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Somerville College Student Buildings
On Saturday 17 September, alumni and friends of Somerville College came together to celebrate the official opening of its two new accommodation blocks.
The buildings will house 68 new student bedrooms, enabling nearly all undergraduates to live in College throughout their course. This will not only provide financial relief to those who would otherwise pay far more for year-round contracts with private landlords, but also greatly enhance the student experience and feeling of community among undergraduates.
The accommodation is situated at the edge of the College’s northern boundary on the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, allowing Somerville’s students to enjoy an enviable position as resident members of this new centre for teaching and research.
Declaring the buildings officially open, the Chancellor of the University, Lord Patten of Barnes, told guests, "The ROQ is one of the University’s most significant projects for more than a century, further enhancing Oxford’s reputation as a world-leading centre for learning. The opening of these buildings, the very first on the site, is a cause for great celebration, not just for Somerville, but for the University as a whole".
Since the launch of the Somerville Campaign, more than 1,100 alumni and friends of the College have donated to the new buildings. With an original fundraising target of £2 million in support of the new accommodation, it was with great pleasure that Somerville’s Principal, Dr Alice Prochaska, announced to guests that this figure has been not only reached but exceeded thanks to the generosity of the College's donors. To date £2.7 million has been raised.
Dr Prochaska expressed her gratitude to all those who all those who gave to the Campaign: “The response of our alumni and friends to the ROQ building appeal has been overwhelming and truly heartening. Without you, these buildings would not have been possible.”