Colleges mark anniversary of `going mixed'

A summer of events celebrating the admission of women to all-male colleges at the University is well underway.

Wadham College, which, together with Brasenose, Hertford, Jesus, and St Catherine's, first admitted women 25 years ago, invited women from the initial 1974 intake to revisit the college and meet other women who had studied there since, including current JCR members, at the `Women at Wadham' silver anniversary event on 26 June.

The day included a `Then and Now' session, focusing on the experience of women at Wadham from the 1970s to the present day.

The session was led by Ms Julie Curtis (Wadham, 1974), who reminisced on the difficulties which James Lunt, Domestic Bursar of Wadham during the 1970s, had experienced in providing suitable accommodation for women. Strongly opposed to the segregation of men and women in different buildings of the college, he became the only bursar of the `Jesus Group' colleges to place students in mixed accommodation.

Talks were also given by Dr Sarah Salih, specialist in gender studies at Wadham, and Dr Astier Mesghenna Almedom, a former Wadham JCR Scholar. Visitors viewed a special exhibition devoted to Dorothy Wadham, in tribute to the founder of the seventeenth-century college.

Hertford is planning a celebration weekend in September and a special edition of the college newspaper has also been brought out, containing reminiscences from former undergraduates, a feature on female academics at the college, and a focus on current female JCR members.

Brasenose will celebrate with a silver anniversary dinner on 1 October 1999, almost 25 years to the day since the first female undergraduates arrived at its gates.

Other colleges are celebrating two decades since the admission of female undergraduates in 1979; Balliol hosted a lunch for former undergraduates on 3 July, and Corpus Christi, Merton, and Keble all plan events in the autumn.

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