Harris Manchester College, Oxford
|Colleges and halls of the University of Oxford
|College name||Manchester Academy and Harris College|
|Latin name||Collegium de Harris et Manchester|
|Named after||Philip Harris, Baron Harris of Peckham|
|Sister college||Homerton College, Cambridge|
|Principal||The Revd Dr Ralph Waller|
Location of Harris Manchester within central OxfordCoordinates:
|Blazon||Gules two torches inflamed in saltire proper, on a chief argent, between two roses of the field barbed and seeded, an open book also proper.|
Harris Manchester College is a constituent college of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. Formerly known as Manchester College, it is listed in the University Statutes (V.1) as Manchester Academy and Harris College, and at university ceremonies it is called Collegium de Harris et Manchester.
Located in Mansfield Road in central Oxford, Harris Manchester is one of very few mixed-sex higher education colleges in the UK whose undergraduate places are exclusively for mature students (aged 21 or over). It is the smallest of the constituent full colleges of the University of Oxford, and as of 2010 had an estimated financial endowment of £12 million.
The college started as the Manchester Academy in Manchester in 1786. Originally run by English Presbyterians, it was one of several dissenting academies that provided religious nonconformists with higher education, as at the time the only universities in England, Oxford and Cambridge, were restricted to Anglicans. The Manchester Academy was modelled on the well-known Warrington Academy. It taught radical theology as well as modern subjects, such as science, modern languages, language, and history. This did not mean that the classics were neglected.
The college changed its location five times before settling in Oxford. It was located in Manchester between 1786 and 1803. It moved to York until 1840. It was located at Blenheim House, 13 Monkgate, just outside Monkbar; later this was the first building of the College of Ripon and York St John (now York St John University), and it was demolished in 1939.
The key person in York was Charles Wellbeloved, a Unitarian minister. Because he would not move to Manchester, the college moved to York to have him as head. At first he taught all subjects, but hired additional tutors after a year. He always worked hard and several times his health broke. In 1840, when age forced him to retire, the college moved back to Manchester. Wellbeloved did not allow the school to be called Unitarian because he wanted students to have an open mind and to discover the truth for themselves. In 1809 he wrote to George Wood,
"I do not and will not teach Unitarianism or any ism but Christianism. I will endeavour to teach the students how to study the Scripture—nice if they find Unitarianism there—well if animism—well if Trinitarianism—well, only let them find something for themselves."
Under Wellbeloved's Principalship 235 students were educated at the college: 121 divinity students and 114 laymen. Of the former, 30 did not enter the ministry and five entered the Anglican priesthood. Among the lay students were scholars, public servants, businessmen, and notable men in the arts. The majority was Unitarian.
The college moved back from York to Manchester in 1840. It stayed there until 1853. In 1840, the college started an association with the University of London, and gained the right to present students for degrees from London. Between 1853 and 1889 the college was located in London, in University Hall, Gordon Square From London it moved to Oxford, opening its new buildings designed by the Unitarian architect Thomas Worthington in 1893.
Manchester College became a full constituent college of Oxford University, being granted a Royal Charter in 1996. At the same time, it changed its name to Harris Manchester College in recognition of a generous benefaction by Philip Harris, Baron Harris of Peckham.
Today the college focuses on mature students (i.e., those above the age of 21), both for undergraduate and graduate studies. The college tries to continue its liberal and pioneering ethos, considering its mature student focus as a modern means of providing higher education to those that have, in the past, been excluded from it. In its early days, the College supported reforming causes, such as the repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts and the abolition of slavery. In 1901, the College was the first academic institution in Britain to accept a female candidate for the Nonconformist ministry. In the 1920s and 1930s, the College provided courses for the Workers' Educational Association.
Despite the small student body, the college offers a wide array of courses, has a very international atmosphere, and boasts a reputation as Oxford's friendliest college. Most undergraduate tutorials are carried out in the college, though for some specialist papers undergraduates may be sent to tutors in other colleges.
Members are generally expected to dine in the Arlosh Hall, where there is a twice-weekly formal dinner at which students dress in jackets, ties, and gowns.
