The activities of the Society are arranged and coordinated by a committee of volunteers who are elected from the general membership. These are divided into two classifications; Officers and ordinary members, as mandated by the constitution. The Committee also includes College Officers and the Presidents of both student common rooms.
Nominations for Committee members for 2016 will be open prior to the September AGM. Details of vacancies will be placed her in due course.
The Officers and Ordinary Committee Members are as follows:
Honorary President and College Council Rep: Canon Elizabeth Fisher (1965 – 68)
I read Theology at Durham and then took a PGCE at Oxford. Later I was awarded a M.Ed from Hull. My career has seen me teaching in schools and in university departments of Theology. I recently retired from the faculty of St John’s Nottingham. I moved back to the north east in 2010, and was elected president in 2011. I am proud to be the president, following in the footsteps of colleagues who are still giving their valuable service to the committee and the college.
As President, I sit on the College Council and Development Committee, and chair the Travel Bursary Committee.
Vice President: Mr Steven Spencer (2005 – 09)
I was delighted to be elected as Vice President at the 2014 AGM having been an ordinary member of the committee since 2008 for three years and subsequently re-elected in 2011. I arrived at Mary’s in 2005 to study for a PGCE having previously read Earth Sciences with the Open University and remained in Durham as a secondary school teacher until 2010. In this time I also read an MA Education at Durham, held the position of College Tutor from 2006 to 2010, latterly as Postgraduate Tutor, and was MCR President in the 2007/8 academic year, including serving as Chair of the MCR Presidents’ Committee for two terms. In 2010 I moved to London to further my studies at Brunel University and am currently a manager within a private international school. My positions within the Committee include being the Newsletter Co-ordinator and chairing the Book Fund Committee from 2009 to 2016.
Secretary: Mrs Christine Wright (Bryce, 1975 – 79)
After reading English Language and Literature from 1975 – 78 and studying for a PGCE the following year, I began a teaching career in CountyDurham teaching English. I taught in various schools across the North East for over 30 years, becoming a Head of Department, Deputy Head and finally a Headteacher over 14 years in 2 mixed comprehensive schools. I was also a Principal Examiner for GCSE English, Secretary to two regional groups of Headteachers, and the Chair of the Funding Committee of ASCL (Association of School and College Leaders). While moving around the region between jobs I remained living in Durham itself, not seeing any reason to leave as I loved the city from the moment I arrived for interview in 1974!
Treasurer: Mrs Ann Bainbridge (Cockcroft, 1966 – 70)
I read English Language and Literature then stayed on to do a P.G.C.E. My varied and thoroughly enjoyable career in education in the North East spanned secondary, further and higher education, prison education and teacher training over 38 years. I feel very lucky to have brought up my three sons in Durham City, and now I am a happily retired “lady of leisure” living in Hexham, with five gorgeous grandchildren to keep me on my toes.
College Archivist: Miss Anne Elliott (1966 – 70)
After reading English at Durham, I have had an unbroken career teaching English at all levels in various secondary schools and am currently teaching A-Level English Language to Sixth Form students. I am an experienced committee member and enjoy my links with former students. I make an enthusiastic contribution to Reunion activities. I have recently taken on the role of College archivist and am delving with interest into aspects of the College history.
Ordinary Committee Members:
Dr Dorothy Middleton (Wooff, 1964 – 67)
I completed my Ph.D. in 1971. Since my return to live in Durham, I have worked as a part-time lecturer in the Anthropology Dept. and East Asian Studies. I am now a Research Associate and part-time lecturer in the Anthropology Dept. My research, undergoing, is in Guatemala and Southern Mexico. In August 2015, I was made a Freeman of the City of London. I have been a Committee member for a number of years, contributing as time allowed. I am a College tutor for Durham and Teikyo students at St Mary’s.
Dr Margaret Collins (Purnell, 1965 – 68)
I read Physics at Durham, then went to Newcastle University to do Medical Physics, working both for the NHS and as a University researcher. I worked at Durham University from 1982 in the Service for Students with Disabilities, retiring in 2007, having been Director for 14 years. I have been involved with St Mary’s College Society and the Committee since the 80s, and was President from 1998 until 2007.
Mr Andy Hopkins (2005 – 12)
A long standing member of the committee, from 2016 onwards Andy will Chair the Book Fund Committee.
Mrs Sylvia Graham (Bruce 1958 – 62)
I have an Honours degree in German with subsidiary French, stayed on to do a Dip. Ed (now PGCE). My career has been in secondary school teaching, starting in a grammar school in Co. Durham, moving to comprehensive schools in East Yorkshire and Wirral and finishing in a boys’ independent school in Birkenhead. After retiring husband, Hatfield man, and I moved back to our native Durham and have now been here for 15 years. Jenny Hobbs, principal at the time, as well as proposing me for membership of SCR, soon encouraged me to become active in the Society. I joined the committee, became secretary, retired from that and have now been persuaded to be a committee member again. Returning to Mary’s was like coming home, as the caring and friendly atmosphere of the late 50s and 60s has not been lost in the many changes made over the years.
Mr Timothy Hughes (2010 – 14)
Having only recently closed the chapter of my undergraduate days at St Mary’s College, it is a pleasure to have the opportunity to add to its alumni community within the SMCS committee. In June 2014, I left Durham University with an M.Sci. degree in Mathematics and Physics, and I began a graduate scheme in the telecommunications industry shortly thereafter. Without doubt, my fondest memories in Durham can be almost entirely attributed to my choice of college. While at St Mary’s College, I was fortunate enough to be able to contribute to this home in various capacities within the JCR (including working actively in its executive committee) and later within the MCR too. My enthusiasm for St Mary’s College has not dwindled since leaving as a student, and I frequently sell its merits to anyone who is yet to bore of me doing so! I currently maintain the Society website and assist in the putting-together of the annual Reunion Weekend.
Ex Officio College Representatives:
Professor Simon Hackett (Principal, St Mary’s College)
Mrs Catherine Paine (Vice Principal and Senior Student Support Officer, St Mary’s College)
Ms Rebecca Hunt (JCR President 2015 – Present, St Mary’s College)
Ms Sabrina Seel (MCR President 2014 – Present, St Mary’s College)
Ms Amy Simpkins (JCR President 2014 – 15, St Mary’s College)
Ms Hannah Mills (Development Officer 2015 – Present, St Mary’s College)
I arrived in Durham to study Biology in 2012 and, after finishing my degree, was reluctant to leave! I was lucky enough to be offered a job at St. Mary’s and am now the Sabbatical Alumni Relations and Development Officer. I am very excited to spend the next year working with the St. Mary’s Society and the alumni body as a whole to make sure that all of our past students feel a strong connection to college. Hannah will also be involved in the newsletter editing process for 2016.