Meeting the Warden, Bin Brook, Binson Gives and other other stories from Grange Road

Robinson College News, April 2022

Dear Robinsonians,

A new term starts this week and as we welcome our returning undergraduates, we wish them luck with the exams that lie ahead.

Memories of exam term, and the May Balls that bring it to a close, enriched conversations with and between our alumni at Robinson’s first in person gathering in London since 2019. It was an absolute pleasure to see everyone and our Warden, Sir Richard Heaton, was delighted to meet Robinsonians, supporters and the parents of some of our current students on this occasion and others over the past month.

You can find out more about Sir Richard in the latest edition of Bin Brook, which is on its way to you now and includes an interview with the Warden and the text of his Admission speech back in October. There will be more opportunities to meet Sir Richard in person over the coming months.

We have always been grateful for the support of our alumni and friends, from our Founder’s benefaction onwards. Your generosity helps us build on that Foundation as a place where our students can thrive and contribute to the powerhouse of knowledge that is Cambridge University – thank you. We hope you will enjoy participating in Binson Gives, Robinson’s first ever giving day. 

I hope you enjoy reading about all this and more below and look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events.

With very best wishes,

Sarah Westwood
Development Director and Fellow


Congratulations to Professor Dawar!

The European Research Council has awarded Professor Anuj Dawar a prestigious Advanced Grant for his research on developing mathematical proofs that certain complex problems cannot be solved through computation. Over the next five years this grant will help Professor Dawar and his research team to try to prove the impossible. “For me, a key driver is wanting to further our fundamental, conceptual understanding of the nature of computation and what’s possible – and what’s impossible – within it,” he says. Read more about the ERC awards and Professor Dawar's work here.


Meeting with the Warden in London

Sir Richard Heaton was delighted to meet Robinson’s Alumni and Friends over drinks and canapés on the Barbican Centre's Conservatory Terrace. We look forward to further opportunities to meet Robinsonians at future events. You can see some photos of the event on: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


Bin Brook is on its way

We are delighted to have published a new edition of Bin Brook magazine.This Michaelmas-Lent edition focuses on the topic of Sustainability. We hope you enjoy the read. We care about your opinion, once you’ve received your copy, we would be grateful if you could fill in our readership survey here. If you don’t receive a printed copy and you are hoping to get a digital version of it, please keep an eye on your emails next week.



Women in Science Festival

The Women in Science Festival (WISF) is an annual event funded by Robinson Alumni and designed to inspire and encourage female students to pursue scientific study at university, and to apply to Cambridge and to Robinson should they so wish. This year the Festival was held on 12 and 13 April, with 56 female students in Year 11 and Year 12 attending from across the country. All students invited onto the programme evidenced a high level of academic attainment in the sciences and met at least one of the College’s widening participation criteria. Students were welcomed by Emeritus Professor Dame Athene Donald DBE, FRS, Master of Churchill College, who spoke of her own journey as a woman in science and encouraged attendees to embark on their own journey as the next generation of female scientists. Professor Donald’s introduction marked the beginning of two days of talks and sessions led by members of our science community at Robinson. 

If you wish to know more about the Festival, or about the other outreach activities led by Robinson, you can get in touch with the Schools Liaison Officer, Ruth Moss or the Admissions Tutor for Widening Participation, Dr Elizabeth Rawlinson-Mills, via the same email.
You can see some photos from this event on our social media (Facebook and Twitter).

Volunteering kindness and support

The College Chaplain Rev’d Dr Simon Perry  brings us in direct contact with the volunteers in the Polish town of Rzeszow who set up and run a support hub for the Ukrainian refugees. He talks to Mykola Voronin, the organiser of this student-ran support centre.

You can watch the full interview here.



Binson Gives

May 10th/11th sees Robinson’s first Giving Day – Binson Gives. This day is an opportunity for the whole Robinson community to come together for 36 hours to support and celebrate all that is special and unique about Robinson and those that have worked and studied here. 

