Keble College, Oxford

Keble College, Oxford

name = Keble College
university = Oxford
shield =
picture =
primary_colour = #000033
colours =
name_Latin = Collegium Keblense
named_for = John Keble
established = 1870
sister_college = Selwyn College, Cambridge
head_name = Warden
head = Professor Dame Averil Cameron DBE FBA
JCR President = Joseph Shapiro
undergraduates = 435
MCR President = Yaqoob K Bangash
graduates = 219
latitude = 51.758899
longitude = -1.257715
homepage = [ Homepage]
boat_club = [ Boatclub]

Keble College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England. Its main buildings are on Parks Road, opposite the University Museum and the University Parks. The college is bordered to the north by Keble Road, to the south by Museum Road, and to the west by Blackhall Road. As of 2006, the college had an estimated financial endowment of £47m. [ [ Oxford College Endowment Incomes, 1973-2006] (updated July 2007)]

Keble was established in 1870, having been built as a monument to John Keble. John Keble had been a leading member of the Oxford Movement, which sought to stress the Catholic history of the Anglican Church. Consequently, the College traditionally placed a considerable emphasis on ecclesiastical teaching, although this has long since ceased to be the case.

It remains distinctive for its neo-gothic red-brick buildings designed by William Butterfield. The buildings are also notable for breaking from tradition by arranging rooms along corridors rather than around staircases.

Keble is one of the larger colleges, with 435 undergraduates and 226 graduate students.


The best-known of Keble's Victorian founders was Edward Pusey, after whom parts of the College are named. The College itself is named after John Keble, one of Pusey's colleagues in the Oxford Movement, who died four years before its foundation in 1870. It was decided immediately after Keble's funeral that his memorial would be a new Oxford college bearing his name. Two years later, in 1868, the foundation stone was laid by the Archbishop of Canterbury on St Mark's Day. The college first opened in 1870, taking in thirty students, whilst the Chapel was opened on St Mark's Day 1876. Accordingly, the College continues to celebrate St Mark's Day each year.

William Butterfield, the original architect, produced a masterpiece of Victorian GothicFact|date=August 2008. The College is built of red, blue, and white bricks; the main structure is of red brick, with white and blue patterned banding.

On its construction, Keble was not widely admired within the University, particularly by the undergraduate population of nearby St John's College (from which Keble had purchased their land). A secret society was founded [ [ Jack Nory - Columns - The Oxford Student - Official Student Newspaper ] ] , entrance to which depended upon removing one brick from the College and presenting it to the society's elders. Some accounts specify that one of the commonest red bricks was necessary for ordinary membership, a rarer white brick for higher-level membership, and one of the rarest blue bricks for chairmanship. The hope was that eventually Keble would be completely demolished. As a result, there remains a healthy rivalry between St Johns and Keble to this day.

An apochryphal story claims that a French visitor, on first sight of the college exclaimed "C'est magnifique mais n'est pas la gare" ("It is magnificent but it is not the railway station"). This is a play on Field Marshall Pierre Bosquet's memorable line, referring to the Charge of the Light Brigade, "C’est magnifique, mais ce n’est pas la guerre" ("It is magnificent, but it is not war").

In 2005, Keble College featured in the national UK press [ [,,1455086,00.html "Oxford college guilty of race discrimination"] ] when its bursar, Roger Boden, was found guilty of racial discrimination by an employment tribunal. [ [ Employment Tribunal (Reading) case no. 2701126/04] ] An appeal was launched by the College and Mr Boden against the tribunal's judgement, resulting in a financial out-of-court settlement with the aggrieved employee.

Keble is mentioned in John Betjeman's poem "Myfanwy at Oxford", as well as in the writings of John Ruskin and John Cleese.

Ronald Reagan, former President of the United States of America (1981-89) was an Honorary Fellow of the College.

List of Wardens

* Edward Stuart Talbot 1870 - 1888
* R J Wilson 1888 - 1897
* Walter Lock 1897 - 1920
* Beresford James Kidd 1920 - 1939
* Harry James Carpenter 1939 - 1955
* Eric Symes Abbott 1956 - 1960
* Austin Farrer 1960 - 1968
* Spencer Barrett (Acting Warden, 1968-1969)
* Dennis Nineham 1969 - 1979
* Christopher Ball 1980 - 1988
* George Barclay Richardson 1988 - 1994

The current Warden of Keble College, Professor Dame Averil Cameron, M.A., Ph. D., F.S.A., F.B.A., has been appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE). She was made Warden in 1994 and was the first female to hold this role (with the College first admitting female undergraduates in 1979).

College life

The College publishes a termly magazine called "The Brick" which is sent to Keble alumni to update them on College life. Students publish an irreverent spoof version on the last Friday of each term, also named "The Brick", recording college gossip.

Keble students enjoy a vibrant social life, with a wide range of student run societiesFact|date=August 2008. Keble fields a number of sports teams and has flourishing choral and dramatic societies. Keble's rowing and rugby teams have been successful, winning the 2007 rugby Cuppers and being awarded the highest ranked blades in the 2007 Summer Eights regatta. The Keble Women's football team also won Cuppers in 2007, and continue to dominate the college league competition. Furthermore, Keble has a large Dancesport contingent and performs highly against other colleges at Cuppers.

