President’s message

Welcome to the St Mary’s College Society Website

For some time we have been wanting to develop the Society’s website, and I am delighted to welcome you to what I hope you agree is a new and dynamic resource.

I am beginning my fourth year as President of the Society. I came to Durham to read Music in 1965, staying on for my PhD and I still live in the North East.  My husband, Peter, is Professor of Music at the University.

I work for The Open University both as Assistant Director in our Gateshead office and as Head of Services for Younger Students for the whole institution. The OU is a very different kind of institution from Durham, but I retain my commitment to Durham University and especially St Mary’s.

Our Committee looks two ways:  to supporting current students and raising awareness about our activities so that they know what their subscriptions are going towards, and to engaging with all the former members of College across the generations through our newsletter and reunions both in Durham and wider afield.

In going more online, we can keep you up to date more efficiently with what is going on.  One of the challenges for me is to engage with more recent generations of graduates using the media most appropriate to them (and here I am grateful to the younger members of our Committee who promote St Mary’s Society’s on Facebook – something I have logged onto, but am reluctant to go any further….) while respecting the needs of those who attended College many years ago, for whom all the electronic media is uncharted waters. It is perhaps those generations of alumnae – because they are all women! – for whom the Society is particularly important, and I am determined that their needs are not overlooked.

So I hope you enjoy exploring our site. Thanks are due especially to Steven Spencer for his work in setting it up and maintaining it. Keep visiting it, and if you are planning to come to Durham, make sure you let us know and pop into College.  There have been lots of changes, but there’s also lots that is reassuringly the same…

Elizabeth Manning