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Colleges of the University of Cambridge

Murray Edwards College

The Kaetsu Centre
College name New Hall (until confirmation of name change by the Privy Council);
Murray Edwards College (official trading name and future name of the college, once confirmed)
Named after Dame Rosemary Murray, Ros and Steve Edwards
Established 1954
Admittance Women only
President Dr Jennifer Barnes[1]
Undergraduates 360[2]
Graduates 99[2]
Sister college St Anne's College, Oxford
Location Huntingdon Road
College website
Boat Club website
Interior design of the Murray Edwards Dome.

Murray Edwards College is a women-only constituent college of the University of Cambridge. It was founded as "New Hall" in 1954, at a time when Cambridge had the lowest proportion of women undergraduates of any university in the United Kingdom, and when only two other colleges (Girton and Newnham) admitted women students. Unlike many other colleges, New Hall was founded without a benefactor and did not bear a benefactor's name. However, it was announced in June 2008 that New Hall would be renamed in memory of its first President, Dame Rosemary Murray, and alumna Ros Smith (Mrs Edwards) and her husband Steve Edwards who had recently made a donation of £30 million[3] to the College.[4][5]



New Hall was founded in 1954, housing sixteen students in Silver Street where Darwin College now stands. By 1962, thanks to the generosity of members of the Darwin family who gave their family home, the Orchard, to the project, the College had a new site on Huntingdon Road, about a mile from the centre of Cambridge. The architects, Chamberlin, Powell and Bon, had been chosen and funds were being collected. Building began in 1964 and the new college was completed in 1965. It could house up to 300 students.

With the conversion of the last men-only colleges into mixed colleges in the 1970s and 80s, some people questioned whether New Hall would or, indeed, should remain a women-only college. Since the 2007 announcement that Oxford University's last remaining women-only college, St Hilda's, would admit men, Cambridge is the only university in the United Kingdom with an admissions policy that discriminates, with respect to admission to some of its colleges, on the basis of gender.[6][7] Murray Edward's has progressed further than other Cambridge colleges in this area as it at least allows male staff.[8]

The college is home to the second largest collection of women's art in the world, The New Hall Art Collection. The college offers free formal halls each week to graduate students and maintains a fund for graduate research, including the Stephan Körner graduate studentship for studies in philosophy, classics or law[9].

New Hall received its Royal Charter in 1972. The Arms, which are in use to this day, are emblazoned as follows:

Sable a Dolphin palewise head downwards to the dexter in chief three Mullets fesswise a Bordure embattled Argent

The black castellation round the arms marks the college's location on Castle Hill. The three stars are borrowed from the Murray coat of arms, while the heraldic Dolphin symbolises a youthful spirit of exploration and discovery, and a kindly intelligence.

In addition to the arms, the college has a new logo to mark its transition from New Hall to Murray Edwards College. It is based on the design of the interior of the dining hall, known as the Dome. It is called the 'spark' and symbolises the modern, open and youthful outlook of the College.[10][11]



See also

Coordinates: 52°12′51″N 0°06′31″E / 52.214188°N 0.108560°E / 52.214188; 0.108560

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