University of Cambridge colleges
Murray Edwards College
Corpus Christi College
Sidney Sussex College
St Catharine’s College
Gonville and Caius College
St Edmund’s College
St John’s College
Lucy Cavendish College
Each of Cambridgeâ€™s colleges has its own distinct character and strengths, but all have produced a roll call of notable alumni who have gone on to make their mark on the world. This chapter looks back at some of the collegesâ€™ recent achievements and at the individuals who made them possible
Christ’s College Charles darwin’s former college continues to inspire and encourage academic excellence to this day
When prospective students choose a Cambridge
Anthony actually re-sailed Darwin’s HMS Beagle
college, Charles Darwin’s alma mater is the natural
voyage for a documentary in 2009/10, and in
selection for many. The man who developed the
January 2013 he was in the news again when he
theory of evolution now has one of the university’s
was commissioned to design a new £2 coin for
postgraduate colleges named after him, but attended
the Royal Mint.
Christ’s College before boarding HMS Beagle for
A month later, another former Christ’s student,
the five-year scientific journey around the globe that
74-year-old poet and professor Michael Edwards,
ultimately led to his theories about natural history.
made headlines in Britain and France when he
By providing strong tutorial support for today’s
became the first British-born person to be admitted
students, Christ’s aims to ensure that its alumni
to the Académie française, the elite body that aims
will also be able to leave their mark upon the
to preserve the purity of the French language.
world. Situated in the heart of the city, it was first
Two other writers who attended Christ’s also
established as God’s House in 1437, and received
received great recognition in 2013. Poet Helen Mort,
its founding charter 11 years later. However, it was
who gained her degree in 2004 and is currently
refounded as Christ’s College in 1505 after being
Derbyshire’s Poet Laureate, was shortlisted for the
extended by Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of
T S Eliot Prize for Poetry, while eminent historian
King Henry VII, who has since been honoured as
Simon Schama, who graduated in 1963, was
the college’s founder.
nominated for the equally prestigious Samuel
Charles Darwin’s achievements are regularly
Johnson Prize for Non-fiction.
commemorated at Christ’s, which still boasts many
In addition, Christ’s Fellow Dr Joel Isaac was
of its oldest buildings from the 15th century. There is
awarded the Royal Historical Society’s Gladstone
even a life-sized bronze sculpture of the natural
History Book Prize in 2013 for his first book,
historian in the college’s Darwin Garden. This statue
Working Knowledge, while the college’s Master,
was created by sculptor and fellow Christ’s alumnus
Professor Frank Kelly, received a CBE for services to
Anthony Smith who, incidentally, studied Natural
mathematical sciences in the New Year’s Honours
Sciences at degree level. Having graduated in 2002,
List that same year.
college connections Sacha Baron Cohen History, BA, 1990–93 A former Footlights member, Baron Cohen is now a comedian, Golden Globe-winning actor and Oscar-nominated writer.
Charles Darwin BA, 1828–31 The natural historian and author of On the Origin of Species was encouraged to pursue his passion during his time at Cambridge.
John Milton BA, 1625–28 “A poet second only to Shakespeare”, the writer of Paradise Lost was also the official propagandist for Oliver Cromwell’s regime.
Robert Oppenheimer Physics, 1925 The “father of the atomic bomb” only completed two terms but made significant strides in theoretical physics.
Churchill College Cambridge’s first all-male college to accept female students received global recognition for its archive centre in 2013
One of Cambridge’s relative newcomers, Churchill College was founded in 1960 as a permanent memorial to former Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill. He’d been hugely impressed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) while visiting the USA and wanted to create a similar institution in Britain. However, this grand plan soon morphed into the rather more modest proposal of setting up a new Cambridge college that specialised in science, technology and engineering. To this day, the college still has a strong emphasis on this area, but it is also home to many arts and humanities students. Churchill has an enviable academic record across both of these spheres, with more than 20 of its alumni having won Nobel Prizes. Awards aside, Churchill is also well known for being one of the university’s most progressive colleges – a reputation it first gained in 1972, when it took
the groundbreaking step of becoming the first all-male Cambridge college to
accept female students. Churchill students and staff – along with other Cambridge
facilities and striking modernist architecture. The site has all the usual amenities, plus
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colleges – still commemorate this landmark each year. Churchill is one of the university’s largest colleges – students can, if they so wish, complete a two-mile run without ever leaving the grounds – and boasts impressive a theatre, music suite, gym, tennis courts and the Churchill Archives Centre, which is home to the papers of Sir Winston Churchill and Baroness Thatcher. The centre contains more than a million items – including originals of Churchill’s best-known phrases and speeches – and celebrated its 40th anniversary in July 2013, when it was also included on UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register. This means that the collection will now appear on the UK National Register, highlighting its particular importance to Britain’s heritage. Churchill College’s archive was one of 11 notable British collections to be added to the UNESCO register in 2013 alongside the likes of Hitchcock’s silent movies and the Domesday Book. In 2013, it was also announced that the college’s Møller Centre, which already provides first-class residential and conference facilities, is to receive £6 million of investment. The money will be used to extend the main building and create 21 new bedrooms along with space for state-of-the-art meeting and conference rooms. The building project began in December 2013, and the new facilities are set to open in the spring of 2015.
college connections Michael Green Natural Science, BA, 1964–66 One of the pioneers of String Theory, physicist Green succeeded Stephen Hawking as the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics in 2009.
Andrew Sinclair English, 1961–63 Writer, director and one of Churchill’s founding members. Directed the film version of Under Milkwood starring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor.
Geoff Travis Philosophy, BA, 1974–76 The founder of Rough Trade Records opened the original Rough Trade store in Notting Hill in 1976 and set up the record label two years later.
Roger Tsien Medicine, PhD, 1972–77 The Nobel Prize-winning biochemist was awarded the prize in 2008 for his discovery with two other chemists of the green fluorescent protein (GFP).
college connections Sir David Attenborough Natural Sciences, 1945–47 Pioneering broadcaster, author and naturalist. In 2002, Attenborough was voted among the 100 greatest Britons of all time.
Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis c.1755
A leading British General in the American War of Independence who played a key role in bringing the conflict to an end.
Allison Pearson English, BA, 1978–81 Author and newspaper columnist. Pearson’s 2002 novel I Don’t Know How She Does It went on to be made into a Hollywood hit.
Siegfried Sassoon Law, 1905 The poet, writer and soldier attended for a single term. Famed for the poetry he wrote from the frontline during the First World War.
Clare College recent success stories at cambridge’s second-oldest college span the fields of arts, sport and science
The second-oldest college in Cambridge, Clare
the first people in history to row the entire length
College has the distinction of being one of only
of the Amazon. Beginning their journey in Peru in
three that have grounds that span the River Cam.
September, over the course of the following 31 days
This rare geographical reach is to some degree
the pair rowed more than 2,000 miles in aid of the
reflective of the college’s scope and influence
Leonard Cheshire Disability charity.
in the wider world.
With such an inspirational boatman at the helm,
Over the past few years, Clare College Archive
it’s little wonder that Clare topped the college rankings
has been involved in a collaborative project with the
for participation in rowing in 2013. Boasting seven
British Library and University College London, as well
men’s and four women’s crews, they easily outstripped
as libraries and collections in Glasgow and Wiltshire.
the competition. At the May Bumps, the college reaped
The project, called The Full English, is the world’s
the rewards of having such a large and talented pool
largest digital archive of English folk dance and
of rowers to choose from when the Clare Women’s
song. To celebrate its launch, an 11-date Full English
1st VIII achieved “double blades” for the first time
national tour took place in autumn 2013, featuring
performances and interpretations of traditional songs
The college has strengthened its commitment
and dance found in the archive. Other events on the
to women’s health over the past academic year by
Full English calendar included a Folk Song in England
welcoming to the Fellowship Dr Jason Carroll, a
Study Day, which was held at Clare College’s Gillespie
specialist in breast cancer research. Dr Carroll is the
Centre in November.
Principal Investigator at the Carroll lab at the Cancer
The modern English folk song ‘It’s a Long
Research UK Cambridge Institute. Earlier in 2013, he
Way from Clare to Here’ may well have received
won the American Association for Cancer Research’s
an impromptu airing in the Amazonian rainforest
Outstanding Investigator Award for Breast Cancer
in autumn 2013, as that October, Clare College
Research award. Dr Carroll and his team investigate
boatman Anton Wright and his teammate Dr Mark
the role played by the eostrogen receptor in breast
de Rond of the Judge Business School became
cancer development and treatment.
Clare Hall One of only two colleges at cambridge exclusively for graduates, Clare hall welcomed a new president in 2013
Founded in 1966, Clare Hall occupies a site to the west of the city where many of the university’s newer colleges are located. As both a young institution and a mature graduate community, the college combines energy and wisdom to create a proactive environment in which big ideas can emerge and take shape. In 2013, the college welcomed a new president in the form of Regius Professor of Civil Law, David Ibbetson. Professor Ibbetson came to Clare Hall by way of Corpus Christi where he was the Warden of the graduate community, Leckhampton, for several years. He took up his new post at Clare Hall in August 2013, keen to advance the college’s position at the forefront of the university’s rapidly growing graduate community. Clare Hall is known for its commitment to the arts, and in October 2013 the college launched a new series of literary talks for the academic year. The two events each term are intended to introduce the audience to the very best in contemporary British writing. In Michaelmas and Lent terms, the series featured such notable Cambridge-based writers as Ali Smith, Susan Sellers and Francis Spufford, along with bestselling Sussex-based novelist Suzanne Joinson. The series continued with a talk by writer and critic Olivia Laing in April and concluded in June with literary agent Rachel Calder sharing her insider knowledge of writing with the audience. Also in the arts, Intimate Engagements at Clare Hall returned for another year of informal and illuminating performances by gifted musicians. One highlight of the 2013/14 series was a performance by top British soprano Emma Kirkby and Swedish lutenist Jakob Lindberg in which they presented their distinctive interpretations of the works of the 17th-century English composers John Dowland and Henry Purcell. As a graduate college, Clare Hall’s primary focus is on advanced study and, across a range of disciplines, its fellows and students strive to produce world-class research. In May 2013, college Fellow Professor Maria Grazia Spillantini was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society. Working in the field of neurodegenerative disease, her groundbreaking research has transformed our understanding of such challenging conditions as Parkinson’s and dementia. Another college Fellow, Dr Barbara Sahakian, was elected President of the International Neuroethics Society. A Professor of Clinical Neuropsychology at the Department of Psychiatry, she is a co-inventor of the CANTAB computerised neuropsychological tests and started her new role in February 2014.
