Darwin College, Cambridge

Darwin College, Cambridge
Colleges of the University of Cambridge

Darwin College

Inside the grounds of Darwin College
Founders Gonville & Caius College,
St John's College and
Trinity College
Named after The Darwin Family
Established 1964
Admittance Men and women
Master William Arthur Brown
Undergraduates None
Graduates 591
Sister college Wolfson College, Oxford
Location Silver Street (map) 52°12′2″N 0°06′49″E / 52.20056°N 0.11361°E / 52.20056; 0.11361Coordinates: 52°12′2″N 0°06′49″E / 52.20056°N 0.11361°E / 52.20056; 0.11361
Darwin College Arms.svg
College website
Boat Club website
Darwin College's Coat of Arm on the main gate

Darwin College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge. It is a college for advanced study, admitting only postgraduate students.

Founded in 1964, Darwin was Cambridge University's first graduate-only college, and also the first to admit both men and women. The college is named after the family of one of the university's most famous graduates, Charles Darwin. The Darwin family previously owned some of the land on which the college now sits.

The college has around 600 students, mostly studying for PhD or MPhil degrees. About half the students come from outside the United Kingdom. Darwin is the largest of Cambridge's five graduate colleges and has the largest number of graduate students of any Cambridge college.



A significant increase in the number of postgraduate students at Cambridge University in the post-war period led to a growing realisation that a graduate college was becoming a necessity. In 1963, three of the university's older colleges – Trinity College, St John's College, and Gonville and Caius College – announced their intention to jointly form a new, wholly graduate college. The college was formed in 1964, located on the bank of the River Cam, adjacent to Queens' College. On 29 January 1965, the Privy Council gave formal approval to the college as an Approved Foundation. It received its Royal Charter as an independent college within the university in 1976.

The college is named after the family of Charles Darwin, which previously owned some of the property which the college now occupies. Charles Darwin's second son, George Darwin, bought Newnham Grange, the oldest part of the college, in 1885, also acquiring the adjacent building known as the Old Granary and Small Island. (Newnham Grange was originally built in 1793 for the family of Patrick Beales, a local corn and coal merchant. It was extensively remodelled by George Darwin.) Following the death of George's son, Sir Charles Galton Darwin, in 1962, those concerned with the foundation of the new college learned that the property was to become available. Lady Darwin and her family were very receptive to the idea of their home becoming the nucleus of a new college, and to the suggestion that it should bear the family's name. Family portraits of the Darwin family have been lent to the college and can be found on the walls of several of the college's main rooms. In the book Period Piece: A Cambridge Childhood, the niece of Charles Darwin, Gwen Raverat describes how she grew up at Newnham Grange.

In 1966, the college also acquired the Hermitage (a house built in the nineteenth century on the west side of Newnham Grange) from St John's College. Work to convert and extend the college's buildings was funded by the founding colleges and substantial donations from the Rayne Foundation.

In 1994, Darwin College completed construction of a new library and study centre along the side of the Granary. The centre is built on a narrow strip of land alongside the millpond in Cambridge, and uses a structure of green oak and lime mortar brickwork. The building uses high-level automatically opening windows and a chimney to control natural ventilation. The building has also been designed with special connections which could be tightened to account for the shrinkage.

College life

The college organizes the annual Darwin Lecture Series, eight talks over eight weeks structured around a single theme (such as 'Power') examined from very different perspectives (scientific, humanities, arts), given by eminent speakers who are leading international authorities in their fields. The lectures have been hosted for over twenty-five years and form one of the key events in the Cambridge calendar. Most of the series of lectures have been published as books.

Darwin College Boat Club is a popular student society at Darwin College. With a strong progression over the past few years, the club is one of the most successful graduate rowing clubs in the UK.

Darwin College Football Club play in the long established Cambridge University Association Football League (CUAFL), representing the only graduate college within CUAFL. The club plays throughout the year in and out of term.

Every Darwinian is automatically a member of the Darwin College Student Association (DCSA). The DCSA committee comprises 20 students, which organize events, parties, support societies and help students make the most of their time in Cambridge.[1]

Notable alumni

Also see: Category:Alumni of Darwin College, Cambridge

Elizabeth Blackburn, the 2009 Nobel laureate in medicine, studied for her PhD at Darwin. Dian Fossey and Sir Ian Wilmut are alumni. Paul Clement, the former United States Solicitor General, read the MPhil in Politics and Economics at Darwin in 1988-89. In recent years, the Canadian TV host Seamus O'Regan studied at the college.

Notable Fellows

Also see: Category:Fellows of Darwin College, Cambridge

César Milstein, who received the 1984 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, was a Fellow of Darwin College from 1980 to 2002. Sir Karl Popper and the Nobel Prize winner Max Perutz were Honorary Fellows, as are Amartya Sen and Martin Rees (The Lord Rees of Ludlow). Oliver Letwin was a research Fellow from 1981 to 1982.


See also


  1. ^ http://dcsa.dar.cam.ac.uk/drupal6/info/student-life/student-association-dcsa/your-representatives

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Darwin College (Cambridge) — Darwin College Pour les articles homonymes, voir Darwin (homonymie). Blason de Darwin College Darwin College est un des 31 collèges de l’ …   Wikipédia en Français

  • List of Masters of Darwin College, Cambridge — The following persons have served as Master of Darwin College, Cambridge since its foundation in 1964.* 1964 1976 Frank George Young * 1976 1982 Moses I. Finley * 1982 1989 Arnold Burgen * 1989 2000 Sir Geoffrey Lloyd * 2000 Willie Brown …   Wikipedia

  • Darwin College Boat Club — (DCBC) was founded in 1969 by its current President, Dr Chester White. Since then, DCBC has become a successful graduate boat club in Cambridge. The club mainly focuses on the training of cox, rower and coach and has extensive novice training… …   Wikipedia

  • Darwin College — may refer to: Darwin College, Cambridge Darwin College, Kent Darwin College is a fictional college in the film Horse Feathers This disambiguation page lists articles about schools, colleges, or other educational institutions which are associated… …   Wikipedia

  • Darwin College — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Edificio principal del Darwin …   Wikipedia Español

  • Darwin College — 52°12′2″N 0°06′49″E / 52.20056, 0.11361 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • College (Cambridge) — Collèges de l université de Cambridge L université de Cambridge se compose actuellement de 31 collèges, dont trois n acceptent que des femmes (New Hall, Newnham et Lucy Cavendish). Les 28 autres sont mixtes. Magdalene est le dernier collège… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Newnham College, Cambridge — Colleges of the University of Cambridge Newnham College     …   Wikipedia

  • Trinity College, Cambridge — Not to be confused with Trinity Hall, Cambridge. For other institutions named Trinity College, see Trinity College (disambiguation). Colleges of the University of Cambridge Trinity College …   Wikipedia

  • Magdalene College, Cambridge — This article is about the Cambridge college. For other uses, see Magdalen College (disambiguation). Coordinates: 52°12′37″N 0°6′58″E / 52.21028°N 0.11611°E …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.