President Anna Danshina’s Speech:
Dear Oxford University Russian Society members,
As President of the society and on behalf of the 2012- 2013 committee let me thank you all for coming. Today our event is special because we are not only greeting newcomers, but also thinking about last year results, about what we have been able to achieve during the last year. But also, what is even more important, we will announce members of our own new committee.
Last year was a remarkable year in the society’s life: being established in 1909, the society was flourishing in 2012-2013:
- Every month we were holding speaker events with outstanding people aimed at promoting Russian culture and society. We were hosting talks of Andrey Konchalovskiy, Mikhail Delyagin, Vladimir Pozner. It was a special honour for us to host Prince and Princess Michael of Kent who visited Oxford upon our invitation in May. Prince Michael was very glad to speak for us as he said in his thanks letter.
- More than 20 social events were organized including conversational lunches; get together, celebration of Christmas, etc.
- New website has been launched last year to highlight our activities. We even created video films of our events and these video materials are available online.
- Some changes in the constitution have been made to allow more efficiency in our work.
- It is important to mention that we made significant steps to enhance cooperation with various partners including the Centre for Russian Studies of St Antony’s College and Russkiy Mir. All our bigger scope initiatives were supported by sponsors.
- I would like to stress here that neither of mentioned above initiatives could happen without hard work of the committee. We were thoroughly discussing and planning all activities and initiatives at committee meetings following the principle of majority, more than 25 committee meetings took place last year. Taking that, I would like to thank all members of the committee of 2012 -2013 for their hard work, creativity, and initiative. Not everyone is here at the moment, but well done, congratulations.
Ekaterina Vorobyeva – secretary
German Tyles – Treasurer
Myself – President
Committee members: Alina Rakhimova, Greg Zolotukhin, Konstantin Guzminov, Alex Gornizki - events officers;
Vladimir Zubkov and Maria New – Social Secretaries;
Elisaveta Ross – Returning officer
Maxim Osipov – IT Officer
Ekaterina Savischenko – Publicity Officer
Maxim Kotenev and Nina Kruglikova – advisers
Anna Fomicheva – Films Officer
Sasha Freemind – Photographer
Let’s just make thank them all with a round of applauds.
We did a lot, and I am sure that the next committee will be able to do even more, and to achieve more.
So now I would like to announce a new committee which will be in charge of the Society’s life next two academic terms. We do not hold official elections as the number of candidates for committee members did not exceed the number of positions. At the same time, if some of you want to be involved you can approach members of the committee and discuss this option, we are open and recruiting members throughout the year, so you are welcome.
I will be also glad if all members will introduce themselves later on and tell few words about themselves.
Alina Rakhimova, President. Greg Zolotukhin – Treasurer. Vladimir Zubkov and Maria New – Social Secretaries. Yuri Shakhmetov and Irina Fedorenko – events officers. Ekterina Savischenko – Publicity Officer. Maxim Kotenev, Nina Kruglikova and myself – advisers. Oleg Belov – IT officer.
Before giving this floor to our committee members I would like to say few words about our new President Alina Rakhimova. Alina has been with us since January last year. Since then she has proved herself as a well organized responsible person with a strong ability to initiate. She was successful in delivering initiative as an events officer and she has been promoted to vice president by my decree in April last year. I am certain that her skills and experience will be useful for her new role and I wish her lots of success in her future role.
And the question may arise what the former president will be doing next. Well, I will be occupied with completely new issues for me – family issues. I am getting married just in a few days. My future husband is a Deputy Head of Formula One team Mercedes, and in January he will be the Head of the Team. So being his wife I will help him to make his team Formula one champions next year. But I will stay as an advisor with the society and will be helping with the Society’s life.
One, two, three – welcome new committee.
Anna Danshina, president of Oxford University Russian Society.