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college connections Kim Dae-jung Visiting Fellow, 1993 President of South Korea from 1998 to 2003. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2000 for his efforts to engage with North Korea.
Phyllis Starkey Physiology, PhD, 1972–75 As a female Labour entrant to Parliament after the 1997 general election, Starkey was part of the intake dubbed the “Blair Babes”.
Ivar Giaever Visiting Fellow, 1969–70 A physicist who shared the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1973 and has since become notable for his sceptical stance on global warming.
Budiman Sudjatmiko International Relations, MPhil, 2003–05 Indonesian activist and politician. In 1996, he founded the People’s Democratic Party and led street demonstrations in Jakarta.
college connections Simon Heffer English, BA, 1979–82; Modern History, PhD, 2009 Prominent British journalist, columnist and author who has worked for the Daily Mail and The Daily Telegraph.
Christopher Isherwood History, 1924–25 British novelist best known for his 1939 semi-autobiographical work Goodbye to Berlin, which was adapted into the musical Cabaret.
Kevin McCloud Philosophy and History of Art, 1978–81 British designer, writer and television presenter best known for his work on the television series Grand Designs, which he has presented since 1999.
Christopher Marlowe Divinity, BA, 1580–84; MA, 1587 Elizabethan dramatist and poet. A contemporary of William Shakespeare, his works include Doctor Faustus and The Jew of Malta.
Corpus Christi College the only oxbridge college to have been established by its townspeople is today celebrated for its green thinking
Corpus Christi College is one of the 16 ancient
In other environmental-related news, Corpus
colleges within the University of Cambridge. It was
Christi students have embraced the NUS’s energy
established in 1352 by the Guilds of Corpus Christi
and climate-change awareness initiative Student
and the Blessed Virgin Mary and bears the distinction
Switch Off. The project was launched in 2012, and
of being the only Oxbridge college founded by its
out of the 23 Cambridge colleges that took part in
townspeople. Situated in the heart of Cambridge,
2012/13, Corpus finished a very respectable fourth,
between the 11th-century tower of St Bene’t’s Church
and is aiming to top the table by the end of 2013/14.
– the city’s oldest structure – and the laboratory
It’s not only science and the environment that
where DNA was discovered, the college has offered
are high on the agenda at the college, however.
world-class teaching and research for more than
Corpus Christi is also renowned for its theatrical talent
660 years and continued to do so during the 2013/14
– from Christopher Marlowe to Hugh Bonneville –
and its famous Corpus Playroom is host to some of
In September 2013, for instance, Corpus Christi
Cambridge’s best comedy and drama.
Engineering student Andrew Zhao and his Cambridge
Firmly established as the city’s most important
teammates entered Resolution, an aerodynamic
alternative venue, the Playroom has been extensively
solar car they’d designed and built, in the 2013
refurbished over recent years. It is now managed by
Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. This biennial
the university-wide ADC theatre, which means the
3,000 km race across the Australian outback sees
productions put on receive greater technical support
the most advanced, energy-efficient electric vehicles
and publicity, but the artistic direction remains firmly
on the planet battle it out for first place, and the
in the hands of the Fletcher Players, Corpus’s drama
Cambridge team had the honour of being Britain’s
society (so-named after John Fletcher, the Jacobean
only entrant that year. Sadly, they were forced to
playwright and college alumnus). The Corpus
withdraw from the race just days before it began
Playroom is committed to showcasing new writing,
due to safety concerns. The team went on to
acting and directing talent, and this intimate space
successfully drive across the continent in Resolution
has played a key role in launching the careers of
nonetheless, and is in good shape in its preparations
the likes of Stephen Fry, Emma Thompson and Sam
for the 2015 competition.
Mendes, among many others.
Darwin College The 50th anniversary of cambridge’s first college exclusively for graduates is being marked with celebrations around the world
As the first college in Cambridge established
Old Granary in Silver Street before the college was
exclusively for graduate students, Darwin was created
founded, served as Cambridgeshire’s Chief Education
as a centre for the advancement of education,
Officer from 1922 to 1954. He took up his post at a
learning and research among graduate and research
time when Cambridgeshire was the poorest county
students. Founded in 1964 by the combined efforts
in England and had no separate secondary schools
of Gonville and Caius, St John’s and Trinity College,
outside the city. But by the time he retired, he had
Darwin celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.
established the county’s successful village college
Demonstrating the strength of the college’s
system. Demonstrating the extent and continued
international profile and its ever-expanding global
impact of his achievement, three of the schools he
alumni network, official anniversary events are taking
founded – Sawston, Swavesey and Comberton village
place throughout the year and around the world,
colleges – were the highest performing GCSE state
including events in Africa, the USA, Australia and the
schools in the county in 2013.
UK. The celebrations began in January 2014 when a
A commitment to educating the wider community
special anniversary alumni reception was held in Cape
is by no means a thing of the past at Darwin, and in
Town, South Africa. Since then, Darwin’s new Master,
Lent term 2013 the college again hosted its hugely
Mary Fowler, and College Fellow, Lawrence Sherman,
popular public lecture series. This year the theme was
have hosted celebratory alumni dinners in New York
“plagues”, and the speakers’ approaches to the topic
and Washington DC, respectively. There are also more
ranged from the scientific to the figurative.
alumni dinners in Nairobi, Kampala, San Francisco
The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Professor
and Sydney, as well as a programme of anniversary
Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, presented the first lecture in the
events in the college itself, which includes a garden
series titled “Plagues and Medicine”. As well as several
party, an alumni lunch, a riverboat cruise and a
Cambridge fellows, distinguished speakers from the
family fun day.
universities of Oxford, Stanford and St Petersburg State
A blue plaque dedicated to the memory of
contributed to the series, while a provocative talk on
educational pioneer Henry Morris was unveiled at
plagues and the internet was presented by security
Darwin in October 2013. Morris, who lived in the
specialist Mikko H Hypponen.
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college connections Elizabeth Blackburn Natural Sciences, PhD, 1971–75 Biological scientist who shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2009 for her work in molecular biology.
Dian Fossey Zoology, PhD, 1970–74 American zoologist who studied gorillas in Rwanda for 18 years. Best known for her 1983 book Gorillas in the Mist.
César Milstein Biochemistry, PhD, 1958–61 A biochemist who worked in the field of antibody research, Milstein shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology for Medicine in 1984.
Sir Ian Wilmut Agriculture, PhD, 1967–72 The leader of the research group that first cloned a mammal – Dolly the sheep – from an adult somatic cell.
Downing College Boasting spacious grounds, downing has celebrated major refurbishments and welcomed a new master in 2013
Considered both the newest of Cambridge’s old colleges and the oldest of its new ones, Downing boasts beautiful classical buildings set in spacious grounds. It was founded through a donation left by Sir George Downing, 3rd Baronet, whose grandfather Sir George Downing, 1st Baronet, built the houses on the street where the Prime Minister resides. Although the college’s benefactor died in 1749, the college wasn’t actually built until 1800 due to legal challenges against his will. As a result, much of the fortune that should have been used to set up the college was gone by the time it came into being, and despite its impressive exterior, Downing had to be designed piecemeal over an extended period of time. The college’s architectural development is, in fact, ongoing, and in October 2013 it celebrated the end of a major refurbishment project when the student accommodation in Lensfield Road was completed. Earlier that month, Downing also welcomed its new Master, Professor of Mathematical Statistics Geoffrey Grimmett, while the outgoing one, Professor Barry Everitt, became Provost of the Gates Cambridge Trust, one of the world’s most prestigious scholarship programmes. Established in 2000 through a $210 million donation (the largest ever made to a UK university) from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the programme supports 90 outstanding international postgraduate students each year. Bill Gates welcomed Professor Everitt’s appointment, saying: “This high-profile appointment reinforces our confidence in the future of this prestigious international scholarship programme and its capacity to nurture future leaders who will improve the lives of others.” Among Downing’s teaching staff, Professor Graham Virgo made the news in January 2013, when he was nominated for Oxford University Press’s 2013 OUP Law Teacher of the Year award. Dubbed “the celebrity of the Law Faculty” at the University of Cambridge, Professor Virgo was shortlisted for the nationwide award because he combines an innovative teaching method with enthusiasm for developing strong connections with students. Also in January 2013, the illustrator Quentin Blake was knighted. The Downing alumnus and former President of the Downing College Alumni Association is still strongly connected with the college in his capacity as an Honorary Fellow and as the Patron of its arts and humanities network, the Blake Society.
college connections Sir Quentin Blake English, BA, 1953–56; MA, 1960 The cartoonist, illustrator and children’s writer illustrated many of Roald Dahl’s books and was the inaugural Children’s Laureate.
John Cleese Law, BA, 1960–63; MA, 1968 Having worked as a teacher before attending Cambridge, Cleese found global fame as an actor, writer and Python. Thandie Newton Archaeology and Anthropology, BA, 1992–95 A successful screen actor who starred in the film Mission: Impossible II and won a Bafta for her role in Crash. Sir Trevor Nunn English; BA, 1959–62 The theatre and film director has been the Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre.
college connections Sebastian Faulks English, BA, 1971–74 Writer and broadcaster whose novels include Birdsong, Human Traces and Devil May Care – a James Bond continuation novel.
John Harvard BA, 1627–32; MA, 1635 Emigrated to America in 1637. His deathbed bequest to a new college was so appreciated that it was named Harvard University.
Maggie O’Farrell English, BA, 1990–93 Award-winning author of contemporary fiction. Her novels include After You’d Gone and The Hand That First Held Mine.
Griff Rhys Jones History and English, BA, 1972–76 Comedian, writer and television presenter. Best known for Not the Nine O’Clock News and his comedy partnership with Mel Smith.
Emmanuel College A major influence across the atlantic in years past, EMmanuel has enjoyed a good deal of success closer to home in recent times
Emmanuel College is situated in the heart of the city,
and 17th-century England, and he will now have
close to the busy shopping district and within easy
the opportunity to spend a year working with
reach of the town’s many leisure facilities. From this
BBC Radio 3 presenters and producers to turn
central location, the college’s influence extends far
his research into stimulating radio broadcasts.
and wide. It is particularly well known for its remarkable
In sport, Emmanuel Boat Club member Emily
contribution to colonial North American history, and
Day represented Cambridge University at the British
counts John Harvard, after whom Harvard University
Rowing Championships. She and her crew won
is named, among its most famous alumni.
bronze in the Women’s VIII event and are now the
As a pioneering institution, Emmanuel has
top ranked Women’s University VIII in the country.
produced a number of world-class thinkers since its
Not to be outdone by the college’s fellows
foundation in 1584, and this legacy continues unabated.
and students, Emmanuel’s catering staff performed
In June 2013, a Fellow of the college, Professor Keith
exceptionally well at the 2013 University of
Richards, was awarded the Founder’s Medal by the
Cambridge Culinary Competition. Held in October,
Royal Geographical Society. This medal is awarded
the competition took the form of a live and highly
annually for excellence in geographical research
pressured cook-off, and Emmanuel’s team won five
and fieldwork, teaching and public engagement.
bronze medals as well as two silvers and a gold.
