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Principal's Blog - Michaelmas 4th Edition

It was very good to be joined at our formal on Friday night by many of South College's postgraduate students and by undergraduate Southies who live outside college.
A picture of a wooden owl on a black background with purple paint splatter

Principal's Blog - Michaelmas 3rd Edition

It was a great pleasure to be able to welcome South College's wonderful FREPs to a formal on Friday night. The FREPs did a brilliant job during Welcome Week. Sadly, the shortage of catering staff that has limited capacity in the university's central kitchens meant the formal to which they were originally invited had to be postponed. I am delighted local caterers have now stepped in to fill the gap.
A picture of a hand holding a martini glass with gold glitter spilling out in celebration

Principal's Blog - Michaelmas 2nd Edition

My first duty - and privilege – this week is to record my thanks to Charlotte Payne for her exceptional contribution to our college. Charlotte joined South as one of our very first Pioneer Scholars. She was involved in the preparations to launch South from the Spring of 2019 onwards. Charlotte’s contribution as a Pioneer Scholar, FREP and, of course, as successor to Richard Freeman as our JCR President has been truly exceptional.
A White stylised owl on a black background

Principal's Blog - Michaelmas 1st Edition

In this first edition of my blog for 2021/22, I am compelled to begin by thanking South College's outstanding FREPs.
A picture of the South College FREPs.

Principal's Blog - Easter 4th Edition

Amidst the pressure of exams and dismal weather, it was good to see so many Southies in the Plaza (socially distanced, of course) to welcome the animals to college. Having grown up in Peeblesshire - where sheep outnumber human beings - I am familiar with their capacity to consume grass. In fact, they do it with such quiet and docile efficiency that I think we should employ a small flock every exam term. They are a lot less noisy than a lawn mower.
Goats in trees

Principal's Blog - Easter 3rd Edition

Lockdown is loosening. The changes are slow and cautious, but they are changes for the better and, if all goes well, they can mark the beginning of a return to real freedom. From Monday, it will be legal to eat inside a restaurant or drink in a pub or bar. Limited indoor social gatherings will be possible, including in college. Getting here has taken a lot longer than any of us expected, and it is important that we understand and follow the rules.
A picture of a straight road and some trees

Principal's Blog - Easter 2nd Edition

Forgive me for starting about eighteen miles south-east of Durham. To anyone interested in politics - and that should be all of us - what happened in Hartlepool on Thursday is of real significance. To a veteran observer, the constituency looked and felt like a Conservative gain from day one, but the scale of the victory and the extent of Labour's decline does lend added significance. It is amplified by the results in council elections elsewhere.
A picture of a sunset over the ocean

Principal's Blog - Easter 1st Edition

South College is busier than any time since the beginning of Michaelmas Term. More than 350 Southies are in residence, and I am sure I detected a sly smile on Oswald's normally inscrutable face this morning. He is always happy in Reception, not least because the company is excellent, but the attention of South College students flatters his ego.
A Picture of Jeremy Cook, Tim Luckhurst, Steven Beckett, and 2 students at the Matriculation Signing

Principal's Blog - Epiphany 10th Edition

Last term ended with mass lateral flow testing in the JCR. I had not expected to enjoy it so much. In fact, I had the chance to meet many Southies I had not met for weeks. It could have been a lot worse. However, as I prepared to celebrate Christmas, I really did hope and believe that this term would be better.
A picture of a hand putting a ballot in a box

Principal's Blog - Epiphany 9th Edition

I am still learning about weather in Durham, so what follows may provoke raucous laughter among those who know the city better. It suddenly feels like spring. There are rabbits in my garden again. The first frills of green are appearing on trees and bushes. Most delightfully, as I walked into the Pitcairn Building this morning, I could feel the very gentle warmth of the sun on my face. Granted, the wind soon made me regret that I had left my overcoat at home, but it was a lovely moment.
An image of the words International Women's Day

Principal's Blog - Epiphany 8th Edition

I am feeling optimistic. The reappearance of rabbits in my garden made a big difference. As a child, I enjoyed Richard Adams' Watership Down as much as my own children adore Harry Potter. So, any Southie who recognises the names Hazel, Fiver and Bigwig will grasp why leporine quadrupeds makes me smile. However, even the rabbits take second place to the prospect of a College Day and a Summer Ball.
A picture of grass

Principal's Blog: Epiphany 7th Edition

The Prime Minister has revealed his plans to ease Covid restrictions in England. I confess that I find it hard to get intensely excited that I may be permitted to meet a friend for coffee on 8 March - provided it is not raining and we can find a park bench.
A picture of a wavy rod sign