Thursday, 14 October 2010

The Admission of Sir Michael Rake to his William Pitt Fellowship

Sir Michael Rake is Chairman of BT Group plc. He is Chairman of easyJet plc, as well as a director of Barclays PLC, McGraw Hill Inc and the Financial Reporting Council. He is also chairman of the private equity oversight group the Guidelines Monitoring Committee. He was the first Chairman of the UK Commission for Employment and Skills from 2008 to 2010. He was a member of the National Security Forum for 2009/2010.
On Wednesday evening Sir Michael was admitted as a William Pitt Fellow. His admission was due to his association with the Pembroke College Corporate Partnership Programme.
The primary aim of the Corporate Partnership Programme is to provide a straightforward and effective way for businesses to work with the College and the University of Cambridge and to access its network of 'hidden' intelligence. Hence the College uses its resources and expertise:

• to identify opportunities for collaboration
• to design, set up and manage a tailored programme for each partner
• to locate academic specialists within the University
• to ensure that agreed objectives are met
This is achieved by developing a relatively small number of intensive relationships with leading UK and international companies. There are currently seven corporate partners at the William Pitt level, ranging in size from a company with fewer than twenty employees which develops automated X-ray inspection technologies, to a major international ICT business with more than 100,000 staff.
Businesses are able to join the Corporate Partnership Programme at one of two levels. Companies who join at the William Pitt level recognise the benefits associated with maintaining a longer-term partnership with the College and typically join the programme for a five-year term. They have full access to all the activities associated with the programme. This includes discounted rates for running seminars and workshops, free use of College rooms, a dedicated Pembroke Fellow who acts as a key academic interface with the company, and support from a dedicated Corporate Team. Organisations joining at this higher level are invited to nominate a senior executive to be elected as a William Pitt Fellow at Pembroke College.

Following the admission ceremony, Sir Michael attended a special dinner at High Table hosted by The Master. We began last night's dinner with crab ravioli, crushed parsnips and a hazelnut Velouté. We make all our pasta in-house, thus ensuring a delicate consistency with only the freshest fillings.
For the main course we served fillet of beef, cooked using the sous vide method. Sous vide cooking consists of vacuum packing food and slow-cooking at low temperatures in a special water bath. With the beef we served pumpkin puree, spinach,  fondant potato and a red wine jus.
For the sweet, we served a hibiscus cream with raspberry sorbet. Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is the national flower of Malaysia. It is a flowering plant, with five or more petals, ranging from red, white, pink, red, purple, yellow, etc and from 4-15 cm broad. It has a slightly acidic taste and is often boiled for use in tea.
Following the sweet, the Master and guests retired to the Senior Parlour for cheese and dessert.
Bon Appetite!

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