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Congratulations to Dame Louise

We  were delighted to learn that Professor Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University, has been recognized by HM The Queen in her Birthday Honours today. Dame Louise, as she has now become, has been a much-appreciated longstanding supporter of SFOU and she will be greatly missed when she steps back from her position at the end of the year.


Young SFOU kindly invites you to the Zurich Art Weekend (ZAW) on Friday, 10th June!

We will be visiting some of the dozens of events the city will be hosting, while talking about what SFOU has in store for the coming year. Our evening begins at 5pm at Bellevue tram stop. We will then proceed to Galeria Kogan Amaro (GKA) to see an exhibit by Brazilian artist Mundano.

Young SFOU has a distinct focus on more recent graduates, but all members are welcome and encouraged to attend our events.

Feel free to contact Elias Cristante at +41 787257819 or Maria Mavridoglou at +41 79 172 44 17.

More information about ZAW and GKA is available here: https://zurichartweekend.com/ + https://galeriakoganamaro.com/en/

Join us for an Alumni Reunion in Villars, Switzerland


Join your fellow alumni for two lectures focusing on accelerating the transition to a net zero economy, followed by a drinks reception on the Villars Palace Hotel terrace overlooking stunning mountain views. 

The reunion will take place as part of the inaugural Villars Symposium, from the Villars Institute, which was established in 2022 as a non-profit foundation to accelerate the transition to a net zero economy and to restore the health of the planet for all its inhabitants. Find out more about the wider symposium here


  • Time TBC: A review of the key climate change takeaways from World Economic Forum
  • 4.45-5.45pm: Climate change panel with Oxford’s Smith School
  • 6-7.30pm: Drinks reception and canapés

Full details of the speakers and lecture topics will follow soon.



Professor Irene Tracey nominated as next Oxford Vice-Chancellor

The Chancellor of Oxford University, Lord Patten of Barnes, who chaired the Nominating Committee, said: ‘Irene Tracey was born in Oxford and educated at a local comprehensive and Oxford University, for which she has now been proposed as the next Vice-Chancellor. It is an extraordinary story of personal achievement, social mobility and academic excellence. I doubt whether anyone knows more about the University and all its aspects than today’s Warden of Merton. She also, as an internationally recognised scientist, has considerable experience at home and abroad. I am sure she will build successfully on the outstanding achievements of Louise Richardson and lead Oxford in coping with the big challenges which lie ahead.’

Read the full article here.

SFOU congratulates Professor Dame Sarah Springman on her appointment as St Hilda’s new Principal, former Rector of ETH Zurich.


‘What the college stands for is very important to me. Excellence and equality have been significant driving motivations throughout my career.’

Professor Dame Sarah Springman was awarded a DBE for services to engineering and services to international sports administration in the 2022 New Year Honours. Exactly a month later she formally took up her post as the new Principal of St Hilda’s.



Swiss Friends of Oxford celebrates four years of success

Swiss Friends of Oxford (SFOU) has successfully completed its fourth full year of operation.
During 2021 SFOU has reached some significant milestones. It has already facilitated over
CHF 4,500,000 in donations to Oxford University, its colleges and departments and
distributed over CHF 5,000 in scholarship funds to Swiss-based students applying to Oxford.
SFOU has grown its membership to 64 and has expanded its board by appointing Maria
Mavridoglou and Anne Kriken Mann.

President of the Association Howard Rosen said: ‘It’s an important part of our mission that
50% of our membership fees are allocated to support Swiss-based students studying at
Oxford. Switzerland is one of the philanthropic centres of the world and has detailed rules on
the establishment and purposes of tax-exempt organisations. As such, SFOU permits Oxford
University alumni and others based in Switzerland to make gifts and leave legacies in a tax
efficient way as charitable donations to Oxford.’

Board member Guy Spier noted: ‘We now have a platform from which to give back to
Oxford University, which has made such a difference to all our lives. As we look to the
future, there will be many more opportunities to increase awareness of Oxford and help the
next generation experience the same opportunities that we enjoyed.’

‘The most satisfying part of being a member of SFOU,’ said board member John Rolley, ’is
the support we can give directly to students. Working with Oxford we have already identified
students who are candidates for financial support, and the numbers we award scholarships to
will only grow as we spread the word.’

A spokesperson from Oxford University, said: ‘SFOU is a wonderful model for other nonprofits, started by alumni with the objective of giving back to their university.
Colleagues across the University and colleges were impressed when they started the association and are even more impressed that it has become a success, in spite of the pandemic. We are enormously grateful to the membership of SFOU for all their hard work and dedication.’

To find out more about the Swiss Friends of Oxford University, please visit the SFOU
website: www.oxfordfriends.ch or e-mail: info@oxfordfriends.ch

A message from the Vice Chancellor

Professor Louise Richardson CREDIT: John Cairns
18 November 2021  

As I am sure you may know, it is 6th week here at Oxford and we have broken the back of Michaelmas Term and can now start contemplating the Christmas break.

This has been an extraordinary time and I would like to thank each and every one of you for all you have done to support our University and for your continued active participation in the alumni community – it means a great deal to all of us after the prolonged disruption of the pandemic.

I also wanted to let you know that it is being announced today that I have been appointed the 13th President of the Carnegie Corporation of New York. I will take up my post on 1 January 2023 at the conclusion of my seven year term here at Oxford at the end of December 2022. As many of you know, the Carnegie Corporation is a Foundation dedicated to promoting education, strengthening democracy and advancing international peace.

The process of choosing my successor is already well-advanced. A committee charged with nominating the next Vice-Chancellor, led by the Chancellor, began work in July this year. It is expected to submit a name to the University’s Congregation for approval in summer 2022.

My years at Oxford have been the highlight of my career and I have treasured my opportunities to engage with this remarkable alumni community. But it is too early for perorations. I fully intend to dedicate the next year to working as hard as ever, together with you, to advance the mission of this great university. At Carnegie I will be leading a Foundation dedicated to my twin passions of education and peace, but Oxford will never be far from my thoughts.

With warm wishes,   Professor Louise Richardson Vice-Chancellor

Rescheduled virtual breakfast on 7th November 2021

SFOU is organising another virtual breakfast on 7th November 2021, from 9:30 until 10:45 (UK Time). Tom Fletcher CMG, Principal, Hertford College, and former British Ambassador,  will be our host and guest speaker, talking on “The future of education “. The talk will be followed by a general discussion and questions.

The breakfast is open to all SFOU members and partners/guests and Swiss students currently studying in Oxford. To register, please email Bobby Holtzer at info@oxfordfriends.ch and you will be sent joining details in due course.

Of course we should all still be eating breakfast together! And a breakfast is not Swiss without Birchermuesli. So please also e-mail your favourite Birchermuesli recipe to us at info@oxfordfriends.ch and we will upload a selection of the best ones closer to the time.