Spirit of the Hall

Spirit of the Hall: A podcast for Aularians by Aularians

The St Edmund Hall Association is delighted to launch “Spirit of the Hall”, a podcast series brought to you by the alumni of St Edmund Hall.

Join Olly Belcher, President of the St Edmund Hall Alumni Association, in conversation with some of the College’s most fascinating alumni, Fellows and staff. Hear how the Hall’s unique spirit has shaped not only their careers in diverse fields of politics, academia, business, entertainment and technology, but also their lives through friendship, family and fun.

The first episode is with the Principal, Professor Kathy Willis CBE. Hear Professor Willis talk about her research career, her thoughts on an ecologically-sustainable future for the University, and the unique challenge of steering an Oxford college through a pandemic.

The second episode, released in the next few weeks, will be US Congressman Jim Himes, who came to Teddy Hall as a Rhodes Scholar. Former chair of the New Democrat Coalition, Himes talks about what it was like to be in the Capitol building when it was stormed by Trump’s supporters. Following Jim Himes, Olly speaks to former Adjutant-General of the British Army General Sir Michael Rose where he talks about  how his degree in PPE helped him to make some of the hardest decisions of his career, and how, now in his early eighties, the Hall spirit still plays a big part in his life as he keeps up with his Teddy Hall friends and stays fit by walking miles every day.

Spirit of the Hall Podcast with Principal Professor Kathy Willis
Spirit of the Hall Podcast with Principal Professor Kathy Willis

Episode 1: Principal, Professor Kathy Willis CBE

In this episode, Olly Belcher, President of the St Edmund Hall Alumni Association, talks to the Hall’s first female Principal, Professor Kathy Willis.

Professor Willis is a biologist, specialising in the relationship between long-term ecosystem dynamics and environmental change. She is Professor of Biodiversity at the University’s Department of Zoology and heads the Oxford Long-term Ecology Group. She is also a member of the UK Government’s Natural Capital Committee, advising on the 25 Year Environmental Plan. Prior to her election as Principal of The Hall, she was Director of Science at The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew.

Hear Professor Willis talk about her research career, her thoughts on an ecologically-sustainable future for the University, and the unique challenge of steering an Oxford college through a pandemic.

Listen now

Congressman Jim Himes
Spirit of the Hall Podcast with Congressman Jim Himes (1999, MPhil Latin American Studies)

Episode 2: Congressman Jim Himes (1999, MPhil Latin American Studies)

In this episode Olly Belcher, President of the St Edmund Hall Alumni Association, talks to US Congressman Jim Himes.

Born in Lima, Peru, Congressman Himes spent his early childhood in Lima and in Bogota, Colombia. Upon graduating from Harvard, Himes came to Teddy Hall as a Rhodes Scholar, leaving with an MPhil in 1990. After a short career in banking, Himes moved into the non-profit sector. He first took office as Congressman for Connecticut’s 4th District in 2009. He was the first Democrat to hold the seat since 1969.

Hear Congressman Himes talk about the transition from the Trump Presidency to Biden and what it was like to find himself trapped in the Capitol building when it was stormed by Trump supporters. He also describes the stark contrast between Biden’s inauguration on 20th January this year with Obama’s first inauguration 12 years ago.

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Spirit of the Hall podcast with General Sir Michael Rose (1960, PPE)
Spirit of the Hall podcast with General Sir Michael Rose (1960, PPE)

Episode 3: General Sir Michael Rose CBE QGM KCB (1960, PPE)

In this episode hear Olly Belcher, President of the St Edmund Hall Association, in conversation with former Adjutant-General of the British Army General Sir Michael Rose.

Sir Michael was born in 1940 in Quetta, former British India. In 1964, having graduated from Teddy Hall with a degree in PPE, he was commissioned into the Coldstream Guards. He subsequently served with the Special Air Service Regiment in the Middle and Far East. He commanded the Regiment during the Falkland Islands conflict and the 39 Infantry Brigade in Northern Ireland. In the early 90s, Sir Michael was Commander of the UK Field Army, and Inspector General Territorial Army, leading the UN Protection Force in Bosnia-Herzegovina. In January 1995, he was appointed Adjutant General to the Army Board and he served as 28th Colonel of the Coldstream Guards on his retirement from 1999 – 2009. Since leaving the Army, Sir Michael has written and lectured extensively on peacekeeping and leadership.

In this podcast, you will hear why Sir Michael believes his degree in PPE helped him to make some of the hardest decisions of his career, and how, now in his early eighties, the Hall spirit still plays a big part in his life as he keeps up with his Teddy Hall friends and stays fit by walking miles every day.

Listen now

Spirit of the Hall podcast with Stuart Ford (1988, Jurisprudence) and Richard Kilgarriff (1988, English)
Spirit of the Hall podcast with Stuart Ford (1988, Jurisprudence) and Richard Kilgarriff (1988, English)

Episode 4: Stuart Ford (1988, Jurisprudence) and Richard Kilgarriff (1988, English)

This episode features Aularian contemporaries and friends Richard Kilgarriff and Stuart Ford. Richard is a former executive for Time Warner and founder of Bookomi, which brings insights from the world’s most brilliant minds via events, email and audio blog. Stuart is a Los Angeles based film producer and Chairman of AGC Studios, one of Hollywood’s leading independent film and TV production companies. He has worked with directors including Mel Gibson and Tom Ford and acting stars such as Julia Roberts, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Johnny Depp and Tom Hardy.

Hear how, upon arriving at the Hall in 1988, Stuart fell in love with the beauty of the place and the eclectic mix of people he met there and how he believes the Spirit of Teddy Hall helped shape the person he is today.

Listen now