Recognising individuals who have acted as exceptional volunteers for the benefit of the wider collegiate University

The first awards were presented in 1998 and recognise those who have given of their time, contacts and influence in support of an initiative beyond that which can be recognised through traditional channels. Their impact will have been profound and the results would have been impossible to achieve using current available resources. Separate from any financial contributions, their legacy will have had a lasting impact on the collegiate University and they will be perceived as role models to other volunteer contributors.

2021 recipients

Distinguished Friend of Oxford recipients: Andrew Banks (St Edmund Hall, 1976) and his wife Dame Pamela Banks pictured under the Clarendon Arch with the Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor

Andrew Banks (St Edmund Hall, 1976) and Dame Pamela Banks

A Rhodes Scholar and St Edmund Hall alum, S. Andrew Banks along with his wife Dame Pamela Gordon Banks DBE have, over many years, provided exemplary service to the University through volunteer leadership and support of the Rhodes Trust, St Edmund Hall and Oxford University Endowment Management (OUem). In addition to their long history of philanthropy, they have served as volunteers on committees, selection panels and boards and as mentors to countless Oxford students.

Dame Pamela is serving as the inaugural Chair of the Selection Committee for the Rhodes Scholarship Global Constituency and has chaired Selection Committees in other geographies as well. She was awarded the Trust’s 2019 George Parkin Distinguished Service Award, which honours outstanding volunteer service to the Rhodes Trust. Andrew has been a Rhodes Trustee since June 2014 and has played an instrumental role in advising and guiding the strategic direction of the Rhodes Scholarship.

In 2020 he became Chair of the Rhodes Trust’s 125th Anniversary Campaign Committee mobilizing volunteers, alumni and non-affiliated prospects and donors to achieve the strategic goal of endowing 25 additional Rhodes Scholarships, with a focus on Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. Andrew also serves as a member of the Trust’s Building, Finance & Investment, and Audit & Risk Committees and has been active as a Selection Committee member for the Rhodes Trust’s District 7 in the US for three years.

Andrew is an Honorary Fellow of St Edmund Hall and has advised the College on its investment strategy. Andrew has been generous with his time in guiding the college, offering strategic guidance on the Hall’s 10-year plan and assisting in the successful courtship of other major donors. He is also a valued member of OUem’s Investment Committee, generous with his time and experience.

Andrew’s and Dame Pamela’s leadership in and commitment to Oxford have been unparalleled: they have devoted their time, energy and resources to ensure that the institution and community continue to thrive for years to come.

Distinguished Friend of Oxford 2021 recipient: John Browne, The Lord Browne of Madingley

John Browne, The Lord Browne of Madingley

Lord Browne has served as Chairman of the Blavatnik School of Government’s International Advisory Board (IAB) since its inception in 2011, stepping down from the board in June 2021. As Chairman, he has played a crucial role in building a highly effective board, encouraging members to contribute strategic advice, connections and resources to advance the School’s mission.

Over the years Lord Browne has been a dedicated ambassador for the University and for the Blavatnik School of Government, facilitating the introduction to key supporters of the School. Above and beyond his willingness to expand the School’s reach and network, he has generously made time to share with our students his perspectives on leading complex organisations. He has talked passionately about the importance of improving "delivery" in government, and of leveraging diversity and inclusion in the pursuit of excellence.

Distinguished Friend of Oxford 2021 recipient: William Broadbent

William Broadbent (posthumously)

The University community was deeply saddened to learn that Mr William Broadbent passed away in September.  He had learned of his selection to receive the DFO before he died, and expressed his happiness and appreciation at being recognized with the award.

Bill Broadbent was a friend of Oxford in the truest sense of the word.  While he never matriculated at the University, he was the proud parent of two Oxonians, and an engaged volunteer. Based on his generosity and the significant time and energy he put into forming events for Christ Church, Teddy Hall, and University Sport, Mr Broadbent was the first non-Oxonian to be elected to the Board of Americans for Oxford (AFO), and he remains the only person who was not an Oxford graduate to serve in this capacity.

