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The Dunelmensis Award

The Dunelmensis Award is given by the University’s Senate to a Durham alumnus or alumna for meritorious and exceptional service in support of the University, particularly for our institutional advancement and for enhancing the University’s reputation, nationally and internationally.

Congratulations to our Dunelmensis Award winners 2023:

Alex Nelson

Jonathan Hazan

Previous Dunelmensis Recipients

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Alex Nelson (Geography, University College, 1980-83)

 Alex Nelson (Dunelmensis winner)

Alex has provided invaluable support to University College and Durham University over a number of decades. 

Alex has cultivated and edited the annual Castellum alumni magazine since 1987. This has involved a  tremendous amount of time, community building, and partnership with college office. The magazine has not only grown and evolved beautifully but has also become quite the historical record of college activity under his direction. His role with Castellum has made him the society historian and archivist, taking responsibility for producing the annual edition of the magazine, often illustrated with his own photographs.

As a member of the Castle Alumni Society executive committee and a Trustee for the University College Durham Trust for more than three decades, Alex has demonstrated sustained leadership, pride and personal commitment to the college and the University. Alex has also served as a longstanding member of the College Advisory Board and has developed strong connections with JCR student leaders as well as college officers.

Through all his commitments Alex has met and built lasting relationships with alumni across 60 years of University College’s history, encouraging sustained connection with the College. His efforts have also had a marked impact on college fundraising efforts, acting as an ambassador for appeals and keeping his peers informed about the various projects at hand. Alex lives locally and remains a consistent presence within the learning community.

Alex has demonstrated exemplary passion and commitment to the college and we congratulate him on his much deserved award.

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Jonathan Hazan (Computing, Hatfield, 1988-91)

Jonathan Hazan headshot

Jonathan’s support has been fundamental to the success of student entrepreneurship at Durham University.  Jonathan is an inaugural member of the Department of Computer Science’s External Advisory Board.  His advice and insights have been invaluable in helping the department navigate a period of growth in 2016. 

Jonathan has visited the department on several occasions to meet staff and students. During many of these visits, Jonathan’s focus was on nurturing student interest in entrepreneurship.  Impressed by the students he met, Jonathan was keen to work with the University to create a dedicated space for entrepreneurship at Durham. Following a generous £500,000 donation, the Hazan Venture Lab was born. This purpose-built hub for student enterprise is aimed at nurturing and cultivating a vibrant community of student and graduate entrepreneurs.

The Lab provides business advice sessions, workshops, networking events and start-up pitching competitions, as well as being available for student-led groups to use.  The space is used for the meet the entrepreneur sessions and will be used for the upcoming summer accelerator programme. The programme is the first of its kind in the UK Higher Education sector and funded by Jonathan’s donation. Without Jonathan’s donation and ongoing support, much of this would not have been possible. Jonathan is a member of the newly formed Venture Lab Advisory Board.

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Previous Dunelmensis Recipients

  • 2010 - Robert Klein (Grey, 1972)
  • 2010 - Graham Barker (Van Mildert, 1980)
  • 2012 - Henry Dyson (Grey, 1977)
  • 2013 - Stephen Gregory (Grey, 1969)
  • 2016 - Ocean Wang (Ustinov, 2009)
  • 2016 - Patrick Salaun (Hatfield, 1967)
  • 2016 - Lilian Groves (St Hild & St Bede, 1975)
  • 2018 - Sir Peter Ogden (University, 1968)
  • 2018 - Mark Hillery (Collingwood, 1988)
  • 2019 - Ian Ellison-Taylor (Grey, 1990)
  • 2019 - Rev Canon Dr Chuck Robertson (Graduate Society, 1999)
  • 2020 - Joanna Barker MBE (Collingwood, 1981)
  • 2020 - Dr Rashmi Misra (St Mary's, 1992)
  • 2021 - Dr Carl Stephen Patrick Hunter (Hatfield, 1984)
  • 2021 - Smiti Kumar (Graduate Society, 1981)
  • 2021 - Richard Roberts (St John's, 1979)
  • 2021 - Charles Wilson (Grey, 1986)
  • 2022 - Ziging Yan (Ustinov, 2009)
  • 2022 - Michael Shearer OBE (Trevelyan, 1996)
  • 2022 - Dr Robert Banks (St Cuthbert's Society, 1995)