A Message from the President

A few days ago, in an email on another matter, a Visiting Fellow who had decided to remain in Cambridge with his family wrote to me, “We are very glad that we had decided to stay. Clare Hall is probably the best place to stay in this pandemic.” I am sure he is right.

A couple of weeks ago we were very touched to receive a video made by the GSB expressing their feelings. It is posted on the College website and is on YouTube

I encourage you to look at it: it will make you as proud as I am to be a member of this College. The GSB has been doing an extraordinary job holding the whole community together with their various events: in all my years in colleges I have never known such a positive student body.

No less heartening have been the emails from Life Members which I received after my last e-letter, saying that they had been updating their wills and wanted me to know that they had included a legacy to the College. It is such generosity that gives us confidence in Clare Hall’s long-term future.

The President of the GSB also sends her thanks for the overwhelming number of Life members who have volunteered to give talks for the Easter Term series of Thursday evening talks – all via video of course! The slots have now been filled but there will be the opportunity to watch the talks.

It is our strong community of Fellows, Students, Visiting Fellows and Life Members who make Clare Hall such a special place. There are so many ways you can connect and be part of it; on our website, via various social media, through Clare Hall Connect, our new WhatsApp group and of course good old-fashioned email.

The collegiate University remains an academic body, functioning as well as it can under the changed circumstances. As term begins, those who teach are having to come to terms with technologies which we may not have come across before and a form of teaching which we have not thought about, while those who have exams are coming to terms with what for many will be unfamiliar modes of assessment.

Not all of us are doing research relating to Covid-19 – I have been locked down in thirteenth-century English law, which I am sure will not solve the world’s current problems – but many of our Fellows and Students have been turning their skills to COVID-related research.

Some of it has been focused on understanding the virus; some on ways to treat the virus or to reduce its chances of spreading, especially in developing countries; and some on the social consequences of the virus in communities. It is impossible to list them all, but an indication of the range of things which are being done can be seen in these links:

Modelling demand for intensive care beds

COVID-19 and stroke - A global World Stroke Organization perspective

Coronavirus Pandemic: Making Safer Emergency Hospitals

Progress using COVID-19 patient data to train machine learning models for healthcare

Partnering with NHS Digital and Public Health England

Open Ventilator System Initiative

And of course, we must not ignore the work which is being done by our medically qualified Fellows and students who are working on the front line of patient care.

If you have stories to share with us, about how you are engaged in the current efforts to understand and contain the impact of COVID, please let us know.

The very good news is that at least we are now beginning to think of a staged re-opening of the College and the University. We cannot yet know when it will be possible, but even to be thinking about it gives us a real hope for the future. We hope that we will be able to see you soon!


Clare Hall President