alt Education is one of the things I believe in deeply. The College looked after me, as the first from my family to attend university. I know that the College shares the values that are important to me and very many Girtonians; educational excellence, equality, inclusion and that ability to push boundaries in a positive way. That is why I have chosen to remember Girton in my Will.alt

Girtonian of the 1970s



Emma Cornwall, Alumni Officer and Legacy Officer
t. +44 (0)1223 338901

Legators and their Stories

Girton was established in 1869 by Emily Davies with the support of a small group of exceptional men and women like Barbara Bodichon, Sedley Taylor and Henry Tomkinson. This was a daring initiative that proclaimed a fierce belief in equality of opportunity and equality of access to higher education. In its early days the growth of the College depended exclusively on donations. It was not until nine years after its foundation that Girton could afford more than one resident lecturer! Perhaps the most transformative gift in the early years of the College came from Jane Catherine Gamble, who left a residuary legacy of £19,000*. It was this gift that allowed the College to build Tower Wing, including the famous square tower, and to buy the land which extended the estate to Girton Road. This enabled the College to transform the grounds from farmland to a park landscape, making Girton quite unlike the city centre colleges.
*a sum of close to £2 million at today’s prices


Legacies continue to be of crucial importance to Girton; on average one third of donations each year are in the form of legacies or bequests. Recognising that such gifts are essential to Girton’s future, more and more alumni, supporters and friends, including younger people, are choosing to remember the College in their Will. Here are some inspiring stories from Girtonians who have made the committment to leave a legacy to the College and on the impact some past legacies have had.