Image for the news item 'Emmanuel the Community - Then and Now' on 10 Aug 2021
John Newman (1964) on a visit back to Emmanuel

As we look forward to the start of term in a few months, and welcoming a new cohort of freshers into the Emma community, John Newman (1964) has shared with us his memories of joining Emmanuel.

It was a very fortuitous accident that I came to be a member of Emma. My Headmaster summoned me to his study and said “Here is your application to Emmanuel College, Cambridge”. Obedient in those days, I replied “Yes, sir” and duly applied. That year (1963) Emmanuel was experimenting with entries based on AL results, and I struck very lucky. This unlikely sequence of events has led to my having been a member of a truly caring community for nearly sixty years now, something I greatly value, and my three years as an undergraduate and one for PGCE were glorious.

Image: "Off to wash a shirt in the washrooms behind the Library, dates from 1965 or 1966."

Emmanuel is rightly a place with a focus on serious study, but it is so much more than that. It is a beautiful place, and I still get a buzz coming through the college gates and especially again seeing Front Court, the chapel, or the paddock. There was such a range of activities within the college – in my case including the chapel and its choir, the orchestra, “The Messiah”, formal debates, and a little occasional sport. There was also so much that we in Emmanuel did outside formal college structures – I went punting, learned a little croquet, regularly went singing in a mental hospital, tried to keep my ancient bike roadworthy (indeed even with brakes!), and there was much informal discussion that was so important to me in working out and being tested on my beliefs. I met such a range of people in formal hall (and the food was pretty good too). The staff I met were unfailingly kind and helpful.

I went down in 1968, but I love coming back, and my wife was made so welcome that she felt an honorary member of the college. Truly I am privileged to be a member of such a wonderful community – floreat Emmanuel.

John Newman (1964)

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