Family Day July 2023

A great time was had at our Family Day for alumnae and staff on Saturday 8 July. The theme of the event was Mathematics, in tribute to the 75th anniversary of the death of celebrated Newnham mathematician Philippa Fawcett. The daughter of suffragette and College co-founder Millicent Garrett Fawcett, Philippa Fawcett memorably received the highest mark in the Mathematics Tripos, beating the Senior Wrangler. However, as women were unable to attend the University or receive degrees, her achievement was not officially recognised.

Alumnae came to the event from all over the country – with one making the journey from Dublin and others from Mauritius, Hong Kong and Dubai – to enjoy activities and lectures with a mathematical and STEMM theme.

Frieda Midgley, our Archivist, held an Iris plate stamp workshop, Laura Dennis our Curator demonstrated the Fibonacci Sequence through art, while Jerome Viard from our gardening team ran sunflower planting sessions with the children.

Lectures were given by Dr Orsola Rath Spivack on multiplying rabbits and maths in the garden, on how mathematics is a “lifestyle, not a discipline” by Dr Maria-Romina Ivan and by Dr Lyuba Bozhilova on mitochondrial maths and its importance in diagnosing disease. There were also music workshops and sessions on how to make your own cartesian diver, as well as two self-guided maths trails for the children using materials from NRich.

Building tours were conducted by our Domestic Bursar Wendy Evans – when she was not occupied in testing out the inflatable helter-skelter. Our gardening team also ran tours of the gardens.

Bursar Christopher Lawrence conducted his brass band while guests enjoyed the American-style barbecue and later on the cream tea, despite some brief light rain.

Our second much-anticipated annual Newnham Dog Show also went ahead, albeit with fewer numbers due to the heat.

A big thank you to everyone who attended and supported the day. Here’s looking forward to next year’s event and the upcoming Alumni Festival.