Dear new resident of Wills Hall,
I am delighted that you have joined Wills Hall. On behalf of the Association may I send you our best wishes and congratulations on the excellent choice of hall you have made for the beginning of your time at Bristol. You are now part of the Wills Hall community. The alumni hope that you will value the friendships and experiences developed here, shared within the character and ambience of Hall’s elegant buildings and grounds.
This is a special year in the history of our Hall as Wills celebrates 90 years since our opening. It was a pleasure to be in Wills on arrivals day giving out limited-edition water bottle from the Wills Hall Association to help mark this anniversary. In December 1929, the then Chancellor of the University, Winston Churchill signed the following statement (on trust);
“I, Winston Spencer Churchill MP, CH, Chancellor of the University of Bristol,
Declare There to be No Finer Hostel Than WILLS HALL
Among The Universities of the British Empire”.
Join the Will Hall Association
We hold an annual dinner at Wills as part the University’s Alumni Weekend in July, you can see the photos from a recent reunion here. We have had quite a variety of guests including President of the Supreme Court (and WHA Patron) Lady Hale, University Chancellor and Nobel laureate, Sir Paul Nurse, the Lord Mayor of London (and Wills alumnus) Peter Estlin, diplomat and politician, Lord Boateng, Chair of the UN SubCommittee for the Prevention of Torture, Sir Malcolm Evans, Creative Director of the BBC Natural History Unit, Dr Michael Gunton, and Professor Bruce Hood who runs the University Science of Happiness course.
We hold receptions in London and Bristol every year, the latter coinciding with our Annual Arthur Graves Lecture. We publish an annual Yearbook with articles and photographs contributed by current students and from the archives.
Supporting you and the Hall
We support the Hall and students through our events and financially. We paid for the Dame Monica Wills chapel organ, and, through the Wills Hall Memorial Fund and Zutshi-Smith Funds, we help direct up to £7000 worth of student travel grants each year. You can read recent reports on the entrance Hall notice boards and we will be advertising the new grants in the Spring.
We are also looking for a student in Hall to act as the Photographer-in-Residence. In exchange for recording the life of the Hall and our activities, you will receive free entry to all WHA events while you are in post. Please see here for more information. Your photos will join an archive going back to 1929.
Wills Hall is a special place to live in and belong to. This was well put by Professor Sir Liam Donaldson, Former UK Chief Medical Officer, Wills Hall 1967-1969:
‘For me, Wills was much more than a place to stay, much more than a temporary billet to be quickly forgotten, much more than an enclave of cliques and fragmented groups going their own way. It was a genuine and rock-solid community where friendships were forged and character was formed.’
Our committee sends you every good wish for your time at the University of Bristol and I hope to see you, as a member, at our events.; do book your place at the 90th Anniversary now.
My best wishes for the year.
Chair, Wills Hall Association,
Wills Hall 2003-05, JCR President 2004-05, Senior Resident 2006-08