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Sombre skies, thrones, gowns, cassocks, maces and smiles

Congratulations to Hughes Hall Fellow appointed Senior Pro-Proctor this week.

Dr Markus Gehring is delighted – and extremely proud – to have been appointed the University of Cambridge Pro-Proctor for the academic year 2023-24.

He talks to us about the significance of the role, for the College as well as for him, and is looking forward to some of the pomp and ceremony along the way.

Dr Markus Gehring; and as part of the ceremonial proctorial procession, along with University Constables.

“This is our very first (Pro-)Proctor nomination since becoming a full College in the University of Cambridge – it is a very real honour for the College and an important recognition of the role of mature and postgraduate colleges like Hughes Hall at the highest levels of University governance.” said Markus.

The nomination is for three years (one Pro-Proctor year and one Proctor year, followed by a Deputy Proctor year) and follows on from his service as Praelector at Hughes Hall since 2015. His appointment underlines the growing role our College plays in the University, and its wider structures.

A summary of the duties can be found on the University website and consists broadly of overseeing examinations and generally maintaining good order in the University, although it should be noted that the role has evolved somewhat over the past 800 years from ensuring that the bread and wine sold to the university was done so at a fair price!

Markus formally took on his role at a ceremony on 2nd October. The Vice-Chancellor delivered an address to the University following the election and admission of the Proctors and the swearing-in of the University Constables before Senate House. With thrones, gowns, cassocks, caps, and maces abound, and a sprinkling of Latin for good measure, Markus is thus admitted to serve Regent House.

“I’m proud to bring my experience as Praelector to this new role. I am a  great supporter of the ceremonial side of college life, particularly our graduations, which I love. Of course, whilst such occasions are a highlight, there is an important balance to the proctorial roles in serving as representatives of the collegiate university.”

Markus is ‘paired’ with fellow Pro-Proctor, Professor Fraz Mir of King’s College.

“As a Senior Law Fellow and having served as College Praelector, a Chair of University Discipline Committees, a Chair of Examiners for the Law Faculty, and as a former City Councillor, I hope to bring valuable experience as I fulfil my duties on the Board of Scrutiny to the best of my abilities.” said Markus, “

This is an important role, both ceremonially and procedurally, and another part of the growing – and inspiring – story of Hughes Hall, embracing the traditions and excellence of Cambridge, with a large and vibrant student community from across the world, at all stages of life, and with many different pathways into academia.

“I meet people at College every day with different and inspiring stories to tell – I look forward to representing the richness and diversity of our college culture in the corridors and ceremonies of (very complicated) University governance structures.” Said Markus.

“And of course, the robes are a bonus!”

Further information