Remembering our genesis: 50 years since the official opening of Churchill College, June 1964 Churchill College celebrated the 50th anniversary of its official opening with a dinner for over 160 members and partners in its magnificent dining hall in the presence of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh on 25th June 2014.


The College is also celebrating the 50th anniversary of the official opening with a special display featuring materials from the College archive, which is open to the public from 20–27th June.

On 5 June 1964 the College pulled out all the stops to welcome HRH The Duke of Edinburgh to perform the official opening of the College. It was a memorable occasion.   His Royal Highness returned to the College on the 25th June 2014 to dine with members and partners to officially mark the end of the College’s 50th Anniversary celebrations and Appeal. The dinner, once again, took place in the College’s magnificent dining hall; the largest in a Cambridge College.

To commemorate this event, a display featuring material from the event in the College archive is open to the public from the 20th – 27th June. The display includes rare newsreel footage, audio recordings captured on the day itself plus later recollections including: Sir Winston Churchill himself speaking of his hopes for the College which would bear his name; the hasty transformation of the College from a building site to a place fit to welcome a Prince (piloting his own helicopter); a Porter watching for his moment to hoist the College flag and the recollections of Natasha Squire, drafted in to devise the menu and dreaming up the idea of a cake in the shape of the Dining Hall. This display is a fitting tribute to a great day.

Visitors will also be able to experience the ambience of the 1960s, with an installation of an original student room featuring functional and beautiful furniture designed exclusively for the College by the celebrated designer Robin Day.

 “This display is about Churchill’s pride in its history. It is also a moment to celebrate and to give thanks.” – Natalie Adams, College Archivist

Over £5 million has been raised through the 50th Anniversary Appeal for a new residential court thanks to the exceptional generosity of our donors and alumni. Building will commence in the autumn. The College will also take this opportunity to record its profound gratitude for the hard work and inspirational leadership of Sir David Wallace as his tenure as Master draws to an end.

The display is open to the public from 20–27th June 2014 in the Junior Common Room during College business hours (9am – 6pm). Please visit the Porters’ Lodge for details. For further information please contact the Churchill Archives Centre.


Explore the Exhibition