Downing College Head Porter: Kevin Sargent

Downing appoints new Head Porter

Downing College is delighted to announce the appointment of Kevin Sargent as our new Head Porter. Kevin takes on the role following the retirement of Tina D’Angelico, Downing’s first female Head Porter, who has been in post for over 11 years.

Kevin has spent the last three years as Deputy Head Porter at Selwyn College. Prior to this, Kevin worked for the Sainsbury’s supermarket chain for 25 years, from starting as a customer service assistant and progressing to a variety of managerial positions. For 23 years, Kevin was based in the busy Sidney Street branch, nicknamed by Cambridge students as ‘Mainsburys.’ For many years it was one of the few stores selling groceries in the city centre, and was not surprisingly one of Sainsbury’s top ten UK locations for trading intensity during term-time. For this reason, Kevin was familiar with the rhythm of the Cambridge academic year.

Looking for a change in career, it was suggested to Kevin that he look for a role in one of the Cambridge colleges and this led him to join Selwyn College as Deputy Head Porter.

Kevin relishes his role as a porter due to the people-focused nature of the work and the variation, where he said, “no two days are ever the same.”  He enjoys the reactive nature of a busy Porters’ Lodge, but recognises the importance of having solid frameworks in place to ensure everything runs smoothly and safely. He is excited to join Downing and the challenges a new role brings.

Kevin currently lives in Northstowe, but grew up in Bar Hill and raised his own family in the village. He is a keen footballer and football fan, and enjoys a wide-range of sports.

Kevin said: “Having stayed with the same company for such a long part of my career I’m now enjoying testing myself in new roles, and new organisations. I’m looking forward to joining Downing, a college with a great reputation for friendliness, and continuing the journey I started in the collegiate system over three years ago.”

Gavin Flynn, Senior Bursar, said: “I am delighted Kevin has joined us to lead the team in the Porters’ Lodge which is central to so many aspects of College life. His warm personality and caring ethos make him a natural fit and we look forward to his contributions in the coming years, welcoming all to Downing and becoming a key part of our community."

Published 25 April 2023