The Edwards’ Endowment
In June 2008 the College announced that it was receiving a donation of £30million from alumna Ros Smith (1981) and her husband Steve Edwards, the largest personal donation to a Cambridge college in the University’s 800 year history.
The College was founded in 1954 without an endowment, despite the founders' efforts to find a donor who would endow and name the College. So the founders decided to adopt the name "New Hall" until a donor could be found to endow the College and secure its future. The donation from Ros Smith and Steve Edwards forms the College's foundation endowment, and so in 2008 the College announced its renaming as Murray Edwards College to recognise the vision of its first President, Dame Rosemary Murray, and the generosity of the Edwards family.
Following a consultation with alumnae, the College has now been granted a revised Charter and Statutes by the Privy Council and so its name is now 'The President and Fellows of Murray Edwards College, founded as New Hall, in the University of Cambridge'. It will be known as Murray Edwards College on a day-to-day basis.
This new endowment is already making a difference in a number of areas. The Edwards’ donation is building our funds over a decade, and, since 2005, the College has been able to launch several initiatives, such as employing a full-time Schools’ Liaison Officer, reinstating our Junior Research Fellowships, and initiating the Gateway Programme for students. Future programmes will continue to focus on our key areas of: leadership skills, identifying potential, supporting the Fellowship, and creating greater opportunity for gifted women from all backgrounds.
Murray Edwards College/New Hall is a Registered Charity (Registration No. 1137530).