rob Thompson (201, History and Politics) is currently studying for his PhD in History in the Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies at University College London. He researches the experiences of Christian clergy and relief workers in post-war occupied Germany and their encounters with Jewish Holocaust survivors. Now that the US border has reopened, he is organising trips to Washington D.C. (March 2022) and Philadelphia (Autumn 2022) to do some long-awaited archival research. he would be very grateful to hea1r from any US-based alumni who could kindly offer help with accommodation.

If you might be able to assist Rob, please email

Alumni Voices - Philip Quarterman (1966)

The realisation hit me early in my final year at St John's reading for a degree in English Literature and Language, early in 1969. All I knew of the world of work was what I had seen in my school masters and from my father, who was a gardener. A degree in English could so easily default to a teaching qualification and a career as...a high school English master. But I was always a wanderer. From a very early age I was known for striking out on my own, to my parents' consternation. I had to think of something!

Read more about Philip's journey from St John's to wetland science:

Alumni Voices - Danny Waldman (2013)

I matriculated in 2013 and read Jurisprudence at St John's. I flew my penultimate flight of Elementary Flying Training in the Royal Navy over Oxford last month, and shortly after passed the final test. During Elementary Flying Training I have been learning to fly the Grob Prefect, which is a two-seater turboprop aircraft, based at 57 Squadron, RAF Cranwell. We are taught the fundamentals of general handling, how to fly in poor meterological conditions ("instrument flying"), and also medium & low-level navigation. It is this navigation component that allows students to select a "Landaway" destincation airfield of their own, and so I decided to choose Brize Norton as it would allow me to visit St John's - even if at 2,000 feet!

The next challenge is to learn to fly helicopters at RAF Shawbury, before finally joining one of the Royal Navy's Operational Conversion Units and learning to use one of the RN's rotary assets - merlin or Wildcat helicopters. 

The World's Music at Oxford

Current student Graihagh Cordwell (2018, Music) invites you to enjoy the World's Music at Oxford's first event of the 2021-2022 season.

Tune in to an online streamed performance with award-winning folk duo Ross Ainslie and Tim Edey on 26 November 2021 at 7pm.

Find out more about the event:

Alumni Publications

Professor Peter Burke (1957, Modern History)

Play in Renaissance Italy (Polity Press, 2021)

Alan Crossley (1959, Modern History)

British Historic Towns Atlas Volume VII: Oxford, ed. Alan Crossley (Oxbow Books, 2021)

Edmund Dickinson (2004, Chemistry) & Andrew Wain (1999, Chemistry)

Nanoscale Electrochemistry, Volume 18 (Elsevier, 2021)

Nicholas Fogg (1963, Education)

Forgotten Englishman: Thomas Stephens and the Mission to the East (Gracewing Publishing, 2021)

Robert Gibson (1977, Modern History and Languages)

Bridge the Cultural Gaps: A toolkit for effective collaboration in the diverse, global workplace (Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2021)


Alumni Carol Service 

Saturday 11 December 2021

Email to join the waiting list

Gaudy Dinner for the years 1983-1985 

Friday 18 March 2022

Email to join the waiting list

Gaudy Dinner for the years 2002-2003 

Saturday 19 March 2022

Gaudy Dinner for the years 2008-2009 

Friday 25 March 2022

President's Lunch - Save the Date

Saturday 7 May 2022

Gaudy Dinner for the years 1971-1974 - Save the Date

Friday 24 June 2022

Gaudy Dinner for the years 1962-1965 - Save the Date

Friday 1 July 2022

Gaudy Dinner for the years 2006-2007 - Save the Date

Friday 15 July 2022

Torrance Society Reunion - Save the Date

Saturday 3 September 2022

TW Magazine 2021

The deadline for submissions to 2021's edition of TW has now passed.

Send us your news for the 2022 edition via email.

Read TW 2020 and other publications online.

You can also read notes from around our alumni community online.