St Anne's College, Oxford

Colleges and halls of the University of Oxford
St Anne's College
College name St Anne's College
Latin name Collegium Sanctae Annae
Motto Consulto et audacter
(Purposefully and boldly)
Named after Saint Anne
Previously named The Society of Oxford Home-Students (1879–1942)
The St Anne's Society (1942–1952)
Established 1879
Sister college Murray Edwards College, Cambridge
Principal Dr. Robert Chard (acting)
Undergraduates 444[1]
Graduates 250[1]
Location Woodstock Road and Banbury Road

Location of St Anne's College within central OxfordCoordinates: 51°45′44″N 1°15′43″W / 51.762123°N 1.261974°W / 51.762123; -1.261974

St Anne's Boat Club
Blazon Gules, on a chevron between in chief two lions heads erased argent, and in base a sword of the second pummelled and hilt or and enfiled with a wreath of laurel, three ravens, all proper.

St Anne's College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England. Formerly a women's college, it has been coeducational since 1979.[2] Founded in 1879 as The Society of Oxford Home-Students, it received its college status in 1952, and today it is one of the larger colleges in Oxford, with around 450 undergraduate and 200 graduate students in a roughly equal mix of men and women. The college is known for its progressive outlook, its academic strength in both the humanities and the sciences, its mix of architecture, and its library — the largest college library in Oxford.

The college was established and expanded by the gradual acquisition of Victorian houses between the Woodstock and Banbury roads, with its location now in North Oxford and adjacent to the neighbourhoods of Jericho, Park Town, and Oxford University Parks.

In October 2016 it was announced that former Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Helen King had been elected to the position of Principal upon her retirement from the police.[3] She will take up her appointment in April 2017, succeeding Tim Gardam. [4] The 2013–14 annual review valued the college's endowment at £37 million.


What is now St Anne's College began life as part of the Association for the Education of Women, the first institution in Oxford to allow for the education of women (see: Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford), then later the Society of Oxford Home-Students.[5] In 1942, it became the St Anne's Society, and received a university charter to be founded as a women-only college in 1952. While it remains a common myth that it is built on land donated by St John's College, the site was acquired slowly by the purchase of existing houses and residences for the use of students.[6]

The Ship

The annual magazine for alumni of the college is known as The Ship.[7] When it was still known as the Society for Home Students, the college had its first common room in Ship Street, located in central Oxford.[5]

Location and buildings

The Ruth Deech Building, which houses the Porter's Lodge.


Its grounds are bounded by Woodstock Road and Banbury Road to the west and east respectively, and Bevington Road to the north. They extend as far south as 48 Woodstock Road on the west, and 27 Banbury Road on the east side. The College formerly owned a number of houses throughout Oxford used for undergraduate accommodation, some formerly boarding houses of the Society of Oxford Home-Students; these have been largely sold off to fund the building of the Ruth Deech Building, completed in 2005. These grounds house all of the college's administrative and academic buildings, undergraduate accommodation, as well as the hall, which is among the largest in Oxford.

Undergraduate accommodation

St Anne's can accommodate undergraduates for three years of study. Undergraduates at St Anne's are housed in 14 Victorian houses owned by the college and six purpose-built accommodation blocks. The Victorian houses include 1 – 10 Bevington Road, 58/60 Woodstock Road, and 39/41 Banbury Road. These houses also contain the college bar, teaching rooms, college gym, and a laundrette.

Hartland House

The Hartland House

The Hartland House, designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, was the first purpose-built college building, finished in 1937 with an additional wing built in 1973. It now houses the Library, the junior and senior common rooms, and administrative offices.

Ruth Deech Building

The Ruth Deech Building, completed in 2005,[8] is the most recent college building. It houses extensive conference facilities (the Tsuzuki lecture theatre, seminar rooms, and dining facilities) on the lower ground floor, in addition to the new College Lodge on the upper ground floor, and 113 en-suite student rooms.

New library and academic centre

The new library and academic centre, scheduled for completion in 2016, is on the site of the former Founders' Gatehouse, which was built in 1966 and was the college lodge until 2005.[9][10]

Rayne and Wolfson Buildings

Wolfson Building

The Rayne and Wolfson Buildings were built in 1964 are Grade II Listed Buildings; they are virtually identical in design, and house administrative offices on the ground floor as well as student rooms.

Claire Palley Building

The Claire Palley Building, completed in 1992 and named after former Principal Claire Palley, was the first accommodation block to have en-suite rooms. It also houses the Mary Ogilvie Lecture Theatre.

