Master’s Email – Christmas 2017

Lord Chris Smith
I want to wish you a Merry Christmas after what has been a very busy Michaelmas Term at Pembroke.

As I am sure you will remember, Freshers’ Week is a whirl of activities, introductions and inductions ahead of the plunge into lectures, labs and essays. Aptly, this year’s 12th Annual William Pitt Seminar was entitled: The Productivity Paradox: Are we too busy to get anything done? The four speakers explored how technological advances can both help and hinder our efficiency and focus. One idea that particularly struck a chord was how looking after your health and the happiness of those around you as well can aid your own well-being.

In his welcome to Freshers, the Senior Tutor reminded the new cohort that kindness should be prized above all other qualities. Everyone who studies at Pembroke is expected to be bright and academically engaged, but compassion and a desire to make a positive difference, whether within our community or beyond our walls are what matters.

I believe that this is echoed in all parts of the Pembroke community. During the Long Vacation the Pembroke Choir, led by the Director of Music and Dean, travelled to Zambia to participate in the outreach work of The Muze Trust and the Estelle Trust. This term the Graduate Parlour raised £500 for mental health charity Mind, while on 28th November alumni and friends of the College raised over £5,700 for the Jo Cox PhD Studentship during the #GivingTuesday appeal.

This term also saw the celebration of the 40th birthday of International Programmes, which plays such an important role in the life of Pembroke. Professor Ashok Venkitaraman was awarded the 2017 Basser Global Prize for his research explaining how individuals with inherited BRCA2 gene mutations are predisposed to cancer, while Professor Robin Franklin won the 2017 Barancik Prize for Innovation in Multiple Sclerosis Research. A trio of our engineering students won the Institute of Engineering and Technology’s Young Professionals Global Challenge, Fiona Shuttleworth played at the blindside flanker in the victorious Cambridge women’s rugby team at Twickenham, and PCBC were joint winners of the Fairbairn Cup Men’s Senior IVs, their first victory since 2004.

Looking forward, in 2018 Pembroke will be launching an online community platform for alumni. It will help Members find old friends and make new connections, keep up to date with alumni events and news and access job postings and networking opportunities. I hope you will find it useful.

In the meantime, I hope you will enjoy the 2017 Pembroke Christmas video.

With best wishes,

Lord (Chris) Smith

PS I can assure you that the snow is genuine, and happened just two weeks ago!

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