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Today, 31 March 2021, is the 400th anniversary of the birth of poet and politician Andrew Marvell [1621-78] who came up to Trinity in 1633. To mark the occasion, Senior Research Fellow, Professor Angela Leighton (e2006) describes her creative response to the anniversary of his birth, and you can watch actor Pip Torrens (1978) reading Marvell’s love poem ‘To His Coy Mistress’ in the Fellows’ Gardens. Read.

Trinity has appointed eight Junior Research Fellows across the academic disciplines, all of whom will be joining the College in October 2021 and will be featured in a series of interviews on the website. The first Fellow you can meet is anthropologist Dr Naomi Richman, currently a postdoctoral researcher for the Wellcome Trust funded project, Hidden Persuaders, based at the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology at Birkbeck, University of London. Read.

Second year medical student Serena Cole (2019) is the first black female President of Trinity College Students’ Union (TCSU). In a Q&A on the website, Serena reflects on what she has gained from her involvement in student politics and her access and outreach work, and shares her hopes for how her experience could inspire others to follow her lead. Read.

‘It is definitely a challenge to combine a full-time PhD with the training and recovery requirements of an elite athlete. It takes a lot of organisation to fit everything into the day but I am determined to get it to work.’ Louise Shanahan (2019) and three other champion student sportswomen share the secrets of how they manage a demanding academic schedule alongside their sporting achievements. Read.


We are deeply saddened to have to report the passing of two Trinity members.

  • Reverend Canon John Polkinghorne (1949), 1930-2021 – Honorary Fellow of Trinity, and former President of Queens’ College Cambridge. Read.
  • The Lord Wolfson of Sunningdale (1954), 1935-2021 – Fellow Benefactor of Trinity, businessman and Downing Street’s first chief of staff. Read.

The colourful new crocus carpet underneath Newton’s apple tree has been bringing much needed cheer to Cambridge locals and visitors this month, who have been flocking to admire the spring scene. The gardens team planted over 20,000 croci corms to create the gorgeous display (featured in the photo at the top of this newsletter), which has fast become one of Cambridge’s favourite selfie spots. Read.


The Neil Hopkinson Memorial Fund has been established to celebrate the unique contribution of Trinity Fellow Dr Neil Hopkinson (1957-2021) to the study and teaching of undergraduates in Classics at Cambridge. The Fund will support undergraduates from low-income households studying Classics, with a preference for those who have not studied Greek before.

Dr Hopkinson was a brilliant and devoted teacher who inspired and pushed his students to achieve their utmost, and the fund in his honour will enable future generations of Cambridge classicists to pursue their studies and to fulfil their academic potential. Discover more about Dr Hopkinson and the Fund on the website. Read.


Thank you to all alumni who joined us from around the world for the virtual Commemoration of Benefactors event on Friday 19 March and we hope you enjoyed the celebration. For those alumni who were unable to tune in on the day, the recording of the event is now available on YouTube.

The event includes recordings from past services interspersed with speeches by the Master, Dame Sally Davies (e2019), former Bishop of London, The Right Reverend and Right Honourable The Lord Chartres (1965) and Professor Julia Gog (1994), Cambridge mathematician and member of the UK Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE). Current students and the Senior Tutor, Professor Catherine Barnard (e1996) discuss the student experience at Trinity in the time of COVID-19, and you can enjoy a Q&A session with the Master and Professor Gog. Watch now.


Booking is now open for the next Trinity Research Talk, ‘Shaping Richard III After Shakespeare’ on Thursday 8 April at 6pm BST with Dr Jitka Štollová (2013), who will focus on how and why the image of one of the most notorious English kings changed in the century following the publication of Shakespeare’s eponymous play in 1597. Register.

Thank you to all alumni who joined us for Dr Rohit Chikkaraddy’s (e2018) fascinating Talk ‘Atoms, Molecules and Bonds Vibrations Coupling to Light’ on Wednesday 24 March. If you were unable to join us on the day you can now watch it on YouTube, along with all of the previous talks in the series.

‘My general tips for empowerment and success are: believe in yourself, have a positive attitude, and strive for quality and not quantity.’ In celebration of International Women’s Day on 8 March, Professor Valerie Gibson (e1994), who received an OBE for services to Science, Women in Science and Public Engagement in the New Year Honours 2021, offered her advice to women in all fields. Read.


The Trinity Law Association (TLA) is planning its next newsletter and invites TLA members to submit any personal or professional updates, or ideas for articles for inclusion. Please email Emma Easterbrook (1995) with your contribution for the newsletter by Friday 2 April at the latest.

The TLA is open to all former law students and any alumni who now work in the field, so if you are not currently a member do sign up via the Associations’ page on the website – it’s a quick and easy process and the TLA would be delighted to welcome new members.

It would not be Easter weekend without the Boat Race, and this year the duel will play out on the River Ouse rather than the Thames, with the 166th Race moving to Ely. It will be a closed event due to the pandemic but you can watch it live from the comfort of your sofa by tuning in to BBC One on Sunday 4 April from 3pm BST. We will be cheering on engineering student Charlie Marcus (2018), who will be coxing the Men’s boat and hopefully bringing home another Cambridge victory. Read.

Congratulations to Katie Lam (2009) on the release of the original studio recording of ‘After You’, her musical written with childhood friend Alex Parker, which made its official West End debut in October 2020. ‘After You’ is about the lives we choose, the paths we don’t take, and the things we sometimes need to keep for ourselves, and you can read more about it on the Broadway World website.

‘The Man of To-morrow’s Lament’, a lost poem about Superman by Vladimir Nabokov (1919) has been published for the first time. Written from the perspective of the Man of Steel, Nabokov imagines the superhero lamenting his inability to have children with Lois Lane. Read.


If you have a recent or forthcoming book, blog or article, podcast or production, and you haven’t shared the details with us yet, please get in touch.


  • Online: Trinity Research Talk – ‘Shaping Richard III After Shakespeare’ with Dr Jitka Štollová, Thursday 8 April, 6pm. REGISTER.
  • We have some brand new virtual events coming up in May – details to follow shortly.

We want to hear from you! Do keep us up-to-date with your latest achievements and activities for our Global Alumni News pages in The Fountain and the Alumni Achievements section in the Annual Record. Please send your news, appointments, and publications to:

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Header image: The crocus carpet under Newton’s apple tree. © Sarah Claydon, Deputy Head Gardener

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