Coronavirus: FAQs for Girton College

March 24, 2020 News

This page contains the latest advice for students, staff and Fellows at Girton College on novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). As the situation evolves, these FAQs are subject to change, so you are advised to consult them on a daily basis in order to obtain the latest information.

The University is continually monitoring latest Public Health England and Government advice about the virus. You can find useful information on their website here.

Latest UK Government advice is available on the Government Response webpages here.

Communications from The Mistress:


Published: 18 March 2020 (updated: 27/03/2020)

Honorary Fellow and alumna Her Excellency Dame Karen Pierce new appointment

February 12, 2020 News

Dame Karen Pierce DCMG

Dame Karen Pierce DCMG

We are delighted that Girton alumna (1978 English) and Honorary Fellow, Dame Karen Pierce DCMG, currently Ambassador to the UN in New York and Permanent Representative at the UN Security Council, has been appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the United States of America, the first women in this post.

Last year Dame Karen was one of the 5 Honorary Fellows elected to mark our 150th anniversary. She was admitted on the opening day of the Girton150 Festival, which celebrated the foundation and future of the College. She concluded the Girton150 Anniversary Lectures with an engaging lecture ‘The UN Today: Parliament of Man or Parliament of Futility’. You can read the Mistress’s account of these events here.

For more information, please visit:

Published: 12 February 2020

Girton College’s National Jane Martin Poetry Prize opens for 2020

February 7, 2020 News

JaneMartinPoetryPrize -NowOpen

Girton College is delighted to invite entries for the 2020 Jane Martin Poetry Prize. Now in its 10th year, the national prize for young poets is a key part of the College’s support for poetry and will be of interest to all those who are serious about literary excellence.

The competition will be judged by experts drawn from across the literary world and academia. We are thrilled that this year the panel will be led by Alex Houen and Holly Corfield Carr. The winner will receive a cash prize of £700 and will have an opportunity to give a reading at a celebratory event at Girton College, at which the prize will be awarded. There will also be a second prize of £300 cash.

This year we will be publishing a very special anthology ‘Ten Years of the Jane Martin Poetry Prize’ which will include poems both from previous winners, as well as this year’s winners, and from eminent Girton poets, past and present.

The competition opened on 5 February 2020 and closes on 6 March 2020.

Please find the 2020 information pack and entry rules here.

Enter the 2020 Jane Martin Poetry Prize here >


Published: 07 February 2020

Headliner and entertainment announced for the Girton Spring Ball 2020 (1 month to go!)

February 6, 2020 Girton150News

Arthouse - tickets sales close Friday 14 February

Ticket sales close for ‘Arthouse’, the Girton Spring Ball 2020, on Friday 14 February. As we near the culmination of our Girton150 celebrations, the Girton Spring Ball Committee brims with excitement, not least due to the fantastic array of entertainment on offer at this year’s Ball.

Diversity is integral to Girton’s ethos. As a result, it has been of paramount importance to the Committee that this is reflected in our line-up at ‘Arthouse’. The eclectic mix of student artists, music professionals, local entertainers and seasoned performers guarantees the presence of something for everybody at Girton Spring Ball.

We are delighted to announce that headlining ‘Arthouse 2020’ will be Tinchy Stryder, a UK hip-hop and grime artist with over a decade at the top of the music industry. With two UK Number 1 Singles and seven Official UK Top 10 Hits, he is the perfect finale for our Girton150 celebrations. We will also be featuring indie rising stars, The Phobophobes, who are regularly featured by Lauren Laverne, Iggy Pop and others, and who are set to feature large in the UK pop scene in 2020. Your MC for the evening is Girton’s incomparably outrageous Jonathan Mayer.

Meanwhile, at the student level, ‘Arthouse’ boasts an inspiring range of talent. Playtime, Cambridge’s first all-female DJ collective, is a force to be reckoned with in the Downstairs DJ Bar. Lift Up Residents will also be present – as Cambridge’s newest DJ collective, they are not ones to miss. Recent Girton graduate, Timi Sotire completes the Downstairs DJ Bar trio. Timi is back in Cambridge to set the dance floor alight on Friday 13 March. Last but not least, the distinctive and contrasting sounds of Tricity Vogue and Mystery Train complete our exciting musical entourage.

The entertainment doesn’t stop at music. Cambridge University Rock and Roll Society, Cambridge University Dancesport team (specialising in Ballroom and Latin) and Cambridge University Bollywood Dance Troupe will be on hand all night to keep the Ball dancing. That’s not all, either – a thrilling mix of magicians, caricature artists and balloon modelling will ensure there’s never a dull moment. Particularly exciting within this fantastic line-up are The Mirror People: brilliant sparkling characters who will be dancing around the Ball all night, casting spectacular reflections across the whole of our magical College.

