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St Hugh's College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxfordmarker, Englandmarker, located on St Margaret's Roadmarker, North Oxfordmarker. It was founded in 1886 as a women's college, and accepted its first male students in 1986. As of 2006 the college had an estimated financial endowment of £27 million. It enjoys a reputation as one of the prettier colleges thanks to its extensive, well kept gardens and as a friendly college, being one of the few where students are permitted to walk on the grass of the quads.


St Hugh’s occupies a rectangular site in the affluent North Oxfordmarker area. It is bordered by Banbury Road on the east, Woodstock Road on the west, St Margaret’s Road on the north and Canterbury Road on the south. The college is equally accessible via the main entrance on St Margaret's Road and the back gate, which opens onto Canterbury Road.

History of the College

Founded in 1886, St Hugh's was originally a college admitting only women, becoming co-educational a century later. It was founded by Elizabeth Wordsworth, great-niece of the famous poet, William Wordsworth. Using money left to her by her father, a bishop of Lincoln, she named the College after one of his thirteenth century predecessors, Hugh of Avalon, who was canonised in 1220, and in whose diocese Oxford had been. Elizabeth Wordsworth was a champion of the cause of women's education, and her foundation was intended to enable poorer women to gain an Oxford education.

There are statues of both St Hugh and Elizabeth Wordsworth, presented to the College as gifts for its Jubilee in 1936, on the Library stairs. St Hugh carries a model of Lincoln Cathedral, which would have been very familiar to Elizabeth Wordsworth, and has his other hand resting on the head of a swan, probably the famous swan of Stow, although the swan is also a symbol of purity. Elizabeth Wordsworth is depicted wearing her doctoral robes.

College life

Undergraduate students at the college and many graduate students are eligible for college accommodation on the main college site. There is a range of rooms and flats available which are decided by the room ballots organised by the student bodies.

The main entrance of the college leads straight to the Main Building, which usually accommodates first year students, but also houses the chapel and the dining hall. Other first year students may be accommodated in the 1960s style Kenyon Building, named for Dame Kathleen Kenyon. Second years either live in the Rachel Trickett Building, named for a past principal of the college, or the Mary Gray Allen Building. Wolfson Building consists of nine staircases. Finalists usually live in the newer Maplethorpe Building, whose rooms have en-suite facilities and clusters of eight rooms sharing a kitchen on each of the three floors, with four staircases altogether. All the rooms have views of gardens.

The college is big enough to accommodate all its undergraduates and a large proportion of its post graduates for the duration of their studies. There are two big lawns which are for the use of students all year round. The gardens are also the venue for croquet, tennis and ultimate frisbee, and St Hugh's is the only Oxford college with its own basketball courts. There are a wide range of clubs and societies, both sporting, academic, and those supporting niche interests. St Hugh's College has the largest College Maths Society in Oxford.

JCR Presidents

Year JCR President Vice President Other Info
2010 Liam O'Connor (Chemistry) Cameron Dobbs (Mathematics)
2009 Christopher Blake (Human Sciences) Joseph Wales (Mathematics)
2008 Barry Wright (Mathematics) Nikita Malik (Economics & Management)
2007 Alistair Wrench (English) Andrew Hearn (PPE)
2006 Martin McCluskey Sam Tombs Martin McCluskey became President of OUSU in 2006-7
2005 Steph Charalambous Ingrid Frater
2004 Dom Curran Cedric Soule
2003 Nicholas Wilson Louise Southern
2002 Damian Jenkins Richard Kenny
2001 Piers Varley Rebecca Welsford
2000 Sarah Tullis

MCR Presidents

Year MCR President Vice President
2008-9 Iain (Kip) Perdue Sophie Iles
2007-8 Daniel Fiegenschuh
2006-7 Daniel Lee Luke Glynn


Image:St Hugh's College, Oxford - rear gates.JPG|The gates at the rear of St Hugh's College, on Canterbury Roadmarker.Image:StHughs.jpg|Rear view of the Main Building.

Notable alumni

St Hugh's students are present in all spheres of public life, from politics, both nationally, where until recently Barbara Castle, former Secretary of State, was the woman MP with the longest continuous service, and internationally, with Aung San Suu Kyi the Nobel Peace Prize winner, to popular music, with Joe Goddard fronting the popular electropop outfit Hot Chip.

image:Barbara_Castle_27.jpg| Barbara Castleimage:Burma_3_150.jpg| Aung San Suu Kyiimage:Hot_Chip_-_Leeds_Academy.JPG| Joe Goddard of Hot Chipimage:Suffragette,-Emily-Wi.jpg| Emily Davison

See also Former students of St Hugh's College.


  1. Oxford College Endowment Incomes, 1973-2006 (updated July 2007)

External links

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