All your latest news and events
March 2021
Honorary Doctorate Celebration: Honouring Mary Thoits, the Legend of Long Beach
We were saddened to learn of the passing of Mary Thoits at age 97, one of Durham’s most senior US alumni and a prominent member of the community in Long Beach, California.

Mary was due to receive an Honorary Degree in 2021 in recognition of her many remarkable achievements and warm support of the University. To celebrate her life and to confer her Honorary Doctorate posthumously, we will be holding an online ceremony with the Vice-Chancellor and the University Secretary which will be open to ALL members of our wider alumni community. This unique event - a first in Durham University history will go ahead on Thursday 11 March 2021 at 5pm GMT – please register now to join us.

Dunelmensis Award Winners
Huge congratulations to this year's Dunelmensis winners: Professor Carl Stephen Patrick Hunter OBE (nominated by Hatfield College), Smiti Kumar (nominated by DARO), Richard Roberts (nominated by St John's College), and Charles Wilson (nominated by the Department of Geography). Learn more about their incredible achievements in our story.
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Global Recruitment Ambassador Programme - can you help us recruit students to Durham University?
We are looking for alumni volunteers to act as Global Ambassadors in their local area to help with the recruitment of prospective students to Durham.

If you have graduated in the last five years and would like to share your Durham experience with prospective students then this is a great opportunity for you to not only stay connected to the University but also develop key transferrable skills.

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Celebrating International Women's Day
International Women’s Day on Monday 8 March each year is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. This year at Durham we are hosting a day of events on women’s work in the time of Covid-19 including Durham colleagues and external speakers.
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Feisty 50 Fitness Challenge Roundup
For the first 50 days of 2021, 544 Durham alumni set out to test their fitness, hang on to those New Year’s resolutions, and come together in the name of health and well-being in a way unlike anything we’ve ever done before. Read about our collective achievements and find links to past home workouts below.
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Upcoming Events

Unlocking a Hidden Heritage: Developing the Historical Collections of the Venerable English College in Rome
Wednesday 3 March 2021, 4pm (GMT)
In this latest event as part of our global Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums - Durham University series, Professor Maurice Whitehead is currently Director of Heritage Collections at the Venerable English College, Rome, and Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Catholic Studies, Durham University.

Getting the Most from Your LinkedIn Profile
Wednesday 3 March 2021, 6pm (GMT)
Find out how to make your profile work for you, hear about the New Rules of Networking - and the number one way to advance your career in 2021, as well as learning two little known ways to boost your job search results.

Inspired by the past, illuminating the present: an introduction to Northumbria ‘from the Tees to the Tweed’
Thursday 4 March 2021, 6pm (GMT)
Author Dr Dan Jackson will be presenting highlights from his book The Northumbrians - North East England & its people - A new history. Dr Jackson will shine a light on key aspects of North Eastern heritage and its greatest asset - its people. 

Durham Venture School Virtual Launch
Wednesday 17 March 2021, 10am (GMT)
We are looking for talented graduates to launch high-potential start-ups. Join us for the virtual launch event and learn about this first-of-its-kind opportunity to work alongside other exceptional Durham University graduates, with state of the art tools, resources and connections to help you tackle the significant problems facing industry and society.

Eat Medieval: A Taste of Easter Past
Wednesday 17 March 2021, 6pm (GMT)
Join us for on a journey through the culinary and cultural history of Easter in the European Middle Ages in this talk by Professor Giles Gasper.

Opening Celebrations: Launch of the new Mathematical Sciences & Computer Science Building with special guest speaker Dame Stephanie Shirley
Thursday 18 March 2021, 5pm (GMT)
Join us on Zoom to celebrate the opening of our state-of-the-art new building with the Departments’ wider community of students, donors, alumni, and industry partners.

Lumiere 2021

The light spectacular is being planned for Thursday 18 November - Sunday 22 November 2021. We’re working on some exclusive alumni opportunities around the festival. Sign up to be involved and get updates on the latest developments.

