Selwyn has announced that its celebrated alumnus Hugh Laurie is to become an honorary fellow of the college.
Also to be given the title are the novelist and former BBC journalist Robert Harris, and General Sir Peter Wall, Chief of the General Staff, the professional head of the British Army.
The accolade is a mark of their “extraordinary and diverse careers,” the official statement claims.
The decision to honour these alumni was made by Selwyn’s Governing Body, comprised of the college’s current fellows and depended upon the body obtaining a two thirds majority.
In an official statement, the college has stated that it is a “pleasure and privilege” to be able to award Laurie the title.
Laurie read Social Anthropology at Selwyn, matriculating in 1978. He was an avid actor and sportsman, successfully combining his role as President of Footlights in 1981 with rowing in the Blues boat the previous year.
Although he technically did not graduate, as he did not take his degree either in person or in absence, this does not affect his ability to become an honorary fellow.
The actor, most famed for ‘A Bit of Fry and Laurie’, ‘Blackadder’ and the award-winning ‘House’, is a notably elusive alumnus.
Selwyn’s Master, Professor Richard Bowring, told Varsity: “We know that he does not come to the UK much and that although he has a house in London he visits Cambridge only very rarely.
“We have no idea when he might have the time to come to Selwyn and celebrate the occasion.”
However, the college promises an “official installation will be later this year.”
Laurie will be touring the country in June and July to perform Blues gigs as part of his tour, when he may well choose to make an appearance in Cambridge, although this is purely speculation.
He has sent Selwyn a hand-written letter expressing gratitude to the college for its gesture. In it, he said he was "pleased to be asked" and accepted the title with "enormous gratitude". He also sent his thanks to the Governing Body.
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