Skip to main content

Throughout the 2020-21 academic year, St Hugh’s was delighted to participate in the University’s celebrations to mark 100 years of Oxford degrees for women. Our College celebrations launched on International Women’s Day, 8 March 2021, with an evening with alumna and Honorary Fellow Rebecca Front (English Language and Literature, 1982), and continued in Trinity Term with a very special online event with acclaimed conductor and musicologist Professor Dame Jane Glover DBE FRCM HonRAM (Music, 1968) on 18 May 2021. Our series of events to mark the centenary concluded on 18 September 2021 with a symposium entitled ‘Barbara Castle MP – “You’re Only A Woman, What Do You Know About It?”‘ , which was hosted by the St Hugh’s Alumni Association. Recordings of all three events can be found here.

We are immensely proud of St Hugh’s College’s history as an educational establishment founded by Elizabeth Wordsworth in 1886 to open up the opportunities of an Oxford education to poorer women. It was not until October 1920, some 34 years after St Hugh’s was established, that the first women were able to collect their degrees in the Sheldonian Theatre, having previously been permitted to attend University lectures and take exams, but denied full membership of the University and formal recognition of their qualifications. Today, St Hugh’s is a vibrant, co-educational College which retains a sense of its radical tradition and a firm commitment to diversity.

Click here to read more about the centenary and celebrations across the University.

As part of our celebrations of the centenary, we were pleased to launch a series of online profiles on pioneering alumnae who have been ‘firsts’ in their respective fields, as well as a series on alumnae with literary connections. For more information on both series and to read the profiles contributed so far, please click on the links below.

We were also pleased to share research projects which members of our alumni community chose to undertake to mark the centenary of Oxford degrees for women. Please find below the link to an article and roll of honour by Dr Gianetta Corley (Modern Languages, 1958) celebrating many of the St Hugh’s alumnae who have been changemakers in the field of school education between 1920 and 2020 (link below). You can also click here to access ‘100 years of women lawyers at St Hugh’s – The Early Years’, an article written by Mrs Veronica Lowe (Modern History, 1969) for the 2020-21 edition of the Chronicle.