St John's College Oxford
On Saturday 11 March the College welcomed students and alumni of Classics and Classics-related subjects to the triennial Russell Society Dinner. The Society is named in honour of Professor Donald Russell, Emeritus Professor of Classical Literature at St John's, who was elected to a Fellowship in 1948.

The evening began with drinks in the President's Lodgings, followed by dinner in Hall. It has become a tradition for Professor Russell to compose an Ode for this occasion, in both Latin and English. Sadly he was unable to attend this year's dinner, but that certainly did not prevent him from writing his Ode. The College recorded him delivering it, in both languages, and all those assembled were delighted to hear this over dinner. He was very much with us in spirit.

Around 80 people attended the Dinner, which was scheduled to tie in with the Faculty of Classics' alumni event. The current President of the Russell Society, Olivia Buckley, said of the evening: 

'Not only the night of the dinner itself, but also its organisation, will remain a highlight of my University career. It was truly special to hear Professor Russell reading excerpts of his Ode’s first draft to Andrew (the Society’s Secretary) and me in his own home, amidst conversations about our own lives and that of the College. Similarly, I could not have asked for a more diverse and fascinating range of dinner companions on the evening. It was a privilege for my fellow students and me to meet with alumni, ranging from our own College great-grandparents now pursuing exciting careers in the City, to civil servants and academics of decades past. There were copious tales to be told, both shocking and humorous, of a time when the College didn’t extend beyond North Quad, and there was not a female student in sight. I cannot express enough my gratitude to the Catering and other College staff who made this event possible, thank you.'

You can hear Professor Russell delivering his Ode in Latin and English below:

Russell Society Dinner March 2017