The St Edmund Hall Association
About the St Edmund Hall Association
The St Edmund Hall Association is the body which represents all Aularians. The charter of the Association is to:
- Foster friendship and a spirit of collegiality between Aularians as part of a lifelong connection with the Hall. We do this in a variety of ways but mostly through social and educational events.
- Create and encourage professional and social networks for the benefit of past and present students, largely via careers and networking events.
- Maintain good and close relations with the Hall at all levels.
- Collect and disseminate news of alumni and St Edmund Hall Association activities.
- Promote awareness of the Hall’s strong heritage, culture and current activities and seek to promote connectivity between Aularians and the Hall.
We are always keen for Aularians to make the best possible use of SEHA and its alumni and to contribute towards its development. A small Executive Committee manages our affairs (both the JCR and MCR Presidents sit on the Committee as student representatives) and any Aularian may stand for election.
The St Edmund Hall Association Committee is keen to ensure that existing students and those who have recently left the Hall “get the most out of” the Association as possible: our alumni are a 10,000-strong body of talent for Aularians to tap into. Even before the Covid-19 pandemic took off, we were keen to move into a more digital way of working. Our priorities are as follows:
- Aularian Connect: this is an online networking platform that was launched in 2020 and has been developed jointly by the Hall and the Association. We hope it gives alumni and students an easily accessible, single source of social, career, mentoring and news opportunities. Please see here.
- Digital careers initiative – we continue to develop a series of short films from alumni in different industries to post on Aularian Connect. Students and other alumni can watch these films on demand and follow up with the relevant contacts directly for further guidance as required.
- Social events: Our big event of the year continues to be the London dinner in February, and in addition we now have a London lunch. Other alumni events take place abroad including, most notably, the New York dinner. Usually, the London dinner attracts over 200 attendees and those who have recently left the Hall are subsidised by the Association. We believe it is the largest annual dinner of any Oxford College and one that we are very proud of. Other social activities are arranged on an ad hoc basis, usually in conjunction with the Hall.
- Teddy talks: these interesting and varied talks are well attended by both current students and alumni and we plan to continue co-hosting these events with the Hall, and providing speakers from our many fascinating and talented alumni.
- Aularian prize: for several years, we have given a cash prize (currently £500) to help a student fund extracurricular projects, which typically are not connected with their degree and are often of a charitable nature. We run an annual competition amongst students to identify the most deserving project.
- Magazines: As the Hall moves towards a more digital offering for its annual magazine, the Association will provide a greater amount of its support to the termly e-letter instead.
- “Spirit of the Hall” podcasts. The third season of podcasts featuring notable Hall alumni, academics, staff and students is about to commence. These inspirational podcasts have been a great showcase for the talents and fields of endeavour of our wider Hall community and are helping to enhance the Hall’s reputation.
Meet the President – Chris Elston
My name is Chris Elston, also known to Hall friends as “CJ” in my undergraduate days, and I became SEHA President on 31 January 2023, succeeding Olly Belcher. I’m honoured to be able to serve the Hall, its students and alumni as Association President.
I came up to the Hall in 1976 to read Engineering Science and subsequently made a career in the electricity generation industry, starting with the nationalised Generating Board and staying with the industry through many structural and technological changes. I am now retired and trying to turn myself into a jazz musician.
I have been a regular visitor to the Hall since graduating. I joined the Association committee during David Waring’s presidency and soon became Dinner and then Dinner and Lunch Secretary. It has been a real pleasure to meet and work with committee colleagues and Hall staff and to meet the wider Hall community through organising these events.
In family life, I am married to Linda, and we have two daughters and two grandchildren aged 3 years and 8 weeks as I write this.
I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible during my presidency and to being able to continue serving the best college in Oxford through the work of the Association.