St Margaret's College, Otago

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St Margaret's College
University of Otago Residential College
St Margarets College University of Otago.jpg
St Margaret's College in 2009
CoA St Margaret's College, Otago.svg
St Margaret's College Coat of Arms
University University of Otago
Location Leith St
Motto Latin: Altiora in Votis (Latin)
Motto in English Set your heart on higher things[1]
Founders Women of the Presbyterian Church
Established 1911
Status Affiliated
Master Dr Charles Tustin
Undergraduates 227[2]
Postgraduates 0

Saint Margaret's College, Otago is a residential college affiliated to the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. The current Master (Head of the College) is Dr. Charles Tustin and the Deputy Master is Bruce Cowan. The previous Master, Dr Peter Norris, retired in November 2016 after 28 years of service to the College.

The college celebrated its 2011 centenary, with a college history published in 2010[3] and a weekend of celebrations in January, 2011.[4]

The College currently accommodates 227 students. It's motto is "altiora in votis" or "set your heart on higher things".


The college was founded in 1911 as the University's third college and was the first to be designated specifically as a women's college anywhere in Oceania. Otago University was the first university in New Zealand - or anywhere in the British Empire - to allow women to attend all lectures. As a result, it had a high proportion of female students. By 1909 between a quarter and a third of Otago university's students were women.[5] Originally located in the former Presbyterian manse in Leith Street, St Margaret's moved to its present site in 1915 following construction of the building in 1914.[6] New wings were added in 1946 and 1967.[7]

St Margaret's was the first women's college in Dunedin to accept male students, which it did for the first time in 1981.

In early 2006 the college kitchen and dining hall were renovated and repainted. In early 2007, the entrance hall was renovated, with the addition of leather couches.

In summer 2007/8 a new floor was added to Clyde Wing.

In 2008 the ground floor of the main wing was refurbished with rooms getting new wallpaper and carpet and more light fittings amongst other things.

Notable Alumni[edit]

Name Entered Notability Reference
Dr Beryl Howie 1940s Academia, Medicine: first female graduate of University of Otago to obtain a Chair and obstetrician [8]
Barbara Anderson 1944 Literature: author and Wattie award winner [9]


  1. ^
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  5. ^ Morrell, W.P. (1969). The University of Otago: A centennial history. Dunedin: University of Otago Press, p.202-203
  6. ^ Jane Forsyth and Michael Findlay (2003). Dunedin building stones and architectural heritage, in Simon Cox & Belinda Smith Lyttle (eds.), Geological Society of New Zealand 2003 Annual Conference Field Trip Guides, Geological Society of New Zealand Miscellaneous Publication 116B. ISBN 0-908678-97-5. Accessed 2008-01-13.
  7. ^ Herd, J. and Griffiths, G (1980) Discovering Dunedin. Dunedin: John McIndoe. p. 108.
  8. ^
  9. ^

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°51′53″S 170°30′58″E / 45.8646°S 170.5160°E / -45.8646; 170.5160