Alumnus appointed Governor of Montserrat

Andrew Pearce OBE (1979, Chemistry) was recently appointed Governor of Montserrat, his latest posting in his 30 years of service for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

Accompanied by his family, Andrew arrived on the Caribbean island on 1st February 2018, and was welcomed with a parade before being sworn in during a special sitting of the Legislative Assembly. He is set to serve as Governor for a three year period initially.

In a statement following his first day in the role, Andrew said:

Richard Molyneux

Academic Officer (Tutorial)

Leavers' T-Shirt 2018 - Regular Gift

Leavers' T-Shirt 2018

Impact Report 2018

Click the image below to download our latest Impact Report, so that you can find out all that donations have helped us to achieve this year:

Catz alumnus named Leader of New Zealand's Opposition

Catz alumnus Simon Bridges (2004, Law) was yesterday voted leader of New Zealand’s opposition party, the National Party. Simon studied the BCL at St Catz before returning to New Zealand, where he has been a MP for Tauranga since 2008, during which time he has served as Minister of Transport, Minister of Economic Development and Leader of the House, among other Cabinet roles.

He is the first person with Maori ancestry to serve as leader of the National Party, and the first to lead a major party in New Zealand.

Our 150th Anniversary

We're excited to be celebrating the College's 150th anniversary throughout the academic year 2018/19, in recognition of our origins as the 'Delegacy for Unattached Students'. Although often viewed as one of the more modern colleges in Oxford, St Catherine's traces its roots back to 1868, when the Delegacy was formed.

The Delegacy's mission, as stated by its first Censor, George Kitchin, was to transform the University of Oxford into a place where:

"the best education [would be] placed within the reach of all, rich or poor, who show themselves worthy of it"

Before it was formed, students were unable to study at Oxford without being a member of a College, the cost of which was prohibitive for many. Founded by statute on 11 June 1868, the Delegacy's arrival paved the way to a new conception of Oxford, opening its doors to a much wider range of students than ever before. The reform was hailed by William Gladstone, Prime Minister of the time, as one of the greatest reforms in Oxford of the 19th century, stating his view that:

"The introduction of the Non-Collegiate element…was likely to be a great gust of free and fresh air."

Our first 19 students matriculated in October 1868, with the number rising to 59 by the end of the academic year. Working with the Oxfordshire Family History Society, our Development Assistant Colette Lewis has been researching to find out more about these very first students, and in March this year, was featured on BBC Radio Oxford talking about their findings so far. Click here to listen to the programme.

As for the Delegacy's evolution into St Catz, there is an interesting history around its name. While the students had to make do with the clumsy terms ‘Unattached’ and 'Non-Collegiate' until the 20th century, the prettier name 'St Catherine' has been loosely associated with the Delegacy since 1874, when a social club was founded at ‘St Catharine’s Hall’ on 29 Broad Street. A rowing, debating, history and even a tennis society emerged under this name. Eventually, tired with the vagueness of the 'Unattached' title, these students formed the St Catherine's Society in 1931, later to become St Catherine's College, as we know it today, in 1962. The subtle spelling change was most likely made to differentiate it from St Catharine's College, Cambridge.

Our motto, Nova et Vetera, defines the vision of a College committed to blending the best of the Oxford traditions and the changing society. True to our origins, we remain committed to redefining perceptions of Oxford into a University that is accessible to all. The Delegacy constituted a revolutionary challenge to the status quo of the University and we are proud to be able to trace our foundation back to such an exciting movement. 

We will be marking this momentous occasion with a vibrant events programme, culminating in an Anniversary Weekend in September 2019. A brochure with details of all of these events will be making its way to you later this year, and you can also keep an eye out on our events page for more details. We hope that these events will serve as a perfect opportunity for our community of alumni, students, parents and friends to join together in celebration.

Florence Ward

Hi, I'm Flo Ward and I'm in my 2nd year studying English Literature at St Catz. Alongside my studies at Catz, I am a passionate writer and am involved in lots of student journalism - something I hope to pursue after my degree. What I love most about Catz is the endlessly friendly atmosphere and sense of community, and I'm excited to have the chance to talk to alumni about their experiences of such an amazing college! 

2016, English Literature

Sinead Adams

Deputy Academic Registrar (Tutorial)

Molly Williams

Hi there! My name is Molly Williams and I’m currently a 2nd year student at Catz. I study History, and in my spare time, I am (surprisingly) Head of our History Society at Catz, and also partake in access schemes across the university, as well as in Catz. I am really looking forward to connecting with Alumni over the course of the Telethon, finding out what our College was like back in the day, and raising funds to support current Catz students, and future ones!

2016, History


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