The President, Professor Maggie Snowling CBE, spoke about the many achievements of the College and its students over the past year, including the success of our JCR women in the Varsity Rugby Match, as well as the opening of the new Bainton Road Nursery. We were then treated to a speech by Mark Higgins, who is in the rare position of being both student and benefactor. Having matriculated at St John’s in 2000 and studied for a BA in Jurisprudence, Mark went on to work in Law before returning to College in 2016 as a graduate for a Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL). He spoke with passion and humour about the importance of scholarships, and the interdisciplinary and scholarly environment that the College fosters. He talked about how events such as Graduate Suppers, where the MCR share a meal and then hear a talk from one of their number about their research, develop a sense of community and give students the chance to learn from each other, often about subjects very different from their own. He also spoke with great sincerity about the importance of the tutorial system, both in relation to his own studies and in its significance to the College community as a whole.
We were fortunate to be joined by a number of the students featured in this year’s Benefactors magazine, who shared their experiences about the importance of scholarships and grants in their own studies, and swapped stories about life in College.
A great many thanks to everyone who joined us on the evening, and to all our benefactors for their kindness and generosity in supporting St John’s and its students.