Professor Richards received his award in recognition
In November, the college hosted one of the
of his outstanding contribution to the “development
main events in the Marlowe Festival when its chapel
of physical geography and fluvial geomorphology”.
was used as the venue for a rare performance of Dido,
One of the college’s many outstanding graduate
Queen of Carthage. Christopher Marlowe is believed
students also made the news in 2013. John Gallagher,
to have written the play while he was studying at
currently a PhD student at Emmanuel, was chosen by
Cambridge, and the recent production, directed by
BBC Radio 3 as one of its New Generation Thinkers
Michael Oakley, was performed by a troop of student
2013. Gallagher is one of only 10 young academics
actors from Cambridge University’s Marlowe Society.
to be selected for the scheme, which is intended
The Marlowe Festival marks the occasion of the
to find the academic broadcasters of the future.
playwright’s birth 450 years ago and features a range
His work focuses on foreign languages in 16th-
of performances and events throughout the year.
Fitzwilliam College fitzwilliam marries contemporary architecture with a long-standing tradition of widening participation and achieving impressive results
Fitzwilliam College is a relatively new addition to Cambridge. Its origins date back to 1869 when the university directly admitted non-collegiate students. As one of its newer and larger colleges, Fitzwilliam boasts some of the most remarkable architecture in the city. The institution’s original purpose was to provide an undergraduate education to students who had the ability to attend a Cambridge college but lacked the financial means. Although it is now fully integrated into the collegiate system, Fitzwilliam continues to honour its original ideals. Most recently, it cemented its commitment to widening participation by collaborating with Kent Academies Network and the Sutton Trust to develop a new scheme to help young people from non-selective schools successfully apply to top-ranking universities in the UK. Students in Year 9 are selected from participating academies, based on their
310 Annual intake
academic potential. Those who win a place are then supported and mentored by teachers from Kent Schools and students from Fitzwilliam for the rest of their school career. One of Fitzwilliam College’s many strengths is in the field of engineering, a discipline in which its fellows, students and alumni frequently distinguish themselves. Most recently, Professor Nigel Slater, a Fellow of the college, Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Head of the university’s BioScience Engineering Group, made an important medical breakthrough. Working in partnership with a biotechnology company called Prokarium, he and his team developed an orally administered live-bacteria vaccine against typhoid and enterotoxigenic E. coli. Between them, these diseases cause more than half a million deaths each year – primarily in developing countries – and their containment has been hampered by logistical problems associated with the need to treat them intravenously. This new orally administered vaccine, however, has the potential to make the management and control of these two diseases far more effective. Also in engineering, Fitzwilliam alumnus Dr Andy Harter and his team were awarded the 2013 Royal Academy of Engineering MacRobert Award for innovation. Through his Cambridge-based company, RealVNC Ltd, Dr Harter developed Virtual Network Computing, a technology that makes it possible to access computers remotely. VNC has had an enormous impact worldwide and is currently estimated to be used in more than a billion devices.
College connections Vince Cable Economics, BA, 1962–65 Former Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats and current Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.
Nick Drake English, BA, 1967–69 Having received little recognition during his lifetime, singer-songwriter Drake has won considerable posthumous acclaim.
Arran Fernandez Mathematics Tripos, 2010– At the age of 15, Fernandez became the youngest Cambridge entrant since 1773, and later its youngest ever Senior Wrangler.
David Starkey History, BA, 1964–67 Historian, author and broadcaster. As famous for his outspoken television appearances as his numerous books on Tudor history.
Girton College A groundbreaking former female-only college, girton continues to push the boundaries for women
As the UK’s first residential college for women offering a degree-level education, Girton College has a proud history of being a leader with regard to equality and inclusion. Founded in 1869 by suffragist Emily Davies, feminist and artist Barbara Bodichon and campaigner for the education of women Lady Stanley, Girton was also the first Cambridge women’s college to become mixed, welcoming its first male fellows in 1977, followed by male graduate students a year later and undergraduates in 1979. Not long before that, in 1975, Sarah Springman joined Girton to read Engineering. A tremendously talented sportswoman, she was awarded Blues in six different sports and went on to represent Great Britain in the triathlon for 10 years, starting in 1983. Thirty years later – now Professor Sarah Springman CBE and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering – she received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Sunday Times & Sky Sports Sportswomen of the Year Awards in December 2013. A month earlier, current Girton MPhil graduate student Lottie Birdsall-Strong also made her mark in the world of sport when she gave evidence to the Government Select Committee inquiry into Women and Sport. Continuing Girton’s distinguished tradition of breaking new ground for women, the former member of Arsenal’s junior elite squad spoke to the committee in her role as an advocate for equality in sport, which is linked to her work on her MPhil in Interdisciplinary Gender Studies. Gender studies was also the theme of Girton historian Dr Ben Griffin’s book, The Politics of Gender in Victorian Britain, for which he received the prestigious Whitfield Prize from the Royal Historical Society in July 2013. Other Girtonians who gained recognition during the year include alumna Patricia Cumper, who was awarded an MBE for services to Black British Theatre, and Professor Dame Ann Dowling – the first female professor in Cambridge’s Engineering Department – whom BBC Radio 4 named among the 100 most powerful women in the UK today. However, by a hair’s breadth the most groundbreaking development at Girton in 2013 was arguably Fellow Dr Colm Durkan’s discovery about the quality of shampoos. His recently established company CambridgeNano used the advanced Atomic Force Microscope he’d developed to study a wide range of the products, imaging features on hair with a resolution of below a billionth of a metre and making the news because it proved that the most expensive shampoos aren’t necessarily the best.
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college connections Elsie Bowerman Modern and Medieval Languages, BA, 1908–11; MA, 1927 Lawyer, suffragette and Titanic survivor, also the first female barrister at the Old Bailey. Dame Rosalyn Higgins Law, BA, 1955–59; MA, 1962 The former President of the International Court of Justice also advised the British Government in the Iraq Inquiry. Arianna Huffington Economics, BA, 1969–72 Writer and co-founder of Pulitzer Prizewinning website The Huffington Post was a former President of the Union Society. Sandi Toksvig Archaeology and Anthropology, BA; MA, 1984 The broadcaster and comedian returned to the world of academia in 2012, when she became Chancellor of the University of Portsmouth.
Gonville and Caius College gonville and caius honoured one of its nobel laureates and gave the television-viewing public a rare glimpse behind its walls in 2013
Founded as Gonville Hall in 1348 by Edmund Gonville and refounded – and renamed – by John Caius in 1557, Gonville and Caius College is now one of the largest and wealthiest in Cambridge. With the exception of its close neighbour Trinity College, it also boasts more Nobel Laureates than any other Oxbridge college. In April 2013, Caius unveiled a memorial to one of its 12 Nobel Prize winners: the co-discoverer of DNA, Francis Crick. Set into the paving inside the Great Gate, the memorial was officially opened by Dr James Watson, who is credited with discovering DNA along with Crick and Maurice Wilkins, and shared with them the 1962 Nobel Prize. Remarkably, the memorial at Caius is the first such monument to Crick in Cambridge, and its imagery captures both the helical structure of DNA and the structure of a chromosome, while at the same time suggesting the flow of information between the college and the wider world. The relationship between Caius and the world beyond its gates expanded in an unexpected way during the course of the 2013/14 academic year. In August, British television viewers were given a glimpse of life behind the college walls when Caius featured in the most recent series of the BBC’s enormously popular cookery programme Celebrity Masterchef. The show’s prominent semi-finalists were challenged to cook a three-course dinner in the college kitchens for 150 fellows, students and parents. Moving from the small screen to the ancient arena, among the college’s many dramatic achievements this year was the groundbreaking archaeological work of Caius Fellow Dr Alessandro Launaro. As head of a team of Cambridge archaeologists, Dr Launaro used geophysical analysis and imaging to unearth a fascinating Roman ruin in the Italian countryside. Along with his fellow team leader, Professor Martin Millet of Cambridge University’s Faculty of Classics, Launaro and his team mapped a large ancient town near Rome that is believed to have been abandoned 1,500 years ago. Among the discoveries made at the site is a richly decorated theatre, the discovery of which calls into question our previous understanding of the town’s economic and cultural status. Dr Launaro was not the only Caius fellow to make the news this year. In a remarkable achievement, the college’s fellows won two of the three British Academy Medals awarded in 2013. Professor David Abulafia received a medal for his book The Great Sea: A Human History of the Mediterranean, while Honorary Fellow Dr Noel Malcolm FBA won a medal for his 2012 edition of Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan.
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college connections Harold Abrahams Law, BA, 1919–32 Olympic athlete who won the gold medal for the 100 m in 1924 and is immortalised in the 1981 film Chariots of Fire.
Alastair Campbell Modern and Medieval Languages, BA, 1975–79 A journalist, broadcaster, political aide and author, best known as Tony Blair’s former Director of Communications and Strategy.
Jimmy Carr Social and Political Sciences, BA, 1992–95 Comedian and television presenter renowned for his deadpan delivery. Carr’s stand-up tours have been seen by more than 1.5 million people.
Sir Howard Florey Biology, PhD, 1927 Co-discoverer of penicillin. He shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1945 with Ernst Boris Chain and Alexander Fleming.
college connections Olivia Colman 1994 Bafta-winning actress. Auditioned for Footlights in front of David Mitchell and Robert Webb, whom she went on to work with many times.
Dame Leah Manning 1907 British educationalist, social reformer and Labour MP who organised the evacuation of Basque children during the Spanish Civil War.
Jan Ravens BEd, 1976–80 Actress and impressionist, best known for her work on Spitting Image and Dead Ringers. The first female President of Footlights.
Efua Sutherland Education, BA, 1947–50 Ghanaian playwright, director, children’s author and poet. Instrumental in establishing the study of African theatre at degree level.
