Mr Alan Bookbinder becomes the 18th Master of Downing College on 1 October 2018.  I wish him and his wife Vicki Ambery-Smith all the very best for their time in the Master’s Lodge and beyond.  Based on my own experience as 17th Master, I know that the entire Downing community has prepared for Alan and Vicki the warmest of welcomes.

Downing is in excellent health, and I depart with sadness and yet with pride — sadness because the wondrous times as Master have drawn to a close, and pride for the many achievements of the College and its members during my quinquennium.

My guiding vision as Master has been the unending quest for excellence.  We all do our best to advance the targets of the College and its members, whether academic, cultural, sporting, financial, or administrative.  It brings me satisfaction to know that every single member of Downing contributes daily to this vision, and the evidence of their successes is found wherever one looks.

I am especially thrilled by the cultural advances of the College.  Our Heong Gallery is an ongoing miracle in the visual arts, and our musical life will be enormously enhanced by the recent and long overdue appointment of our first ever Director of College and Chapel Music.  These developments indicate our commitment to the highest standards of participation and performance.

To the members of Downing, I say farewell and thank you, and see you soon.  Keep it up!

Published 28 September 2018.