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Johnian magazine issue 46, autumn 2020

Top College stories

1 min read

Nobel Prize in Physics awarded to
St John’s scientist

In October 2020, alumnus and Honorary Fellow of St John’s Professor Sir Roger Penrose (1952) scooped the 114th Nobel Prize in Physics, together with Professor Reinhard Genzel and Professor Andrea Ghez, for work on blackhole formation and the discovery of a supermassive blackhole at the centre of our galaxy.

May Concert

The May Concert is a staple of the College calendar, taking place at the end of Easter term to bring the academic year to a close. This year the concert was streamed virtually, featuring musical highlights filmed in College earlier in the year as well as projects that performers recorded in their own homes.

Tim Waters, Head of College buildings, in the historic Senior Combination Room after the installation of the new oak floor

SCR flooring restored

The Senior Combination Room, where army officials planned the D-Day landings, has had its worn pine flooring replaced with more durable boards.

The Grade 1 listed room, and the Small Combination Room next door to it, were once part of the Gallery of the original 17th century Master’s Lodge, and it is believed that the original oak flooring was replaced with softer pine boards during building works in the 1860s.

Tim Waters, Head of College Buildings, asserts that the new oak boards in the SCR, if maintained correctly, should last at least a couple of centuries.

Honoured alumni

Five Johnians were mentioned in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2020.

• Sir Donald Runnicles (1976), General Music Director of Deutsche Opera Berlin, was appointed a Knight Bachelor for services to music.

• Sir Graham Wrigley (1982), Chair CDC Group PLC, was made a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) for services to international development.

• Professor Keith Hawton (1962), Consultant Psychiatrist at Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Oxford, was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to suicide prevention.

• Professor Sheena Radford (1984), Astbury Professor of Biophysics at the University of Leeds and Honorary Fellow of St John’s, was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to molecular biology research.

• Professor Stefan Reif (1976), founder and lately Director of the Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit at the University of Cambridge, was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to scholarship.

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