"25 November is the Feast of Saint Catharine of Alexandria, in whose honour St Catharine’s College was founded by Robert Woodlark in 1473. It is traditionally a day of commemoration when the College remembers and gives thanks for its founder and benefactors over successive generations, without whom St Catharine’s would not have developed into the vibrant academic community it is today.
"What’s more, the St Catharine’s Guild encourages members of the College, wherever they may be, to mark today according to the tradition and spirituality of their faith. Since 1969, alumni across the world have contacted the College (currently via the Chaplain) to report that they have shared in commemoration on or around 25 November.
"While Saint Catharine is revered as a scholar herself and the patron saint of scholars, educators, philosophers and librarians (among other groups), the brutal story of her martyrdom is also venerated by and a source of strength for women and girls facing violence and persecution around the world. It is not surprising that 25 November has become a focus for campaigns against gender-based violence, after the assassination of three activists (Patria, Minerva and María Teresa Mirabal Reyes) in the Dominican Republic on the same date in 1960. In 2000, the United Nations officially designated 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
"This year, the St Catharine’s community will be marking both Commemoration Day and the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women in various ways – reflecting the College’s proud history as well as its commitment to meeting the challenges of the 21st century.
"It seemed particularly apt to reaffirm today the ongoing partnership between the St Catharine’s community and Cambridge Women’s Aid. We look forward to sharing details in the New Year about the new ways in which our partnership is continuing to support survivors of domestic abuse."
Professor Sir Mark Welland, Master of St Catharine’s College
Angie Stewart, Chief Executive Officer of Cambridge Women’s Aid