On Saturday evening we enjoyed Kellogg’s 24th Foundation Dinner. The event had been fully-booked for some time, but amongst those who had managed to book in were the Founding President (Geoffrey Thomas), four Founding Fellows (Raymond Flood, David Grylls, Trevor Rowley and Tristram Wyatt), the founding MCR President (Navlika Ramjee), plus other fellows, alumni, students, staff, and guests – including College guests Ben Bolgar from the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community, the Head of the University’s Mathematical, Physical & Life Sciences Division, Alex Halliday and his wife Christine Young, and the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Planning & Resources, William James and his wife Karen Bell.
As ever, we were served a tremendous meal, organised by Mark, created by chefs Jon, Viru, Tom and Matthew, and served by Grant, Eva, Kataryzana and Carlos (along with temporary staff for the evening).
The Foundation Dinners are a welcome opportunity to look back over the previous year, since it can sometimes feel like slow progress building a college in Oxford – which is what we are still in the process of doing. But taking stock after a year makes one appreciate the significant enhancements which are being made across the board in College life.
Thus, I was able to thank the catering staff for the fact that the annual survey of Oxford students – the Student Barometer – had resulted in Kellogg receiving the third-highest score out of the 37 colleges (All Souls isn’t included) and 6 Permanent Private Halls. On the crucial question of how well the College Advisor system works, I was able to thank the fellows and staff for the conscientious way in which this role is treated, with Kellogg being rated second out of the 43 colleges and PPHs.
We were able to acknowledge the success of Kellogg fellows in leading the doctoral training developments across the University; the achievement of our students, including Abi Srihara’s winning the Vice-Chancellor’s Civic Engagement Award – following Joy O’Neill’s winning it the previous year; the strengthening of our staffing, with several new appointments including a Communications Officer; and the invaluable volunteering from our alumni.
In addition to all these achievements and successes, we created 25 new student bedrooms through the purchase of 12 Bradmore Road and its renovation along with 38 Norham Road. And thanks to the legacy from the late Diana Wood, we’re establishing Kellogg’s first fully-endowed scholarship – to cover full fees and living costs, and endowed in perpetuity.
All this creates a solid platform as we enter our 25th year. A sincere thank you to all Kellogg students, alumni, staff, fellows, Common Room Members, Research Members of Common Room, donors, volunteers, and other friends and supporters from across the University and more widely.
As I said on Saturday evening, one lesson we can learn from Kellogg’s brief history is that however spectacular the past year has been, the next will almost certainly be even more spectacularly successful!
Jonathan Michie, March 2014