James College, York

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Coordinates: 53°56′45″N 1°03′18″W / 53.94577°N 1.05501°W / 53.94577; -1.05501

James College
University of York
James College - November 16, 2005.jpg
James College
Location Heslington West, York
Motto Oderint Dum Metuant (Latin)
Motto in English "Let them hate, so long as they fear"
Established 1990
Named for Lord James of Rusholme[1]
Principal The Revd Dr David Efird
Vice Principal Michael Britland
Website James College

James College is a college at the University of York in the United Kingdom.


Foundation plaque

James College is named after Lord James of Rusholme, the University of York's first Vice-Chancellor, and was built in several stages during the 1990s.[1] Initially James was intended to be a postgraduate-only college, however the University began to rapidly expand in size almost doubling in size from 4,300 to 8,500 students,[2] in 1993, therefore it was decided that the College should become open to undergraduates.[1]

Buildings and services[edit]

James College

As of 2017, it consists of thirteen accommodation blocks lettered from "A" to "N" (missing out "I") located across a cable-stayed bridge from Wentworth College and close to the old Goodricke College buildings and the University's sports centre.

James College has some of the best accommodation on campus, although the older blocks (ABC) do not reach the highest levels of luxury. There are three types of accommodation; standard houses, ensuite houses and ensuite flats. Blocks ABC are arranged into houses with a small kitchen on the ground floor. There are 3 houses per block which house 16 people (14 standard single rooms and one double room). Blocks DEF are the older-style ensuite blocks which are also arranged into houses with a kitchen on the ground floor.

Blocks GHJKLM are the newest blocks and all have ensuite rooms, consisting of a 'pod' or wet room containing a shower, toilet and sink. Each block is (generally) divided into 6 flats which have a kitchen per flat. The kitchens are of a good size and are only shared between 6-9 people. In 2009, James College acquired a block from the old Goodricke college which has become N block, which is catered, along with ABC blocks. The College Dean and College Tutors live in college.

James has a number of common rooms, hosts the new YUSU bar 'The Lounge' and is the closest college to the University Sports centre, playing fields and Health Centre.

Student life[edit]

The quads have lent themselves to the most famous James College tradition, "Quad Dash", held in Week 7 of Summer term. Quad Dash models itself on the film Chariots of Fire. It was the brainchild of James College Chair, Fergus Drake. College residents turn out in their hundreds to enjoy a day of sunshine, free beer, quad races, ice cream, bouncy castles and fun.

The College also runs an annual photography competition in conjunction with PhotoSoc, with prizes in a number of categories and dedicated James prizes. The JCR put on annual formal events, normally at Christmas and in the Summer term.

The James College Annual Lecture is delivered by a distinguished speaker on a topic of interest to the College. In recent years these have included: 2010 - Duncan Petrie - 'The Swinging Sixties' 2011 - Steve Bell, award-winning Guardian Cartoonist 2012 - Fergus Drake, Save the Children,- 'The reality of humanitarian aid in a fragile world'

Within the College, a number of 'Taste' events take place each term, where students and members of the college are invited to introduce others to a taster of their own culture through a presentation, demonstration or media. This is normally accompanied, by traditional cuisine and drinks. Alongside these cultural exchange events, the College runs a unique exchange with Morningside College at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, with students from each institution spending a number of terms or a year at the other. James College and Durham University's Collingwood College enjoy an annual sporting contest and social weekend, with York and Durham taking turns to host the event. James College currently holds the JC Cup, winning a closely fought encounter in Autumn 2012.


In addition to one of the largest populations of students anywhere on campus, James College is also home to several hundred ducks, geese, other assorted wildfowl, and rabbits. In the summer term, particularly, it is not unusual to find whole flocks of birds patrolling the quads and pecking at kitchen windows, or rabbits hopping past one's bedroom window. There have been occasions where ducks have been, accidentally, allowed to enter the houses and flats of James College.[citation needed]

College Principal[edit]

Ken Todd was the head of James College from its opening until his retirement in September 2007. Initially the head of James College was titled Provost, but from 2013 this was changed to Principal.[3] the current principal is the Revd David Efird.

List of heads of James College:

  • Mr Ken Todd (1990 to 2007)
  • Dr Neil Lunt (2007 to 2013)
  • The Revd David Efird (2013 to present)[4]


  1. ^ a b c "History of the College". James College. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  2. ^ "Our History: The 1990s". University of York. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  3. ^ "Students to pay for college membership". Nouse. Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  4. ^ "David Effird(sic) - Head of James College". James College. University of York. Archived from the original on 31 October 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2016. 

External links[edit]