The Rewley lecture and dinner forms the centrepiece of our benefactors' programme and is a special occasion in the Oxford Saïd calendar. It is an annual event that gives us the opportunity to recognise the incredible generosity our benefactors have shown to us and express our gratitude for their support. It brings together some of the brightest minds and most influential leaders to engage with the world’s most pressing issues.
The evening consists of the lecture given by a distinguished speaker, followed by drinks, dinner and conversation.
In the thirteenth century, at a time when what we now know as the University of Oxford was still a fledgling collection of halls of learning, the second Earl of Cornwall set about founding a small chantry of six Cistercian priests to pray for the soul of his father. This vision rapidly changed, and was soon enlarged to include provisions for a studium (college) for monks to learn in the city of Oxford.
The monastery was situated on land now occupied by Saïd Business School, establishing a centuries long tradition of learning and enquiry on this site. In the early sixteenth century, under the patronage of King Henry VIII it is likely that the place of learning moved to St Bernard’s College, now the site of St John’s College. As with so many great monasteries and abbeys, Rewley fell to the dissolution of the monasteries in 1536, and all that now remains is a small gate which can be found along the canal path to the east of the School.
From these modest foundations, we continue to be a place of academic enquiry, where scholars, researchers, leaders, and visionaries come together to build a global community committed to transforming the world in which we live.