Churchill College Essay

874 words - 4 pages

Founded 1960 by Sir Winston Churchill.
Sister College – Trinity College Oxford.
Men and Women – Undergraduates 470 Postgraduates 300.

Following his resignation as prime minister in 1955, Winston Churchill, the irrepressible wartime leader and Nobel Prize winner for literature, started to think about creating a lasting legacy. During his travels he had been enormously impressed with M.I.T. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology USA) and realised it was of national importance to be at forefront of scientific and technological developments. After discussions with Sir John Colville and Lord Cherwell he decided to create a thoroughly modern, science based, college at Cambridge. However, for ...view middle of the document...

It consisted of ten main residential courts for undergraduates, with additional flats for postgraduates along with a huge dining hall that can feed 420. The original complex has been held up as an outstanding blueprint for a modern college. The buildings gained much admiration in the architectural community, despite being described by many students as ‘rather brutal’. The main entrance leads to a long and wide corridor that forms the spine of the college. This becomes one of the most vibrant and lively social spaces in any Cambridge college, as students spill into it from various connecting rooms and halls.

The great chapel debate
If Winston harboured any reservations about scientists they would soon be confirmed in the great chapel debate. One of the founding fellows, and crucial figure in establishing Churchill College’s reputation from a standing start, was Nobel Prize winner and star turn Francis Crick. It is said Crick only accepted the post on the understanding that this modern college would have nothing to do with religion. The very idea of having a chapel in a contemporary, science focussed academic institution was deeply distressing. He had more than few supporters.
However a spanner was thrown in the works when Lord Beaumont of Whitley got wind of the omission and promptly offered to build the contentious house of prayer. The majority of fellows voted for construction, conscious that the original plan might need more balance – a few bible thumpers might spice things up nicely. Churchill had to use his silver tongue to convince Crick. The chapel would be sited as far away from the main buildings as possible and was to be managed independently....

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