Robinson College News
July 2021

Robinson graduations, a parliamentary appointment and other news from Grange Road


Welcome Graduands!

July has been a month of happy graduation celebrations in person. On 3 July, Robinson hosted this year’s graduands and their guests, with the traditional procession to Senate House for General Admissions (graduands only), whilst guests watched the live-streamed ceremony from the comfort and safety of Robinson College. Later on, they all enjoyed scrumptious individual picnic boxes in the College gardens. Robinson also welcomed back the 2020 cohort for their deferred ceremony on 17 July. Over delicious food, under blue skies and drenched in summer sunshine, our newest Alumni and their guests celebrated and said their in-person ‘goodbyes’ to friends and Robinson, at least for now. We look forward to seeing them all back again in the red brick fortress when they come back to visit us as Alumni.

House of Lords Constitution Committee welcomes Professor Alison Young as Legal Advisor

Professor Alison Young has been appointed legal advisor to the House of Lords Constitution Committee. She will be one of two legal advisors to the Committee, alongside Professor Stephen Tierney of the University of Edinburgh. 
The Constitution Committee provides advice on the constitutional implications of parliamentary Bills, as well as carrying out more general investigations of broad constitutional issues. It recently produced reports on the revision of the Cabinet Manual, and the Constitutional Implications of Covid-19, to which Alison provided oral evidence. The Committee is currently investigating the future governance of the UK, as well as providing its regular scrutiny of parliamentary Bills.


Robinson Bye-Fellow elected a Fellow of the British Academy

Professor Samuel Lieu, a Bye-Fellow of Robinson College, has been elected a UK Fellow of the British Academy. The British Academy has elected 84 new Fellows in recognition of their outstanding achievements in the social sciences, humanities and the arts (the SHAPE subjects).  Professor Lieu is a Trustee of the Ancient India and Iran Trust as well as Emeritus Inaugural Distinguished Professor of Ancient History and Classical Studies at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. In 2020 during the Alumni Festival, he presented Before Gallipoli, There Was Homer: The New Trojan War of 1915  where he looked at two sites of historic heroism, Troy and Gallipoli, and the notions of patriotism and class superiority. You can watch this talk here.

Robinson at the Alumni Festival 2021

The Alumni Festival will take place online again this year, from Friday 24 September until Tuesday 28 September, offering a combination of talks, live discussions, lectures and virtual tours, including speakers from Robinson College.  Bookings are now open

Alison Young, the Sir David Williams Professor of Public Law at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Robinson College, will talk about the pressure that the power struggle between Westminster and Whitehall is putting on the UK constitution during her talk on Monday 27 September at 6.00 pm (till 6.50 pm BST). You can reserve your virtual seat here.

Join Robinson Alumna Dr Tanya Filer (MML, 2004) for a talk “How should a government be? The new levers of state power” on Monday 27 September from 9.00 am to 9.50 am BST. Dr Filer and her co-speakers will look at the changing behaviours of governments across the globe during the pandemic. Book your place here.

From the Robinson Archives

From the very inception of the College, the College Trustees and the Founding Fellows understood the need for a College Archive. Now, in its new headquarters in The Chandrakala and Mansukhlal Shah Building, the Fellow Archivist and the team have been busily cataloguing, moving and expanding the collection. Please visit the Robinson Archive web pages to read about the rich history of May Balls at Robinson, the story of 4 Adams Road, or the Brickhouse Theatre Company and Drama. Please contact the Fellow Archivist with any enquiries or materials in your possession that you think might be of some interest.

Call for past RCSA Committee information

Were you a part of the RCSA Committee during your time at Robinson? Josh Jones (History, 2019) has been working in the College Archive, and one of his projects has been the creation of a permanent record of every member of the RCSA Committee. However, there are gaps in what he has been able to find, particularly for the Committees from 1979-1985, 1997, 2001-2005, and 2013-2017. If you have any information about who was on the RCSA Committee in these years, as well as what position they held, he would be grateful if you could contact him at

On the Book Bridges Trail

Over a year ago our College Librarian, Ms Judith Brown, embarked on a voyage of discovery she named Book Bridges, looking at the connection between the people and the collection of books, manuscripts, and periodicals in Robinson Library. This month she looks at a catalogue of goggle-boxes and Sir David Robinson’s very skilful PA, Miss Peggy Daphne Beryl Umney (this name should sound familiar!), a Founding Fellow Helen Shire’s case for Pegasus, and at two giants of this College: Charles Brink and Commander Coupe. Join the Book Bridges trail here.

What can we do better - The New Alumni Survey 2021

Scores of Alumni have already submitted their surveys and entered our competition, and we are grateful for the feedback received so far.  We would like to hear from even more of you, so please spare us 5 minutes and fill in the survey. We want our alumni community to tell us about what we can do better, what you’d like to see more or less of, what appeals to you and how often you’d like to hear from us. A bottle of Robinson port and two port glasses are waiting for the lucky winner.


We very much hope to see you at one of the in-person events we are planning for the autumn. We look forward to seeing you at Grange Road and in London.  Please look out for your invitations.

Donor Day on Saturday 25 September is our traditional way of saying ‘Thank you’ for the support you have given the College over the years and to our mission to offer all young people equal academic and social opportunities.

We are so excited to have already received over 70 registrations for the 2021 Reunion Dinner which will be held on Saturday 25 September. Robinson will welcome matriculation years 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2010. Read more about this event and book your place here.

On Wednesday 29 September the Warden and members of the Fellowship will welcome alumni and Friends of Robinson to the Annual Reception in London. It will be held in the Reading Room of the Law Society at 113 Chancery Lane. After last year’s cancellation, we are pleased to see that so many of you have already booked your places. Read more about this event and book your ticket here.

With very best wishes from all at Robinson,

Sarah, Catherine, Helen, Helen and Norbert
Robinson College Development Office