Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Jesus College, Oxford
|Sister College||Jesus College|
|Principal||Sir Peter North|
Jesus College was founded in 1571, occupying in part the site of the earlier White Hall, which had been in existence for several hundred years from the 13th century up until 1570, just before Jesus began. Jesus was founded by eight commissioners, of whom Hugh Price is often credited as the main force, and received its Royal Charter from Elizabeth I.
Originally intended for the tuition of clergymen, it broadened out academically as time went on, starting with the inclusion of medicine and law until now the college offers almost the full range of subjects taught at the university.
Jesus is located in the centre of Oxford on Turl Street on a comparatively small site by the standards of many Oxford colleges, and is one of the three Turl Street colleges along with Lincoln College and Exeter College. Much of what are considered the original buildings date from the 17th century, although parts date back to the college's foundation. Most of these earlier buildings have undergone some degree of restoration, although this is not generally obvious, and parts of the rear of the college are much more modern.
In recent years the college has also built two annexes for student accommodation in the north and east of the city, although many students still live in the central site, and much of the social and academic life of the college is based in the original buildings.
One result of the size of the college site is that first-year students tend to see a lot of each other and thus form both strong bonds of friendship and a keen sense of college spirit, giving rise to the reputation of Jesus being a friendly college. While not being especially noted for its prowess in any particular field, the college has successes in a variety of arenas, recently featuring highly in the academic Norrington Table while the sports teams have often reached the heights of intercollegiate competitions. Many undergraduates feature in the music and drama worlds, while others contribute to student journalism for Cherwell or The Oxford Student. One area in which Jesus undergraduates tend not to appear, however, is politics: the college has a well-deserved reputation for apathy when it comes to Oxford Union and OUSU hacking and undergraduates seeking to change that have found the consensus unwilling to budge.
The Welsh connection
Although it accepts students from all over the UK and indeed the world, Jesus has a particular association with Wales and is often referred to as "the Welsh college". The college is also home to the university's Professor of Celtic, and a specialist Celtic library in addition to the college's normal library. To reflect this connection, the college's undergraduate newspaper is entitled The Sheepshagger. Furthermore, the Welshness of the College is self-perpetuating, as Welsh students will often apply to Jesus because it is seen as the Welsh college. To this day there is a larger proportion of Welsh undergraduates than in other colleges.
Famous former students
- James Burke
- Paul Jones
- T. E. Lawrence
- Magnus Magnusson
- Norman Manley
- Walter H. Stockmayer
- Harold Wilson
- Sian Lloyd
- Ffion Hague
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