Homerton College Homerton gained its royal charter in 2010, and two of its affiliates were recognised in the most recent Queen’s New Year Honours list
Homerton College moved to Cambridge from
of the Order of Companions of Honour. This award
London’s East End in 1894 and almost immediately
is made to those who have distinguished themselves
became women-only, having previously gone through
in the arts, sciences, medicine or government,
various guises and locations in the capital since its
and Sir Peter received his award in recognition of
foundation in 1730. Men were not allowed to join
his services to music. In all, there are currently 39
again until 1976, and Homerton has only offered
companions, including fellow Cambridge alumni
Cambridge’s full range of subjects since 2001, before
Stephen Hawking and Sir David Attenborough.
gaining its Royal Charter as a self-governing college
In addition, a new book on Caribbean poetry
of the university in 2010.
was launched at Homerton in October 2013.
Combining a mix of old and new architecture,
Entitled Teaching Caribbean Poetry, it was edited
Homerton is an attractive college, and a large one
by Professors Beverley Bryan and Morag Styles, and
– with around 1,200 students, it has more students
features contributions by Homerton Fellows Georgie
than any other Cambridge college. One of its
Horrell and David Whitley. The book is the outcome
alumni, retired head teacher Avril Spriggs, received
of the Caribbean Poetry Project, which has been
an MBE in 2014 for sustained services to gymnastics.
running at the college since 2010. Guests at the
As well as being responsible for founding one of
launch included the Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy,
Britain’s most successful gymnastics clubs, she has
who is both an Honorary Fellow and Patron of
worked tirelessly throughout her career to safeguard
Homerton, and Sir Andrew Motion, Director of
children in the sport and has judged gymnastics
the Online Poetry Archive.
at three Olympics, 11 World Championships and
Two months later, in December 2013, Dr Robin
11 European Championships.
Bunce, Homerton’s Director of Studies for Politics
But Spriggs wasn’t the only Homertonian to
and International Relations, launched his book
feature in the 2014 Queen’s New Year Honours list.
Darcus Howe: A Political Biography. Co-authored
Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, an Honorary Fellow of
with Paul Field, this new biography not only tells the
the college and one of Britain’s most important
story of Howe’s life, but also that of the British Black
contemporary composers, was appointed a Member
Hughes Hall as hughes prepares to receive a new president, its students have been combining professional and academic expertise to great effect
The oldest graduate college in Cambridge, Hughes
Research into Crimes against Art (ARCA). The award
Hall started life in the 1870s as an informal institution
recognised his extraordinary success while working
dedicated to educating women graduates before
as a forensic archaeologist at the Greek Ministry
coming into being as the Cambridge Training College
of Culture, the Greek Ministry of Justice and the
in 1885. Having existed in a number of guises over the
Greek Police Art Squad. His work has resulted in
years, it was formally incorporated into the University
the withdrawal from auction and return to their
of Cambridge in 1949, a year after the university first
rightful owners of valuable antiquities. Tsirogiannis’
granted degrees to women students. The college’s
professional work forms the basis of his academic
founder, Elizabeth Phillips Hughes, was an advocate
research, and he recently completed his PhD thesis
of co-education, and the present-day Hughes Hall
on the subject of the international illicit antiquities
is the true realisation of her dream, boasting as it
network he helped to thwart.
does a mix of female and male graduate and mature
Another Hughes Hall PhD student to successfully
combine industry knowledge with an aptitude for
The college has experienced considerable
academic research is Computer Science student
changes in its lifetime, and in September 2014 there
Raoul-Gabriel Urma. Having worked for a number
will be yet more when, after eight years at the helm,
of years as a software engineer for Oracle, Google,
Sarah Squire will retire from her role as president.
eBay and Goldman Sachs, Urma collaborated with
Her successor is Hughes Hall City Fellow Dr Anthony
senior software engineer Mario Fusco and Cambridge
Freeling, a former senior partner at McKinsey &
Professor of Computer Science Alan Mycroft to
Company and Chair of the Development Committee
produce a new book called Java 8 Lambdas in Action.
for the Open University. One of several strengths that
Intended to teach advanced programming to industry
he hopes to build upon during his presidency is the
professionals, it is set to be a huge success, judging
college’s “research and teaching oriented towards
by the thousands of pre-orders received.
the professional world”. He could not have set out
Bridging the gap between the university and the
to achieve this aim at a more auspicious time, with
wider Cambridge community is central to the aims
Hughes Hall’s current research students having
of Hughes Hall Fellow Tony Lemons, who received
cemented their college’s reputation for bridging the
an MBE for his services to university sport in June
gap between the professional and academic worlds.
2013. The university’s Director of Physical Education
One such researcher is PhD student Christos
since 1983, Lemons is the driving force behind its
Tsirogiannis, who received the 2013 award for Art
new world-class sports centre, the first phase of
Protection and Security from the Association for
which opened in August 2013.
430 Annual intake
college connections Andrew Murrison Health, DIPPUHL, 1994–96 A doctor and Conservative Party politician. At the 2010 general election Murrison won the newly created seat of South West Wiltshire.
Andy Ripley Management Studies, MPhil, 1997–98 Rugby union international who represented England from 1972 to 1976 and the Lions on their unbeaten 1974 tour of South Africa.
Roxana Saberi International Relations, MPhil, 1999–2000 American journalist who gained much attention after being imprisoned in Iran as a suspected spy and writing a book about the experience.
Netta Syrett 1885–86 Victorian novelist and playwright. It is reputed that Syrett completed her three years of coursework in a single year.
Jesus College combining tradition and innovation, jesus boasts one of cambridge’s most advanced computer centres
Jesus College was established between 1496 and 1516 on the site of a 12th-century Benedictine nunnery whose ruins – which included a huge church – were adapted to house it. Today, these buildings remain at the college’s centre. Accommodation for students and fellows is set around five spacious, three-sided courts, and beyond them 24 acres of gardens and playing fields surround the nuns’ cloisters. Although steeped in history and tradition, Jesus is a forward-thinking college that admits an equal number of science and arts students each year. There is a strong interest in and support for the visual arts at the college, which has hosted sculpture exhibitions by contemporary artists for more than 20 years. Its sprawling gardens are now home to an important and impressive permanent collection that includes works by Antony Gormley, Eduardo Paolozzi and Barry Flanagan. Jesus also has a great literary heritage, and November 2013 saw the 300th birthday of one of its most notable alumni, Laurence Sterne. Sterne is best known for his satirical novel The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, which had a huge effect upon modernist and postmodernist writers alike. To celebrate his tercentenary, events took place at the college, around Britain and in Sterne’s native Ireland. In addition, a new online archive of so-called “Sterneana” (Sterne-related material) was set up in partnership with Cambridge University Library. Also in November 2013, one of Jesus’s many science alumni, Professor Sir Bruce Ponder, the first Director of the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, received a lifetime achievement award. Sir Bruce, who is now the head of the University of Cambridge’s Department of Oncology, received the accolade at the National Cancer Research Institute’s annual Cancer Conference in Liverpool. He was honoured for his dedication to making Cambridge’s cancer research facility a world-class centre of excellence and, more specifically, for his work on identifying the breast cancer susceptibility genes BRCA1 and BRCA2. After winning the prestigious Cyber Security Challenge UK in 2012, Jesus Computer Science student Jonathan Millican was invited to give a talk and demonstration at a conference of MPs, entitled Parliament and the Internet 2013, in October of that year. And yet more evidence of the college’s happy blend of tradition and innovation comes in the form of its Quincentenary Library. Opened in 1996 by Her Majesty the Queen, it commemorates Jesus’s 500th anniversary and has space for more than 50,000 books in architecturally stunning surroundings, with a computer centre that is one of the most advanced of any Cambridge college.
college connections Samuel Taylor Coleridge 1791–94 Poet, literary critic and philosopher who, along with William Wordsworth, was a founder of the Romantic movement.
Geoff Hoon Law, BA, 1973–77 Labour politician and former Defence Secretary, Transport Secretary, Leader of the House of Commons and Labour Party Chief Whip.
310 Annual intake
Nick Hornby English, BA, 1976–79 Novelist and screenwriter whose books include High Fidelity and About a Boy. Also wrote the screenplay for the 2009 film An Education.
HRH Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex History & Archaeology, BA, 1983–87 The fourth child of Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Prince Edward is eighth in line to the throne.
King’s College testament to its strength in depth, king’s alumni and fellows achieved success in physics and music in 2013
One of the most architecturally and historically
10 physicists likely to be “the next big names” in the
significant colleges in Cambridge, King’s is also known
field. Dr Sebastian, who is a Junior Research Fellow at
for its progressive and egalitarian outlook. Founded in
King’s, had already won a L’Oréal Women in Science
1441 by King Henry VI, the college was one of the first
Fellowship and a five-year Starting Grant from the
in Cambridge to admit women undergraduates and,
European Research Council earlier in 2013.
in contrast to its magnificent environs, has long since
King’s is renowned for its music, and in
dispensed with some of the more traditional aspects
2013 alumna Errollyn Wallen won the Ivor Novello
of Cambridge life. As a forward-thinking and outward-
Award for Classical Music. Wallen was particularly
looking institution, the college consistently produces
successful in 2013 since she also won the Best Music
fellows, students and alumni who are determined to
Award for a TV Series at the Festival International
make their mark on the world, and this has certainly
des Programmes Audiovisuels for her first score
been the case during the 2013/14 academic year.
for a television drama.
In October 2013, King’s Fellow and cosmologist
Combining the college’s strengths in music
Professor George Efstathiou was awarded the
and sport with its well-developed sense of social
Nemistas Prize for research in the field of physics.
responsibility, September 2013 saw three members
Worth €50,000, the prize is administered by the Takis
of the College Choir complete a gruelling 1,200-mile
& Louki Nemistas Foundation and is awarded to
bike ride from the college chapel to the Royal Palace
Cypriot scientists whose inventions and discoveries
in Oslo in aid of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. The three
benefit Cyprus and the wider world. The foundation
choristers – Feargal Mostyn-Williams, Dave Bagnall
cited as a major factor influencing its decision
and Phil Barrett – exceeded their sponsorship target
Professor Efstathiou’s leading role in the Planck
by raising more than £12,000 for the trust. Their long-
Satellite project and its subsequent use in identifying
distance bike ride stands as a worthy prelude to the
structures in the universe.
Tour de France, which comes to Cambridge in July
Also in October of that year and in physics, the
2014 and will pass King’s College on its route through
Financial Times cited Dr Suchitra Sebastian as one of
the historic city centre.
college connections Sir Salman Rushdie History, BA, 1965–68 Booker prize-winning novelist best known for his 1988 novel The Satanic Verses and the controversy that surrounded its publication.
Zadie Smith English, BA, 1994–97 Novelist whose works include the awardwinning White Teeth. Featured in Granta’s list of best young authors in 2003 and 2013.
Alan Turing Mathematics, 1931–34 Widely considered to be the father of computer science, Turing was also key to the Enigma codebreaking programme of the Second World War.
