St Catharine's College, Cambridge
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|Colleges of the University of Cambridge
St Catharine’s College
|Full name||The College or Hall of Saint Catharine the Virgin in the University of Cambridge|
|Name in Latin||Aula sancte Katerine virginis infra Universitatem Cantabrigie|
|Founder||Robert Wodelarke, Provost of King's College|
|Named after||Catherine of Alexandria|
|Previously named||Katharine Hall (1473-1860)|
|Master||Prof. Dame Jean Thomas FRS|
|Sister college||Worcester College, Oxford|
|Location||Trumpington Street (map)|
|"For the wheel! (unofficial)"|
|Boat Club website|
St Catharine’s College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge. Founded in 1473, the college is often referred to informally by the nickname "Catz". The college is located in the historic city-centre of Cambridge, and lies just south of King's College. The college is notable for its open court (rather than closed quadrangle) that faces towards Trumpington Street. As of 2011, St. Catharine's had an endowment of £42m.1
Robert Wodelarke, Provost of King’s College, had begun preparations for the founding of a new college as early as 1459 when he bought tenements on which the new college could be built. The preparation cost him a great deal of his private fortune (he was suspected of diverting King’s College funds), and he was forced to scale down the foundation to only three Fellows. He stipulated that they must study theology and philosophy only.
Wodelarke may have chosen the name in homage to the mother of King Henry VI who was called Catharine, although it is more likely that it was named as part of the Renaissance cult of St Catharine, who was a patron saint of learning. At any rate, the college was ready for habitation and formally founded on St Catharine’s day (November 25) 1473. There are six Saints Catharine, but the college was named for Saint Catharine of Alexandria. It was initially known as Katharine Hall.
The initial foundation was not well-provided for. Wodelarke was principally interested in the welfare of Fellows and the College had no undergraduates at all for many years. By 1550, however, there was an increasing number of junior students and the focus of the College changed to that of teaching undergraduates. A rapid growth made it necessary to expand the college and short-lived additions were made in 1622. By 1630 the College began to demolish its existing buildings which were decaying, and started work on the current buildings. The three-sided court was built during the period 1675 to 1757 and is one of only four at Oxbridge colleges; the others are at Jesus and Downing at Cambridge and Worcester, St Catharine’s sister college, at Oxford. Proposals for a range of buildings to complete the fourth side of the court have been made on many occasions.
In 1637 the College came into possession of the George Inn (later the Bull Inn) on Trumpington Street. Behind this Inn was a stables which was already famous for the practice of its manager, Thomas Hobson, not to allow a hirer to take any horse other than the one longest in the stable, leading to the expression “Hobson’s choice”, meaning no choice at all.
The college was granted new statutes in 1860 and adopted its current name. In 1880, a movement to merge the college with King’s College began. The two colleges were adjacent and it seemed a solution to King’s need for more rooms and St Catharine’s need for a more substantial financial basis. However, the Master (Charles Kirkby Robinson) was opposed and St Catharine’s eventually refused.
A history of the college was written by W.H.S. Jones in 1936.2
In 1979, the membership of the college was broadened to welcome female students, and in 2006 the first woman was appointed as Master of the college, Prof. Dame Jean Thomas.
The Academic reputation of colleges within Cambridge is hotly disputed and often difficult to determine. Historically, St Catharine's position has been unexceptional and in the controversial annual league table of colleges placed towards the middle. In recent years, however, the academic reputation of the college has markedly improved and the college was placed at the top of the Tompkins Table, which ranks the colleges by the class of degrees obtained by their undergraduates, for the first time in 2005. Between 1997 and 2010, the college averaged 9th of the 31 colleges.
The College maintains a friendly rivalry with Queens’ College after the construction of the main court of St Catharine's College on Cambridge’s former High Street relegated one side of Queens' College into a back alley. A more modern rivalry with Robinson College resulted from the construction in the 1970s of a modern block of flats named St Chad’s (in which the rooms are octagonal to resemble the wheel on the college crest) by the University Library. The proximity of St Chad's to Robinson College led to an incident in which unidentified St Catharine's students appropriated Robinson's disco ball from a bop.
For its size, the College is unusually sportingly strong and in particular is known for its strong reputation in hockey and racquet sports, in part due to its strong facilities for these sports including grass tennis courts and an astroturf hockey pitch. The college boat club hosts the Cardinals Regatta each year, in which teams compete along a short course in fancy dress with an emphasis on bribery to secure victory.
