Until recently, other than a few reunion dinners, I had spent very little time in Cambridge since graduating 30 years ago

Last year I was asked to join the Association Committee of Churchill College as a volunteer and amongst other things I am growing accustomed to the disconcerting sense of deja vu that being back in our former colleges perhaps provokes in all of us – overwhelmingly, while simultaneously not-quite, familiar. The remit of the Association is to foster fellowship amongst all members of the college, including Fellows and both current and former students, and it has been a great pleasure to be reminded of what a very welcoming place Churchill, and indeed the University, is. The extraordinary extent of knowledge, experience and scholarship available within the College and the University is understood: more surprising to me, returning after a career in the City and on Wall Street, is the fantastic generosity of spirit amongst the community and a willingness and indeed enthusiasm to share all of those things.

Unthinkingly I had probably viewed Cambridge as a jumping off point for the rest of my life; it is an unexpected pleasure to realise that it remains a part of my – and each student’s – life, to whatever greater or lesser extent we might wish to be involved at any given time. What a wonderful and enduring privilege.

Written by Jayne Donora for #VolunteerWeek and part of #camvolunteer

At Churchill we are proud of our reputation as one of the friendliest Cambridge Colleges and the Alumni Office is constantly providing opportunities for our Fellows, students, staff and alumni to meet, engage, teach, learn, laugh and inspire. The activities of the Alumni Office would not be possible without our volunteer support. Find out more about how you can get involved and volunteer with us.

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