Alumni Events

Upcoming Events

Please note that due to COVID-19 and the UK Government’s advice, we have had to postpone all our in-person alumni events for the foreseeable future. We will be following public health guidance and regularly reviewing this decision throughout 2020/21. In the meantime, we are working to bring you a programme of online lectures and gatherings. Please find details below.
We look forward to welcoming you all to an event in person when it is safe for us to do so.


Launch of Digital Education Futures Initiative (DEFI) – 21 January 2021
12:00pm – 1:00pm

  • What does the global future of education look like?
  • Can new technology support new models of education?
  • What are the research priorities for education technology?

DEFI would like to invite you to their virtual launch on 21st January 2021 . Addressing the theme of the futures of education as mediated by technology will be PISA Study founder, educationalist and Director of the OECD Directorate of Education and Skills, Andreas Schleicher and Executive Director of the World Heritage Group recently head of UNESCO’s International Bureau of Education, Dr Mmantsetsa Marope.

Jane Mann of the Cambridge Partnership for Education will host and Professor Rupert Wegerif will talk about his hopes for this new Bridge Initiative – DEFI.

To register please click here

For more information about DEFI, click here

Angles to Angels: Converting the North
The Berg Rust Lecture – 25 January 2021
5:00pm – 6:00pm

How did it come to happen that only a few decades after the huge extent of what was not yet Northumbria was ostensibly pagan, its monasteries, especially Lindisfarne and Monkwearmouth-Jarrow, were centres of Christian scholarship with a spiritual influence reaching deep into Europe? This talk will suggest some answers to that question and glance at some of the people involved.

  • What sort of network connects Aidan of Iona and Lindisfarne with Abbess Hild of Whitby, or Etheldreda of Ely with St Abb’s?
  • How did the man (probably) buried in the great Sutton Hoo ship affect developments?
  • Does the recent excavation of a grave at Prittlewell in Essex alter our narrative?
  • And what connects a curragh in a deserted cove and the Lindisfarne Gospels?

These questions are meant to tease, and the talk promises no clear answers, but simply a layman’s thoughts about them, and others.

All welcome, including non college members. Please sign up by clicking here.

About the Speaker
Dr Charles Moseley is a Life Fellow of Hughes Hall, and formerly Director of Studies in English and Senior Tutor. He has written extensively on mediaeval and early modern literature, and has published several books of travel and memoir. His most recent books, ‘Engaging with Chaucer: Theory, Practice, Reading’ (Berghahn, New York) and ‘Hungry Heart Roaming: an Odyssey of Sorts’ (Eyewear, London) come out in December 2020 and January 2021 respectively.

He, like Richard Berg Rust, has a deep affection for the life and culture, and even weather, of the northern shires, where he grew up.

About Richard Berg Rust
Those of you who knew Richard, our Development Director, who, in 2017 was so sadly and suddenly taken from us, will remember not only his huge contribution to the College but also his passionate love for the literature, culture and music of his native North of England, and especially of Northumberland and County Durham.

Richard grew up in Northumbria and was a life-long champion of the North of England. He wanted to showcase northern talent, helping to alter attitudes and to celebrate the wealth of culture he found there. He was Director of Development for the Theatre Royal in Newcastle and oversaw its expansion for three years. He was also the founding father of the Northumbrian Association and campaigned to get the Lindisfarne Gospels back to Durham Cathedral supported by Sir Tom Cowie and the then Bishop of Durham Michael Turnbull. In the process he raised money to take culture, history and copies of the Gospels to schools in the area of which he was rightfully proud.

In his memory the College decided to institute a yearly event – a lecture, a recital, or a performance – on Northern themes, which it hopes members and alumni will help to endow.

If you would like to contribute to the Richard Berg Rust lecture fund to ensure that we can carry on with this fascinating and unique series please donate online and select ‘The Richard Berg Rust Lecture Fund’ or email

Alumni Spotlight: Governments, Charities and AI – 27 January 2021

5:30pm – 6:30pm

Join social scientist and Hughes Hall alumnus, João Lobato, in a discussion on his work in Artificial Intelligence and how it can transform Governments and Charities.

