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Wadham College, Oxford

From Academic Kids

Wadham College
Established 1610
Sister CollegeChrist's College
Warden Sir Neil Chalmers
SU President Sarah Taylor
Graduates 160
Undergraduates 430

</div> Wadham College is a constituent college of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. It was founded by Nicholas and Dorothy Wadham, wealthy Somerset landowners, during the reign of King James I.

Nicholas Wadham died in 1609 leaving his fortune towards the endowment of an Oxford college. The design and implementation of this vague intention fell to his wife Dorothy, a diligent septuagenarian. In a period of only four years, she gained royal and ecclesiastical support for the new college, negotiated the purchase of a site, drew up the college statutes, and appointed the first warden, fellows, scholars, and cook. Although she never visited Oxford, she kept tight control of her new college and its finances until her death in 1618.

Although it is one of the youngest of the historic colleges, Wadham has some of the oldest and best preserved buildings, a result of the rash of rebuilding that occurred throughout Oxford during the 17th century. Wadham's front quad, which served as almost the entire college until the mid-20th century, is the first example of the "Jacobean Gothic" style that was imitated at University and Oriel Colleges. A dramatic expansion since 1952 has made use of a range of 17th and 18th century houses, a converted warehouse originally built to store bibles, and several modern buildings designed by Gillespie, Kidd & Coia and McCormac Jamieson Prichard. It also includes the Holywell Music Room, the oldest such building in Europe. Wadham also has a second claim to fame: it is thought that the college's chapel was the first religious building in England to regain its stained glass and statuary following the reformation.

Under the original statutes, women were forbidden from entering the college, with the exception of a laundress who was to be of 'such age, condition, and reputation as to be above suspicion.' These rules were relaxed over the years, and in 1974 they were altered to allow for the admission of women as full members of college at all levels. In fact, Wadham was the first historically all-male college to have a female student.

Perhaps related to this fact, the Wadham student body has for the last four decades been a hotbed of student activism. Most notably, the students' union was highly involved in campaigning against apartheid. In 1984 the students' union passed a motion to end every college "bop" (disco) with Special AKA's single Free Nelson Mandela. The tradition continues despite his release. Wadham also has a similar reputation as a strong supporter of gay rights, and plays host to "Queer Bop", an annual night of slightly debauched behaviour popular with students of all colleges.

Famous Former Students

Famous Wardens and Fellows

External link

Official website (http://www.wadham.ox.ac.uk/)


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