2014 news

Full sets of photographs of these events, where available, can be found on the Downing College Flickr page - click here.

New Wilkins Fellow – 28 November 2014

Jamie Arnell The Master and Fellows were delighted to admit James Arnell (1988, Law), as a new Wilkins Fellow. James makes up the first husband and wife alumni team as such, his wife Louise (née Inch) (1987, Classics), having been admitted to the Fellowship in 2013. Their admission is in recognition of their generous contribution to access at Downing.


Freshers' parents' lunch – 8 November 2014

Freshers' parents' lunch 2014 The parents of our new undergraduates were invited to lunch at Downing, together with the freshers themselves. A packed Hall heard speeches of introduction and welcome from the Master, the Senior Tutor and the JCR President, and the event was rounded off with a tour of the College by the Vice Master.


Downing crews race Head of the Charles – 18 October 2014

Head of the Charles crews

Downing entered two crews in Boston's 50th Head of the Charles race – see race reports, below.

Segs: It was brilliant. Credit must surely go most of all to the two Ians, one of whom [Ian Schmertzler] steered and cheered us down the course with truly amazing skill, the other of whom [Ian Watson] kept us all fighting until the last metre had been covered. My thanks go, too, to Jon Hickey and Pete Forester, the Tweedle-Dum and Tweedle-Dee of 6 and 5, the golden oldies in 4 and 3, Rory Ross and Paul Hatfield, and my fellow young'uns, Sam Glynn and Edward Chalklen, bringing us home in the bows. Sure, we weren't entered in the Championship event, but we were undoubtedly counted among the many 'Great Eights' that rowed this year's Head of the Charles. Mike Whetnall

W1: The first Downing women's crew to row the Head of the Charles had an absolutely fantastic experience! Huge thanks for his very generous funding to Paul Hatfield who, with the immense help of Gabrielle in the Alumni & Development Office, ensured that the trip was such a success. The conditions were great on the day, with only a slight head wind round the last turn and the race went very well. To huge cheers from the crowd (thanks to all of those who were out there to support us!), we maintained our speed until the line, where we finished in 20th place with a time of 19:54. As all other crews in the Division were University crews, we were very pleased with our position. Jess Stewart


Undergraduate matriculation at Downing – 7 October 2014

Undergraduate matriculation 2014 Welcome to our new undergraduates! To see more – and larger – photographs, please go to our Flickr page, here.


Downing admits two new Fellows – 2 October 2014

Dr Monica Moreno Figueroa

Brendan Plant

Dr Monica Moreno Figueroa and Dr Brendan Plant were welcomed as Fellows, Dr Moreno Figueroa as a Fellow in Social Sciences and Dr Plant as the new Hopkins Parry Fellow in Law.

Dr Moreno Figueroa came to Cambridge from Newcastle University, where she had been a Senior Lecturer in Sociology.

Dr Plant had been a PhD student in Law at Downing College and is a member of the University Law Faculty.

On 30 September, Professor Paul Linden and Dr Peter Evans became Emeritus Fellows.


This year's Varsity match to be dedicated to the 55 blues who died in WWI – 1 October 2014

Varsity Match 2013

This year's Varsity Match, the 133rd, will be dedicated to the 27 Oxford and the 28 Cambridge Blues who lost their lives in World War I. Kicking off at the new time of 14:30, the match will be at Twickenham Stadium on 11 December 2014.

Downing College's pre-match tailgate party will begin at 12:00 and will be held in the Stadium's West Car Park. Click here to go to our booking page for tickets and the tailgate party.


Alumni Day & Association Dinner – 27 September 2014

Association Dinner 2014 B

The Downing College Alumni Day was busier than ever, this year, with a family fun day, including a bouncy castle, outdoor games and ice cream! For the more mature audience, entertainment included an exhibition of the College silver, wine tasting and a lecture by the Master. The Association AGM was followed by the presentation of the Everitt Butterfield Fellowship donors' board and dinner in the Hall. See more photographs on Flickr, here.


1970 May Boat Reunion – 26 September 2014

1970 May Boat Reunion 2014

Downing College boat house welcomed back eleven intrepid oarsman from the 1970 May boat for a paddle down the Cam. This was followed by dinner in West Lodge. Follow their progress along the river on Flickr, here.


DCBC London Reception – 11 September 2014

DCBC London Reception 2014

This year's DCBC London Reception took place aboard HQS Wellington, moored on the Thames just across the road from Temple tube station. About 65 alumni and guests attended - see more photographs on Flickr here.


Downing wins Green Tourism's gold award – 6 August 2014

 Green Tourism gold badge

Downing has been given a Gold Award for its outstanding performance as a Green Tourism site for conferences. During the accreditation assessment grading, the College was scored across ten different categories to judge its green credentials - from the use of environmentally friendly paper, cleaning products and toiletries to the provision of wildlife and cultural activities.

