Tom Schrecker Dinner 2023
On Thursday, 9 March 2023, The College was delighted to hold the Tom Schrecker Dinner, attended by current students and Fellows of the College.
These annual dinners are a gift from Mr Thomas Schrecker (1952, History), Foundation Fellow, who was a history undergraduate at Univ from 1952 to 1955. He was born in 1932 in Prague, Czechoslovakia to Jewish parentage. After the Nazi occupation in March 1939, thanks to Sir Nicholas Winton’s rescue mission, Tom was able to leave the country on a train to England.
Univ is deeply grateful to Tom and his family for this generous benefaction and the support he has shown for the Schrecker-Barbour Tutorial Fellowship in Slavonic and East European Studies. He was elected as a Foundation Fellow in 2007, an honour which is awarded to those individuals who have made exceptional benefactions to the College and therefore have been essential in ensuring Univ’s community can continue to thrive.
Below you will find the event report by Mary Orsak (2022, MPhil Slavonic Studies) and a selection of photos from this year’s event.
On 9 March 2023, current students and Fellows of the College gathered in the Hall to share a delicious meal of risotto, salmon, and cheesecake thanks to the generosity of Tom Schrecker. Born in Prague in 1932, Mr Schrecker escaped Nazi persecution as one of the 669 Jewish children transported to the United Kingdom as part of Sir Nicholas Winton’s rescue mission. In the 1950s, Mr Schrecker attended University College, Oxford, as a history undergraduate from 1952 to 1955.
In her opening address, Baroness Amos offered a touching account of Mr Schrecker’s experience at Univ, which he remembers with the utmost fondness on account of the wonderful friends and exceedingly warm community he encountered at Univ. Mr Schrecker’s experience of finding life-long friends within the welcoming Univ community resonated with me. As an American thousands of miles away from friends and family, which obviously pales in comparison with Mr Schrecker’s experience of displacement, I too have deeply appreciated the new friends I have made in my six months in England. I have already met a dozen friends that I hope will remain close long after we have all left Oxford.
Nearly midway through my first year at Oxford, this dinner provided a moment for reflection. Surrounded by friends from around the world – including two exchange students from Masaryk University in the Czech Republic – I felt immense gratitude for this opportunity to be a member of such a diverse yet inclusive community.
Mr Schrecker’s love of formal dinners and incredible generosity allowed so many members of the Univ community – especially those who might avoid formal dinners on account of the cost – to share this wonderful meal and sparkling conversation.
Mary Orsak (2022, MPhil Slavonic Studies)