A generous benefactor, Mr Broadbent funded a Junior Research Fellowship that is shared by Christ Church and St Edmund Hall.  In addition to his work on behalf of the colleges his children attended, he was also a generous supporter of the Rothermere American Institute (RAI).  He helped to promote its programs in North America and developed close working relationships with Directors of the RAI and members of its academic community. 

Mr Broadbent was an avid supporter of Oxford Sport in general, as well as Real Tennis and the Vincent’s Club, in particular.  He funded four Vincent’s Sport Scholarships that make annual awards to student-athletes who demonstrate a financial need.  He and his family also played a leading role in refurbishing the players lounge linked to Real Tennis.  His thoughtfulness and generosity of spirit will be greatly missed.

Distinguished Friend of Oxford 2021 recipient: Neil Simpkins (LMH, 1984)

Neil Simpkins (Lady Margaret Hall, 1984)

It is difficult to overstate how helpful, generous, and thoughtful Neil Simpkins has been toward a wide cross-section of the collegiate university. Lady Margaret Hall, the Department of Physics, the Ashmolean Museum, and Vincent’s Club have all been the beneficiaries of his support. As Chairman of Americans for Oxford, Inc (AFO), Mr Simpkins has consistently demonstrated the highest level of commitment and integrity in all his interactions on behalf of the Oxford academic community. While AFO has been fortunate to have a series of excellent Chairmen, Neil’s tenure has been noteworthy due to his level of highly productive engagement and steady leadership during these challenging times.

Neil was unanimously elected Chairman of the AFO Board in November 2013. In this role, he has provided advice and counsel to vice-chancellors and other members of the University leadership, while working closely with the administrative leadership of the North American Office to ensure AFO’s fiduciary responsibilities are fulfilled to the highest possible standards. Neil’s leadership was especially important at the start of the pandemic, as he worked with the North American Office to develop a largely remote system for the processing and acknowledgement of gifts.

His work with LMH to develop the Foundation Year programme warrants celebration. At a crucial moment during the formation of this plan, he stepped forward to provide the core support needed to ensure its success. He has also mentored a number of Foundation Year students. From this seed both Oxford and Cambridge Universities have now adopted the programme more broadly. He has spoken about how gratifying it has been for him – as someone who comes from a background and part of England that is underrepresented within Oxford – to see these programmes take root and flourish. Neil and his wife, Miyoung Lee, have also funded a multipurpose theatre within the College that has been an important addition to the student experience at LMH.

In addition to his support of LMH, Neil has also been a champion of the Department of Physics. He served on the Advisory Board for the campaign linked to the creation of the Beecroft Building and made a generous gift in support of this initiative. As per usual, Neil has been generous with his time when interacting with the academic leadership of Physics, in addition to providing financial support.

And finally, Neil has also been an enthusiastic supporter of Oxford Sport through his generous gifts to Vincent’s Club and its programme that provides scholarships to student athletes.



  • Colm Kelleher (Oriel, 1975)
  • John Leighfield (Exeter, 1958) and Margaret Leighfield
  • Dr William Ming Fung Wong OBE JP (Wadham, 1994)
  • Alan Todd
  • Barrie Wigmore (Worcester, 1964) and Deedee Wigmore


  • Richard Cockram (Brasenose, 1962)
  • Oliver Franklin, OBE (Balliol, 1967)
  • Joe Horn-Phathanothai, MBE (Trinity, 1993)
  • Jackyung Moon Lambert (St Hugh’s, 1976)
  • Bernard and Sarah Taylor (St John’s, 1975) and (Wadham, 1976)


  • Lorna Carter, OBE
  • Christopher Mack (Pembroke, 1983)
  • Howard Rosen, OBE (Exeter, 1974)


  • Mr David Boyle and Mr Colin Wyman
  • Mr Gus and Mrs Jenny Rose Carey
  • Professor Virander Chauhan
  • Mr Stephen Dixon
  • Mr Gordon Orr
  • Sir David Tang KBE
  • Mr Takashi Uyeno


