Chi-Elizabeth Duru




United Kingdom


Energy and Resources



By Chi-Elizabeth Duru

You may be seated

The number 13 could mean different things to different people and cultures.

To some it is an unlucky number, and to others it is a lucky number. However, to the 2018 freshers of Oxford University, the 13th day of October, 2018 was the day of our matriculation ceremony.

I woke up that day bright and early, enthusiastically looking forward to the matriculation ceremony until I heard the howling winds. Looking out of the window to the grey clouds, it soon became apparent that luck was not on our side. The brilliant English weather was about to make a statement. Nevertheless, I got ready and was at my college (St. Hugh’s) in time for the group and individual matriculation pictures. And just as we stepped out onto the gardens to take the pictures, the skies opened and it started to rain.

This is Oxford University, a stickler for rules and traditions. The schedule was not about to be changed because of the rain. So, there we stood, over 120 freshers, under the rain, in all our glory (commoner’s gowns, white shirts, ties, ribbons, holding our mortar boards and wearing our best smiles). We stood for a good half hour, following the photographer’s barking orders to ensure that the perfect picture was taken because come rain or shine, we were not to be deterred. And shine did come through. Having made a clear statement, the weather abruptly smiled on us; the sun came out and what started out as an unlucky grey day turned into the most gorgeous and fortunate day ever.

Walking down in twos from St. Hugh’s College to the glorious Sheldonian Theatre, standing underneath Robert Streater’s ‘Truth descending upon the Arts and Sciences’ paintings, and listening to the inspiring speech of the Vice Chancellor, reminded me how fortunate I was to be a member of the University of Oxford.

And so, to my cohort, the MBA class of 2018-19, I say congratulations.

Oxford University has given us a seat and so, welcome as we start this journey together!

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