MASTER’S NOTE– End of Year Thoughts from Dame Lynne Brindley

December 3rd, 20166:23 pm @


Dame Lynne Brindley Master, Pembroke College Oxford

Dame Lynne Brindley
Master, Pembroke College Oxford


It is now well over three years since I took on the Mastership of Pembroke. How time flies! I am proud to head this extraordinary, aspiring community in this beautiful place with its rich heritage of distinguished alumni.

I should give special mention to some of those prestigious alumni who hail from the US, including James Smithson, our own US Senators, the late William Fulbright and today’s hugely supportive Dick Lugar, not to mention our unstintingly generous North American benefactors of recent and past years, Dr. Damon Wells OBE, as well as Patrick and Tamar Pichette.

Each academic year that I have been here, I am reminded of our strong associations with North America. We celebrate these links with a number of regular events and activities here at Pembroke, such as the now established Annual Oxford Fulbright Distinguished Lecture and the Fulbright Visiting Professorship. Earlier this year, the first Pembroke-Smithsonian Symposium was held at the College celebrating the two institutions and reciprocated at the Smithsonian’s Castle in Washington with a special toast drunk at James Smithson’s memorial to his alma mater!

Everything I have learnt from my years of helping to run universities, their libraries and research resources, tells me that Pembroke is in an excellent position to take off and further enhance its academic reputation, both in the UK and abroad. Last year saw a significant upturn in the College’s undergraduate academic performance and we have a large and thriving community of post-graduates. With spectacular new buildings, put in place with such sureness of purpose and good taste by my predecessor, and a multi-talented Fellowship who are working together to manage the College’s daily affairs and collaborating on a growing number of inter-disciplinary projects, Pembroke has more opportunities than ever before.

I am encouraging more intellectual extra-curricular activities in the College, exploiting our new facilities to the full – and trying to engage our worldwide alumni community as never before. I have had the pleasure of meeting some of our most loyal American alumni on several trips now to the West Coast, New York and Washington. This has convinced me that our American alumni hold the College in very special regard, whether they were Visiting Students, Rhodes Scholars, Undergraduates or Post-graduates. I know you wish Pembroke well, and that you will help me to spread the word about what is happening here, and our new ambitions, as the College builds a well-deserved, world-class name among its peers.

Until we meet or meet again,

Lynne Brindley