Special Interest Groups
Many alumni continue or take up a special interest through participation in a range of alumni special interest groups.
The Women’s Dining Club is informal, friendly and welcoming, with women of varying ages and occupations drawn together by a continuing interest in UCL’s activities and concern for its future. They include UCL alumni, as well as past and present members of UCL staff.
We aim to enable past and present women students and members of staff with varying interests to meet and share experiences at informal dinners; encourage continued interest in UCL and support its activities; and help undergraduate students in financial difficulty.
We are always looking to welcome new members. Membership is open to ALL women graduates of UCL, also past and present UCL women staff who wish to retain their long standing connection with UCL. We look forward to you joining us.
Contact: Diana de Deney, Club Secretary, Tel +44 (0)20 7229 6199
Spring Buffet Dinner, 18 March 2014
On 18 March 2014, over 60 members and guests of the Women's Dining Club heard Baroness Williams of Crosby, the Liberal Democrat peer, speak about her mother's life and experiences during World War One. Baroness Williams is of course better known as the former MP, cabinet minister and joint founder of the SDP, Shirley Williams. Her mother was Vera Brittain, the celebrated writer, feminist and pacifist who is best remembered for her memoir Testament of Youth which documents her life as a voluntary aid detachment (VAD) nurse and the impact it had on her growing pacifism.
Autumn Buffet Dinner: The WDC visits the Institute of Making, 26 November 2013, 6pm
The UCL Women's Dining Club held its Autumn Buffet Supper on Tuesday 26 November. This was preceded by a fascinating visit to the Institute of Making, which the UCL Department of Engineering opened in March 2013. This innovative and interesting Institute is a multidisciplinary research club for those interested in materials and the made world from makers of molecules to makers of buildings.
Zoe Laughlin, one of the enthusiastic founders, showed 24 of us
around the Institute’s building in Malet Place .We first saw the Materials
Library, which is a repository of some extraordinary materials gathered from
sheds to laboratories. Zoe invited us to feel and lift some of the objects. Full report
WDC Spring Guest Buffet - ‘Nature, nurture or neither? The view from the genes’, 6 March 2013
We were delighted to welcome Professor Steve Jones, Emeritus Professor of Genetics, UCL, who spoke to us at the end of a very busy day in which he had given several similar talks to highlight his forthcoming book. Steve described The Serpent’s Promise (due out on 2 May) as a re-write of the Bible written as if it were science. The first slide showed a bronze statue of a chimpanzee sitting on a pile of books, including one by Darwin and another with a page displaying the phrase “Eritis sicut deus” (and ye shall be as God), from Genesis when the serpent is enticing Eve to eat from the Tree of Knowledge. This statue by Hugo Reinhold was first exhibited in 1893 at the Great Berlin Exhibition and one can be found in the Institute for Evolutionary Biology at Edinburgh University, where Steve was an undergraduate and postgraduate student. Full report
WDC Autumn Buffet Supper, Thursday, 22 November 2012
The UCL Women Dining Club’s autumn buffet on 22 November 2012 was preceded by a very interesting visit to the Wellcome Collection in Euston Road, where a guide took members and their guests round the Life and Death themed exhibition. She also gave us a short introduction to the fascinating winter exhibition which contains a collection devoted to the iconography of death assembled by Richard Harris of Chicago.
Professor David Price was the speaker after the buffet which was held in the Terrace Restaurant. As UCL’s Vice Provost (Research) he is responsible for the college’s research performance and for implementing four ‘Grand Challenges’. David, who came to UCL from Cambridge in 1983, later became the professor of mineral physics and has made outstanding contributions to the physics of the earth's core. Full report
WDC Guest Night Dinner, Women in politics, Wednesday, 22 February 2012
On 22 February 2012 Therese Coffey, who first entered Parliament in 2010 as Conservative MP for Suffolk Coastal, gave a spirited address entitled ‘Women in politics’ at the WDC spring guest dinner.
Therese received her PhD in Chemistry from UCL, qualified as an accountant and worked for Mars Drinks UK, finally as finance director. After leaving in 2009, she became a full time European candidate and later joined the BBC as a property finance manager. Full report.
WDC Autumn Buffet Supper and visit to the Learning Theatre at UCLH - Thursday, 24 November 2011
On 24 November 2011 members of the UCL Women’s Dining Club met in the UCH Education Centre before being taken on a guided tour of the Sir Ronald Mason Learning Hospital, opened in 2010. This hospital combines state of the art simulation technology and teaching.
Our guide showed us round the hospital’s Clinical Simulation Theatre used by both trainee and experienced surgeons. Through a one-way viewing mirror colleagues and trainees can observe others perform a variety of medical procedures under various situations using leading edge mannequins (sim-men) operated by out-of- sight trained technicians. Full report.
WDC and CDC Joint Dinner - Tuesday, 18 October 2011
AGM and Buffet - 11 May 2011
Spring Guest Dinner - 19 April 2011
On 19 April we were enormously honoured that Terry Waite CBE was our guest speaker in the Old Refectory.
Terry Waite, an exceptional humanitarian, writer and lecturer, spoke about ‘Survival in solitude. An account of five years totally alone’ with great humility, understanding, and often humour, on his time and experiences as a hostage in the Middle East at the end of the 1980s and beginning of the 1990s. Full report.
The Alumni Club exists to assist and advise the UCL Conservative Society. It is designed to help former members keep in touch and meets for an annual dinner. Society alumni are welcomed at all our events. Membership of the club is free, but you need to have been a member of the society in the past. Please visit the Alumni Club website for further details.
For information on forthcoming events email: Jill House, firstname.lastname@example.org; +44 (0)20 7679 4231
LGBT Alumni Group Launch Event – Wednesday 30 October 2013
On 30 October, the UCL LGBT Alumni Group will hold their first event; a drinks reception with a speech from Sir Stephen Wall, Chair of UCL Council and LGBT Equality Champion.
The reception will be attended by special guest Alan Hollinghurst, Honorary UCL graduate and renowned author whose books include The Line of Beauty.
The group hope that this and their future events will facilitate networking, new friendships and an on-going relationship with UCL.
To attend the launch event book your place online by 16 October 2013.
For more information about the group and to hear about their activities join the UCL Alumni Facebook page or email Oliver Geffen (UCL Genetics 2011), Chair and Don Levett (UCL Anthropology 2006), Communications Officer