Sancta Sophia College, University of Sydney

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Sancta Sophia College
University of Sydney
Sancta crest.png
LocationUniversity of Sydney, CG7, 8 Missenden Road, Camperdown NSW 2050
Coordinates33°53′14.15″S 151°10′50.45″E / 33.8872639°S 151.1806806°E / -33.8872639; 151.1806806Coordinates: 33°53′14.15″S 151°10′50.45″E / 33.8872639°S 151.1806806°E / -33.8872639; 151.1806806
MottoIn Sapienta Ambulate (Latin)
Motto in EnglishWalk in Wisdom
Established1925; 94 years ago (1925)
Named forSaint Madeleine Sophie Barat, founder of the Society of the Sacred Heart
PrincipalFiona Hastings

Sancta Sophia College (colloquially as Sancta) is a residential college for undergraduate women and postgraduate men and women at the University of Sydney. The college has a Catholic foundation but admits students of any religion. Fiona Hastings has been the Principal of the College since 2018.[1]



Sancta Sophia shortly after its opening in the late 1920s.

In 1923, the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Michael Kelly, and the Bishops of New South Wales issued a letter in support of university education for the Catholic community and announced the construction of a Catholic hall of residence for women. This was a result of social and educational changes which facilitated higher education for women. Sancta Sophia College was founded in 1925 as a hall of residence for Catholic women. The first cohort of 23 women moved into the college on 15 March, 1926. In 1929, an Act of Parliament raised the hall to the status of a College within the University of Sydney.[2]


The college expanded over time including the East Wing and kitchen in 1961, the Octagon building in 1963, the McDonald Wing in 1970, the Vice-Principal's flat in 1990, and the Principal's flat in 1993.

The College officially opened the Sancta Sophia Graduate House (often referred to as Grad House) in March 2014 by Governor, Her Excellency Marie Bashir and blessed by Cardinal George Pell. This was the largest single expansion in the College's history. The Graduate House consists of 128 ensuite rooms equipped with a microwave oven and mini fridge, whilst the common areas have full kitchens. The rooftop terrace is equipped with a BBQ lounge area. Every resident has meals fully catered for and served in a common dining hall with undergraduates.[3]

Student Life[edit]

The College's Quadrangle


As a university college, academia is the main focus of Sancta Sophia College. A program of supplementary tutorials exists for undergraduate students and some postgraduate students. These are organised within the College and undergraduate students may attend tutorials at the other colleges. In recent years, the tutorial program has extended to support postgraduate students, particularly in medicine.


Sancta competes against other University of Sydney residential colleges in the InterCol Performing Arts Challenge (also known as the Palladian Cup). The Palladian Cup runs year-round and features solo vocal, ensemble vocal, solo instrumental, ensemble instrumental, oration, debating, solo drama, ensemble drama, dance, and art. Since 2017, Sancta was competed in Intramural Arts at the University of Sydney and provides opportunities in dance, improv, debating, and others.


Sancta competes in the Sydney University Intercollegiate sporting events, which is the Rosebowl Cup for women and Rawson Cup for men. The Rosebowl Cup events take place throughout the year and include netball, swimming, rowing, hockey, soccer, basketball, tennis, and athletics. Due to the relatively small cohort of men, Sancta only competes in three Rawson Cup events: swimming, rowing, and athletics.[4]

College Governance[edit]

Council and Principal[edit]

The Council of the College consists of the chairman, the Principal and 14 other Councillors, of whom 3 must be priests.[2] The Council is responsible for governance of the College.

The Principal is responsible for the management of the College.

Student Committees[edit]

All undergraduate students of the College are members of the Sancta Sophia Students' Club. The Students' Club is run by a student-elected House Committee. The House Committee is responsible for planning activities on behalf of the undergraduate students. It is also responsible for liaising with the other colleges and carrying out general activities and business of the Students' Club. The members of the House Committee convene each week to discuss student matters of the College.

All postgraduate students of the College are members of the Senior Common Room, which is run by the elected Executive.[5] The Senior Common Room is responsible for the organisation of events and activities specific to postgraduate students. The members of the Senior Common Room convene every month to discuss postgraduate matters of the College and often involve negotiations with the House Committee.

Notable people[edit]

Politics and Law[edit]

Academia and Medicine[edit]


Arts and Humanities[edit]


  1. ^ "Appointment of New Principal - Sancta Sophia College".
  2. ^ a b Sancta Sophia College Incorporation Act 1926 (NSW)
  3. ^ "Student Life - Postgraduate Housing USYD - Sancta Sophia College". Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  4. ^ "Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness - Intercollegiate Sport". Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  5. ^ Broderick, Elizabeth (2017). Cultural Renewal at the University of Sydney Residential Colleges (PDF). Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Sancta Sophia College 90 Notable Alumni & Friends".