João completed his MPhil in Latin American Studies at Cambridge back in 2010 and has since gone on to forge a successful career working on projects for the UN, the World Bank, Greenpeace, amongst others. He now works as a Consultant and Research Director at Cooper & Sacks, a company whose mission is to bridge the gap between the complexity of AI and the needs of public and third sector organisations.

Artificial Intelligence has dramatically changed business, communications and many aspects of our lives. The impact in the public and third sectors, however, has been small despite the huge potential. In this talk João will discuss the current and potential use of AI for social good and his work making the benefits of AI more widely available.

Register for this event here.

Dialogue in Different Cultural Contexts – 28 January 2021

5:30pm – 6:00pm

Dialogic education – education for dialogue as well as through dialogue – takes many different forms in different cultural contexts. Led by senior members Rupert Wegerif and Sara Hennessy, this event will explore how dialogic education works in three quite distinct contexts:

  • Islamic education
  • the Freirean tradition of education for liberation, and
  • teacher development through shared reflective inquiry.

The three perspectives will be provided by:

  • Farah Ahmed (Islamic tradition)
  • Paula Teixeira de Castro (Freirian tradition)
  • Sara Hennessy (Teacher inquiry tradition)

Short presentations will be followed by Q&A.
All welcome, including non college members.


To register for this event, click here.

Megan Hunter ‘in conversation’ with Prof Mary Buckley – 24 January 2021

Megan Hunter will be ‘In Conversation’ with Mary Buckley talking about her novel The Harpy (Picador, 2020) which follows on from her much acclaimed The End We Start From (Picador, 2017) which was shortlisted for the Novel of the Year at the Books Are My Bag Awards, longlisted for the Aspen Woods Prize, was a Barnes and Noble Discover Awards finalist and won the Forward Review’s Editor’s Choice Award.

The Harpy is about love, betrayal and revenge.  Esther Freud found it ‘utterly compelling’ and Evie Wyld portrayed it as ‘a genuinely thrilling read, one long beautiful scream.’

This event will be of particular interest to anyone who enjoys novels, or is interested in pursuing a career in writing or publishing.

All welcome, including non college members.  To register for this meeting click here.

Megan Hunter
Megan graduated in English Literature from Sussex University in 2006 and completed her MPhil the year after at Jesus College, Cambridge. She was Fellowship Manager at Hughes Hall before leaving to concentrate on her writing. Her essays and short fiction have appeared in the White Review, The TLS, Literary Hub, BOMB Magazine and elsewhere.

Mary Buckley is a Senior Member of Hughes Hall.

Photo copyright: Alexander James

The Varsity Match – TBC

This year’s Battle of the Blues, traditionally held at Twickenham in December, will be moved to later in the season. We look forward to bringing you the dates when we can. In the meantime, for the latest news from the Cambridge and Oxford Blues visit The Varsity Match website.

Recent Events

Music Cafe – 16 December

Following the success of our November online Music Café, Hughes Hall hosted another informal evening of music making – this time with a festive theme. Hughesians joined together to show off their musical talent in a friendly café-style atmosphere

Christmas Carols from the City – 10 December

We were delighted to bring together our Hughes Hall community for a virtual carol service on Thursday 10 December.

The service was brought to us by Rt Hon The Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman William Russell, and the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists in conjunction with VOCES8 Foundation. The carols were led by VOCES8 and Apollo5 performing at the Church of St Anne & St Agnes, Gresham Street in the heart of the City.

This event was raising funds for Hughes Hall’s Student Support fund and for four charities in the City of London.

Why Do We Need Art? (Insight Series) – 3 December

This was the first event in a new and exciting Hughes Hall series which aims to uncover the issues that our senior members feel passionate about – intellectually, professionally or philanthropically. 

The series was kicked off by Annemarie Young, who discussed the importance of art and her new book, co-authored with Michael Rosen, titled: Why do we need Art? What do we gain by being creative? And other big questions.

Annemarie has been a senior member of Hughes Hall since 1999 and has published a further three books with Michael Rosen in a series exploring some of life’s big questions.

