I have been puzzling over the last sentence of the paragraph on St Cross College in the article about coats of arms of the newer colleges in the latest edition of Oxford Today (Vol. 28, no.1. p.45 (48). ‘Before it became a full college, religious students had found it intolerable not to be able to participate in collegiate sports.’ I should be interested in a fuller exposition of this. I was not aware that this college was founded to make any special provision for ‘religious students’ (whatever that term may mean). As the college website makes clear, it was one of those founded in the 1960s, like Linacre and Wolfson, to provide for the growing number of graduate students and, of particular importance, to provide college fellowships for the growing number of ‘entitled’ academics who were without such fellowships. The need to tackle the entitlement problem is not specifically mentioned in the author’s list of reasons for founding new colleges on p.45, although it is hinted at. While it is an esoteric subject in some ways (a very ‘Oxford’ issue, one might say), it was a very important matter in the history of the University in the second half of the twentieth century.

Anthony Weale
Former Secretary of Faculties and Academic Registrar