Building the Future
Thanks in large part to the generosity of our alumnae and friends, St Hilda’s has made outstanding progress towards our long-held goal to create the facilities for our students and Fellows that match the world-class education we offer.
In October 2020, with the completion of our award-winning Anniversary Building and Pavilion, St Hilda’s was closer to fulfilling a long-held promise to our undergraduates, to be able to offer them all a College room throughout their time at Oxford. Planning continued for further construction on site to achieve the balance of rooms needed, while we also explored options to purchase off-site residential properties in Oxford. These represent a timely as well as a more cost-effective alternative, allowing us to accommodate our students far more quickly than building on site.
As you will know, our efforts met with success in October 2022, with the purchase of two significant buildings in central Oxford. These not only have the capacity to meet our target for College rooms, but represent an excellent investment for the future. Details of the new properties, at 38 St Giles’ and 11 Norham Gardens, are included in our latest brochure, and we now invite your support to help us to bring these up to the standard of our on-site accommodation.
Our transformation of the College site and our satellites will not be complete until we can carry out the work needed to offer all members of our community access to the range of facilities that they need, as well as to make our buildings more environmentally sustainable. We are currently working on a number of measures to decarbonise our site at present. While this will require significant investment, there are also projects that can be sponsored to help the College to advance its sustainability agenda.
Another major focus of our work is the Kathleen Major Library, which lies at the very heart of the College and serves all our students. Not only will the planned redevelopment of the entrance to the Library provide step- free access from Hall Garden, but the change in the layout of the study spaces will ensure that the College is supporting the study preferences and project work of today’s students.
Positioning St Hilda’s as a college of first choice requires a comprehensive access, bursary and graduate scholarship scheme to provide pathways for talented students from financially disadvantaged backgrounds. Alongside these initiatives for students, we must expand on the existing range of world-class education and research taking place at St Hilda’s, and fund two new key posts in fields that are experiencing high demand from students: Biomedical Sciences and Quantum Computing.
Our Giving Day in November 2022 was a joyful example of how our whole community can come together to achieve a shared goal for the College, and I ask all our alumnae and friends to maintain that spirit and join us to build a bright future for the next generation of students at St Hilda’s. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Professor Dame Sarah Springman DBE FREng