St Hilda's in Asia

12th December 2023

Development Director Andrew Thomas reflects on the first official St Hilda's visit to Asia since the pandemic.

It was an absolute pleasure to embark on a remarkable journey across Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and Hong Kong last week, alongside the Principal. This trip marked a significant milestone for the College, being our first venture into Asia since the pandemic disrupted our plans. Our gratitude extends to Jordan Isaac (2010) and Jean Chia (1991), esteemed members of the Development Advisory Board, whose invaluable assistance made the inaugural dinner in Singapore possible.

Our visit to Kuala Lumpur was particularly special as we celebrated the appointment of Ailsa Terry CMG (2002) as the UK High Commissioner to Malaysia. Ailsa, who assumed her role in July 2023, generously hosted KL-based alumnae at her residence, fostering a meaningful gathering with members of the Oxbridge Society. Witnessing the prominence of St Hilda’s in such esteemed circles was truly gratifying, highlighted by the High Commissioner proudly displaying her cherished rowing crew t-shirt from her time at our College.

In Hong Kong, the reception hosted by Clara Choi (1998) at the offices of Slaughter & May was attended by over 25 alumnae. The breathtaking view over Victoria Harbour served as a backdrop to an engaging evening. Following the reception, a roundtable dinner sparked vivid reminiscences of College experiences and culminated in the creation of a 'St Hilda’s in HK' WhatsApp group. We were also honoured to engage with The Hon Judge Doreen Le Pichon (1965), an Honorary Fellow and the first female judge appointed in Hong Kong.

At each stop, it was immensely rewarding to update alumnae and friends about the College’s recent strides and offer insights into the forthcoming strategic plan. The diverse perspectives shared by alumnae residing far from Oxford proved helpful in shaping our thoughts on how to attract prospective students across Asia and maintaining meaningful connections with those who cherish the distinct St Hilda’s education. The sheer breadth of impressive careers that our alumnae have carved out is truly inspiring, as are the frequent examples of doing this whilst also busy raising families.

Heartfelt appreciation goes out to all alumnae and friends who graciously spared their time to meet us and reconnect with their peers. Your presence and insights have been invaluable in furthering the College's vision and global engagement.

Principal and the UK High Commissioner, Ailsa Terry CMG (2002) on Tue 5 December. Ailsa pictured with the St Hilda’s t-shirt she wore when rowing for the College and her newly presented St Hilda’s teddy bear.jpg