About the Association

St Anselm Hall Association

Welcome to the  St Anselm Hall Association website! Whether you are an Old Anselmian, a current member of the Junior Common Room (JCR) living in hall or simply interested in what we do, you will find information here about the Association; our people, our events and news of what is going on.

Please take time to look through the pages and you will find  descriptions of our activities and  diary dates for future events.

Our vibrant annual reunions, held each year in Manchester and London, are highlights of the Association year however there are numerous other activities and events involving the Association.  We are especially proud of our strong links to the JCR and our support to current students in hall through scholarships and events. Should you wish to become part of the Slems family and help us to continue this valuable work there is an Association membership form

Talking to members of the Association, whatever their years in hall, it is clear that their experiences at Slems were universally positive ones. We hope the Association acts as a point of re-connection for Old Anselmians who have lost touch with the hall and their contemporaries. I trust that you find these pages useful, and look forward to seeing you at an Association event in the near future.

Floreat Aula Saint Anselmi!

Jon Boddy,
Chairman of the St Anselm Hall Association

What the Association Does

The Association exists for three main reasons: as a network to keep Old Anselmians in touch with one another; to maintain links with the hall and support the current student body; and to promote and further understanding of the valuable contribution a hall of residence can make to the university experience.

St Anselm Hall is now the last remaining hall in Manchester of it’s kind. What is significant within that is that the hall is a true community managing the majority of its own affairs and provides mutual support to all those within its walls. At a time where the pressures placed upon undergraduates are increasing being a part of a supportive community has clear benefits in helping students to fulfill their academic potential whilst also being able to experience all that being at university has to offer. St Anselm Hall is now more relevant than ever.

As well as organizing reunions over the course of the year, the Association supports the activities of the current student body. We meet regularly with the JCR Committee, discuss issues facing the hall and where appropriate offer advice and financial support.

Links to the past and the heritage of the hall are important. The Association has commissioned portraits of former wardens, the first of Ronald Preston and Geoffrey North hang in the Closed Junior Common Room in Hall, and now this summer they have been joined by that of Dr Arthur Mawby.

The Association engages with members in a variety of ways. The hard copy Aosta magazine is produced annually and this is supported by digital media through our Facebook page and newsletters. These contain information on the Hall, news of Old Anselmians and upcoming events. The editor is always happy to receive news from Old Anselmians and we are always looking for photographs of Association events. If you have any that you think might be suitable then please contact us, along with any snippets of news and views.

Furthermore, the Association tries (whenever possible) to put Old Anselmians back in touch with their contemporaries when they lose contact. Many old friends have been reunited in this way, giving the opportunity to reconnect with old friends as well as making new ones, often across the generations.

Current students have also found the Association a useful source of contacts for internships, mentoring, advice and even job offers. As a body of members with a shared experience and common understanding, it is almost unique and gives an extra dimension to one of the few institutions of its kind still accessible in the UK today outside of the colleges of Oxford and Cambridge.

The Association is the organization which keeps the Slems community together long after they have left the Hall and University of Manchester. The popularity of Slems can be seen by the number of students who choose to join the Association when they leave the Hall.


Membership is open to anyone who has been resident in St Anselm Hall.  Old Anselmians generally acknowledge a debt that they feel they owe to the Hall for the years that they spent here, and enjoy staying involved as part of the wider community which contributes to the experience of current Slems residents.  Like the analogy of the flowing river, Slems may appear to change little but actually is constantly evolving. Through membership of the Association you can be both in touch with the past, the present and help to shape the future.

Membership costs £15 a year from the spring after graduation, for which members receive Association newsletters, the annual Aosta (the Hall magazine) and advance notice of forthcoming events each year.

The Association also tries to reunite former members who lose touch with each other. Slems is more than a place to stay, not merely a roof over one’s head that leaves no trace of a memory in later years, but a vital part of the overall University experience which the Association helps to keep alive, for its members as for current students.

The Preston Scholarship

Ronald Preston, DDAround 2004 the Association committed itself to an annual student scholarship scheme in memory of the late Warden Ronald Preston, who was a passionate advocate of access to education and social justice.

Consequently, the Association awards a bursary each year of at least £500 to a continuing or graduating student of the hall without restriction on its use or application.

The scholarship contributes an extra dimension to life in Hall, demonstrating commitment to students and the contribution they can make, along with appreciating history, continuity and an investment in future talent.


St Anselm Hall was founded by the Church of England in 1907 and licensed by the University of Manchester as an official hall of residence. The University bought it in 1956 and subsequently extended it to the current capacity of 130 students. St Anselm Hall was the last of the single-sex halls  owned by the University in Manchester being a male hall of residence until going mixed for the 2017-18 academic year.

The St Anselm Hall Association’s origins date from the 1930s when Warden Duncan Armytage held regular dinners for alumni of St Anselm Hall in the University of Manchester. The arrangement was formalized in the early 1950s under Warden Ronald Preston, setting it on a firmer footing with a constitution, committee and AGM. It has grown to a membership of over 800 and holds three reunions every year for its members and their guests.

We enjoy hearing from Old Anselmians, and we look forward to seeing you at one of the reunions in the near future.

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The Clerk to the St. Anselm Hall Association,
St. Anselm Hall,
Kent Road East, Victoria Park,
Manchester, M14 5BX.

Email: clerk@slems.org.uk

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