Why was Murray Edwards College chosen as the new name?
How is the College honouring its heritage?
So "New Hall" wasn’t the College’s permanent name?
Has the College really been looking for its endowment since 1954?
How was this decision made?
Will the College change its name again for an even larger donation?
Is it unusual for Cambridge colleges to change their names?
What will the College spend the money on?
Does this donation make the College rich?
Can I apply to study at Murray Edwards College?
What happens to my New Hall degree?
Do I have to change the details of my standing order donation or legacy?
Will post addressed to either name reach the College?
Will emails addressed to newhall.cam.ac.uk still reach their destination?
A. The College had always (from its Foundation) intended to change the name when a foundation endowment was received. Ros and Steve Edwards expressed a preference to commemorate Dame Rosemary’s tireless and inspiring work for the College in the name. The College also wished to recognise the extraordinary philanthropy which this donation represents, and include Edwards in the name. So the name Murray Edwards follows the Cambridge tradition of acknowledging benefactors when choosing college names. Dame Rosemary was delighted by the new name and pleased that her ambitions for the College had been fulfilled.
A. The College is now applying to the Privy Council for a Supplemental Charter, which will include a formal name for the College which honours its history as New Hall. Further details of the consultation process will follow soon.
New Hall has now been permanently incorporated into the College's address, and the stone containing the name 'New Hall' will remain in the wall at the front entrance of the College. The dolphin and the shield will remain foremost in the College's identity, continuing to symbolise the proud past and strong presence of the College.
A. New Hall was chosen in 1954 as an interim name while the College waited for its founding endowment, as Rosemary Murray explains in her book, "The Making of a College": "The name New Hall was chosen as being the name which had the greatest (though unenthusiastic) support. It did at least leave the way open for a benefactor to have the college named after him or her." (from "The Making of a College" by Dame Rosemary Murray, 1984, p.10)
A. "A large number of foundations, professional organisations, women’s groups and individuals were approached but money was slow to come in. The conclusion seemed to be that the education of women at Cambridge was not a cause that attracted benefactors. It had always been a hope, though faint, that some benefactor would endow New Hall, and in 1956 there seemed a possibility that this might happen. Sir Charles Colston, formerly Managing Director of Hoover Ltd., announced his intention of distributing between four educational institutions a considerable sum of money held in a Trust, from this New Hall was to get some £500,000. For this the Association would have been willing for New Hall to take the name "Colston College". However, the disposal of the Trust monies was disputed and the decision of the High Court in 1959 was that New Hall should receive from the Colston Educational Trust only £55,000 in 1968." (From "The Making of a College", by Rosemary Murray, p.25)
A. Cambridge (and Oxford) colleges are like classical Athenian democracies. The Fellows and President (elected by the Fellows) form the Governing Body. In our case there are 55 members, all of whom have an equal voice, and they are the body responsible for major institutional changes like the agreement to re-found New Hall, or (this time without the President) for the election of a new President. There is also a Council consisting of President, Vice-President, Senior Tutor and Bursar plus nine members of the Governing Body and three student members, which takes the day-to-day executive decisions. Otherwise, the student body and the College staff, like the alumnae, have no part in the Governance of the College.
A. No. Colleges are very long-lived institutions. Over the next 200-300 years we cannot prejudge our successors. But what makes this donation different is that it is the College’s founding donation which will secure the future of the College forever. The £30 million will be put into the College’s endowment (investments), and the annual return will be used to fund core aims of the College, providing the financial base which will secure the College in perpetuity. The naming of the College was always linked to this founding donation, and we do not expect that the College will be renaming itself in future.
A. No, many other Cambridge colleges have changed their names during their history. Most recently, University College was renamed Wolfson College in 1972 following a donation from the Wolfson Foundation. What is now Clare College was founded in 1326 but did not have enough money to keep going. In 1339 it was refounded by the Countess of Clare and given her name. Gonville and Caius College bears the names of the two founders over 200 years apart. Magdalene College and Trinity College, among others, have also been refounded with new names at some point in their history.
A. The donation will be put into the College’s endowment (investments), the annual return being used to fund the core aims of the College, such as financial support for our students and research grants for our Fellows. More information.
A. Providing an outstanding education is expensive. In 2008-09 the College spent nearly £2.4m on its core educational purpose, including attracting and retaining excellent academics and providing bursaries for students in financial need. In addition, the College faces the ongoing costs of maintaining and improving its buildings and facilities.
The College received £1.5m in fee income in 2008-09, but the remainder of this expenditure must be covered by donations, investments and income from its conference business. The Edwards' endowment will provide an income of £1.2m a year, putting the College on a firm financial footing for the first time, but given the increasing pressure on higher education funding the College will need the generous support of its alumnae and friends to continue to meet, and exceed, the ambitions and aspirations of our Founders in 1954.
A. Yes please do. Guidance about applying is provided in the Undergraduate Applicants section of this site, and will be updated frequently. We warmly welcome applications and expect many new applicants to be interested as the College embarks on this exciting new phase.
A. Your degree is from the University of Cambridge, so changing the name of the College will not change anything. If you want to add ‘New Hall’ or ‘Murray Edwards College’ to your CV you may do so; you can always note there that the name has changed.
A. No. Even after the name of the College legally changes cheques, standing orders and legacies to ‘New Hall’ will continue to come to the College.
A. Yes, the Post Office will deliver mail to us under either name for the foreseeable future.
A. Yes, emails to our old addresses will still be delivered for some time to come.
Murray Edwards College/New Hall is a Registered Charity (Registration No. 1137530).