Skip to main content

Latest News

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

Principal's Blog - Michaelmas 7th Edition

The week did not start well. So, I shall start on Friday. Experts in nutrition would, I fear, take a dim view of buckets full of sugar and artificial colourings. Oswald certainly turned his nose up in his haughtiest manner. No matter. Having noted our beloved mascot’s preference for live rodents, Lee, Steven, Richard and I concluded that lurid buckets full of cheap sweets would be more popular than raw mice.
A picture of the cafe and bar with orange lights

Principal's Blog - Michaelmas 6th Edition

On Thursday, Oswald was overjoyed to preside over a socially distanced matriculation ceremony for livers out in the JCR. It was a joy to be able to welcome our livers out to South and to hear them pledging their oath of loyalty to our values and our wonderful wooden mascot. Subsequently, Steven spent a very diligent hour applying the coating of wood oil on which Oswald’s health and wellbeing depends.
A picture of Lee Worden oiling a wooden owl

Principal's Blog - Michaelmas 5th Edition

In the best tradition of Blitz Spirit, Southies demonstrated an inspiring capacity to keep smiling and making the very best of College life despite the growing challenge posed by the pandemic. As a majority of our households entered precautionary lockdown, we began to face the unintended consequences of a decision that was designed to enhance community cohesion.
A picture of a carved owl at a college formal

Principal's Blog - Michaelmas 4th Edition

It was a week of light and shade. Having decided to take advantage of autumnal sunlight to host a socially distanced tea party in the Plaza, I was enormously grateful to Lee and Steven for rushing to Tesco to acquire the necessary cakes and biscuits.
A group of students sitting in the grass having tea and cake