Welcome to St Catharine’s College - an institution with its roots in Medieval England and now, 543 years later, a thriving society of diverse and academically distinguished scholars and Fellows with an eye firmly set on an exciting and prosperous future. The College has a long and proud history at the heart of the University and over the years has acquired a group of distinctive, beautiful and sometimes idiosyncratic buildings within and around which College life flourishes. We have also evolved a set of customs and ways of working that makes St Catharine’s special. These require some explanation: The pages that follow will serve as an introduction to the College, but if there is more that you need to know, do not hesitate to ask: the Fellows, staff and students will all be delighted to take time to give you whatever information you require. St Catharine’s has a deserved reputation for being one of the friendliest Colleges in Cambridge and we look forward to welcoming you into our celebrated community.
I make no excuse for emphasising that the main purpose of those of us who live and work in the College is the pursuit of academic work of the highest quality. The Fellows are completely committed to providing the teaching and support required to achieve this end. This is backed up by participation in research and scholarship of the highest order. Such a combination makes for a heady mix of intellectual achievement. We all hope that those who join us as undergraduate and post-graduate students will commit themselves to the pursuit of academic excellence in a similar way.
That said, we also recognise that the many other activities that Cambridge offers are not just important, but are essential to a happy and fulfilled time here. Drama, music, sport and many other athletic, cultural and social activities thrive in the College. We hope that anyone joining us will take advantage of the opportunities offered and will participate in them fully.
Finally, I would like to emphasise that St Catharine's College is in many ways like a family, a family that can trace its history back through more than five hundred years. It is both proud of its history and excited about its future. The College buildings are the family home and we hope that everyone will feel welcome in them. Like any family or community, however, the College relies for its success and good order on the co-operation of all of its members. We all try to live together in a mutually supportive way, making an effort to be aware of the needs and aspirations of our colleagues and working together for the common good.
We are confident that anyone leaving St Catharine's after a period of study here, will not only take away a degree or other qualification of which they may be justifiably proud, but also memories of a happy and special place.