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New Vice-Principal of Josephine Butler College

Durham University is delighted to announce Harriet Tebbs as the new Vice Principal of Josephine Butler College. Harriet began her new role in March 2024, bringing with her a wealth of experience, a passion for community building, and a deep connection to Durham University.

Harriet Tebbs, originally from Stockton-On-Tees, is no stranger to Durham University. An alum of Josephine Butler College, she pursued her undergraduate studies in Sport from 2009 to 2012. During her time as a student, Harriet was an active member of the university community, and her commitment extended beyond her academic years when she served as the Team Durham Community Sabbatical Officer from 2012 to 2013.

Reflecting on her undergraduate experience, Harriet shared, “The self-catered accommodation at Josephine Butler was a tremendous support given my extensive commitments to university sports. The modern facilities, purpose-built spaces, and access to ample green areas were significant attractions. Above all, the kindness, welcoming nature, and consideration of the people at Butler made me feel accepted and valued for who I was.”

After graduating, Harriet continued to engage with Durham University in various volunteer and mentorship roles, allowing her to remain an integral part of the university community. This enduring connection and the opportunity to give back were key factors in her decision to return to her alma mater. “Coming to Durham University had a huge impact on my life, and I see this as a fantastic opportunity to pass on the same level of care, experiences, and opportunities to current students,” Harriet explained.

Professional Experience and Leadership

Before rejoining Durham, Harriet held a pivotal role at England Hockey. As the Project Manager for the 'A Structure Fit for the Future' transformation governance project, she orchestrated significant changes in the organization of local hockey across 800 clubs, eight new Area Companies, and 40 County Hockey Associations. Her efforts streamlined rules, competition structures, communication tools, and volunteer networks. Harriet’s leadership in recruiting, training, and inspiring over 200 volunteers showcased her ability to lead and effect change, qualities that will undoubtedly benefit Josephine Butler College.

Upon her return to Josephine Butler College, Harriet was struck by the positive developments since her graduation. “The College has progressed significantly with its buildings, landscaping, and the thriving community within. Josephine Butler students continue to be incredibly kind, welcoming, and engaged,” she observed. Harriet has already enjoyed participating in the college's vibrant life, including the annual musical, mentor evenings, sporting events, and various social activities.

Harriet’s affection for Durham extends beyond the college. She cherishes the lively city life, from enjoying brunch at local cafes to attending events like Lumiere, the Durham Regatta, and various music and theatre performances. “The people in Durham, whether students, staff, or local residents, are always welcoming and make everyone feel part of the community,” she added.

Goals and Vision for the Future

Looking ahead, Harriet is enthusiastic about her role and has clear objectives for her tenure. She aims to be a positive influence within both the college and the wider university community. Enhancing the student experience at Josephine Butler and building upon the existing alumni community are top priorities. With the college approaching its 20th anniversary in 2026, Harriet is keen to contribute to the celebrations and ongoing growth of the college.

In her own words, “To be able to provide students with the same level of care and opportunities that I received during my time at Durham is incredibly rewarding. I am excited to work with the fantastic team at Josephine Butler and to help shape the future of our college community.”

Gillian Hampden-Thompson, Principal of Josephine Butler College, expressed her excitement about Harriet’s appointment: “We are thrilled to welcome Harriet Tebbs back to Josephine Butler College in her new role as Vice Principal. Her extensive experience, deep connection to the college, and dedication to student development make her an invaluable addition to our team. Harriet’s passion for fostering a supportive and inclusive community aligns perfectly with our college values, and I am confident she will have a tremendous positive impact on our students and the wider college community.”

Harriet Tebbs’ return to Josephine Butler College as Vice Principal marks a new chapter in the college’s history. Her blend of personal experience as an alum and professional expertise promises to enrich the college and foster a supportive and vibrant environment for all its members. Durham University warmly welcomes Harriet back and looks forward to the positive impact she will undoubtedly have on the Josephine Butler community.