Robert Walpole 1696–98 Regarded as the first Prime Minister of Great Britain, Walpole was a Whig who served during the reigns of George I and George II.
college connections Noeleen Heyzer Social Science, PhD, 1972–79 Since 2007, the Singaporean has been the first female Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.
Cate Muther Social Anthropology, BA & MA, 1973–80 The founder of the Three Guineas Fund, which tries to create economic opportunity for women, and Astia, which supports female entrepreneurs.
Marcia Schofield Clinical Medicine, Ma, MB & BChir, 1992–97 The former keyboardist with The Fall went on to train and practise as a doctor after quitting the post-punk band.
Janet Todd College President, 2008– An internationally renowned scholar of early women writers and the author of numerous works on the subject.
Lucy Cavendish College Lucy Cavendish is a unique college that offers a cambridge education to women from all kinds of backgrounds
Lucy Cavendish is not only Cambridge’s first
have a higher success rate in detecting suspicious skin
postgraduate college for women, but also the latest,
cancers when using best-practice guidelines with a
and therefore possibly last, all-female college to
medical history and naked-eye examination, rather
be founded in the UK.
than a digital assessment tool. In 2013, this important
Established in 1965 in response to the fact that
discovery won the team the Royal College of General
women were not allowed to become Cambridge
Practitioners’ Research Paper of the Year Award in the
fellows at the time, it was initially a collegiate society
for women graduates. As it slowly grew, Lucy
The same year, former Lucy Cavendish student
Cavendish welcomed its first 20 undergraduates
and current London School of Economics lecturer Orla
in 1972. These women were between 25 and 36
Lynskey was also recognised for her work when she
years of age, and had a wide range of professional
received the university’s Economics Teaching Prize – a
backgrounds. Today, the college still caters for a
remarkable achievement given her relatively young age.
diverse mix of undergraduates over the age of 21,
These accolades are the result of the college’s
along with postgraduates, offering a route into the
dedication to transforming women’s lives by helping
University of Cambridge for those who may not
them seize academic opportunities at the time they
have followed the traditional educational path.
consider right for them. This approach keeps attracting
This diversity is reflected in the achievements
more and more students, so a new Student Centre is
of those affiliated with the college. Its President,
currently being built to accommodate the growing
Janet Todd, for instance, was awarded an OBE in
2013 in recognition of her groundbreaking work in
Having turned from an experimental collegiate
the fields of literature and the education of women,
society into a fully self-governing college within the
which has contributed to a revaluation of women’s
University of Cambridge, Lucy Cavendish, with its unique
achievements in the past.
identity and innovative outlook, enables remarkable
Lucy Cavendish Fellow Dr Fiona Walter, on the
women who are at different stages of their lives to excel
other hand, was part of a team that showed that GPs
in many fields, from medicine to engineering to law.
Magdalene College in memory of honorary fellow Nelson Mandela, Magdalene is helping to establish a Professorial Chair in African Archaeology
The origins of the college of St Mary Magdalene stretch back to 1428, when it was known as Monk’s Hostel, a temporary home for Benedictine monks who came to study Canon Law at Cambridge. Since then an eclectic mix of buildings and facilities has gradually been added to the site, which sits alongside the River Cam and has the longest river frontage of any Cambridge college. It now boasts a thriving sports scene, a 142-seat auditorium and the ability to house all of its students within its attractive and reasonably compact grounds. In 2013, sadly, the college said goodbye and paid tribute to arguably its best-known Honorary Fellow, Dr Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. Dr Mandela visited Cambridge in May 2001 to accept this honour and to meet “his” scholars – those who had won a Mandela Magdalene Scholarship, which enables graduates from South Africa to pursue one-year, taught postgraduate courses in subjects relevant to the ongoing reconstruction of the country. Recipients are expected to return
to South Africa after their year in Cambridge, armed with skills and knowledge that will help shape the country. In a letter written in 1995 in which Dr Mandela agreed to give his name to the initiative, he said: “Our country is in dire need of skilled men and women to service our new democracy. We are deeply grateful that Magdalene College took the initiative to assist.” The college, with the help of the Cambridge Commonwealth Trust and Commonwealth scholarship funds, has sponsored two, and sometimes three, Mandela Scholars every year since 1995. However, as the cost of study for overseas students has risen and Commonwealth funding has become increasingly stretched, the current model is now no longer sustainable. With this in mind, and as part of its tribute to one of its greatest Honorary Fellows, Magdalene now intends to expand the scope of the Mandela Foundation at the college and fully endow the scheme. And in addition to seeking funding to secure the future of the existing scholarships, the college will be supporting the university’s goal of establishing a Professorial Chair in African Archaeology in memory of Dr Mandela.
205 Annual intake
college connections C S Lewis Chair of Mediaeval and Renaissance Literature, 1954â€“63 Novelist, poet, academic and literary critic whose works have been translated into over 30 languages and include The Chronicles of Narnia.
George Mallory History, 1905 Mountaineer who took part in the first three British expeditions to Everest. He and his climbing partner both disappeared close to the summit in 1924.
Samuel Pepys BA, 1651â€“54; MA, 1660 Naval administrator and MP who is now best known for the diaries he kept for almost a decade, chronicling life in London in the 1660s.
Alan Rusbridger English, BA, 1973 Editor of The Guardian since 1995. An intern at the Cambridge Evening News during the holidays, he accepted a job there after graduation.
college connections Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell Radio Astronomy, PhD, 1965–69 As a student, she observed the first radio pulsars yet, controversially, her supervisor received the Nobel Prize for the discovery.
Mishal Husain Law, BA, 1992–95 Husain went on to become a BBC newsreader and was appointed as a presenter on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme in 2013.
Tilda Swinton English, BA, 1980–83 The star of films such as The Beach and The Chronicles of Narnia received an Oscar in 2008 for her supporting role in Michael Clayton.
Claudia Winkleman History of Art, BA, 1990–93 The presenter, film critic and travel writer is perhaps best known for her work on Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two.
Murray Edwards College murray edwards was established to provide educational excellence for female students – something that it continues to do to this day
Founded as New Hall in 1954, Murray Edwards was
A Doll’s House at London’s Young Vic. Two months
the third Cambridge college for women and was
later, she was also nominated for an Olivier Award,
set up at a time when the institution had the lowest
which another alumna, Nicola Walker, went on to
percentage of female undergraduates of any UK
win in the supporting-role category for her part in
university. Since then, the college – which was
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
renamed in 2008 in honour of its first President,
On the academic front, a paper produced by
Dame Rosemary Murray, and alumna and benefactor
Murray Edwards’ Dr Rebecca Simmons was named
Ros Edwards (née Smith) and her husband Steve –
Research Paper of the Year at the 2013 British Medical
has produced many notable, high-achieving graduates.
Journal Awards in May that year. The following
In 2013, a very impressive 93 per cent of final-year
month, her college colleague Professor Wendy
students achieved either a first or a 2:1.
Bennett was elected as President of the Philological
Described as innovative, liberal and quirky by
Society, the UK’s oldest learned society devoted to
former students, Murray Edwards prides itself on its
the scholarly study of language and languages, while
imaginative and enthusiastic responses to academic,
her book Remarques et observations sur la langue
cultural and environmental developments. With its
française: Histoire et évolution d’un genre was
world-class art collection by women artists and main
awarded the 2013 Prix Georges Dumézil by the
buildings designed by the architects of London’s
Barbican, the college fosters creativity among its
And in July, Dame Barbara Stocking, the former
students. Cases in point include concert pianist Joanna
Chief Executive of Oxfam GB and one of the college’s
MacGregor, comedian Sue Perkins and Academy
most distinguished alumnae, was officially admitted
Award-winning actor Tilda Swinton, all of whom are
as Murray Edwards’ fifth President, having been elected
among the college’s distinguished alumnae.
in March 2013. The news was greeted enthusiastically
In 2013, two other former Murray Edwards
by the current student body, which described the
students won important acting awards, too. In January,
appointment of Murray Edwards’ first home-grown
Hattie Morahan was named best actress at the 2012
President as an “exciting and impressive choice” that
Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards for her performance in
would be inspiring for all at the college.
college connections Clare Balding English, BA, 1991–93 Television presenter, journalist and retired amateur jockey, currently best known for her sports punditry.
Mary Beard Classics, PhD, 1982 Renowned for her hit historical television documentaries, her ‘A Don’s Life’ blog and her often outspoken political opinions.
Dame Jane Goodall Ethology, PhD, 1965 Having spent 45 years studying chimpanzees in Tanzania, Goodall is widely considered to be the world expert on the great apes.
Germaine Greer Elizabethan Drama, PhD, 1968 Author, academic, journalist and the leading feminist voice of the 1970s, Greer was also a member of the Footlights while at Cambridge.
Newnham College Newnham boasts beautiful gardens, an impressive library and groundbreaking research
Newnham stands out as the only Cambridge undergraduate college to have an all-female fellowship. It began life in a house for five students in Cambridge’s Regent Street in 1871. Lectures for ladies had started in Cambridge a year earlier, and such was the demand from those who could not commute on a daily basis that Henry Sidgwick, a philosopher and organiser of these lectures, rented a house in which young female students could reside. Demand continued to increase, and the supporters of the enterprise formed a limited company to raise funds, lease land and construct a purpose-built building on it. Newnham Hall opened its doors in 1875, the first building on the site where Newnham stands to this day. Newnham is situated among acres of stunning, landscaped gardens and is now a far cry from its humble five-roomed beginnings. The college boasts on-site accommodation for all, a performing-arts building, art room and dark room, tennis courts and a games field that has nurtured many sporting successes. The most high-profile of the college’s many sporting achievements include Newnhamite Anna Watkins and her crewmate Katherine Grainger’s sensational gold medal in the women’s double sculls at the London Olympics in 2012. And more recently, current PhD student Sarah Leiter started training with the GB goalball team alongside her studies, with a view to participating in the 2016 Paralympics. Newnham also has an impressive – and beautiful – library. As the college library was originally the only source of reference for Newnham students (women were not allowed into the University Library), it was always well stocked, and to this day it remains one of the largest college libraries in Cambridge, with a collection of some 90,000 volumes. In December 2013, a team of researchers including Newnham Fellow Dr Barbara Lorber published the remarkable results from a study in which they used 3D inkjet printing technology to successfully print cells from the eye for the very first time. The researchers used an inkjet device to print living retinal cells of adult rats, which could be built up and used to create replacements for defective eye tissues. The team hopes this groundbreaking proof-of-principle work will pave the way for grow-your-own therapies for people with retinadamage conditions such as glaucoma and macular degeneration, the two biggest causes of blindness in the UK.