  • Shahnaz Batmanghelidj
  • Michael G. McCaffery
  • Gabriel Moss QC
  • Sir Michael Pakenham
  • Dr Jin Park
  • Professor Nicholas Steneck
  • Mrs Terry Wykowski
  • Mrs Nancy Brown
  • Dr Tan Yang


  • Dr Paul Brankin OBE
  • Ms Sein Chew
  • Mr Victor Chu
  • Mrs Irene Chu
  • Dr Keith Lloyd
  • Mr Andrew Moore
  • Mr Ralph Smith II MStJ
  • Revd Canon David Stanton
  • Ms Anna Stuttard
  • Mr Trevor Yang
  • Mrs Dominica Yang


  • Dame Helen Alexander DBE
  • Mr Elliot Gerson
  • Dr Bettany Hughes
  • Mr Andrew Lo
  • Mr Dean Lush
  • Dr Noboru Maruyama
  • Mr Guy Monson
  • Mr Richard Salter QC


  • Mr John W Adams
  • Mr Timothy W Faithfull
  • Mrs Krzysia Gossage
  • Mr Alan Green
  • Ms Judith Hibbert
  • Mr André Hoffmann
  • Mr Robert Kay
  • Mr Julian Ogilvie Thompson
  • Professor Tim O’Riordan OBE
  • Mr Geoffrey Redman-Brown
  • Mr Ian Senior
  • Mr David Vaisey CBE
  • Mrs Linda Wachner
  • Mr Andrew Whitehouse


  • Mr Ivor Agyeman-Duah
  • Mr Desmond Cecil CMG
  • Mr Paul Chellgren
  • Mr Francis Finlay OBE
  • Miss Rosalind Hedley-Miller
  • Mr Mark Loveday
  • Mr Nigel Lovett
  • Mr William R. Miller CBE
  • Mr Allan Myers AO, QC
  • Professor John Poynter AO, OBE
  • Mrs Nicola Ralston
  • Ms Catherine Roe
  • Mrs Joanna Rose
  • Ms Louisa Service OBE
  • Mr Stephen Stamas


  • Mr Derek Benham
  • Mr Thomas Böcking
  • Mr Christopher Drake
  • Professor Sir Roy Goode CBE, QC, FBA
  • Mr Francis William Johnston
  • Mr Alastair Lack
  • Professor John Ledingham FRCP
  • Mrs Lillian Martin
  • Mr Peter Paine Jr
  • Sir David Scholey CBE
  • Mr Michael Steiner
  • The Rt Hon Lord Waldegrave of North Hill PC
  • Mr Graham White


  • Sir David Akers-Jones KBE, CMG
  • Mr Sathi Alur
  • Mr Nicholas Barber CBE
  • Mr Michael Boyd
  • Mr Robert McKelvey
  • Mrs Anna McNair Scott
  • Mr Stewart Millman
  • Mr Jonathan Moynihan OBE
  • Mr Michael Warburg
  • Dr Jan Willisch


  • Mr Paul Dodyk Esq


  • Mr David Hopkinson CBE
  • Mr Michael Howarth
  • Professor John White


  • Professor Thelma M Holt CBE


  • Mr Michael S Malone


  • Mr David Sherriffs


  • Mr Vyvyan Harmsworth LVO
  • Mr Malcolm Mitchell
  • Mr John Prodger
  • Mrs Dinah Reynolds


  • Mr Lawrence Bachman
  • Sir David Goodall
  • The Lady Goodhart
  • Mr Dennis Greig
  • Dr Hamilton Hess


  • Professor David Alexander Jr CBE
  • Mr Arthur Scace
  • Mr Peter Thring TD


  • Mrs Rochelle Aschheim
  • Dr Joseph Aschheim
  • Mrs Anne Heseltine
  • The Hon Nicholas de Katzenbach
  • Mr John R Price Jr


  • Dr John Brademas