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Principal's Blog: Epiphany 6th Edition

The pandemic has produced many surprises, few of them entirely pleasant, but this week our pandemic brought us pancakes, and for this I am very grateful. The socially distanced queue of Southies who waited patiently for their pancake was a delight to behold. The pancakes themselves brought additional revelations.
A picture of 3 pancakes with berries

Principal's Blog - Epiphany 5th Edition

I shall always remember the week beginning Sunday 7th February 2021 as the week of the Igloo. When Richard announced that he was planning to build a house out of snow, I did not realise the scale of his ambition.
A man standing on a house covered in snow

Principal's Blog: Epiphany 4th Edition

Your Principal has had an interesting week. On Thursday I learned that I have been appointed to the Editorial Board of The Conversation, the charitable media outlet that publishes news stories written by academic researchers. I have long been a fan this title that one admirer calls 'a crucial channel for academics seeking to share their research knowledge with the world'.
Logo for The Conversation journal

Principal's Blog: Epiphany 3rd Edition

My sincere thanks to Southies resident in College for your good conduct this past week. Keeping yourselves and our community safe during this pandemic imposes severe restrictions on our liberty. By complying with the rules, you set a fine example.
External shot of accommodation block

Principal's Blog: Epiphany 2nd Edition

Ducks appear to have taken up full time residence around South College Pond. Whether they are attracted by Oswald's avian presence or simply by the outstanding architecture I know not. It may simply be that the College's reduced population makes it a quieter place to live. No matter, they are most welcome, and I greet them with a smile every time I walk into College in the morning.
A picture of 3 ducks by a pond

Principal's Blog: Epiphany 1st Edition

It was the week in which Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States, achieved the unique indignity of becoming the only occupant of that office to be impeached twice. I share the disquiet felt by those members of the House of Representatives who voted to impeach him that Mr Trump remains America's Commander in Chief. For me, the inauguration of his successor will be a moment of real joy and relief.
A road sign that says Lockdown

Principal's Blog - Michaelmas 13th Edition

The end of our first term as a member of Durham's family of colleges is a historic moment. We have much to be proud of.
A close up of a Christmas tree

Principal's Blog - Michaelmas 12th Edition

It was the week in which hope returned. A working vaccine has been approved for use in the UK. I hope there are no anti-vaxxers in South College. The absence of reason required to dismiss good science is incompatible with the intellectual ability required to study at this great University. However, for the elimination of doubt, please be entirely confident that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has passed all the rigorous tests required to be prescribed for human use in the UK.
A picture of vials of Covid Vaccine

Principal's Blog - Michaelmas 11th Edition

It was the week in which Donald Trump crawled resentfully towards understanding that he really will not be President of the United States after 20th January 2021. In the UK, Chancellor Rishi Sunak made plain the colossal borrowing required to fund furlough and give our economy a chance of recovery. Meanwhile an excellent Durham University team came from behind to stun Edinburgh University and take a very well-deserved place in the last sixteen of University Challenge.
A close up picture of a pool table

Principal's Blog - Michaelmas 10th Edition

It was the week in which Lateral Flow Testing came to South College. For days, I have thought of little else. For this historian, implementing the results of scientific research is a complete novelty. I have long been aware of - and often in awe of - the impact science has on our civilisation.
An image that reads: Protect yourself, protect others. Your actions, your university.

Principal's Blog - Michaelmas 9th Edition

I was pleased to be able to mark Armistice Day with a brief ceremony of Remembrance in the Plaza. First year student of music Charlotte Ward, our excellent trumpeter, played the Last Post and Reveille with great skill and sensitivity. It was good to be joined by so many friends and colleagues. I remain very grateful to Charlotte for suggesting that we mark the occasion in 1918 when the guns fell silent after four blood drenched years of conflict.
A close up picture of a poppy

Principal's Blog - Michaelmas 8th Edition

Friday did not bring the news that Joe Biden had reached the magic score of 270 votes in the Electoral College, but I left the office confident that he would soon be President Elect. Suffice it to say that I agree with Teiko Maas, the German Foreign Minister. "Decent losers are more important to the functioning of a democracy than brilliant winners".
A picture of The New York Times with the word