Our 550th anniversary

Illustration of the front gates of St Catharine's College with banner reading 'Happy 550th'

To coincide with the start of 2023, Professor Sir Mark Welland (2016) issued the following message about the College's 550th anniversary:

"It is a great honour to be Master of the College as we celebrate 550 years since St Catharine’s was founded in 1473. We intend to focus our 550th celebrations on events that are already due to be part of the College calendar between now and the anniversary itself on 25 November 2023. This will ensure resources continue to be directed towards our core charitable objectives.

"All parts of the College are encouraged to get involved and to incorporate this important milestone into any activities that you have planned – whether that’s reflecting on our historical inheritance, celebrating our present-day interests and achievements, or safeguarding what makes St Catharine’s so special for the benefit of future generations. I wish everyone a happy and memorable 2023!"

What to expect from the year ahead

28 January: Main Court will be lit up between 5pm and 11pm to mark the start of our 550th anniversary celebrations and welcome members of the 1473 Foundation

23 February: A special Addenbrooke Lecture by Professor Sir Magdi Habib Yacoub OM FRS. Watch the video recording of this lecture. 

18 May: A special lecture in support of our environmental sustainability strategy by Professor Julian Allwood (2018)

Easter term (date TBC): The publication of a new history of the College

Michaelmas term (date TBC): A special Henn Lecture

24 November: A special Bayly Lecture by Professor Francesca Trivellato, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Early Modern European History at the Institute for Advanced Study

25 November: The 550th anniversary will be marked on Commemoration Day, including a piano recital by alumna Ivana Gavric (1998, Music). 

26 November: Festal Eucharist, including a performance of Missa Nobilis et pulchra by Walter Frye as part of service; dating from c. 1473.

Throughout the year: A series of reunions and events will encourage alumni to return to College (see the full schedule at


Further details will be released in due course.


Contact details

Matilda Watson

01223 338343