Last night was the annual matriculation dinner – matriculation being the Cambridge name for wearing a gown and signing a large official book to mark becoming a member of the College, and therefore, the University of Cambridge.
All 115 freshers were at the dinner last night, to celebrate their matriculation which happened yesterday morning. I was privileged to be able to sing the College Grace from the balcony, which is always written by a finalist music student (finalists are students in their last year) – this year, my friend Elspeth Collard. I also got to dine as part of the JCR committee, and the desert was so good that I smuggled it away in a napkin when I couldn’t quite finish it!
It was a lovely evening, and, as usual, speeches were made by the Principal Dame Carol Black and the JCR President, Lokyan Wong, at the end. The Principal told all the new freshers all about the different successes of the college – coming 5th out of all the many colleges in examination results across the University last year, the boat club not getting bumped at all in May, our representation in lots of societies and so on. She ended simply, by saying that the one thing she wanted them to take away was that ‘you can and you will’. The Newnham spirit goes on!
At the end of the dinner, a lovely couple of photos were taken with my new college daughters (for an explanation of college families, see this post, where you can also see a photo from my matriculation dinner last year). Their names are Fran and Philippa, and they are delightful! 🙂
Meanwhile, yesterday and today, I’ve been helping at the fresher’s fair run by CUSU. This is where, over a period of two days, all the societies advertise what they are up to and try and get sign-ups from new freshers. As Head of Membership for the Union, I’ve been doing a lot of work helping on our stall – giving out termcards and talking to new freshers. This morning I also got to go up onto the balcony where CamFM were broadcasting, to give an interview about the Cambridge Union Society. It’s been lots of fun but I’ll be glad to be packing down at 4pm today!
All of this means that my second year is truly underway! I even got emailed by a supervisor today, setting me my first essay of the year (due next Wednesday…)!