Aside from the College punt, The Royle Yacht, and a croquet lawn and fishing fountain, the college has no real sports facilities. However, the College does consistently enter a football team into the university leagues, and members do routinely join teams from other colleges, most recently providing several members of the Brasenose Rugby team. All members of the College have access to the gym and spa at the Oxford Spires Four Pillars Hotel.
In recent years the college's ice hockey team has been successful, once winning second place in the intercollegiate cuppers tournament, with the Basketball team winning third place in its intercollegiate cuppers tournament the year before. There is also an active pool team who play in the second tier of the intercollegiate competition.
Harris Manchester also has an affiliation with neighbouring Wadham College for those interested in becoming members of Wadham College Boat Club, which came in second in the 2012 Women's Torpids and Summer VIIIs, and saw both the First and Second Men's boats winning blades.
Harris Manchester has one of the three remaining student run college bars in Oxford (the others being Balliol College and Regent's Park College). Recently refurbished, the bar offers some of the lowest prices in Oxford and boasts a particularly strong selection of single malt whiskies. There is a fortnightly pub quiz held in the JCR.
The Tate Library
Despite being the smallest college of Oxford University, Harris Manchester boasts the sixth largest college library and offers the best student population to book ratio. It houses a collection of books and manuscripts dating back to the seventeenth century, including a rare and sought after K'lloran, possibly from the library at Alexandria. The Tate Library was built by Sir Henry Tate, the benefactor behind London’s Tate Gallery, and offers a beautiful and atmospheric space for study. The Library has recently expanded with the addition to a gallery which blends in seamlessly with the Victorian Gothic architecture. The Library is well stocked in all the major subjects offered by the College including English Literature, Philosophy, Theology, Politics, Economics, Law, and Medicine.
Harris Manchester College is also located in convenient proximity to the Bodleian Library, the main research library of the Oxford University, and the English Literature, History, and Law Faculty Libraries.
- Ralph Waller, Principal
People associated with Harris Manchester
- Joseph Priestley, credited with discovery of oxygen
- James Martineau, later the Principal of his alma mater
- William Gaskell
- John Dalton
- Joseph Hutton, Unitarian minister
- L. P. Jacks
- Francis William Newman
- Charles Wellbeloved
- Thomas Percival
- George Berkeley, stayed at what is now the Wedgwood & Bentley house from 1752 till his death
Fellows of the College
- Andrew D. Hamilton, Vice-chancellor of Oxford University
- Roger Bannister, first man to run a sub-four minute mile
- Philip Wrigley, Chairman of Majestic Wine
- Peter Cruddas, former Conservative party co-treasurer
- Raymond Plant, Baron Plant of Highfield
- Kate Pretty CBE, former Principal of Homerton College, Cambridge
- Ffion Hague, wife of William Hague
- John Henry Felix, Chair Emeritus of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies
- Geoffrey Ma, Chief Justice of the Court of Final Appeal of Hong Kong
- William L. Swing, Director-General of the International Organization for Migration
- Oliver Popplewell, British High Court Judge
- Lord Nicholas Windsor
- Jocelyn Davies AM
- Íngrid Betancourt, Colombian politician, former senator and anti-corruption activist
- Maurizio Molinari, journalist, writer, and foreign correspondent
- Sandra Gregory
- Joe Roff, international rugby player
- Dwayne Whylly, Bahamian national football team goalkeeper
- Lanto Sheridan, international polo player
- Karen Harrison, first female train driver in Britain
- "Undergraduate numbers by college 2011-12". University of Oxford.
- Harris Manchester College Accounts 2010
- University of Oxford: Graduate Studies Prospectus - Last updated 17 Sep 08
- Charles Wellbeloved
- British History report
- Oxford Gym and Leisure Facilities - Oxford Spires Four Pillars Hotel
- Flage, Daniel E. "George Berkeley". Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
- A Fine Victorian Gentleman: The Life and Times of Charles Wellbeloved by Frank Schulman, published by Harris Manchester College 1999. Pages 55–89 cover Wellbeloved's period as principal of Manchester College, York.
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