The University of Oxford (informally "Oxford University" or "Oxford"), located in the English city of Oxford, is the oldest surviving university in the English-speaking world and is regarded as one of the world's leading academic institutions. Although the exact date of foundation remains unclear, there is evidence of teaching there as far back as the 11th century. After disputes between students and Oxford townsfolk in 1209, some academics fled north-east to Cambridge, where they established what became the University of Cambridge. The two "ancient universities" have many common features and are sometimes collectively and colloquially referred to as "Oxbridge". For more than a century, Oxford has served as the home of the Rhodes Scholarship, which brings students from a number of countries to study at Oxford as postgraduates. (more about the university...)
The colleges of the university, of which there are 38, are autonomous self-governing institutions. All students and teaching staff belong to one of the colleges, or to one of the six Permanent Private Halls (religious foundations that admit students to study at Oxford). The colleges provide tutorials and classes for students, while the university provides lectures and laboratories, and sets the degree examinations. Most colleges accept undergraduate and postgraduate students, although some are for graduate students only; All Souls does not have students, only Fellows, while Harris Manchester is for students over the age of 21. All the colleges now admit both men and women: the last single-sex college, St Hilda's, began to admit men in 2008. The oldest colleges are University, Balliol, and Merton, established between 1249 and 1264, although there is dispute over when each began teaching. The most recent new foundation is Kellogg College, founded in 1990, while the most recent overall is Green Templeton College, formed in 2008 as the result of a merger of two existing colleges. (more about the colleges...)
The election in 1860 for the position of Boden Professor of Sanskrit was a hotly contested affair between two rival candidates offering different approaches to Sanskrit scholarship: Monier Williams (pictured), an Oxford-educated Englishman, and Max Müller, a German-born lecturer specialising in comparative philology, the science of language. Both men battled for the votes of the electorate (the Convocation of the university) through manifestos and newspaper correspondence. The election came at a time of public debate about Britain's role in India particularly after the Indian Mutiny of 1857–58. Although generally regarded as the superior to Williams in scholarship, Müller had the double disadvantage (in the eyes of some) of being German and having liberal Christian views. At the end of the hard-fought campaign, Williams won by a majority of over 230 votes, and held the chair until his death in 1899. Müller, although deeply disappointed by his defeat, remained in Oxford for the rest of his career, but never taught Sanskrit there. (Full article...)
James McCormack (1910–1975) was a United States Army officer and the first Director of Military Applications of the United States Atomic Energy Commission. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, McCormack also studied at Hertford College, Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). After service in World War II, he was chosen in 1947 as the Director of Military Applications of the Atomic Energy Commission. He took a pragmatic approach to handling the issue of the proper agency to hold custody of the nuclear weapons stockpile, and supported Edward Teller's development of thermonuclear weapons. He was appointed Director of Nuclear Applications at the Air Research and Development Center in 1952, later becoming Deputy Commander of the Air Research and Development Command. After retiring from the military in 1955, McCormack became the first head of the Institute for Defense Analysis, a non-profit research organization. In 1958 he became vice president for industrial and governmental relations at MIT, and originated a proposal for a new space agency, which eventually became NASA. (Full article...)
Blackfriars Hall, established in 1994, is one of the Permanent Private Halls (PPHs) of the University of Oxford. Unlike the colleges, which are run by their Fellows, PPHs are run by an outside institution – in the case of Blackfriars Hall, the English Province of the Dominican friars. The hall is on the same site as the Priory of the Holy Spirit (the friars' religious house) and Blackfriars Studium, the Province's centre of theological studies. Dominicans arrived in Oxford in 1221 at the instruction of Saint Dominic himself, little more than a week after the friar's death. Like all the monastic houses in Oxford, Blackfriars came into conflict with the university authorities, and all of them were suppressed during the Reformation. Blackfriars was refounded in 1921 on St Giles', within 600 metres of the original site. One of the smaller academic communities in Oxford, it admits men and women (over the age of 21) of any faith for undergraduate degrees in theology, philosophy, and PPE and for postgraduate degrees. Former students include Anthony Fisher OP, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Sydney; Malcolm McMahon OP, Archbishop of Liverpool; and the American journalist Delia Gallagher. (Full article...)
The Griffiths Building of Linacre College. Founded in 1962 as a college for postgraduate study, Linacre was the first Oxford colleges to admit female and male students on an equal basis.
Articles from Wikipedia's "Did You Know" archives about the university and people associated with it:
The Old Building Quadrangle of Hertford College incorporates the lodge, library, chapel, hall, bursary and other administrative buildings. It is the only Hertford quadrangle to have a lawn in the centre, in the traditional college style.
Template:/box-header Events for 19 March relating to the university, its colleges, academics and alumni. College affiliations are marked in brackets.