Donors’ ‘Lunch’ – 2 December

We were delighted to welcome a number of Hughes Hall donors to this online event as a thank you for their wonderful support. 

The event featured a wonderful recorded performance from pianist and Hughes alumnus Naoki Toyomura, as well as a fascinating talk from Senior Member Dr Charles Pigott, titled: ‘The magic of nature in contemporary Mayan and Incan verse’.

Music Café – 10 November

For the first time in its history, the popular Music Café event took place online with a number of Hughes staff, students, senior members and alumni joining on the evening. 

Attendees were treated to a fantastic mix of poetry and both live and recorded musical performances across numerous genres. The event retained its relaxed and supportive atmosphere and will no doubt not be the last time the event is held online. 

Singapore and Hong Kong Alumni Zoom Meetup – 3 November

The second in our series of online alumni gatherings, this session included an update from the President, Dr Anthony Freeling and the chance to meet other Hong Kong and Singapore-based Hughes Hall alumni.

UK Alumni Zoom Meetup – 27 October

It was a real pleasure to welcome a number of our UK alumni to join us for the first of our online alumni gatherings.

The group heard updates from President, Dr Anthony Freeling, the Alumni Relations and Development Team, a local alumni volunteer, and Sheen Gurrib, a Hughes student who co-founded a fantastic social enterprise in response to COVID-19

Alumni Festival – 17-26 September

2020 marked the 30th anniversary of the University’s Alumni Festival and for the first time the programme was made up entirely of online events, including online lectures, tours, exhibitions and recitals from across Cambridge. 

On behalf of Hughes Hall we were delighted to have Dr. Sara Hennessy, Governing Body Fellow and Reader at the Faculty of Education, giving a lecture on Tuesday 22 September, 2.00pm – 2.45pm

Titled Dialogue, educational technology and learning, Dr Hennessy explored how effective, interactive uses of educational technology and high-quality classroom dialogue can support student learning. A recording of this event will be made available on the Dear World, Yours Cambridge Youtube channel.

Alumni Sports Dinner – Saturday 25 July

We regret that this event was cancelled.

Benefactors’ Tour & Lunch – Friday 17 July

We regret that this event was cancelled.

Summer Garden Party – Saturday 20 June

We regret that this event was cancelled.

Education Dinner – Tuesday 19 May

We regret that this event was cancelled.

MA Congregation & Dinner – Friday 27 & Saturday 28 March

We regret that this event was cancelled. For more information on congregations, please contact

Dubai Alumni Drinks – Friday 6 March

Thank you to our Hughes Hall alumni and friends who were able to join Hughes Hall President, Dr Anthony Freeling and Governing Body Fellow, Laurel Powers-Freeling for drinks in Dubai. 

Charnley Law Dinner – Friday 21 February

Inaugurated at the College in 2010, Friday’s Charnley Law Dinner celebrated the study of Law at Hughes Hall. We were honoured to welcome Lord Sales, Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom as guest speaker.

Hughes Hall CJBS Alumni Drinks Reception – Friday 7 February 2020

We were delighted to invite our many Hughes Hall alumni, in Cambridge for the CJBS Executive MBA Electives and Reunion 2020, to join us in College for a drinks reception and to hear Senior Member Professor Mary Buckley in conversation with Katrina Ffrench’ (2006, Social & Political Science) about her career path to becoming CEO of Stopwatch.

Dublin Gallery Tour & Dinner – Thursday 23 January 2020

We were delighted to be joined by our alumni and friends in Ireland for a tour of the National Gallery of Ireland and dinner at the award winning Pig’s Ear restaurant.

Athens Museum Tour & Dinner – Thursday 23 January 2020

We were delighted to be joined by our alumni and friends in Greece for this inaugural Hughesians event in Athens! We were very fortunate to enjoy an out-of-hours tour of the National Historical Museum, followed by dinner with an Acropolis view at Zillers’ Roof Garden restaurant.

Richard Berg Rust Lecture – Monday 20 January 2020

Last night’s lecture was delivered by Dr Dan Jackson, former visiting fellow at Northumbria University and author of the award winning book The Northumbrians, North-East England and Its People: A New History (2019).

