It is a great honour to have been elected the ninth President of Clare Hall. I am really delighted and excited by the challenge. The pandemic has certainly made this one of the more difficult periods in the College's long history. Still, I am not surprised at all that everyone here has pulled together really admirably to make living and working in the College not just tolerable but actually rewarding, all of which augurs wonderfully well for our post-viral future.
I would very much like to say a few words about our retiring President. Of course, we will have a dinner to end all dinners to properly mark his seven-year reign when the coronavirus permits with endless speeches and will give Luigi free reign to secure two Michelin stars in one evening.
As you may know, I have served as David's deputy for two academic years, and it has been extraordinarily instructive. The Development Office would earn the College a fortune by hiring David out now to coach newly appointed Masters of colleges. His key quality is a wonderfully measured response to all circumstances. Clare Hall is 'slow'. David is resolutely Old Oxbridge.
His achievements in 7 years have been very considerable but subfusc. There has been a quiet revolution in which our governance has been clarified and reformed. This process commenced with our former Bursar, Amanda Walker, imperious and glamorous, the perfect foil to the President, quiet, measured and highly effective. David bought 4A Herschel Road for us after a nail-biting afternoon waiting for bidding to close. Thank goodness nobody else got it. And our food is fantastic, David's initiative. It is so indescribably important.
And so David, a very very warm thank you for all you have done for us and the College, it is a different and better place for your leadership, and I am a lucky incoming President to inherit a College in such fine shape.