New Master of Caius announced

  • 22 May 2017

The next Master of Gonville & Caius will be Dr Pippa Rogerson, Director of Studies in Law at the College.

Dr Rogerson, a Fellow of Caius since 1989 and a member of the University Council, will succeed Professor Sir Alan Fersht when he retires from the post at the end of September 2018.

The Fellows of the College resolved at a meeting on 19 May 2017 to elect Dr Rogerson as the next Master of the College. Her appointment was warmly welcomed by Fellows, students and staff.

Dr Rogerson will make history as the first woman Master of Caius in the 669 years since its foundation as Gonville Hall. Her appointment will bring the number of female Heads of Houses in Cambridge to 11, meaning just over a third of the 31 colleges will be headed by women.

While, as with many ancient institutions, there is complexity in counting the number of Masters, by the College’s measure Dr Rogerson will become the 43rd Master of Caius.

Dr Rogerson said she was “delighted and daunted in equal parts to have been elected Master of Caius. Sir Alan Fersht is a hard act to follow, and 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.”

Her focus as Master would be on people, she said. “In order to have excellence in education and research we have to choose the best people as students, Fellows and staff, and then provide the environment in which they can thrive and do absolutely their best work.

“I want to continue to use the wealth of the College for its primary purpose in supporting education and research, including ensuring an education at Cambridge is available to everybody who can benefit from it, regardless of where they come from.

“We want to provide the support for everybody to be the best they can be, not just for the three years they are here but on into their lives long after they leave.”

She added: “I am very keen to maintain Caius’ excellent academic tradition – the strength of our teaching and research is absolutely intrinsic to Caius’ identity. But there are so many more opportunities in Cambridge – sporting, social and cultural - that students should use to gain all those skills that make them employable and contribute to society when they leave College.

“Afterwards they maintain those friendships and networks they have built up through their academic and other interests – and that sense of community is what Caians are brilliant at.”

Dr Rogerson has been a Fellow and College Lecturer in Law at Caius since 1989, and Director of Studies in Law at the College since 1990. A University Lecturer in the Faculty of Law at Cambridge since 1989, she was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2001.

She is a former member of the College Council at Caius, and currently sits on the University Council.

Her predecessor, Professor Fersht, is a world-renowned chemist, who was knighted for his pioneering work on protein science.

The process of choosing a new Master was overseen by the President of Caius, Professor John Mollon. The College used headhunters and took advice from alumni to compile a distinguished shortlist of candidates. Professor Mollon said: “I should like to thank the many Fellows, staff members, students and alumni who helped ensure that the long and rigorous selection process proceeded so smoothly." The binding vote by the College's Governing Body to pre-elect Dr Rogerson will take place next April, followed by admission as Master in October.

 A third year lawyer at Caius, Hephzibah Adeosun, was among many Caius students to praise the appointment of Dr Rogerson. She said: “She’s a legend. Very pleased for her and I know she’ll do an excellent job.”


* For more information, contact Agnetta Lazarus –


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