Dr Jackson gave us a fresh and fascinating account of the Northumbrians and their distinctive contribution to British and global history. In what he defined as a ‘cultural archaeology’, he explored the deep roots of Northumbrian culture and the origins and misunderstandings of stereotypes about the North-East of England. Drawing out themes of hard work and heavy drinking, sociability and sentimentality, militarism and masculinity, he described how the very geography and geology of Northumbria placed it at the forefront of centuries of border warfare and dangerous yet nationally vital work in the coal mining and shipbuilding industries. Alongside this, he explained that the landscape and natural history of the region contributed to the emergence of a ‘Northumbrian Enlightenment’ which saw the flowering of literacy and art, curiosity and ingenuity, securing the region’s global standing as a centre for world-changing invention, from the locomotive to the light bulb.

This lecture series is held in memory of our former Director of Development, Richard Berg Rust, who grew up in Northumbria and was a life-long champion of the North of England. He wanted to showcase northern talent, helping to alter attitudes and to celebrate the wealth of culture he found there. We are very grateful for the generous support of all the members and friends of the College who have made this lecture series possible.

London Christmas Drinks – Tuesday 17 December

This sold out event was a wonderful opportunity to gather together Hughes Hall alumni, seniors, students and guests, sharing Christmas cheer over Russian themed drinks, canapés and carols. Thank you to everyone who joined us! 

The Varsity Gathering at Twickenham – Thursday 12 December

It was a great day for the Light Blues, with victory for both the Men’s and Women’s teams! Special congratulations go to our two Hughesians on the Men’s team, Rory Triniman and Tom Lovelace.

Hughes Hall Drinks in Berlin, Amsterdam & Brussels – Tuesday 24 September, Thursday 3 & Friday 4 October

Bill Conner, recently appointed Director of Institutional Advancement and By-Fellow at Hughes Hall, was delighted to have the opportunity to meet with alumni across the Channel in Berlin, Amsterdam and Brussels. We hope to be visiting a number of other European cities in the coming months so we would welcome suggestions for where we should go next, please get in touch with Jennie Williams at if you have an idea for an event!

Alumni Festival Weekend – Saturday 28 & Sunday 29 September

We were delighted to have so many alumni back at Hughes Hall over the Alumni Festival Weekend for our Donors’ Reception, Owls 30 Years Reunion Dinner and exclusive viewing of a fabulous selection of books from the Ohtake Collection specially curated by our Deputy Librarian Catherine Munford.

We are already looking forward to next year’s festival! In the meantime if you have any feedback from the weekend or suggestions for future activities please do not hesitate to get in touch at

Hughes Hall Summer Drinks in Central London – Friday 9 July

Cambridge Commonwealth Scholar, Sonali Pathirana (MPhil 1998) very kindly hosted Hughes Hall alumni for Summer Drinks in London. It was a great to see so many alumni there and to have the opportunity to reconnect in central London! Photos from the evening can be found on Facebook.

Summer Garden Party – Saturday 22 June

The sun came out for us this year, the sound of chatter and jazz filled the College gardens, and the strawberries and pimms were plentiful! We hope that our guests (all 250 of them!) enjoyed the summer celebration! Photos from the day can be found on our Facebook page.

Hong Kong Mixer – Wednesday 29 May

Our Hughes Hall Alumni Group in Hong Kong organised an alumni mixer at Mudita, a delightful evening with drinks and snacks, and more importantly great company.

Event information

Don’t miss out…

We hold a number of alumni dinners and receptions in College and around the world. These are great opportunities to re-connect with fellow alumni, so please keep us up to date with your contact details to make sure you do not miss out on invitations to events happening near you.

Events for the whole College community

Alumni are welcome to attend the broad range of public lectures and concerts that take place at Hughes Hall throughout the year. A full list of College events can be found here, or you can view the College Calendar.


If you require assistance or have particular requirements to attend one of the above events please email or call 01223 768244

Photography at our Events

Photographs will be taken at all of these events, by attending these events you consent to your photograph being taken and used by the College and University. If you would not like to be featured in any event photographs please notify the photographer present at the event.