Pembroke College In 2013, alumni of Cambridge’s third-oldest college won recognition in the field of sport and in the queen’s birthday honours list
Founded in 1347, Pembroke is Cambridge’s third oldest college, and its stunning 17th-century chapel was the first building designed and completed by Sir Christopher Wren. A consistently strong academic achiever, Pembroke also has a firm tradition of extracurricular activities. Most notable among them is, perhaps, the college’s renowned drama society, the Pembroke Players, which at one time counted Peter Cook, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Clive James among its number. The college and its alumni have been involved in a number of high-profile events in various spheres in recent times. The famous Pembroke Hoard, for instance, featured in a new exhibition of Cambridge treasures at the Two Temple Place gallery in London. Discoveries: Art, Science and Exploration from the University of Cambridge Museums was on display from January to April 2014.
The hoard comprises 41 Tudor and Stuart gold coins, which were uncovered in
It is thought that the coins were most likely hidden by a college fellow who left
250 annual intake
1874–75, when the medieval hall and the south side of Old Court were demolished. to fight with King Charles I’s army at the start of the English Civil War. Pembroke supported the Royalist cause during the war, and the owner obviously never returned to reclaim the coins. In sport, Pembroke alumna Julia Bleasdale was part of the British women’s team that won gold at the European Cross Country Championships in December 2013. She finished seventh in the women’s race and was the second fastest of the six British women who competed in the event. In June 2013, Pembroke Fellow Professor Stephen O’Rahilly was awarded a knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for his services to medical research. Professor O’Rahilly’s knighthood followed hot on the heels of his appointment as Director of the new MRC Metabolic Diseases Unit, a development that was announced just a week earlier. According to the citation for his knighthood, Professor O’Rahilly’s research has “changed the way we think about obesity and diabetes. He has ensured that his research impacts directly on patients, by establishing a national specialist service for those with severe insulin resistance. He was the first person to show that a change in genetic factors can lead to serious obesity and the first to cure the lifethreatening obesity of congenital leptin deficiency”.
College connections Peter Cook Modern and Medieval Languages, BA & MA, 1957–60 Comedian, actor and writer. Perhaps best known for his partnership with Dudley Moore, Cook’s breed of satire shaped a generation of performers.
Ted Hughes English & Archaeology and Anthropology, BA & MA, 1951–54 Poet and children’s author. Consistently ranked among the best poets of the 20th century, Hughes was Poet Laureate from 1984 until his death in 1998.
William Pitt the Younger MA, 1773–76 Pitt became Britain’s youngest ever Prime Minister in 1783 at the age of 24. Famed for leading the country in the wars against France and Napoleon.
Sir George Stokes Mathematics, BA & MA, 1837–41 Mathematician, physicist, politician and theologian, Stokes was President of the Royal Society and Lucasian Professor of Mathematics from 1849 to 1903.
Peterhouse Cambridge’s oldest college increased its total tally of nobel laureates to an impressive five in 2013
Founded in 1284, Peterhouse is the oldest college in Cambridge. It is also the smallest one in terms of number of fellows and students. But despite its diminutive stature, the college has produced more than its fair share of illustrious innovators and has had a huge impact on the way we live today. Located centrally but off the tourist trail, Peterhouse is able to house all of its students within its grounds, which boast some of the best-quality – and most reasonably priced – accommodation in Cambridge. The college is just a two-minute walk away from the University of Cambridge’s main site for sciences and less than a 10-minute walk from most other major faculties. Throughout its 730-year history, Peterhouse has played host to important events and developments. It was here, for instance, that many discussions about religion and the Protestant Reformation took place. And the college was also the first place within the University of Cambridge to have electric lighting, which its alumnus Lord Kelvin provided for its hall and combination room to celebrate Peterhouse’s 600th anniversary in 1884. Much more recently, in 2013, another former student, Michael Levitt, added to Peterhouse’s record of outstanding achievement when he took its total of Nobel laureates up to a very impressive five. Having studied for his PhD at the college before gaining a research fellowship at Gonville and Caius College, he shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his team’s work on “the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems”. “The college is very proud of this wonderful achievement,” Peterhouse’s Master, Professor Adrian Dixon, commented. “Michael’s research studentship brought him into very close contact with three other Petrean Nobel Chemistry Laureates [Max Perutz, Sir John Kendrew and Sir Aaron Klug].” Levitt’s work focuses on theoretical, computer-aided analysis of the protein, DNA and RNA molecules responsible for life at its most fundamental level. Mapping the precise structures of these molecules is a huge step towards understanding how they work and in designing drugs that can alter their function. In this way, he continues Peterhouse’s proud tradition of having an immensely positive impact on wider society.
College connections Charles Babbage Mathematics, BA, 1812–14; MA, 1817 Mathematician, philosopher, inventor and mechanical engineer. Babbage is credited with inventing the first mechanical computer.
Michael Levitt Molecular Biology, 1968–70 Levitt shared the Nobel Prize in 2013 for his team’s work on “the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems”.
Sam Mendes English, BA, 1984–87 Renowned stage and movie director whose films include American Beauty and the 2012 James Bond outing Skyfall.
William Thomson, Lord Kelvin BA, 1841–45 Instrumental in the mathematical analysis of electricity and the formulation of the first and second laws of thermodynamics.
college connections Simon Bird English, BA, 2003–06 Comedian and writer best known for playing Will McKenzie in the Bafta-winning sitcom The Inbetweeners.
Michael Foale Natural Sciences, BA, 1975–78 The astrophysicist and former Nasa astronaut is a veteran of six space shuttle missions and was the first Briton to complete a space walk.
Stephen Fry English, BA, 1978–81 “National treasure” and a member of the Footlights, where he met future comedy partner Hugh Laurie.
Sir Charles Villiers Stanford Classics, 1870–73 Composer, music teacher and conductor who was one of the founding professors of the Royal College of Music, where he taught composition.
Queens’ College committed to improving access for all, Queens’ is raising funds to help its students meet the cost of a university education
Founded in 1448, Queens’ is one of only two
Queens’ will celebrate its 575th anniversary, and
Cambridge colleges that span the river Cam, the
to mark this milestone the college hopes to raise
other being St John’s. Its two halves – referred to
a total of £30 million.
by students as “The Dark Side” and “The Light Side”
Due to the cuts affecting all UK universities,
– are joined by the famous Mathematical Bridge,
Cambridge colleges are now, more than ever before,
which, despite the oft-retold story, was not designed
responsible for raising their own funds. The money
or built by Sir Isaac Newton.
raised by the 575 Appeal is specifically earmarked
Queens’ has an outstanding academic record,
for helping students deal with the increasingly high
with more than 26 per cent of its undergraduates
cost of studying for a degree, providing support for
achieving firsts in 2013. The college also prides itself
postgraduate research, funding personalised teaching
on its fantastic sports, music and drama facilities.
and ensuring that money is not a barrier that prevents
Indeed, Queens’ is home to one of the university’s
poorer students from applying.
best-known theatre groups, The Bats, which has been
Since 2010, the appeal has already raised more
going strong since the 1940s and performs at the
than £10 million. This money has enabled the
Fitzpatrick Hall – one of Cambridge’s best-equipped
college to establish three new fellowships, set up
small theatres – and at the college’s stunning Cloister
three new student bursaries and invest £5.8 million
Court on its hugely popular open-air outings.
into teaching and research, plus a further £600,000
Queens’ is committed to improving access for all,
into student support.
and its students are actively involved in Cambridge’s
Queens’ is a particularly beautiful college,
Area Links Scheme, an initiative that sees current
where medieval cloisters and new architecture
students visit schools and colleges across Britain to
sit side by side within extensive and attractive
share their college experiences and knowledge of the
gardens. This tradition of well-kept grounds
application process with pupils. The team at Queens’
is now being spread further afield by Queens’
works across the Kent and Medway areas.
Fellow Dr Beverley Glover, who, in July 2013,
The college also works hard to achieve the
was named as the new Director of Cambridge
goals of its 575 Forging the Future Appeal. In 2023,
University Botanic Garden.
Robinson College Robinson boasts striking grounds, world-class facilities and a welcoming, progressive approach
Set within a vast, attractive garden, Robinson is the only Cambridge college that was, from its inception, intended for both undergraduate and graduate students of either sex. Founded in 1979 and formally opened by Her Majesty the Queen in 1981, it is less formal and traditional than many of the university’s older colleges, allowing, for instance, its members to walk and sit on the grass. The college was named after Sir David Robinson, a businessman who was born in Cambridge and educated at Cambridge High School for Boys. Having already contributed financially to several worthwhile causes in the local area, he donated a large amount of money to the University of Cambridge to establish a new college. Robinson’s main building is a red-brick structure that was designed by Scottish architectural firm Gillespie, Kidd & Coia and which The Daily Telegraph named among “the 50 most inspiring buildings in Britain” in 2008. According to the newspaper, its “castle-like presence” distinguishes Robinson from the common college architecture of “the classic quad or the campus of freestanding buildings”. And Visit England seemed to back that view in 2013, when its Quality in Tourism assessment service awarded the college a four-star campus rating. Quality in Tourism’s glowing report highlighted the convenience of Robinson’s location, good transport links, the range of nearby amenities and, above all, its extensive grounds with formal gardens and wild woodland. When designing the college, the architects decided to retain the site’s pre-existing gardens and build around them. As a result, the garden – which, in fact, combines 10 established ones – is now Robinson’s central feature, offering a diverse environment that is as much a haven for wildlife as it is a beautiful spot of historical interest. Since Robinson was also always intended to be a centre for national and international conferences, it not only provides students with the usual college recreational facilities such as a cafe and a bar, but also boasts access to two excellent auditoria during term time. Recently refurbished, Robinson’s conference venue is now considered one of the leading facilities in the UK, with the medical sector, for instance, increasingly hosting events there.
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college connections Joe Ansbro Natural Sciences, MA, 2004–07 The former professional rugby union player was the first individual of African origin to represent Scotland at test level.
Nick Clegg Social Anthropology, BA, 1986–89 The Leader of the Liberal Democrats has been the UK’s Deputy Prime Minister since 2010.
Konnie Huq Economics, BA, 1993–96 Since moving on from presenting Blue Peter, Huq has undertaken a wide range of television work, including hosting The Xtra Factor.
Robert Webb English, BA, 1992–95 The comedian, actor and writer is one half of the double act Mitchell and Webb, stars of such television programmes as Peep Show.
