Hughes Hall, Cambridge

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Colleges of the University of Cambridge

Hughes Hall

Hughes Hall and the University Cricket Pitch
Full name Elizabeth Phillips Hughes Hall Company
Named after Elizabeth Phillips Hughes
Established 1885
Previously named Cambridge Training College for Women Teachers
President Anthony Freeling
Undergraduates 60
Graduates 325
Sister college Linacre College, Oxford
Location Mortimer Road
Hughes Hall heraldic shield
Disce ut Servias
(Latin, "Learn in order to serve")
College website
MCR website
Boat Club website

Hughes Hall is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, England. It is often informally called Hughes, and is the oldest of the four Cambridge colleges which admit only mature students. The majority of Hughes Hall students are postgraduate, although nearly one-fifth of the student population comprises individuals aged 21 and above who are studying undergraduate degree courses at the University.


It was founded in 1885 as the Cambridge Training College for Women Teachers, and its first principal was Miss Elizabeth Phillips Hughes. It began with 14 students in a small house in Newnham called Croft Cottage. One of the first matriculants, Molly Thomas, recounted the experience of the first class of students in A London Girl of the 1880s, published under her married name, M.V. Hughes. By 1895 the college moved to its present site, which was designed by the Cambridge architect William Fawcett. Expanding slowly over the next 40 years, the college finally became part of the University in November 1949 and was renamed Hughes Hall in honour of its first principal. Hughes Hall became an Approved Foundation of the University in 1985 and achieved full College status in 2006.[1]

The college's first male students arrived in 1973, and students began to study a wider range of affiliated post-graduate degrees. Student numbers gradually increased in the 1980s and 1990s. Today, Hughes Hall has about 500 graduate, affiliated and mature (aged over 21) students, of both sexes, studying a wide range of subjects. The college is one of the most international Cambridge colleges, with its students representing over 60 nationalities.

In 2005 Hughes opened a new residential, dining, and meeting building, the Fenners Building, which overlooks the University cricket grounds, also named Fenners. A new Learning Resources Centre, which includes a new library and computer room, was completed in summer 2009.

Student life[edit]

Most of the Fellows of the college are academics engaged in teaching and research. They come from diverse backgrounds and work in many fields. Students and Fellows mix freely in all aspects of college life. Unusually, Hughes has no special provisions for Fellows at meals (such as a High Table - students and Fellows sit with each other at the same tables and eat the same meals) or in the use of the college's recreational facilities.

Hughes has many specialities, including students in professional disciplines such as medicine, law, business, and postgraduate studies in education, as well as a disproportionately high number of Cambridge 'Blues' - sportsmen and women who have excelled in fields including rugby, rowing, boxing, cricket, swimming, chess and others.

There is a secret society known as Hughes Academy. This intellectual society brings together members from the college and the university, where different issues are discussed.

While trying to attract the best students in medicine, law, business, natural science and other subjects, the college's declared philosophy is egalitarian, international and non-elitist. Fellows sit with normal students in formals and normal dinners and lunches and there is no obligation to wear gowns, neither for formal halls nor for matriculation.

Boat Club[edit]

Hughes Hall College Boat Club is the rowing club of the college. In 2009, the boat club entered four boats (2 men and 2 women) in the May Bumps and was awarded the Pegasus Cup for the second time (previously in 2007), awarded annually to the most successful boat club in Cambridge. The Boat Club houses its four rowing shells in the Emmanuel Boathouse. The women's crew is organised jointly with Lucy Cavendish College Boat Club affectionately called Lucy/Hughes Boat Club.

Notable members[edit]



Directors of Studies
Honorary Fellows



Further reading[edit]

Histories of the College were written in its Centenary in 1985, and the 125th anniversary of its foundation in 2010:

  • Margaret Bottrall, Hughes Hall 1885-1985 (Cambridge, 1985).
  • M.V. Hughes, A London Girl of the 1880s (Oxford, 1936).

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°12′03″N 0°07′58″E / 52.20082°N 0.13287°E / 52.20082; 0.13287