Thursday, June 23, 2016

Majestic Honorary Degree Celebrations Encaenia at Oxford University with Photos

It is an extraordinary experience to be a Visiting Fellow at All Souls College at Oxford University in England this Trinity term.

Yesterday, Fellows and many dignitaries were invited to take part and celebrate 9 honorary degree recipients. And what a tremendous list of awardees this is!

Below is a photo of the recipients, compliments of Oxford University.
I was absolutely thrilled to see the Nobel laureate in Economic Sciences Paul Krugman and also the National Medal of Science recipient Professor Mildred "Millie"  Dresselhaus of MIT plus the Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar as well as Sir Jonathan Ive is Chief Design Officer of Apple Inc and designer of the iMac, PowerBook, iBook, iPod, iPhone, iPad, AppleWatch and MacBookat Oxford on the list! The opera singer Jessye Norman was not able to attend this year.

The day began with peaches, strawberries, and champagne, and a procession in Radcliffe Square to the Sheldonian where the ceremony took place.

After the Encaenia ceremony at the Sheldonian the Quad at All Souls College was the site for drinks before a lavish lunch that took place at the Codrington Library with tea and coffee out in the Quad afterwards. Magically, the skies cleared up so the outdoor events took place on the bright green lawn.

I was absolutely thrilled to be able to speak to Professor Millie Dresselhaus and to even meet one of her granddaughters. I had met Professor Millie when I was a Visiting Scholar and Associate Professor at MIT and we would take part in female get-togethers with Professor Lotte Bailyn of the Business School. She told me yesterday how important it is to have technical female professors at business schools and I agree. We also spoke about several of our well-known colleagues in Operations Research at MIT.

The lunch was fabulous and the seating arrangement very carefully thought out.
The dessert was also wonderful.
My husband was seated in front of the former principal of Hertford College at Oxford University, Dr. John Landers . Hertford used to have an exchange program with his university, the University of Hartford, so we took the following photo.
Seated across from me was the head of public affairs at Oxford University and next to me an amazing female entrepreneur. the conversations just flowed. I continue to be very impressed by Oxford's website and we talked about the importance of getting news on research out by faculty.

After lunch we chatted on the lawn. You can see Pedro Almodovar strolling on the lawn below in red.  I had to have a photo taken with Visiting Fellow Richard Vokes, an anthropologist from Australia. I also took the photo of him, my hsusband, and the brilliant nabal historian Nicholas Rodger.
And, if you take a look at the photo above, which I took because I very much like my Math Fellows Professors Francis Brown and Constantin Teleman, I also serendipitously snapped Pedro Almodovar on the right in the red gown!

Then it was time to walk to Merton College of Oxford University (the university  has 38 grand colleges) to attend the Vice Chancellor's garden party. The Vice Chancellor is Dr. Louise Richardson, who was the Executive Dean at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, when I was a Science Fellow there in 2005-2006. It was great to see her and to shake her hand and to congratulate her on becoming the first female VC in Oxford's 800 year history!
The lawns are beautiful at Merton and the spread of food plus orchestra were grand.
And, later that evening, the remaining Visiting Fellows got together at a pub for dinner and to finish off a truly special day! The full list of Visiting Fellows during this past year is here.
Thank you to All Souls College plus Oxford University for memories that I will always treasure and for friendships made across disciplines! My only disappointment was not being able to personally congratulate Paul Krugman despite trying to find him after the lunch!