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Catz40 - Celebrating 40 years of coeducation at St Catharine's

This academic year (2019–2020), the College is proud to be celebrating 40 years of coeducation.

Women first became Members of St Catharine’s in Michaelmas term 1979 amid growing recognition of the value of men and women studying and working together. In 1974, Fellows Dr John Thompson and Professor Sir Graeme Davies had proposed a motion to admit women to the College, which was implemented over the next five years thanks to the support of the Fellowship. As a result, the College community became more reflective of the wider world.

The College is now committed in its pursuit of academic excellence to equality of opportunity and to a proactive and inclusive approach to equality, which supports and encourages all under-represented groups, promotes an inclusive culture, and values diversity.

In celebration of this special anniversary, the College community is hosting a number of events (schedule below) throughout the year both in College and further afield. We are also encouraging Members to share their experiences of St Catharine's as part of the CatzPeople initiative.


This year, we want to share stories from St Catharine’s Members all over the world.

Let us know your favourite memories, your positive influences and any inspiring people you have met either at or since leaving College, to be published on the College website. Please do include, or email us up to five photographs of your time at St Catharine’s or relating to your career and/or achievements.

Read our series of interviews with Members of College and our online archival exhibition.

College events

Catz40 Dinner (Cambridge)
16 November 2019
Our launch event included a special dinner held in College with music provided by our student a cappella group,
Catz Forte, and speeches given by Ms Issy Bunce (2018) and Dr Joanne Harris (1982).

Girls' Choir and College Choir perform at Venus Unwrapped (London)
7 December 2019

Kellaway Concert in Chapel (Cambridge)
24 January 2020

Catz40 Summer Party (Cambridge)
28 June 2020

All alumni, staff, fellows and students are encouraged to invite their family and friends to the Catz40 Summer Party. Guests are welcome to bring picnics with them and some drinks and afternoon tea food will be provided. Jack’s Gelato and the Rural Coffee Project will also be present and entertainment will include music performed by St Catharine’s College students, face painting and a bouncy castle.
Booking details here

St Catharine's College Society Events

Catz40 Women in Politics
Tour of the Houses of Parliament (4pm) followed by a hosted discussion with Lilian Greenwood (1984) (6pm).
Book your place.
24 January 2020

Catz40 Lessons Learnt: My Start Up Story (London)
Panel discussion (6pm) with three alumnae: Sarah Tremellen (1985), founder of global retailer, Bravissimo, Charly Lester (2003), founder of Lumen the dating app for Over 50’s and Rosanna Machado (1994), founder of events business Zebra.
Book your place.
12 March 2020

Catz40 London Branch Literary Event (London)
Panel discussion with five published Catz authors: Catherine Blyth (1992), Kate Smith (1993), Dr Emma Sweeney (1998), Fellow Dr Abigail Brundin (2000), and Honorary Fellow Dr Joanne Harris MBE (1982), and hosted by Tim Waterstone (1958).
Book your place and find out more.
14 May 2020

St Catharine's College Student Society Events

MML screening of "Bande des Filles/Girlhood"
The film is directed by Celine Sciamma and is a coming of age film that focuses on the life of Marieme, a girl who lives in a rough neighbourhood on the outskirts of Paris The film discusses and challenges conceptions of race, gender and class.
4 November 2019 

FemSoc talk with Dr Joanna Barnard
The FemSoc talk is by a Dr Joanna Barnard (Geography, 2006) who was diagnosed with lymphoma while working in Myanmar and was treated with stem cell transplants. She wants to spread the word about the procedure and how to become a donor.
6 November, 7pm, Ramsden Room

History talk with Claire Darwin
Talk held in the McGrath centre between 5:30 pm and 8 pm by Claire Darwin (1998, History) – Barrister at Matrix Chambers. Her work includes the BBC equal pay case. The talk will focus on her work now as well as her time at Catz.
27 November 2019

Veterinary Medicine Society Dinner
Talks in the McGrath centre from 6 pm given by Professor Dame Parveen Kumar and Professor Elizabeth Murchison. Dinner will be served in Hall at 8 pm.
8 February 2020

International Women's Day Dinner (Student event) (Cambridge)
6 March 2020

Chapel Services

Throughout the year, Sunday Evensongs will feature addresses from Women of Catz, including Alumni, Fellows and other women connected with the College.


If you have any questions about Catz40, please email or call 01223 338337.

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