St Edmunds College Cambridge

United Kingdom

St Edmund's College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge in England. Founded in 1896, it is the second-oldest of the four Cambridge colleges oriented to mature students, which only accept students reading for either masters or doctorate degrees, or undergraduate degrees if they are a 'mature student', defined as aged 21 or older.

Named after St Edmund of Abingdon (1175–1240), who was the first known Oxford Master of Arts and the Archbishop of Canterbury from 1234 to 1240, the college has traditionally Catholic roots. Its founders were Henry Fitzalan Howard, the 15th Duke of Norfolk, then the most prominent Catholic in England, and Baron Anatole von Hügel, the first Catholic to take a Cambridge degree since the revolution of 1688. In recognition of this Catholic connection, the College Visitor is the Archbishop of Westminster (at present Cardinal Vincent Nichols).

The college is located on Mount Pleasant, northwest of the centre of Cambridge, beside Lucy Cavendish College, Murray Edwards College and Fitzwilliam College. Its campus consists of a garden setting on the edge of what was Roman Cambridge, with housing for over 350 students.

Members of St Edmund's include cosmologist and Big Bang theorist Georges Lemaître, Lord St John of Fawsley, Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh, Bishop John Petit of Menevia, and Olympic Medalists Thorsten Streppelhoff, Marc Weber, Stuart Welch and Simon Amor. Historically, St Edmund's was also the residential college of the university's first Catholic students in two hundred years – most of whom were studying for the Priesthood – after the lifting of the papal prohibition on attendance at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge in 1895 at the urging of a delegation to Pope Leo XIII led by Baron von Hügel.


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