Newnham College celebrates four distinguished alumnae

Newnham College held a celebratory dinner to congratulate the four alumnae whose very different contributions to British life were recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list 2018.

We were delighted to welcome these alumnae back to College, as we are every alumnae who steps back through the doors of the Porters’ Lodge.

Civil servant Dame Sue Owen is Permanent Secretary at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Over the course of her career, Dame Sue has been a tireless champion of gender equality, work recognised in her appointment as Civil Service Diversity Champion.

Dame Emma Thompson brings both thoughtfulness and joy to stage and screen. A generation of Newnham English Literature students were inspired by her adaptation of Sense and Sensibility, and her performance as Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing.

Dame Stella Manzie is known for her ability to transform local government with quiet determination. Most notably, she used her exceptional leadership skills to begin turning round the performance of Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council in the light of the child sex abuse crisis.

Prof Dame Mary Beard’s work for the appreciation of the Classics is well known to members of Newnham College, whether they know her through supervisions or her TV programme.

All were welcomed by our Principal, Prof Dame Carol Black, who has played such an influential role in researching and shaping public policy around health in its broadest aspects.

The arts, science and medicine, teaching and research, a commitment to equality and heroic public service: the public recognition of these women’s achievements is in many ways a broader recognition of the importance of Newnham alumnae and Fellows since our foundation. A true celebration, as we approach our 150th year.