I spent 4 brilliant years at Keble College Oxford studying for my Masters in Mathematics and Computer Science. Since then I’ve returned on many occasions to celebrate (and commemorate). In 2017 I was made an Honorary Fellow. I’ve still not quite got used to the special places across the college that I’m now allowed to sit in.
Keble College is gearing up to celebrate its 150th anniversary. As part of the festivities portraits of 28 alumni were commissioned for an installation, which was unveiled last week. Mine is one of them. Above the benches so familiar to me is a rather unfamiliar and surreal sight.
The next time you’re in town enjoying breakfast, lunch or formal hall/dinner (or have asked a lodger very politely whether you can come into Keble College), head to the back right of our great Hall and look up – I’m right there watching over you. You might also spot campaigner & activist Caroline Criado-Perez OBE and incredible children’s author Frank Cottrell-Boyce.
Big thanks to the college for having me all those years ago and keeping me along for the ride – as an honorary Fellow, University Challenge team member and now a portrait alongside the others who have been hanging for decades. Also, thank you to Fran Monks for capturing my essence so well.
As someone commented to me this week, hopefully this will be a “reminder to people who feel like an imposter” that they can find belonging in all kinds of places – even somewhere like Oxford University.
To learn more about the installation, see the Keble College website.
If you like to see another portrait in Oxford, you could also head to Examination Schools on the High Street (you’ll have to ask nicely, though – Exam Schools isn’t open to the public). This was part of a University-wide initiative to diversity portraits – and was created by Sarah Muirhead.