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Somerville College, Oxford

Somerville College, part of the University of Oxford, was one of the first women's colleges to be founded there.


In June 1878 the "Association for the Higher Education of Women" was formed, aiming for the eventual creation of a college for women in Oxford. Some of the more prominent members of the association were Dr. Bradley, master of University College, T. H. Green, a prominent liberal philosopher, and Edward Talbot. The latter insisted on a specifically Anglican institution, which was unacceptable to most of the other members. The two parties eventually split, and one went on to found Lady Margaret Hall. Thus, in 1879, a second committee was formed "in which no distinction will be made between students on the ground of their belonging to different religious denominations". The members of this second committee included Dr. John Percival, Dr. G. W. Kitchin, A. H. D. Ackland, T. H. Green, Mary Ward, William Sidgwick, Henry Nettleship and A. G. Vernon Harcourt. The name they chose was Somerville College after the then recently deceased mathematician Mary Somerville[?], one of the greatest English mathematicians of the 19th century.

Somerville became co-educational in 1993.

Notable Former Students

Somerville has educated some of the most influential minds of the 20th century.


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