The assessor highlighted a number of areas of excellence. These included the Howard Theatre as a sustainable conference venue, using a ground source heat pump with heat recovery, solar thermal and PV arrays, and toilets fed by rainwater. Also commended was the adoption of low-energy lighting throughout the accommodation, the use of good local, organic, vegetarian and Fair Trade options in catering, and the provision of electric vehicle charge points on site.

Green management and communication scores were also strong due to excellent monitoring of utilities and water, and to significant engagement with the local community.


Downing alumnus will be Trip Lecturer on Hellespont tour – 29 July 2014

Assos doric columns Professor Geoff Horrocks, Professor of Comparative Philology, University of Cambridge, and Downing College alumnus (1969, Classics), is to be Trip Lecturer on Temple World's Hellespont: Gateway of Legends 2015 tour. Visiting the Dardanelles, Gallipoli, Troy and Istanbul, this University of Cambridge Alumni Travel Programme tour notes begin,'Taking a timely look at this geographically pivotal region, explore the fascinating history of the cities surrounding the Sea of Marmara, from the classical legends of Troy to the Allied invasion of Gallipoli, marking its 100th anniversary in 2015.' To see more about it, please click here.


Tour de France in Cambridge – 7 July 2014

Tour de France competitors ride past the front gates of Downing College Stage three of the 2014 Tour de France - the 96-mile Cambridge to London leg - passed by the front gates of Downing College just minutes after the start, then continued along St Andrew's Street, before turning left at the Round Church. The racing proper began in Trumpington. Over one million people are said to have lined the route of the race.


Alumni Festival programme available online – 3 July 2014

Alumni Festival 2014 logo From Friday 26 September to Sunday 28 September, Alumni Festival celebrates the power of thought with a packed programme of tours, talks, debates, lectures and events. Listen to speakers drawn from all six Schools; find out about the largest single capital project in the University's history; tour beautiful College gardens and collections with expert guides; learn about crafting colour in the Kalahari; and discover why cats make you sneeze. Come for just one event, one full day or for the entire Festival. To view the exciting programme and find out how to book your place, go to www.alumni.cam.ac.uk/festival14 or email events@alumni.cam.ac.uk to register for festival news. Don't forget that the Festival coincides with the Downing College Alumni Day & Association Dinner, on Saturday 27 September!


Graduands Reception – 26 June 2014

Graduands Reception 2014 On the eve of General Admission, this year's graduands and their friends and families were welcomed to a reception in the Grace Howard Room. Well done, everyone!


New 'From the Archives' page on Downing College website – 19 June 2014

1914 matriculants This summer marks the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. Over the next few months, in a new ‘From the Archives’ page on the Downing College website, the College Archivist will post several features on photographs and documents from the archive which shed light on how the war affected the College and its members. The first of these focuses on the outbreak of the war - see here.


Another boat burning at Downing – 14 June 2014

Boat burning after May Bumps 2014 The 2014 May Bumps closed with Dowing W1 at the head of the river, having bumped up on Clare W1 on the first night and held onto the lead - well done, ladies! W2 went down three places, but rowed over on the last night. M1 rowed over each night, second on the river behind Caius M1. Downing M2 went down one place, bumped on the last night by a storming Jesus M2 crew, while M3 claimed spoons. See more pictures on Flickr here.


Donors' Garden Party – 14 June 2014

Donors' Garden Party June 2014 We welcomed to a garden party in the Fellows' Garden alumni and friends of the College who have generously given money to Downing over the course of the last year. Happily, the rain held off for the event and a convivial time was enjoyed by all! To see more pictures, please go to the Flickr album here.


Professor Colin Blakemore FRS knighted in the Queen's Birthday Honours List – 13 June 2014

Professor Sir Colin Blakemore Colin Blakemore, Honorary Fellow of Downing College and former Director of Medical Studies, has been knighted for services to Scientific Research, Policy and Outreach. A leading neuroscientist, Professor Blakemore was Waynflete Professor of Physiology and then Professor of Neuroscience at Oxford University for 33 years in total. He was Chief Executive of the Medical Research Council from 2003 to 2007 and is now Director of the Centre for the Study of the Senses at the University of London. His research has been concerned with many aspects of vision, the early development of the brain and the plasticity of the cerebral cortex.


May Bumps begins – 11 June 2014

W1 bumps Clare, D1 2014 Mays The 2014 May Bumps got underway, with Downing W1 bumping Clare W1 to go head of the women's first division. M1 and M2 rowed over on the first night, while W2 and M3 were bumped.


MA Congregation – 17 May 2014

MA Congregation 17 May 2014 This year's MA Congregation was blessed with bright sunshine! To see the full photostream, please visit the Downing College Flickr page.


Professor Nick Coleman elected to the Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences – 9 May 2014

Professor Nick Coleman

Professor Nick Coleman, Fellow of Downing College, is one of 44 researchers from across the UK to be recognised for their contribution to the advancement of medical science by election to the Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences. Professor Sir John Tooke PMedSci, President of the Academy, said, “The Academy of Medical Sciences represents the excellence and diversity of medical science in the UK, and this is evident in the broad range of expertise demonstrated by this year’s new Fellows." The new Fellows will be formally admitted to the Academy at a ceremony on Wednesday 2 July 2014.