The College hosts several other notable societies. The Shirley Society is the College literary society, the oldest in Cambridge, it regularly hosts significant figures from the arts world throughout the academic year. The College based girls' choir is the first of its kind in a UK university and is composed of girls aged 8–14 from local schools.
|John Addenbrooke||1680||1719||Founder of Addenbrooke's Hospital|
|David Armand||1977||Actor, comedian & writer|
|Herbert Rowse Armstrong||1870||1922||Only English solicitor to be hanged for murder|
|Harivansh Rai Bachchan||1907||2003||20th century Indian poet|
|Nathaniel Bacon||1640||1676||Revolutionary in Virginia|
|Jonathan Bate||1958||Shakespeare scholar and Provost of Worcester College Oxford|
|Peter Boizot||1929||Founder of Pizza Express|
|Group Captain Leslie Bonnet||1902||1985||RAF officer, writer and originator of the Welsh Harlequin Duck|
|John Bradford||1510||1555||Martyr of the English reformation|
|Sir Kenneth Bradshaw||1922||2007||Clerk of the House of Commons|
|Adam Buddle||1662||1715||After whom the Buddleia is named|
|Henry William Bunbury||1750||1811||Caricaturist|
|Francis Cammaerts DSO||Leading member of the French Special Operations Executive|
|Oliver Cromwell||1623||Second son of Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell|
|John Cutts||1661||1707||MP and army commander|
|Ian Day||1954||Speed Sailing record holder 1982-88|
|John Bacchus Dykes||1823||1876||Victorian hymn-writer|
|Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed||1905||1977||Fifth President of India|
|Richard Finn||Regent of Blackfriars, Oxford|
|Jenny R. Fray||1966||First female Captain with British Airways|
|Brian Gibson||1944||2004||Movie Director|
|Maurice Glasman||1961||Political scientist and Labour peer|
|Sir Peter Hall||1930||Theatre and opera director, founder of the RSC|
|Rebecca Hall||1982||Film and stage actress, daughter of Sir Peter Hall alumnus|
|Leslie Halliwell||1929||1989||Film reviewer|
|David Harding||Hedge fund manager and founder for Winton Capital Management|
|Roger Harrabin||1955||Journalist and reporter|
|Sir Peter Hirsch||1925||Materials scientist|
|Sir Robert Howe||1893||1981||Last British Governor-General of the Sudan|
|Rupert Jeffcoat||1970||organist Coventry Cathedral|
|Emyr Jones Parry||1947||United Nations diplomat|
|Paul King (director)||Director, The Mighty Boosh, Bunny and the Bull|
|Malcolm Lowry||1909||1957||Writer - Author of Under the Volcano, number 11 on the Modern Library's 100 Best Novels of the 20th century).3|
|Sir Ian McKellen||1939||Actor|
|Roy MacLaren||1934||Canadian diplomat, politician and author|
|Nevil Maskelyne||1732||1811||Astronomer Royal; developed the Lunar distance model for measuring latitude|
|Ian Meakins||1956||Chief Executive of Wolseley plc|
|Michael Morris||1936||Former Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons|
|Ben Miller||1966||Writer, Actor and Comedian|
|Geoffrey Pattie||1936||Former Minister of State for Information and Technology
Former Minister of State for Defence Procurement during the Falklands War
|Jeremy Paxman||1950||Television journalist|
|Sam Pickering||1941||Professor of English at the University of Connecticut
Inspiration for the Keating character in the film Dead Poets Society
|Tunku Abdul Rahman||1903||1990||First Prime Minister of Malaysia|
|James Shirley||1596||1666||Elizabethan poet and playwright|
|Arun Singh||Former Defence Minister of India|
|Donald Soper||1903||1998||Methodist minister and campaigner|
|Noel Thompson||Television journalist|
|Hannah Yelland||1976||Film & stage actress|
|Terence Young||1915||1994||British film director - Dr. No, From Russia With Love, Thunderball|
- List of Masters of St Catharine's College, Cambridge
- St. Catharine's College Boat Club (Cambridge)
- Category: Fellows of St Catharine's College, Cambridge
- Category: Alumni of St Catharine's College, Cambridge
- List of organ scholars
- St Catherine’s College, Oxford
- W.H.S. Jones, 1936, A history of St Catharine's College, Cambridge University Press, 414 pp
- "Modern Library 100 Best Novels". Modern Library. Retrieved 13 March 2008.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to St Catharine's College, Cambridge.|
- Official St Catharine's College website
- St Catharine's College JCR website
- University of Cambridge — About St Catharine's College