Current Affairs

Magdalen College elects first female president

Dinah Rose QC will become the 43rd president of Magdalen College, as current Magdalen President Professor Sir David Clary will retire at the end of the summer.

Dinah Rose’s connection to Magdalen is long-standing. She was an undergraduate student in Modern History who graduated with First Class Honours in 1987 and since then has been a human rights barrister as well as a member of Blackstone Chambers. Over the last 30 years, she has been a key figure in major law cases across diverse areas of practice such as public law, human rights, employment law, and competition law. She holds numerous accolades such as being appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 2006, being named named Barrister of the Year in The Lawyer Awards 2009, and being appointed Deputy Judge of the High Court.

Magdalen College President’s Lodgings

The election of Dinah Rose QC comes as a monumental step for the college as she will be the first woman to hold the post since Magdalen’s foundation in 1458. As is well known, Magdalen was one of the last Oxbridge colleges to admit women, doing so just 41 years ago in 1979. However, recent years in the college have been characterised as extremely progressive in trying to deviate away from the all-male and all-white reputation it once held. For example, it has committed a lot of time and energy to access events and in the past year has engaged over ten-thousand students from diverse backgrounds in its outreach program. The college has now reached a gender ratio where there are a greater percentage of female undergraduate students than male which speaks to the potency of their access projects. Having a new female president will only further broaden the once-singular narrative told by Magdalen and is a huge move forward in a positive direction for the College. 

New president Dinah Rose QC is set to begin her time as president of Magdalen College in September of 2020. 

She has said, “It is a great pleasure and privilege to be returning to Magdalen, where I spent three happy and unforgettable years as a student. I look forward to fostering a diverse and welcoming community of scholars, where lively debate, and mutual respect and support encourage our students to fulfil their enormous potential, personally as well as academically. Magdalen has in recent years made very substantial progress in broadening access to the unmatched opportunities which it offers. I am determined to do all in my power to ensure that Magdalen is as accessible and inclusive as it is exceptional.”

Anvee Bhutani

Anvee Bhutani is Senior Media Editor of The Oxford Blue and was formerly both News Editor and Events Director. She is a penultimate year student at Magdalen College reading Human Sciences and is originally from San Francisco, California.