GLASTONBURY’S GOT NOTHING ON GIRTON! A Festival of ideas and inspiration to mark 150 years

Girton College – the first in the UK to provide degree level instruction and examination for women – is celebrating its 150th anniversary.

Over 1,000 people from all corners of the world will gather over three days to reflect on a radical history, engage in cutting edge debate, and enjoy a remarkable display of music and the arts.

Highlights include the world premiere of Jasper Dommett’s ‘Fanfare to Girton’, a keynote lecture by Britain’s top diplomat, Her Excellency Dame Karen Pierce, a performance of Jessica Swale’s game changing play ‘Blue Stockings’, and a ‘march through time’ with historical re-enactment, period costume, and a Victorian band.

There are more than 90 individual events to choose from, with special guests, including Baroness Hale of Richmond, Professor Lord Martin Rees, Dr Rowan Williams, and the Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University, Professor Stephen Toope. There will be debates on 100 years of women in law, the future of higher education, and the challenges of ageing, and a full programme of lectures and conversations.

The online programme with the line-up of scholars, artists, musicians, magicians and more is here:

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 of a College steeped in Excellence, Inclusion, Inspiration and Resilience.”

Published: 28 June 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 unfortunately 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. There are currently about 516 undergraduates, 283 postgraduates and 136 Fellows.

Website links:

Social media:

Hashtags: #Girton150 #G150Festival

For more information, please contact:

Communications Officer, Hannah Sargent.

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