Young Univ Gallery

Nadia Odunayo

Nadia Odunayo (2010, PPE)

The Young Univ Gallery project was conceived in 2016 by our then Master, Sir Ivor Crewe, who wanted to counterpoint our traditional – and mostly white male – portraits in Hall by illustrating the diversity of Univ’s student body and the exciting and varied careers they go on to pursue.

All of the subjects are “young old members”, those aged 35 and under, and the first two photo days took place in College in the autumn of 2016. This was followed by another session in January of 2017 to bring the total number of portraits to 46, with the majority created by Oxford photographer John Cairns.

These initial portraits were unveiled in Hall on 25 February, 2017.

“This project is important to show that Univ welcomes diversity. It is important to recognise talented women and people of colour where traditionally only white men have been displayed in halls around Oxford.” – Hetal Jani (2013, BA PPE)

Adam CJ Park

Adam CJ Park (2005, MChem Chemistry)

In 2019, the year in which College celebrated the 40th anniversary of the arrival of the first women students at Univ, a further seven photographs were commissioned; our subjects this time being Danielle Kerby, Lydia Kirkham, Agatha-Christie Onwuzuruike, Carys Roberts, Bethany Sillitto, Corinne Stuart and Alexandra Wilson.

Finally (for now at least) the gallery was updated in February 2022 with an additional four portraits.

Below you can explore not just the portraits themselves, but interviews with all of the project’s participants along with behind the scenes images and video.

We hope that you will be as inspired in exploring the project as we have been in creating it.

Valerie Amos standing in front of a door wearing a floral dressA Message from the Master

One of the important things about Univ is the way the College has retained a sense of its history with an understanding of the need for adaptability and change. This has helped the College to maintain a tradition of academic excellence with a continued drive for diversity and inclusion and contributed to the richness of our community. The Young Univ Gallery is a powerful reminder of that richness and diversity. I hope you enjoy learning more about what some of our alumni are now doing.

A Message from Sir Ivor Crewe

The Portraits

“The careers you might be most exposed to at university won’t be for everyone; it’s great to show that there are other possible paths out there.” – Oliver Watts (2008-2011, BA Physics)

The Young Univ Interviews

Each of our subjects was interview either during or around the date of their photographs, helping to build a substantial picture of memories of times at Univ, diverse career paths and thoughts on the importance of the project itself.

Immediately below are a selection of six interviews and below these an interactive publication which features the contributions of all 57 participants to date. We hope you will find these interesting and inspiring reads.

Dr Oliver Cox (2006, BA & DPhil History)

Tomas Halgas (2011, MMmaths & MCompSci, Computer Science/Maths)

Isaac Livne (2005, Oriental Studies)

Nadia Odunayo (2010, PPE)

Dr Tara Shirvani (2009, DPhil Chemistry)

Alexandra Wilson (2013, PPE)

“I hope that this gallery makes future students think Univ could be for them, that it gives current students the knowledge that there is no ‘right’ path after university, and that it gives Old Members something to look back on and smile about.” – Helena Mills (2008, BA, MSt & DPhil History)

Behind the Scenes of the Young Univ Gallery

“I hope the Young Univ Gallery and stories give prospective and current students an idea of the diverse paths that are open to them after graduating, give them confidence that what they take away from Univ will serve them well at every iteration of their journey, and encourage them to make the most of their time there!” – Adam CJ Park (2005, MChem Chemistry)

Our enormous thanks goes to those who have made, and continue to make, this important project possible.

Contact Univ

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