Selwyn College in keeping with its strong media credentials, selwyn’s new master is the former editorial director of the bbc
Although situated at the heart of the University of Cambridge, Selwyn College offers a sense of seclusion and scholarly calm thanks to its beautiful buildings set in tranquil gardens. The college takes its name from George Augustus Selwyn, who, as an undergraduate at St John’s College, participated in the very first Boat Race against Oxford in 1829 and later became the first Bishop of New Zealand. Selwyn was an influential figure who, in helping to set up the Church in New Zealand, played a pivotal role in establishing the country’s identity. He wanted university education to be extended to people who were not able to afford it, so it was appropriate that the idea to name a college after him was first mooted soon after his death
in 1878. Four years later, Selwyn College was opened. The college’s beautiful Old Court boasts several striking red-brick Victorian buildings that are Tudor Gothic in style, and includes a tower and gateway, as well as an impressive chapel. Most of these structures were designed by Sir Arthur Blomfield, who also designed numerous churches in England and abroad, and
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restored parts of the cathedrals at Canterbury, Salisbury, Lincoln and Chichester. When the building of the college began in 1880, many considered the site too far removed from the centre of Cambridge. However, due to the subsequent growth of the university, Selwyn is now situated in the midst of the action. On a social level, it is also right at the heart of things every winter, when it hosts the University of Cambridge’s only winter ball, the Selwyn Snowball, where famous bands such as Mumford & Sons and The Who have played in the past. Selwyn not only hosts, but also produces many famous artists and media personalities, with Hugh Laurie, Clive Anderson and Tom Hollander all being among its alumni. Fittingly, the college welcomed a new Master with a strong media background in October 2013, when Roger Mosey succeeded Professor Richard Bowring. Mosey had previously spent almost his entire career at the BBC, where he was one of the corporation’s most senior executives. Having overseen the Beeb’s acclaimed coverage of the 2012 London Olympics, he held the position of Editorial Director before taking the decision to shape the future direction of Selwyn.
college connections Tom Hollander English, BA, 1985–88 While at Cambridge, the star of films such as In the Loop and Pirates of the Caribbean featured in a play directed by fellow student Sam Mendes.
Hugh Laurie Archaeology and Anthropology, BA, 1978–81 One half of the hit comedy duo Fry and Laurie, the Golden Globe-winning actor was named the world’s most watched leading man on television in 2011.
Malcolm Muggeridge Natural Sciences, BA, 1920–24 An often controversial media personality, journalist and satirist, Muggeridge helped make Mother Teresa famous around the world.
Sir Peter Wall Engineering, BA, 1975–78 Having graduated from Sandhurst and served in countries around the world, Sir Peter is now the British Army’s Chief of the General Staff.
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college connections Oliver Cromwell 1616 Parliamentarian and military and political leader. In a 2002 BBC poll, Cromwell was named one of the ten greatest Britons of all time.
Chris Grayling History, BA, 1981–84 Conservative Party politician who has been Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice since 2012.
John Herivel Mathematics, BA, 1937 Science historian and Second World War codebreaker. Herivel worked on the Enigma project and was instrumental in cracking the code.
Carol Vorderman Engineering, BA, 1978–81 Television personality, best known for co-hosting Channel 4’s perennially popular game show Countdown for 26 years.
Sidney Sussex College Renowned for its inclusive atmosphere, sidney sussex enjoys a reputation for quality cuisine as well as academic excellence
Founded in 1596 by Lady Frances Sidney, Countess
and refuse. The catering team’s winning initiatives
of Sussex, Sidney Sussex is one of the less sizable,
included reducing the amount of frozen produce in
more classical Cambridge colleges and as such
favour of daily deliveries of fresh food, and recycling
is well known for its strong sense of community.
waste oil into biodiesel. The judges were particularly
Oliver Cromwell was among the first students,
impressed by the use of meats from the Denham
and his head is buried in a secret spot beneath
Estate – less than 25 miles from Sidney – and the
the college’s ante chapel.
college’s own home-grown herbs.
Sidney’s reputation for having an inclusive,
In the same year, Professor Martin Karplus,
community-minded atmosphere is reinforced by
former John Wilfrid Linnett Visiting Professor of
its students, fellows and staff eating together on
Chemistry and Visiting Fellow at Sidney Sussex,
a regular basis, and the regular candlelit formal
received what is arguably an even greater accolade:
halls are always popular. Indeed, the college has
the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He shared the prize
become famous for the quality of its food, and for
with Michael Levitt, who completed a PhD at
three of the past five years has won the Cambridge
Peterhouse College, and Arieh Warshel from the
University of Southern California for their work on
In 2013, Sidney became one of four Cambridge
the development of multiscale models for complex
colleges to achieve a Gold Award for environmental
chemical systems. This has enabled researchers
improvements to its catering services, with the
around the world to model, understand and predict
award being given at a presentation event held
chemical processes on a computer.
at Emmanuel College. The awards are sponsored
Professor Karplus included, Sidney Sussex has
by Transition Cambridge and the environmental
produced five Nobel Prize winners – the fourth
charity Cambridge Carbon Footprint, and the
highest among all Cambridge colleges. An impressive
environmental assessment is based on a review
achievement by any standards, this is even more so
of college menus, use of local and sustainable
when Sidney’s relatively small student population is
produce, and the efficient recycling of food waste
taken into account.
St Catharine’s College The opening of a new multi-purpose building in 2013 proved a welcome addition to St Catharine’s already impressive facilities
During its first century or more of existence, St Catharine’s College, or “Catz”, as it is affectionately known, functioned as an academic trinity – a community of three consisting of a Master and a mere two fellows. In the mid-16th century, the college began to expand, admitting undergraduates in ever-increasing numbers so that today it is a vibrant community of more than 600 students and fellows. Expansion is still the order of the day at Catz. In June of last year, the college’s newest building, the McGrath Centre, was officially opened by the Chancellor of the University, Lord Sainsbury of Turville. The centre is a modern, multi-purpose building funded entirely by the college’s alumni and named after Harvey McGrath (1971), its most generous benefactor. The new building adds significantly to the college’s public spaces, including as it does a lecture theatre, a college bar and a student common room.
Not only have St Catharine’s alumni been busy contributing to the expansion
continued to make their mark in the wider world. Most recently, in the arts, Annie
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of the college’s infrastructure but also, over the past year, its former students have Liebovitz’s portrait of one of the college’s most famous alumni, Sir Ian McKellen, whom she photographed in the company of Sir Patrick Stewart, was selected for inclusion in Vanity Fair’s ‘Year in Photographs, 2013’. Similar 2013 “best-of” selections also featured prominent Catz fellows. For instance, Professor Chris Clark saw his latest book, The Sleepwalkers, make it onto The New York Times’ top 10 books of 2013. According to the newspaper, Clark’s book gives “a comprehensive, highly readable survey of the events leading up to World War I”. Another college Fellow to feature on such a list was Dr Peter Wothers, who was recently selected for inclusion in the Science Council’s list of the top 100 practising scientists in the UK. This list is intended to challenge the UK’s old-fashioned view of science: its tendency to either honour those long dead or to regard only academics and researchers as true scientists. With this in mind, the Science Council’s list is divided into 10 categories of scientific achievement that are often overlooked, such as Entrepreneur, Policy Maker, Teacher and Developer. Dr Wothers is listed as one of the UK’s top Teacher Scientists and has been recognised for “helping to bridge the transition between sixth-form and university through his leadership in developing the syllabus for the chemistry pre-university qualification”.
college connections Richard Ayoade Law, BA, 1995–98 Comedian, actor, writer and director. While at Cambridge, Ayoade won the Martin Steele Prize for play production and was President of Footlights.
Joanne Harris Modern and Medieval Languages, BA, 1982–85 Award-winning author, best-known for her novel Chocolat, which was later adapted into an Oscar-nominated film. In 2013, she was awarded an MBE.
Sir Ian McKellen English, BA, 1958–61 Film and stage actor Sir Ian’s hugely successful career has seen him play everything from Hollywood superheroes to Shakespearean leads.
Jeremy Paxman English, BA, 1969–72 Journalist, broadcaster and author known for his forthright interviewing style. Paxman was the editor of Varsity during his time at Cambridge.
St Edmund’s College Following a 27-year period of unprecedented expansion, St Edmund’s master, Professor Paul Luzio, is stepping down in 2014
St Edmund’s is one of the most diverse Cambridge
Development Fund, which was established to mark
colleges, with members coming from more than
the retirement of Professor Luzio.
50 different countries. One of the university’s five
In 2013, two of the college’s Fellows achieved
graduate colleges, it was founded in 1896 and caters
outstanding success. In July, Professor John Loughlin
for postgraduates and some undergraduates who
– the Director of the Von Hügel Institute, a research
are over 21. Many of them are second-time learners
institution dedicated to the study of the relationship
studying for a degree after a break from education,
between Christianity and society – was elected
which makes for a mature environment characterised
a Fellow of the European Academy of Sciences
by the fact that, unlike at most other Cambridge
and Arts, an interdisciplinary learned society of top
colleges, students and fellows mix over dinner
scientists and artists.
and at other social occasions.
The same month, RealVNC, the company co-
The college’s warm, welcoming atmosphere
founded by Dr Andy Harter, won the Royal Academy
has been retained even though the student body
of Engineering’s MacRobert Award, the UK’s most
has grown dramatically since Professor Paul Luzio
prestigious prize for engineering innovation. Dr Harter
first became associated with it. Having joined as a
developed the software that allows computer screens
Fellow in 1987, Professor Luzio is due to retire at the
to be controlled by remote devices, and the MacRobert
end of the 2013/14 academic year after a decade
Award wasn’t the only accolade for his company in
as Master. In those 27 years, student numbers have
2013, with the firm receiving a third Queen’s Award
more than quadrupled, and St Edmund’s has also
for Enterprise in as many years in recognition of its
expanded in terms of capacity, too, with new
outstanding achievements in international trade.
accommodation and student facilities, a library,
The combination of innovation and international
a gym and a music room among the many additions.
outlook perfectly epitomises the ethos of the college
Older facilities have also been updated and
where Dr Harter works. And with further investments
refurbished, and St Edmund’s intends to develop
planned at St Edmund’s, its students are in a great
the campus even further through its new Master’s
position to make their mark, too.
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college connections Edward Acton Modern History, PhD, 1971 Having emulated his renowned ancestor, Lord Acton, by becoming a historian, he is now the Vice-Chancellor of the University of East Anglia.
Shannon Bohle History & Philosophy of Science, NOTAF, 2011 Librarian, archivist and prolific writer Bohle was among the winners of an artificial intelligence competition run by The White House in 2011.
Georges LemaĂŽtre Astronomy, 1923 The Belgian priest, astronomer and professor of physics was the first person to propose the Big Bang theory.