Captivated by the array of things to see and do from all angles at ‘Arthouse’, one could almost forget that a high energy Spring Ball requires incredible food. From Aromi to Jack’s Gelato, Girton Spring Ball is bringing Cambridge’s tantalising wide range of food and drink all into one place for one night only. Mac and cheese, paella, cookie dough, fries – you won’t be leaving hungry. It doesn’t stop at food, either: try refreshing smoothies, Biscoff flavour milkshakes or neon, glow in the dark cocktails from Mr Flavour Drinks!

With one month to go, Girtonians of all ages have cause to be excited. Girton Spring Ball 2020 a spectacular tribute to what has been 150 years of determination and success at this College. We look forward to welcoming a wide range of students past and present to our Ball – ‘Arthouse 2020’ is ready to expand your horizons

Teän Manser, Publicity Officer for Girton Spring Ball 2020

Girton Spring Ball 2020 – Purchase Tickets Here >>>

Girton Spring Ball 2020

Published: 13 February 2020

Remembering Giulio Regeni

January 24, 2020 News

Remembering Giulio Regeni

Saturday 25 January 2020, marks four years since the disappearance and subsequent murder in Cairo of Giulio Regeni, a graduate student at Cambridge University and a member of Girton College. We recognise the deep pain experienced by Giulio’s family and friends, which nothing can relieve. On this day, we stand with them in continuing to call for truth and justice for Giulio and his family.

The Cambridge City and CU Amnesty groups and UCU will be holding a vigil for Giulio Regeni on Saturday 25 January 2020 at 6pm outside Great St Mary’s Church in Kings Parade, all welcome. More details can be found at

In New York, on 25 January 2020 at 12pm (EST) there will be a vigil outside the United Nations headquarters:

On 1 February 2020 Amnesty is organising a “Truth for Giulio” event in London:

Published: Friday 24 January 2020

Girton150 Alumni Profiles: Chadwick Mok

January 22, 2020 Girton150News

Chadwick Mok

Every Girtonian in Asia may have heard of Chadwick Mok. A leading businessman, he chairs the Girton Hong Kong Committee, our local alumni/ae association. Chadwick is the Chairman and CEO of CXC Express Ltd, one of the largest and most technologically advanced local fast delivery operators in Hong Kong.  He is also the Founder and Chairman of Rich Fellows Investment Ltd, which specialises in direct investments in various industries.  After a career start in equity research analysis for what is now UBS, and then a fund manager in the Asian investment arm of America’s Prudential, he joined as board member and executive director of a Hong Kong listed company, Kingboard Chemical Holdings Limited, finally becoming Vice-Chairman and CEO of Kingboard’s subsidiary Elec & Eltek, a leading manufacturer of printed circuit boards listed in Singapore.  Upon his founding of Rich Fellows, Chadwick’s interests span financing, healthcare, and logistics.

Whilst building his career, he also met and married Catherine, with whom he has two sons, Carlos and Carson, and a daughter, Carina.  Apart from his business skills, it is Chadwick’s affability that strikes a note when you meet him.  He joined with other members of the Hong Kong committee to help shape the course of Girton’s 150th celebrations in the Asia-Pacific region last Spring.

Chadwick read Engineering at Girton between 1984 and 1987, studying Electrical and Information Systems for his Part II of the Tripos. He then expanded his CV by becoming a Chartered Accountant, gaining also an MBA in London in 1992.  He firmly believes that education played a crucial role in forging his career: ‘I have been very fortunate to be on an interesting career path’, he says. This is why he also joined ‘A Great Campaign’ as a ‘Friend’, feeling that it is important to ‘give back’ for what he personally received.

Chadwick is aware that without individual generosity it would be impossible for many applicants to come to Cambridge and be exposed to the world-class teaching and research offered by Girton and the University Departments. This comes from direct experience, having been the recipient of a then-Hong Kong government student grant, of a Cambridge Trust Award, and of a MBA’s association student loan: ‘Without financial assistance, I would not have been able to complete both my degrees’. It is with this in mind that, together with his father-in-law Patrick Chan, Chadwick has now endowed a postgraduate scholarship at Girton College. The Chan and Mok Graduate Scholarship is available to students who are permanent residents of Hong Kong, with preference to those who have studied at schools affiliated to Po Leung Kuk. The Scholarship is worth £10,000, and will be awarded annually to a student pursuing a one year course of postgraduate study in any subject at Girton to a Master’s degree. ‘I would like to help and encourage underprivileged students to apply – Chadwick says. We want to offer young people with talent the chance to pursue a rigorous education’.

