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11 May 2018

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Alumni Weekend in North America

Gala Dinner at the Ferry Building in San Francisco

From the ‘City of Dreaming Spires’ to the ‘City by the Bay’, hundreds of Oxonians from around the globe descended on San Francisco last month for the biennial Alumni Weekend in North America, the first to be held on the West Coast.

St Hugh’s alumni were among the largest groups represented, with over 115 attendees at our various events over the 2018 Alumni Weekend.

This year’s gala dinner brought more alumni and their guests together than ever before, selling out weeks in advance.  Our Principal, the Rt Hon Dame Elish Angiolini DBE QC FRSE, hosted 22 alumni, guests and staff at the historic Ferry Building for an eventful evening, which began with drinks on the 32nd floor of the Westin St. Francis. Despite the San Francisco fog, and a bit of snow as we reached the top, alumni and guests were able to enjoy outstanding views from the top of the hotel, including the Golden Gate Bridge. Dinner included remarks by the Chancellor, the Rt Hon the Lord Patten of Barnes CH, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Louise Richardson FRSE, and entertainment by The Choir of The Queen’s College.

During Saturday’s academic programme, alumni and guests took part in a number of discussions with high profile alumni and attended fascinating lectures from current Oxford academics, on issues ranging from the political climate in America to their latest research on the internet, sleep and circadian rhythms, literature, medical equipment and more. Professor Alison Noble OBE FREng FRS (Engineering Science, 1983) discussed how ultrasound technology is becoming more portable, cost-effective, accurate and more widely accessible. The result may make it possible for anyone, anywhere, to make ultrasound-based decisions, enhancing the standing of interdisciplinary machine-learning research.

St Hugh’s alumni at the Academic Programme
St Hugh’s alumni at the Academic Programme. Photo courtesy of @OxfordNA.
Speaker at the Academic Programme.
St Hugh’s alumni at the Academic Programme. Photo courtesy of @OxfordNA.

Later that evening we hosted a private dinner for over 40 St Hugh’s alumni and friends in the Wine Cellar at Scala’s Bistro.  The night was filled with wonderful conversation and anecdotes of times in College. On Sunday morning, we began with the inaugural meeting of the St Hugh’s College North American Alumni Association, hosted by our Chair, Neill Coleman (Modern History 1993), and brunch near Golden Gate Park. Following our alumni meeting we held our very first St Hugh’s Family Day in the US, with a reception to celebrate the launch of our Emeritus Fellow in Zoology, Dr. Jeyaraney Kathirithamby’s new book, followed by a private tour of San Francisco Botanical Garden.

St Hugh’s Alumni at the San Francisco Botanical Gardens
St Hugh’s Alumni at the San Francisco Botanical Gardens. Photo by Nithin Johnson.

Thank you to all of our alumni and guests for attending the 2018 Alumni Weekend in San Francisco. We hope to see you from the 14th to the 16th September, for the 12th Meeting Minds Alumni Weekend in Oxford, or at one of our future events soon.

A message from our North American Alumni Association Chair, Neill Coleman regarding the reunion and staying connected to other alumni in North America:

The Alumni Weekend was a great opportunity to get connected to other alumni. The St. Hugh’s College North American Alumni Association works to connect alumni in North America to the College and to each other.  Events are organized across the US, often connected to a larger Oxford University Society event, or a St Hugh’s Fellow visiting, or simply an informal happy hour.  If you would like to get involved in the association,  please email Neill Coleman at  We also encourage you to stay in touch via the St. Hugh’s North American Alumni Facebook page at

Save the date for upcoming Meeting Minds Alumni Weekends in Oxford and Asia:

  • 14 – 16 September 2018 for the 12th Meeting Minds Alumni Weekend in Oxford
  • 22 – 24 March 2019 for Meeting Minds in Asia: Alumni Weekend in Tokyo, Japan


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