Shaping Newnham’s Future campaign launches

Shaping Newnham's Future campaign

The new Shaping Newnham’s Future campaign kicked off in style on 9 March with simultaneous events in Edinburgh, York, Oxford, Newnham and the House of Lords.

Undeterred by the snow and ice hitting the UK, Newnham alumnae and speakers, who included Professor Jenny Morton, Onassis Classics Fellow Dr Shushman Malik, Dr Sam Lucy, Geneviève Young, and Dr Ricarda Beckmann, gathered at these five locations for an evening of stimulating talks and musical performances.

At the Newnham event, hosted by Principal Alison Rose, Professor Maria Ubiali spoke on “The beautiful bridge between the infinitely big and the infinitesimally small’, exploring particle physics, the discovery of the Higgs Boson particle and dark matter, while in “You say to-may-to and I say to-mah-to: stability versus flexibility in speech targets” Dr Abbie Bradshaw explored her research on speech and how the brain interprets varied sounds and pronunciation.  Violinist Leora Cohen also performed Amy Beach’s Romance for Violin and Piano and Vítězslava Kaprálová’s Elegie.  You can watch the recording of the Newnham event here.

Sheep and medieval myths at the House of Lords
Guests at the House of Lords were treated to a performance of Peggy Glanville-Hicks’ Sonata for Harp by Anne Denholm, principal harp with the BBC Concert Orchestra, as well as talks by Professor Jenny Morton on her research on Huntington’s disease, “In search of treatments for Huntington’s disease: What have sheep got to do with it?” and “Songs of deeds: Making myth in Medieval France” by Geneviève Young, who recently completed her PhD.

Oxford: Classics and neuroscience
Meanwhile, simultaneously in Oxford at Pitt Rivers, Dr Shushma Malik gave a talk on “Classics and new directions,” while Nazia Jassim, who recently completed her PhD in Psychiatry, spoke on “The cognitive neuroscience behind sensory perception and learning in autism spectrum conditions.” Francesca Moore-Bridger, principal horn of the Orchestra of the Swan, performed music from Ruth Gipps, while Sophia Ramnarine, principal cellist with the Leicester Symphony Orchestra also performed a solo.

York: Women, religion and health
Further North, at Fairfax House in York, Dr Sam Lucy gave a talk on “Women, status and religion in 7th-century eastern Britain: recent excavations and their implications,” and PhD candidate Meg Roberts spoke on “Clapping for carers in 1776:  Reflections on researching 18th-century health crises during Covid-19.” Attendees enjoyed a performance by violinist and resident graduate assistant at the Purcell School, Susanna Alsey, of music from Amy Beach, Clara Schumann and Lili Boulanger.

Edinburgh: Black holes and archaeology
Lastly, at Edinburgh’s Scotman Hotel, Dr Ricarda Beckmann, Ruth Holt Research Fellow, spoke on “Inside black holes: why the universe would not look the same without them,” while PhD candidate and MCR president Aman Kang, explored “The need to test and optimise non-destructive sampling methods in archaeological research.” Final year theology and philosophy student, Katherine Gregory, chorister and member of Trinity College Choir, also performed music from Barbara Strozzi and Clara Schumann.  The events were a resounding success, despite the poor weather.

Shaping Newnham’s Future
The Shaping Newnham’s Future campaign aims to raise £25 million by 2026. We have already reached 50% of our target, thanks to many generous donations.

If you would like to find out more about the campaign or how to donate, please contact our Development Director Sarah Carthew at or on 07464 203 246. You can also give via our donation pages on the website. Donate online to our Campaign – Newnham College