Girton is very grateful to Chadwick and his family for this exceptional gift. Alongside it Chadwick is also contributing to the Girton Hong Kong Founders’ scholarship together with the other Hong Kong Committee members – Franklin Heng, Kevin Chan, Richard Mun and James Wong – and other Hong Kong based alumni/ae.

What a great way to continue the radical mission of Girton to offer an education to those previously excluded from it (whether because of gender in the nineteenth century, or because of financial constraints today). A mission, thanks also to the 2019 anniversary, that more than ever has now reached a global scale!

For more information about Girton150, please visit:

Published: 22 January 2020

Girton150 Giving Week – A huge success for student support!

November 20, 2019 News

Giving Week Logo

During the course of a ‘Foundation Week’ (14-18 October) celebrating 150 years of pioneering higher education, Girton launched our first ever Giving Week.

In one week, the global Girton community came together to change the lives of students – our future Girton Pioneers – and drive on the great educational adventure that this College represents. Your generosity helped make this the most successful Giving Week in Oxbridge, thank you!

We had hoped that 250 donors would support the Giving Week but were stunned that over 550 supporters joined in the celebrations and raised over £150k (a serendipitous number!) to assist students in financial need.

For example support given to the student hardship and wellbeing fund means that we are able to award eight more grants each year, in perpetuity, to those who experience unexpected financial hardship during their course. Such awards offer a lifeline of support to students in need.

It was truly fantastic that we had supporters and participants in all forms – from ambassadors helping to spread the word about our fantastic College, to those who helped create the Girton150 Community Collage, and the students, staff and Fellows who came along to the Apple Day to launch the Giving Week. Thank you Girtonians and friends for your commitment and community spirit!

P.S. If you missed it, please see our ‘Girton College: 150 years on’ Giving Week film about the College here:

 Girton150 Community Collage

Girton150 Community Collage

Published: 20 November 2019

Celebrating 150 years of pioneering higher education

October 16, 2019 Girton150News

Girton College, Cambridge - Cake

© Girton College, Cambridge

On 16 October 2019, Girton College, founded by leading suffragists and champions of women’s empowerment, is celebrating its 150th Anniversary.

The College opened in Hitchin in 1869 with 5 students, 4 members of staff and a Mistress. Today Girton’s friendly, vibrant community of around 1,000 people is taking a moment to pause and admire all that a radical institution founded for inclusion can achieve.

Girton was founded by Emily Davies and Barbara Bodichon in 1869 in the face of fierce opposition.  They had the radical idea of creating a residential college offering university-level instruction and examination to women, on the same terms as men.

The first higher education institution of its kind in Britain, Girton was part of an unstoppable global movement to secure women’s full participation in public, political and professional life. No wonder George Eliot described it as ‘The Great Scheme’.

It is an astonishing fact that having secured the first women students, Cambridge University denied them admission to degrees for nearly 70 years, until 1948. Girton celebrates that moment – the achievement of a foundational aim – each year at the College Feast. But on the matter of inclusion it was just the start. Girton went on to take a lead by going mixed (in 1979) and has subsequently set the pace for widening participation.

Today, Girton is a permanent institution and one of the larger Cambridge Colleges, admitting students to almost every degree within the University.

The Head of Girton College, the Mistress – Professor Susan J. Smith said:

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to celebrate the game-changing role that Girton has played in the history of higher education. It is also a great moment to plan for the future. Our goal is to create a diverse, inclusive community of graduates, undergraduates, Fellows and staff, inspired by excellence and underpinned by an ethic of care.”

Published: 16 October 2019


Notes for Editors:

About Girton College

Girton College, University of Cambridge, was founded by in 1869, principally by Emily Davies and Barbara Bodichon, as the first UK residential institution for the higher education of women.

Today, having been the first women’s college to become co-educational for nearly 40 years, and with an almost 50:50 gender balance, the College remains committed to the founding principle of inclusive excellence.

As Girton celebrates its 150th Anniversary, it has spent more than half that time educating brilliant women to levels of excellence comparable with, or better than those of men, but they were not allowed to graduate until 1948. The College has therefore always set the pace on matters of equality and inclusion and continues to prioritise widening participation, alongside academic achievement and all-round personal development for students and staff alike.

Girton is one of the larger University of Cambridge Colleges, admitting students from undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in almost every subject available within the University of Cambridge.

Website links:

Social media:

Hashtags: #Girton150

For more information, please contact:

Communications Officer, Hannah Sargent.
Email: tel. 01223 765834 (limited access to phone, please leave a message)