Like many Oxford Colleges, Keble normally holds a ball every other year, which is a major event in the social calendar. The Divine Comedy and Boney M featured at the 1997 ball, The Fun Lovin' Criminals featured in 1999, and in 2005 the college held a 'Carnival'-themed ball, including the Freestylers. The theme for 2007 was 'Art Deco'. The College ball is normally held after the end of the summer term, once students have finished their exams. The 2007 ball was unusual in that it instead took place near the start of Trinity term. However, this required partitioning the College so as to still accommodate students who were not attending the ball and so was smaller than previous balls. With excellent reviews in the student press [The Oxford Student, TT07 week 3, features] , the ball was a great success, and as a result it's now an annual fixture. The next ball will be held on 3rd May 2008, and the theme is "The Forbidden City".

The College has secured a reputation as one of the most welcoming and encouraging institutions in the University with the undergraduate body consisting of students from all walks of life.

College Buildings

The best-known of Keble's buildings is the distinctive main brick complex, designed by Butterfield.

Over the years other significant additions have been added, most notably the modern, brick Hayward and de Breyne extensions by Ahrends, Burton and Koralek. The ABK buildings included the college's memorable, futuristic bar, opened on 3rd May 1977 and recently refurbished and expanded. In 1995, work was completed on the ARCO building by renowned US-born architect, Rick Mather. This was followed in 2002 by another similarly styled building also designed by Mather, the Sloane-Robinson building.

The College contains four quads: Pusey, Liddon, Hayward and Newman. All the gardens have recently undergone a landscaping project finished in 2006/07

In July 2004 the College announced the purchase of the former Acland Hospital for £10.75 million. This convert|1.7|acre|m2|sing=on site, situated a couple of minutes walk from the main College buildings, currently houses an estimated 100 graduate students but will in time be redeveloped to provide double the number of rooms. The College previously owned a number of houses scattered across Oxford, but these were sold following the purchase of the Acland site.

The Light of the World

Keble owns the original of William Holman Hunt's famous painting "The Light of the World", which is hung in the side chapel (accessed through the chapel). The picture was completed in 1853 after eight years of work, and originally hung in the Royal Academy. It was then given as a gift to the college. Hunt originally wanted the painting to be hung in the main chapel but the architect rejected this idea, as a result he painted another version of the painting which is in St Paul's Cathedral, London. This was copy painted by Hunt when he was nearly 70.

Notable members of Keble

* Andrew Adonis, Baron Adonis
* Thomas Armstrong, organist and conductor
* Walter Hubert Baddeley, bishop
* Dame Averil Cameron, historian
* Frank Cottrell Boyce, children's author and screenwriter
* Arthur Dyke Acland
* Ewan Bailey
* Ed Balls, politician
* Tim Besley, Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics
* Ben Brown, television journalist
* Edwin Cameron
* Harry James Carpenter
* Humphrey Carpenter
* Alexander Cockburn, journalist
* Giles Coren, writer
* Reginald Craddock, politician
* O. G. S. Crawford, archaeologist
* William Davison, 1st Baron Broughshane
* Gregory Dix, historian, monk
* Philip Dunne, politician
* Austin Farrer, theologian and philosopher
* Jeremy Filsell, piano and organ recitalist
* William Hugh Clifford Frend, historian, archaeologist, priest
* Cyril Garbett, Archbishop of York
* Tony Hall
* Ian Hamilton, critic
* J. W. Harris, Professor at the London School of Economics and Fellow of the British Academy
*John Hayes Director of the National Portait Gallery (1974–1994)
* Charles Hazlewood, conductor and broadcaster
* Dyson Heydon
* Geoffrey Hill
* Les Huckfield, politician
* James Hunt, judge
* Imran Khan, politician, cricketer
* Robert Lloyd, singer
* Roderick MacFarquhar, politician, journalist, academic
* Bryan Magee
* James Martin, known as the "Guru of the Information Age"
* Christopher Newbury, Council of Europe
* Nicholas O'Shaughnessy, economist
* John Richard Packer
* Peter Pears, singer
* Randal Pinkett, successful candidate on US version of The Apprentice and President and CEO of BCT Partners [ [] ]
* Geoffrey Rowell, bishop
* Edward St Aubyn, author
* George F.G. Stanley, Canadian historian, designer of Canadian flag, Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick
* Robert Steadman, composer
* Raymond Tallis, Professor of Geriatrics, University of Manchester
* David Thomas, politician
* Ralph Townsend, Headmaster of Winchester College
* Michael Turnbull
* Andrew Turner
* Chad Varah
* Andreas Whittam Smith, journalist
* John Whitfield, conductor
* Philip Wilby
* David Wilson, Baron Wilson of Tillyorn

:"See also ."

In fiction

* Horace Rumpole - the famous fictional barrister gained a third in law at Keble in the 1950s


External links

* [ Official site]
* [ Website of Keble College Law Society]
* [ Web page with gallery of photographs of Keble College]
* [ Great Buildings online - Keble College]
* [ Website of Keble College Chapel Choir]
* [ Website of Keble College Music Society]
* [ Virtual Tour of Keble College]
* [ Keble College JCR]
* [ Keble College MCR]
* [ Keble Ball]
* [ Website of Keble Geography Society]
* [ The Resurrections of the Truth: A Sermon, preached in the Church of S. Mary the Virgin, Oxford, on S. Mark's Day, April 25, 1868, being the Day of Laying the First Stone of Keble College] , by Samuel Wilberforce (1868)

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