History of Churchill College

Founded by Royal Charter in 1960, Churchill College is the national and Commonwealth memorial to Sir Winston Churchill, Britain’s great wartime Prime Minister — the embodiment of his vision for how higher education can benefit society in the modern age.

Nobel Prize winners Explore our history

History of Churchill College

Founded by Royal Charter in 1960, Churchill College is the national and Commonwealth memorial to Sir Winston Churchill, Britain’s great wartime Prime Minister — the embodiment of his vision for how higher education can benefit society in the modern age.

Nobel Prize winners Explore our history

Introduction

At its creation, the College was dedicated to three special purposes, to which it remains committed:
 
Within the first 30 years of existence, the College acquired four further defining characteristics:
 

Churchill students walking on a sunny summer day in Churchill College's gardens

Today, the College has some 500 undergraduates, 300 postgraduates, 150 Fellows, 50 By-Fellows, and 150 support staff with a community that extends to 9800 alumni worldwide.

Thirty-two of its Members have won the Nobel Prize, including one former student. Situated in north-west Cambridge, in the University’s expansion zone, the College occupies a campus of 42 acres (17 hectares), the most extensive consolidated site of any Cambridge college.

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Historian and Churchill Fellow — Professor Mark Goldie, explores the political and cultural contexts behind the establishment of Churchill College.

CHURCHILL – FOUNDER & FOUNDATION EXHIBITION

An exhibition exploring the story of our remarkable founder and his unique foundation. Foyer of the Wolfson Hall, Churchill College. Open to the public Monday to Sunday, 9am–7pm

Details

CHURCHILL – FOUNDER & FOUNDATION EXHIBITION

An exhibition exploring the story of our remarkable founder and his unique foundation. Foyer of the Wolfson Hall, Churchill College. Open to the public Monday to Sunday, 9am–7pm

Details

From the Archives

Read and discover more about the College from our Archives.

Churchill College Archives

The national and Commonwealth memorial to Sir Winston Churchill, the College admitted its first students in 1960.

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Nobel Prize winners

Thirty-two Churchill members have won the Nobel Prize, including one former student.

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Pathe News clip on the establishment of the College

Trustees meet in 1958 to launch appeal for funds to set up Churchill College.

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Archival film of the building of College

A film about the building of Churchill College, made between 1962 and 1964, when the College’s central buildings were under construction,

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Exhibition to commemorate 50 years since the College opened

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of its official opening the College developed a special display including archival footage.

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Churchill — Founder & Foundation exhibition

A new permanent exhibition in the Wolfson Foyer exploring the founding and history of the College. Open to the public Monday to Sunday, 9am–7pm

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London Calling: British Modernism’s Watershed Moment – The Churchill College Competition

Simon Henley explores the architectural competition to build Churchill College and examines the four shortlisted designs and what could have been.

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“I trust and believe that this College, this seed that we have sown, will grow to shelter and nurture generations who may add most notably to the strength and happiness of our people, and to the knowledge and peaceful progress of the world. 'The mighty oak from an acorn towers; A tiny seed can fill a field with flowers.” Sir Winston Churchill, speech at the site of the future Churchill College, 17 October 1959.

Credit: Written by Mark Goldie. October 2014.
Image-top: Jim Tang