View all upcoming events
Check our events pages regularly for all of the upcoming alumni events across the world.
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JSOC House Event
Thanks to alumni and friends who joined our recent Durham University Jewish Society event outlining plans to develop our first ever JSOC House. You can request access to a recording of this event by emailing
e with prospective students then this is a great opportunity for you to not only stay connected to the University but also develop key transferrable skills.
Bespoke Business Space for DU Alumni at New £1.4M Orbit UEZ
Looking for space for your business and to recruit some top North East talent? Check out our new £1.4M facility here in County Durham.

Businesses located at Orbit will have access to the University’s research expertise, support and learning, test facilities and collaborative working opportunities, as well as the opportunity to attend regular workshops and events.
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Searching for Friends of John Thackray
We have been contacted by someone who is writing a biography of the late singer-songwriter, Jake Thackray (real name John Thackray). Jake/John (English Literature and Language, Hatfield College, 1957-60) became famous on television in 1960s and 1970s, with his performances of comic topical songs on programmes such as Braden’s Week and That’s Life.

If you knew Jake and have information which you would like to share, please get in touch.

Class Notes
Alice Bacon (Theology, St Aidan’s College, 2008-11) has published her first book A Practical Guide to the Law in Relation to School Exclusions.

Sarah Chadwick
(Arts Combined, Collingwood College, 1984-87) book The Sweetness of Venus: A History of the Clitoris has been released.

Kendal Buddhist Group founder Jacquetta Gomes (Economic History and Sociology, St Aidan’s College, 1972-75) becomes first woman profiled by international newsletter.

Miles Hudson
(Education, College of St Hild & St Bede, 1988-93) has recently published three separate fiction projects: The Kidney Killer is the latest novel in the Penfold series of detective stories set in Durham, PostcardsFromSpace and The Mind's Eye.

Beer giant UB has appointed Anand Vijay Jha (International Trade & Commercial Law, Ustinov College, 2013-15) as their Chief of Corporate Affairs.

The Punished is a collection of 19 short stories looking at death row inmates, by author Jahnavi Misra (English Literature, St Chad’s College, 2008-13).

Sam Newbould
(Geography, Josephine Butler College, 2008-12) a professional jazz saxophonist has released his first single for his second album entitled Bogus Notus.

Robert Schuett (Politics, University College, 2006-09) has just published his latest book, Hans Kelsen‘s Political Realism.
Collingwood College
Lots of our alumni have been reminiscing about their memories with the red telephone box on our Facebook post here. We would love it if you would go visit the post and share your own memories – it’s lovely hearing about the history of the Red Telephone Box!
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Josephine Butler College
Find out more about sharing your expertise and experience with our current students at our Butler and Beyond event on Thursday 18 March. You can also find out more about becoming a Trustee here.
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St Cuthbert's Society
Alumni are invited to participate in these two exciting events in the coming weeks: Difficult Dialogue on policing and race and The Annual Fellows' Lecture.
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St John's College
Our student body, the St John's Common Room are searching for a new Charity Trustee. Could it be you?
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University College
Hello from a snowy Durham Castle! We hope all University College alumni are staying safe. We look forward to hearing any news you would like to share with the Castle community. Keep in touch here. 
Ustinov College
Find out our latest news and events by clicking on the link below.
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Van Mildert College
Join us for our virtual Van Mildert College Trust Lecture at 6pm on Friday 19 March! We are delighted to welcome Professor Dame Jane Francis, Director of British Antarctic Survey, as this year’s speaker with a truly fascinating talk ‘Antarctica: the global impact of a changing continent’.
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Live Well with Pain, Footsteps Festival 2021 has been developed by people who live with pain and professionals in pain management, Footsteps Festival takes a creative approach to living well with persistent pain. The first event on the Festival main stage is Step into Singing... perfect for Covid rehab and lockdown blues.
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Law School
Thank you to everyone so far who has signed up for the Durham Law Society mentoring scheme. There is still time to sign up or get in touch with the Law Society at if this is something you would like to get involved with.
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Team Durham
Our Durham Inspired award is looking for alumni volunteers to act as development coaches. All training is provided, contact is all via Teams/Zoom and the minimum time commitment is just 1 hour per term per student. We are looking for alumni who have experience of volunteering or of the voluntary sector who are looking to give back to students currently at the University. Interested in learning more? Please contact
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University Library and Collections
Focus on the University Western Art Collection.
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