Robinson College, Cambridge
|Colleges of the University of Cambridge
|Named after||Sir David Robinson|
|Warden||Professor (Anthony) David Yates|
|Sister college||St Catherine's College, Oxford|
|Location||Grange Road (map)|
|Students' Association website|
|Boat Club website|
Robinson is the newest of the Cambridge colleges, and is unique in being the only one to have been intended, from its inception, for both undergraduate and graduate students of either sex.
The college was founded after the British philanthropist Sir David Robinson offered the university £17 million to establish a new college in Cambridge; this is still one of the largest donations ever accepted by the university. Robinson later gave his college another £1 million on the occasion of its official opening. The first graduate students and fellows joined the college in 1977. Undergraduates (20 of them) were first admitted in 1979, but significant numbers only began arriving the following year. The college was formally opened by Queen Elizabeth II in May 1981.
Despite maintaining some Cambridge traditions, such as Formal Hall, the college has avoided others: for example, it is one of the few colleges that allows its students to walk on the grass in the college gardens. Robinson is in general less formal and traditional than most of the older colleges in the university.
The Arms of the College are described as follows: 'Azure in base two Bars wavy Argent over all a Pegasus rampant Or gorged with a Crown rayonny Gules.'1
Designed by the Scottish architectural firm Gillespie, Kidd & Coia, Robinson's main buildings are distinctive for the generous use of red bricks in their construction. In November 2008 the College was named in the "50 most inspiring buildings in Britain" by The Daily Telegraph.2 Of particular note are the library and chapel, the latter with stained-glass windows designed by John Piper.
The college is located a traffic-free ten-minute walk west of the city centre, behind the University Library, near the science buildings in West Cambridge and the arts faculties on the University's Sidgwick Site. It stands on a 12.5-acre (51,000 m2) wooded site noted for its historical and horticultural interest.3
Within its grounds are Thorneycreek House and Cottage, the Maria Björnson outdoor theatre and extensive gardens through which flows Bin Brook, which once supplied water to the Hospital of St John (now St John's College). Robinson owns a number of houses on Adams Road and Sylvester Road adjoining the main college site, which it uses for student accommodation. A number of graduate students live in college-owned accommodation elsewhere in Cambridge, consisting of a terrace of six houses ("Romsey Terrace") off the city's Mill Road as well as a single house on Mill Road itself (currently let out to Anglia Ruskin University students).
The Needham Research Institute is also located within the college grounds.
Three new artworks were added to the college courts and gardens in the summer and autumn of 2008: "Sailing into the future" by Philip de Konig, "Conversing Figures" by Christophe Gordon-Brown and "Finback" by Ben Barrel.
With its modern facilities and comfortable accommodation, Robinson is also one of Cambridge's most important conference centres, and always hosts a number of conferences during the summer months when the undergraduate students are away on their long vacation. Robinson also has a purpose-built conference centre, twenty miles west of Cambridge at Wyboston on the border with Bedfordshire, which is used both for one-off meetings and for regular events such as the annual conference of the Association of Business Psychologists. Unlike some of the older colleges, Robinson does not own large amounts of land which can be used as a source of income; thus the ability to host conferences represents an important financial resource.
Students of the college are represented by the Robinson College Students' Association, or RCSA,4 headed by a President, with members of the college elected into positions on the RCSA committee every year. Politically, Robinson is generally seen as liberal. Robinson has supplied a large number of Green Officers to the Cambridge University Students' Union in recent years and was recently judged the most environmentally friendly college in Cambridge.5 Several College members have played major roles in University politics and student life, including CUSU presidents for 2006–2007, 2010–2011 and 2012-2013, Union Society presidents for Easter 2009 and 2010, Cambridge University Law Society Presidents, and Amnesty International Chairs.
Like other colleges, Robinson provides its students with recreational facilities such as a JCR, MCR, TV room, art room, cafe and bar. As a result of its other role as a conference centre, the college is equipped with two auditoria that are available for student use during term; the larger one in particular being frequently used by the college's film society and "Brickhouse Theatre Company" (dramatic society).6 There is also a purpose-built party room ("The Bassment"), dedicated to hosting college "bops" and other entertainment. Musical talents are catered for by way of a music room, CD library and chapel. A wide range of college-based societies are on offer for Robinson members, and there are also several sports teams, covering most major sports: everything from water polo and cricket to rowing and rugby union. Robinson have become very successful in hockey winning the Cambridge colleges league and colleges varsity match against Oriel College, Oxford, in 2009/10, in addition to becoming mixed cuppers champions by beating Churchill College, Cambridge. Robinson also has a strong record in Cambridge college pool and darts leagues, having been pool champions 8 of the 10 years from 1999/2000 to the 2008/2009 season, and winning the darts league 5 consecutive times from 2005/2006 to 2009/2010. In recent years, Robinson has shown great success in tennis, being crowned Cuppers champions in the 2007/2008 season.
The Latin grace is read before the start of formal hall.7
Benedic, domine, nobis et donis tuis, per Jesum Christum dominum nostrum. Amen.
Lord, bless us and your gifts, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
- Joe Ansbro, Scottish international rugby union player
- Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Liberal Democrats
- Adrian Davies, Welsh international rugby union player
- Greg Hands, politician
- Charles Hart, songwriter and musician
- Marko Attila Hoare, historian
- Konnie Huq, television presenter
- Rebecca John, television presenter and journalist
- Tim Luckhurst, journalist and former editor of The Scotsman
- Sarah MacDonald, former Organ Scholar and first woman Director of Music in an Oxbridge College (Selwyn)
- Saul Metzstein, film director, and son of Robinson College architect Isi Metzstein
- Neil Mullarkey, comedian, writer
- Marie Phillips, author
- David Pinder, academic, cultural geographer
- John Pritchard, Olympic and World rowing medallist
- John O'Brien, Professor of Old Age Psychiatry
- Marc Quinn, artist
- Maddy Savage, TV and radio reporter/presenter
- Justine Thornton, barrister
- Robert Webb, comedian, writer
- Andy White, musician and poet
- Suzanne Jacob, OBE for security efforts for London 2012 Olympics
- Professor G. E. Berrios, neuropsychiatry and epistemology of psychiatry
- Myles Burnyeat, ancient philosopher (honorary fellow)
- Dame Athene Donald, Deputy Head of the Cavendish Laboratory
- Albrecht Fröhlich FRS, mathematician
- Professor Morna Hooker, Emerita Lady Margaret's Professor of Divinity and first female holder of the Cambridge D.D.
- Professor Peter Kornicki FBA, East Asian Studies
- Professor Sir Jack Lewis, Baron Lewis of Newnham FRS, inorganic chemist and first Warden
- Dr. David McKie, Latin textual linguist
- Professor Alan Mycroft, computer scientist, co-author of the ARM chip's Norcroft C compiler and trustee of the Raspberry Pi Foundation
- Dr. Jeremy Thurlow, composer
- Professor C F Forsyth, Professor of Public and Private International Law, noted legal scholar
- College website and links followed within, particularly the "college information" section:8
- As listed on Robinson College cards found in the Porters' Lodge.
- The 50 most inspiring buildings in Britain - Telegraph
- Gardens - Robinson College
- About Us | Robinson College Students' Association
- Brickhouse Theatre Company
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Robinson College, Cambridge.|
- Robinson College official website
- Sketches of the college from Cambridge Art
- Robinson College Students' Association
- Robinson College MCR (Graduate Society)
- Robinson College May Ball website
- Robinson College Football Club