Summer events programme takes shape

Dean Alan McCormack and his team are preparing a very special programme of summer events for Members who have had limited opportunities for face-to-face contact during the pandemic. (Check the Alumni diary page for those open to Alumni.)

The summer programme provides a rich mix of cultural, intellectual and social activities with concerts, theatre, picnics and much more. Planning is underway for a Summer Ball, a TEDx conference, a celebration of the 700th Anniversary of the Italian poet Dante and a proper College Sports Day.

Dean Alan McCormack explains: “Because Members have been living in a ‘reduced world’ we’ve been determined to release their energy and enthusiasm over the long summer months. We want to give them a real experience of what the College, London and the UK can be. So, we’re doing what we’ve never done before and delivering a full programme of events throughout the summer. It’s a measure of the huge commitment the College is making to the people who are part of our community.”

The programme includes intellectual, cultural, inter-faith, social and sporting events – delivered by the College, by its Member-led Academic Committee and by a host of College clubs and societies. Events are large and small scale, formal and informal, blended or face-to-face, but all contribute to building the College’s famous sense of community.

One of the highlights of the programme is a number of “Understanding the UK” visits to key towns and cities led by Dean Alan. “These visits provide a great opportunity for Members from overseas to discover what makes the UK unique,” says Alan. “As well as visits to Oxford and Cambridge and three trips to our Scottish retreat The Burn; we’ll be travelling to Nottingham to explore Robin Hood and the British sense of fair play, to Runnymede to talk about Magna Carta and to Cardiff to discover more about devolved government and the Welsh language and identity. The visits also provide opportunities for our Members to hear from experts and explore these themes in depth.”

Alan continues: “For Members who live at the College for just one year there’s usually a chance to experience both a summer and a winter ball. Our Winter Ball was cruelly snatched away, but hopefully our Summer Ball will return with a flourish. It’s a lovely thing and a prime occasion for the making of memories.

“I’m particularly looking forward to TEDXGoodenoughCollege in August,” adds Alan. “This year the theme will be ‘Reshaping Realities’ as we emerge in to the post-pandemic world. Another highlight will be Greek theatre in the Quad, a blended event open to 60 spectators. College Fellow David Stuttard has translated text from Aeschylus and Euripides and professional actors Dame Sian Phillips and Stephen Greif have kindly agreed to perform for us pro-bono.”

As in pre-pandemic years, Members aim to showcase their own performing arts skills in College and further afield throughout the summer. For example the Goodensemble will perform an ‘independence day’ concert of chamber music on 4 July. Members are also scheduled to perform Shakespeare for local residents at a party in Mecklenburgh Square Garden; to play music for residents of Netherwallop in (former Director) Major Gen Tim Toyne-Sewell’s home in Netherwallop (one of the famous Hampshire Wallops!); and to mark the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death with a live performance of portions of the Commedia in the Quad.

As more face-to-face events become possible the College will be able to move some events from Zoom-only to “blended” events. This may mean a slight diminution in quality for Zoom attendees but it does mean that Alumni will be able to continue to participate in at least a selection of the College’s rich programme of events alongside Members.

To provide a flavour of the draft events programme see the small selection below:


4 June Canterbury – Understanding the UK
11 June Nottingham – Understanding the UK
15 June Runnymede – Understanding the UK
23 June Visit to the V&A with Dr Antonia Bostrom, Fellow
4 July Midsummer Quad Concert; Goodensemble, Fei-wan Ho (Owen)
9 July Visit to the Royal Society with Dr Julie Maxton, Fellow
10 July Summer Ball (date tbc)
11 July Greek Theatre in the Quad, David Stuttard, Fellow (translator), with Dame Sian Phillips/Stephen Greif
15 July Cardiff Day Trip, Grahame Davies, Fellow. TBC
17 July New music Recital WGH LCR and Quad
18 July Mecklenburgh Square Garden Party with Shakespeare scenes, etc
24 July Netherwallop Goodenough musicians / impresario Maj Gen Tim Toyne-Sewell
6 August Underriver Day Trip with Mr Christopher Hurrion
August TEDxGoodenoughCollege (date TBC)
15 August Dante 700 – WGH Quad (Rene Weis)
28 August Sports Day (date tbc)

Alumni will be able to continue to participate in some of the College’s rich programme of events alongside Members – check the Goodenough Global networking site for Alumni for the latest information.