Trenaman House

Trenaman House, built in 1995, holds student rooms as well as communal college facilities on the ground floor and, since 2008, the St Anne's Coffee Shop (STACS). It was named after Nancy Trenaman, the sixth Principal of the college (1966–1984).

Dining Hall

The Dining Hall, built in 1959, is amongst the largest in Oxford with a capacity of 300. Three meals are served daily in hall apart from on weekends when only brunch is served. It is also used for college collections (internal college exams) and, on occasion, college 'bops' (costume parties).

Other facilities

The Eleanor Plumer House (known until 2008 as simply 35 Banbury Road) houses the Middle Common Room, and attached facilities including a study area/computer room and kitchen, in addition to accommodation for graduate students. Four additional Victorian houses (27 and 37 Banbury, 48 and 50 Woodstock) hold teaching rooms, seminar rooms, music practice rooms, and college offices.

Robert Saunders House

The Robert Saunders House, built in 1996, provides 80 rooms for post-graduate students in Summertown, an area in the north of Oxford. It was named after a former bursar of the college, who did much to strengthen its finances.


The college has relatively few traditions and is rare amongst Oxford colleges in not having a chapel (along with St Catherine's College and Kellogg College). Formal hall is held fortnightly. Gowns are not usually worn, except for official university occasions such as matriculation and certain college feasts. The college mascot is a beaver.

College grace

The college grace was composed by former classics tutor and founding fellow, Margaret Hubbard. It in involves the principal reciting the Latin words: quas decet, (deo) gratias agamus. Amen. The deo (to God) is inserted depending on whether the grace is religious or secular in nature.

Sport and societies

The college has teams for all major sports, and competes in inter-collegiate "cuppers" tournaments. Fixtures are either played in the neighbouring University Parks, or in the college playing fields on Woodstock Road. St Anne's College Boat Club (SABC) has seen much success over the years in both men's and women's divisions, with many members representing teams at university level. The college boathouse, situated on the River Isis in Christ Church Meadow is shared with St Hugh's and Wadham colleges. The college is particularly known for its strong joint rugby team with St John's College, having won Cuppers in 2014.[11][12] The college cricket team is nicknamed "The Beavers". St Anne's has a number of college football teams, known collectively as The Mint Green Army, which represents the college in all divisions. There is a distinctive rivalry with Wadham College.

There is a lot of music-making in the college, with opportunities for singers and instrumental players to be involved in ensembles. In keeping with its secular outlook, there is no sacred choral singing in St Anne's, but there is an informal a cappella group that rehearses weekly, known as Stacappella. The group performs versions of popular and folk songs arranged by music students, and is currently directed by Joseph Bungabunga-Fell. The college's Director of Music is Dr John Traill, who runs a regular professional recital series and a string orchestra in the college.

The college's geology society, STAGS (St Anne's Geology Society), is a hub of social gatherings for the college's Earth Sciences students. The college's classics society organises a joint symposium with Brasenose College every term, as well as a biennial trip to Lamledra, Cornwall.

Notable alumni

In alphabetical order:

Mr Hudson, rapper and R&B artist, alumnus.
Tina Brown, editor of The Daily Beast and ex-editor of Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, alumna.
Sir Simon Rattle, principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, alumnus.

Notable academics


List of Principals


  1. 1 2 "Welcome to St Anne's". St Anne's College. 2008. Retrieved 31 January 2011.
  2. "Statement of Values". About St Anne's College. St Anne's College. 2009. Retrieved 24 May 2010.
  5. 1 2 "St Anne's History". About St Anne's College. St Anne's College, Oxford. Retrieved 2 June 2011.
  7. "The Ship". Alumnae & Friends. St Anne's College, Oxford. Retrieved 2 June 2011.
  8. "St Anne's College Opens New Building" (PDF). Conference Oxford Newsletter. Retrieved 28 April 2008.
  9. "Library and Academic Centre, St Anne's College".
  11. "Saints Win Cuppers In Dramatic Finale".
  12. "Saints stun Teddy Hall in last gasp Cuppers victory".
  13. Sholto Byrnes (4 August 2006). "Simon Rattle: Marching to a revolutionary beat". The Independent. Retrieved 24 May 2010.
  14. "Dr Nick Middleton". Oxford University School of Geography and the Environment. Retrieved 26 October 2013.
  15. "Academic Profile: Professor Roger Reed". St Anne's College, Oxford. Retrieved 8 June 2016.

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