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Written by:
Paul Holland
30 Jun 2023

Members of Trinity Hall gathered to celebrate their achievements and the end of their studies at General Admission yesterday (29 June).

They gathered in Front Court for a photograph before processing to Senate House led by Acting Head Porter, Paul Clare and Praelector, Dr Cristiano Ristuccia.

Addressing them before they left Front Court, Dr Ristuccia joked that he had struggled to find the right quote from literature to sum up the experiences of a group of students who had begun their studies during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. After dismissing some of the great works of literature like those by Tolstoy and the Homer, he said he found the beginning of  Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities to be instructive: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness.”

He went on to say that they should use the knowledge and skills they had gained at Cambridge to help others as well as themselves: “We make no sense in isolation”. In conclusion he told them: “We are exceedingly proud of what you’ve accomplished in your time at Trinity Hall.”

This was the last General Admission as Senior Tutor for Dr Clare Jackson as she steps down from the position this year. Addressing the graduands in the General Admission Booklet, she wrote:

“The College’s Tutors, Directors of Studies and supervisors have greatly enjoyed working with today’s graduands and look forward to their return to the College in the years ahead.

“All the College’s Fellows and Staff join me in congratulating our graduands on this special day and wish them every success and happiness in the future.”

Tutors, including Dr Jackson, gathered outside Senate House to greet everyone as they left the ceremony.

A message from the Master, Mary Hockaday

“On behalf of all of my colleagues at Trinity Hall, I congratulate you on your achievements and celebrate all the many ways you have contributed to community life in College.

“Despite unusual times and real challenges, you have, for these past few years, helped make Trinity Hall the special College that it is. We thank you and offer you our sincerest congratulations.”

A message from Former JCR President Kate Valentine

“When our cohort arrived at Trinity Hall in Michaelmas 2020, we could hardly know what to expect from our next three years. Whilst the beginning of our time was constrained by COVID rules, freezing over takeaway meals in the gazebo and walking one way around College, thanks to the wonderful JCR Committee running Freshers’ Week we enjoyed a host of socially distanced events. Easter Term saw enthusiastic punting and lounging on Latham Lawn as we gradually came out of

“Waking up early for our 10am matriculation photo, delayed from the previous year, will remain a defining memory, and we were delighted to finally attend our whole cohort matriculation dinner too. Having been unable to eat in the Hall throughout first year, the re-introduction of formal halls (and brunch!) in second year was met with relish. Our fantastic new Ents team revitalised bops and superhalls: nothing standing out as much as 2022’s Burns Night superhall, featuring a lot of tartan, a real bagpiper, ceremonial haggis and a frankly incredible rendition of Robert Burns’ address.

“Trinity Hall has seen some major changes in recent years. While most of our time was without a Master, we were delighted to be involved in the selection process and welcomed our new Master, Mary Hockaday, whose commitment to bonding with students across all year groups hasn’t gone unnoticed. Nor has Mary’s delightful cat, Silly, who has won everyone’s hearts.

“Students at Trinity Hall continue to be fearless and outspoken in the face of adversity.”