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Girton College marks 150 years of providing women’s education





Girton College has celebrated its 150th anniversary.

From left, visionaries for change Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, Emily Davies and Millicent Fawcett (actresses Fiona Ashley, Kathy Hipperson and Charlotte Ewart ), with actor Simon Kirk, college head porter Tony Hall, college mistress Susan J Smith and senior tutor Sandra Fulton. Picture: Philip Mynott
From left, visionaries for change Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, Emily Davies and Millicent Fawcett (actresses Fiona Ashley, Kathy Hipperson and Charlotte Ewart ), with actor Simon Kirk, college head porter Tony Hall, college mistress Susan J Smith and senior tutor Sandra Fulton. Picture: Philip Mynott

The college was founded by suffragists and champions of women’s empowerment in 1869.

In the face of fierce opposition, Emily Davies and Barbara Bodichon, among others, managed to establish the first UK residential institution for the higher education of women, opening in Hitchin with five students, four members of staff and a mistress.

It went on to play a part in the movement to secure women’s full participation in public, political and professional life.

However, having secured the first women students, Cambridge University denied them admission to degrees for nearly 70 years, until 1948.

Head of Girton, Prof Susan J Smith, said: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to celebrate the game-changing role that Girton has played in the history of higher education.”



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