Professor Geoffrey Grimmett elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society – 30 April 2014

Professor Geoffrey Grimmett FRS

The Master of Downing College, Professor Geoffrey Grimmett, is one of 50 new Fellows of the Royal Society.

The Royal Society's website notes: 'At a time of flowering of probabilistic methods in all branches of mathematics, Geoffrey Grimmett is one of the broadest probabilists of his generation, and unquestionably a leading figure in the subject on the world scene. He is particularly recognised for his achievements in the rigorous theory of disordered physical systems. Especially influential is his work on and around percolation theory, the contact model for stochastic spatial epidemics, and the random-cluster model, a class that includes the Ising/Potts models of ferromagnetism. His monograph on percolation is a standard work in a core area of probability, and is widely cited. His breadth within probability is emphasized by his important contributions to probabilistic combinatorics and probabilistic number theory.'


Segreants' Regatta and Dinner – 26 April 2014

1980s Segreants crew in 2014 Head of the Cam race

Three crews of alumni, as well as Downing's W1, M1 and M2 boats, took part in the 2014 Head of the Cam race over a 2600m course upstream from Baits Bite Lock. 'Segreants McPhail' – a 2008-2010 crew - won the Alumni VIIIs prize, while Downing W1 came top in the women's VIIIs. The photograph shows 'Segreants 1980s', a crew that included six members of the 1984 Lents Headship squad. A Segreants' Dinner in the Hall rounded off the day. For more photographs of the rowing and of the evening's entertainment, please click here.


Annual Reunion Dinner 2014 – 5 April 2014

Annual Reunion Dinner 2014 Downing College welcomed back to its Annual Reunion Dinner alumni who matriculated in 1954, 1964, 1974, 1984, 1994 and 2004, as well as those who matriculated prior to 1954. The full album may be viewed here.


Henley Boat Races Intercollegiate men's race – 30 March 2014

HBR Intercollegiate Men's Race 2014 video Downing College M1 represented Cambridge against Oriel College, for Oxford, in the Intercollegiate Race 2014. Footage taken on a head camera shows Downing M1 beating Oriel - please click on the image to see the video on YouTube.


Downing College's 2014 Telephone Campaign – 17–30 March 2014

Student callers taking part in the 2014 telephone campaign The Telephone Campaign 2014 is in full swing. A huge thank you to all our alumni who have given their time to speak to the student callers and who have donated so generously to the College.


New Wilkins Fellow admitted – 7 March 2014

The Master greets the new Wilkins Fellow, Mr Robert Markwick 

Robert Markwick (1979) was admitted as a Wilkins Fellow in recognition of his generosity to Downing College.


Successful Lent Bumps for Downing – 1 March 2014

Boat burning - Lent 2014

Downing's Lent Bumps campaign saw M1 taking the head of the men's 1st division, M2 finishing in the same position as it started in the men's 2nd division and W1 coming 3rd in the women's 1st division. Traditional celebrations were enjoyed! See the DCBC - Lent Bumps 2014 photostream on Flickr and a brief video on YouTube.


Lent Bumps begins – 25 February 2014

Downing M1 advances on Caius M1, Lent Bumps 2014

The Lent Bumps campaign began this year with Downing's W1 at the head of the women's 1st division, M1 chasing Caius M1 for head of the men's 1st division and M2 fifth from top and chasing Churchill's M1 in the men's 2nd division. See daily race reports on our Facebook page and follow the progress of all the competitors on CamFM's Bumps website.


Oon international award and lecture in preventive medicine – 12 February 2014

Dr Daniel Drucker is presented with the 2014 Oon International Award

This year’s Oon International Award was made to Dr Daniel J Drucker MD, Senior Investigator at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. Dr Drucker visited Downing on 12 February to talk to Downing medical students before delivering his lecture entitled L cell pharmacology advances the treatment of diabetes and gastrointestinal disorders in the Howard Theatre.


DCRUFC Reunion Match – 8 February 2014

Action from the DCRUFC reunion rugby match 2014

DCRUFC won the league and cuppers double in 2013 for the first time since 1993. In honour of this recent success, a reunion match was held (boys of '93 vs boys of 2013) on Saturday 8 February followed by a celebratory dinner in the Hall.

DCRUFC won 52-17


Martin Baker visits Downing – 5 February 2014

Master & Martin Baker The Master and Mrs Grimmett entertained Martin Baker (1985) to lunch on 5 February. Martin, who is Director of Music at Westminster Cathedral and a much sought after organist, has kindly agreed to give the inaugural recital of the new College organ, which is due for installation in the autumn of 2014.

DCRUFC on for double-double – 4 February 2014 


DCRUFC secured the Division 1 title for the second year running with a 28 – 7 victory over Robinson on 4 February 2014. They are now in an excellent position to go onto a historic double-double for the Division 1 and cuppers trophies. Congratulations to all involved.”

Alumni & Development, Downing College, Cambridge CB2 1DQ. Telephone 01223 334850· Email development@dow.cam.ac.uk