On Monday 1 October, during a special ceremony in the chapel, the President and Fellows gathered to witness the Installation of the new Master, Dr Pippa Rogerson.
Dr Rogerson is the 43rd Master of Gonville & Caius College, the first woman master in its 670-year history. Her installation as Master comes 40 years after the first admission of women as students and Fellows. Her appointment brings the number of female Heads of Houses in Cambridge to 12, meaning almost 40% of the 31 colleges are headed by women.
Dr Rogerson’s connection to the College for 32 years - as a graduate from 1986, as Director of Studies in Law and as a Tutor - will put her in good stead to continue the momentum of success that her predecessor Professor Sir Alan Fersht started. Dr Rogerson said she was ‘delighted and daunted in equal parts’ when her election was first announced. She said ‘I’m extremely fortunate to be part of such a wonderful College with such distinguished colleagues who are so engaged in research and teaching, fantastic undergraduates and graduates and an incredible team of staff’.
The ceremony also included the admission of seven new Fellows. Joining a community of over 110 senior academic members are: four research fellows (in Modern and Medieval Languages, Computer Science, English and Material Science), a Senior Bursar and two College Lecturers (in Law and Architecture).
Central to the ceremony was the Caduceus, a silver staff that John Caius, our Second Founder, bestowed upon the College in the sixteenth century. The President handed the caduceus to Dr Rogerson as a symbol of prudent government.
Speaking on the symbolism of the Caduceus, President, Professor John Mollon said "The material of the Caduceus, Caius told us, symbolises gentleness of government while the four exquisite serpents represent wise government. These are qualities that Dr Rogerson will unquestionably embody as she becomes the new bearer of the Caduceus. The Fellows, the College Staff, and the Student Body all wish her a long and prosperous Mastership."