During Binson Gives, we will be raising funds for the Wellbeing Appeal. Thank you so much for all of your donations towards this appeal to date. We are thrilled to report that work to convert an area of Thorneycreek house into a Wellbeing Centre for Robinson’s students has now been confirmed for July. This will make such a difference to the help we can provide. We are still seeking support to appoint someone into the newly created post of Head of Wellbeing. Please watch the video here from alumnus Robert Webb  (English 1992) to hear why he backs this exciting new commitment to Robinson’s students. All donations to the Wellbeing Appeal made via the Binson Gives site will count and could help release further Challenge Funds kindly provided by alumni.

We are also raising funds for the Annual Fund and are asking supporters to claim their bit of ‘Robinson Real Estate’ - their favourite bit of Robinson. Gifts are already coming in and with claims ranging from the Law Library and Gardens, to the toilet by the chapel we can’t wait to see what else gets claimed over the next couple of weeks. There are lots of ways to get involved and we hope you join us in making this fun event a success.
Follow the activities of Robinson College's first Giving Day on our social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn.

The Warden's virtual meeting with Alumni in the Asia Pacific region

Sadly, we have not been able to visit the Asia Pacific region since 2019, but last week the Warden met a group of alumni who joined an in conversation virtual meeting, skilfully hosted by Robinsonian Adrian Li (Law 1992). Adrian is Co-Chief Executive of the Bank of East Asia and has been involved in supporting Robinson College for many years. We would like to thank everyone who attended this stimulating conversation.

Professor Christopher Forsyth Law Revision Week Dinner

Robinson has a strong tradition in the study of Law, and over the decades many Robinson law students have benefitted from a rather unique addition to the standard teaching. Each year, the undergraduate students take part in the Professor Christopher Forsyth Law Revision Week during the Easter break. This is a week of intensive revision, supervisions and exam practise. It has been hosted in Carmarthenshire, Norfolk and Oxford over the years and is free to the students. This year, due to potential Covid issues, it was held at Robinson with a dinner on Thursday 21st April to thank the supporters of this week. We are really grateful to all those that support Law at Robinson, both personally and through their firms and who make it possible for all of our students to take part in this week, regardless of their background. Corporate donors this year included: Baker McKenzie, Hogan Lovells, Herbert Smith Freehills, Norton Rose Fulbright, Simmons & Simons and Slaughter & May. A great evening was had by all, with law firm representatives fondly remembering their Revision Week at Robinson all those years ago, and students making the most of the opportunity to network and find out more about the various companies.
You can read more about the history of Law Revision Week, and why one very special donor was moved to support it, in the previous edition of Bin Brook here (pages 10 - 11).


Save the date!

Robinson College and Pegasus Boat Clubs warmly invite you to the biggest rowing social event of the year! The Mays Boat Club Dinner, hosted by Robinson College, will take place Saturday 18 June from 7pm, with drinks, a 3-course menu and an all-round celebration of this years rowing performance by RCBC! This year has been filled with ups and downs for RCBC, and we hope to celebrate these in true ‘Binson style. We encourage anyone who found rowing a special part of their time at Robinson to attend, and look forward to a fun-fillled evening with as many faces (new and old!) as we can muster!

The 2022 Stephen Lawrence Day: In Conversation with Mina Smallman - Friday 6 May, Murray Edwards College, Buckingham House Lecture Theatre

Binson Gives - Tuesday 10 and Wednesday 11 May 2022

The Inaugural John Hinnells Memorial Lecture, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, "The Enemy Within: A Tale of Muslim Britain" - Friday 20 May, Robinson College

Moulin Rouge, Robinson College May Ball - Friday 17 June

Could you help sponsor Robinson’s May Ball?  


The Robinson College Archives are calling for ‘ephemera,’ posters, leaflets, programmes that have been created by generations of artistic minds and skills of Robinson students and which have been lost to us with the passing time. Read more how you can enrich and fill the gaps in the College Archives collection here.



The Robinson shop is open

If you feel nostalgic or just wish to treat yourself or your friend to a cute teddy bear, a pair of cufflinks, or a pair of port glasses and a bottle of College port, please visit the Robinson College online shop. Browse the catalogue and take your pick. Enjoy!




With very best wishes from all at Robinson,

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