Tony Underwood Land Economy, BA, 1990 The former rugby player is one of several St Edmundâ€™s alumni who went on to become full England internationals.
St John’s College a new scholarship has added to st john’s array of funding opportunities and student benefits
With more than 800 students, St John’s College is one of the largest in Cambridge. It is also one of the wealthiest, and is therefore able to offer generous funding and benefits to its undergraduate and graduate members. The college was founded in 1511 after Lady Margaret Beaufort made provision for it in her will. Since then, it has enjoyed the patronage of a succession of notable benefactors. In an exciting development in 2013, the renowned Hong Kong writer and philanthropist Dr Louis Cha established a new college scholarship for graduate students. The Cha Scholarship, which will be awarded for the first time in October 2014, supports graduate research on the literature, history and culture of early and dynastic China. The prestigious award is open to all students who secure a place at St John’s to read for an MPhil or PhD in a relevant subject. Few patrons can be as familiar with the challenges facing their beneficiaries as Dr Cha. Not only has he enjoyed a successful career writing Chinese historical fiction – often under the pen name Jin Yong – but in 2010 he completed a PhD at St John’s on the topic of imperial succession during the Tang Dynasty. With the establishment of a scholarship in his own name, Dr Cha has ensured that his graduate successors at St John’s will have all the support they need to produce world-class research. In addition, St John’s is home to one of the most admired collegiate choirs in the world: the male-voice Chapel Choir. During the 2013/14 academic year, the college announced the launch of a new mixed-voice choir called St John’s Voices. Up to six members of the new singing group will receive a choral award worth £100, as well as singing lessons worth an additional £300. St John’s Voices performs choral evensong in the college chapel every Monday night during term and, as the group develops in strength and purpose, will add concerts and tours to its repertoire. This past year also saw the completion of the Samuel Butler Project, which had been running at the college library since 2011. Butler, who numbers among the college’s many distinguished alumni, is famous for the novels Erewhon (1872) and The Way of All Flesh (1903). The finished Samuel Butler collection now comprises the author’s personal papers, a library of more than 600 books, and an archive of his many paintings and photographs.
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college connections Douglas Adams English, BA, 1971–74 Creator of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – originally a comic series for radio and later adapted into a much-loved collection of novels.
Sir Derek Jacobi History, BA, 1957–60 An acclaimed actor, director and founder member of the Royal National Theatre, Sir Derek has also enjoyed silver-screen success.
William Wilberforce BA, 1776–81 A politician, philanthropist and leading abolitionist, Wilberforce was one of Britain’s great social reformers.
William Wordsworth 1787–91 Poet who helped to launch the Romantic Age of English literature and held the position of Poet Laureate between 1843 and 1850.
college connections Francis Bacon BA, 1573–76 Went on to pioneer the scientific method and became Lord Chancellor, as well as one of Britain’s most distinguished philosophers.
Sir Isaac Newton BA, 1661–65 One of the world’s most influential scientists, Sir Isaac formulated the laws of motion and universal gravitation.
Jawaharlal Nehru Natural Sciences, BA, 1907–10 Nehru became India’s first Prime Minister in 1947. His daughter, Indira Gandhi, and grandson, Rajiv Gandhi, followed in his footsteps.
Bertrand Russell Mathematical Tripos, BA, 1890–93 Considered one of the founders of analytic philosophy, Russell was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1950.
Trinity College This big, bustling college has a tradition of producing worldchanging innovators, and The past year has been no exception
The largest and most cosmopolitan of all Cambridge
South Africa and George Gordon from New Zealand
colleges, Trinity College perfectly epitomises the
– were invited to present their respective research
university’s global appeal and impact. From Francis
related to specialist magnetic resonance imaging
Bacon and Isaac Newton in the 16th and 17th centuries
(MRI) and data increase in optical fibres at the
to Professor Shankar Balasubramanian in 2013, Trinity
House of Commons.
Fellows and alumni have significantly improved our
Trinity’s high-achieving students continue
understanding of the world, while former students,
its distinguished history, which stretches back to
including six British prime ministers and India’s first,
1546, when Henry VIII founded the college as an
Jawaharlal Nehru, have shaped society.
educational institution that would underpin the
More than a third of the University of
recently formed Church of England. Since then,
Cambridge’s record 89 Nobel Prize Laureates
it has grown in both stature and size, most recently
are affiliated with Trinity, and in January 2013
acquiring Dunsfold Park, a property in Surrey that
Professor Balasubramanian and his team added to
consists of an airfield and land allocated for a solar
the groundbreaking achievements of the college
farm and an anaerobic digestion plant.
when they announced that some human cells have
However, Trinity’s main site is located in the
four-stranded DNA. Since this might be indicative
heart of Cambridge. It consists of a number of
of certain cancers, the discovery could lead to the
historic buildings and is centred around a large
development of new ways to fight the disease.
court that hosts the famous annual Great Court
Two months later, the Master of Trinity College,
Run, which was immortalised in the Oscar-winning
Sir Gregory Winter, was recognised for another cancer
film Chariots of Fire.
treatment-related breakthrough when he received a
Trinity’s impact on the wider world of sport
prestigious Canada Gairdner International Award for
has been significant, too. The initial rules of football,
engineering humanised monoclonal antibodies in
for instance, were drawn up at the college, while
1989, which led to the development of many of today’s
cricketer Ranjitsinhji – one of the greatest batsmen
cancer treatments. Also in March 2013, two Trinity
of all time – first developed a serious interest in the
engineering PhD candidates – Marijke Fagan from
sport during his studies there in the late 1800s.
Trinity Hall Trinity Hall’s formidable and long-standing reputation for the study of law was further enhanced in 2013
The University of Cambridge’s fifth oldest college was founded to promote the study of canon and civil law, and although Trinity Hall is now home to students of many different subjects, it still maintains a strong tradition in the study of law. The college has been on its current site for almost 700 years and boasts a beautiful river setting that prompted Henry James to say: “If I were called upon to mention the prettiest corner of the world, I should draw a thoughtful sigh and point the way to the gardens of Trinity Hall.” As well as outstanding architecture and natural beauty, the college has a long list
of affiliates who have made their mark around the world. In January 2013, for instance, former student Andrew Sparkes was appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Nepal. Closer to home, Trinity Hall alumnus and Honorary Fellow Sir John Thomas was named as the new Lord Chief Justice. Having been involved in high-profile court cases including those of Abu Hamza and Julian Assange, he took up his
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new position as the head of the judges of England and Wales in October 2013. Also in 2013, Trinity Hall Fellow Jane Clarke was elected Fellow of the Academy of Medical Science and won the Royal Society of Chemistry’s RSC Interdisciplinary Prize, while alumnus David Eyton was appointed Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. And among the college’s current students, the women’s football team won the Plate for the second year running, beating a team that was playing two divisions above them on their way to retaining the trophy. In another sports-related development, former professional cyclist Chris Boardman visited Trinity Hall in November 2013. The Olympic gold medallist and winner of three yellow jerseys on the Tour de France had recently stepped down as head of the so-called Secret Squirrel Club, British Cycling’s highly successful team for technical development, which is now led by Trinity Hall Fellow Professor Tony Purnell. During his visit, Boardman reviewed several bike racing-related projects undertaken by engineering students and dined with undergraduates as part of the college’s new Meet the Boss events, where notable figures from industry and sport come in and discuss their work with students.
college connections Stanley Bruce Law, BA, 1903–06 As well as launching wide-ranging reforms, Australia’s eighth Prime Minister oversaw the government’s transfer to the new capital of Canberra.
Stephen Hawking PhD, 1962 One of the most famous scientists of our time, Hawking has made significant contributions to our understanding of quantum mechanics and black holes.
J B Priestley Modern History and Political Science, BA, 1919 Writer Priestley became famous with his novel The Good Companions and made morale-boosting BBC radio broadcasts during the Second World War.
Rachel Weisz English, BA, 1988 After co-founding a theatre group at Cambridge, the actor went on to win an Academy Award for her role in The Constant Gardener.
Wolfson College a champion of co-education, wolfson is marking its 50th anniversary by raising funds for accommodation, scholarships and grants
One of Cambridge’s newest colleges, Wolfson was
working hard to raise funds from a wide range of
founded as University College in 1965 and only
sources. The money will primarily fund the following
changed its name in 1973 after receiving generous
three areas: accommodation and facilities;
funding from the Wolfson Foundation. The majority
scholarships and bursaries; and prizes and grants.
of the diverse student body at Wolfson is carrying
A total of £3.3 million is earmarked for improving
out research towards postgraduate degrees, in
accommodation and facilities, enabling the college
particular PhDs and MPhils, but the college is also
to offer appropriate, environmentally sustainable,
home to a number of mature undergraduates and
modern facilities and accommodation to meet the
students studying for taught master’s degrees.
varied needs of its cosmopolitan and mature students.
As Wolfson is one of the more modern colleges
Around £1.4 million is to go towards scholarships and
in Cambridge, it does not follow the time-honoured
bursaries, providing excellent students from around
traditions of some of the university’s older colleges.
the world with the opportunity to study at Wolfson
For example, since the college’s founding, there
by removing the financial barriers that many face.
has never been a High Table reserved for fellows
And £300,000 is to be set aside for prizes and
at formal hall dinners. Instead, students and fellows
grants. It is hoped that this money will help stimulate
mix and dine together. Wolfson was also the first
academic excellence, support students on their
college in Cambridge to admit men and women
ongoing career paths, ensure that they are able to
as both students and fellows.
fulfil their potential and, crucially, enable them to
The college will be celebrating its half century
share their expert knowledge at conferences.
in 2015, and to mark the occasion it has launched
Also in recognition of its milestone anniversary,
a 50th Anniversary Campaign, which aims to raise
Wolfson has asked members past and present to
£5 million by the end of 2017 to support its students.
participate in its ‘Wolfson in 50 Words’ project, which
Wolfson’s mission is to be “the college of choice for
has so far produced touching, funny and, at times,
postgraduate and mature undergraduate students
poetic submissions. The entries can be read on the
in the University of Cambridge”, and the college is
college connections Song Sang-Hyun Comparative Legal Studies, Diploma, 1969 President of the International Criminal Court who was professor of law at Seoul National University Law School for over 30 years.
Tharman Shanmugaratnam Economics, MA Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance who previously held the position of Minister for Education.
Zhang Xin Development Economics, MA, 1992 A Chinese business magnate. Working in property, Zhang has become the world’s seventh richest self-made woman.
Ken Yeang Architecture, PhD, 1971–75 Yeang is a renowned architect and ecologist, known for what he terms “ecoarchitecture” and “green urbanism”.
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