Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge

Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge

Cambridge College Infobox
name = Gonville and Caius College
infobox_colour = #000000
text_colour =
link_colour = #66CCFF

colours =
full_name =
latin_name =
latin_motto =
english_motto =
founder = Edmund Gonville (1348)
John Caius (1557)
founder_pl = yes
named_for =
established = 1348, refounded 1557
old_names = Gonville Hall (1348-1351)
Hall of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (1351-1557)
location = [http://www.cam.ac.uk/map/v3/drawmap.cgi?mp=main;xx=1734;yy=785;mt=c;ms=75;tl=Gonville%20and%20Caius%20College Trinity St]
women_only =
mature_students =
head_label = Master
head = Sir Christopher Hum
undergraduates = 475
graduates = 230
sister_college = Brasenose College, Oxford
sister_college_pl =
homepage = http://www.cai.cam.ac.uk/
boat_club = http://www.srcf.ucam.org/cbc/

Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge is a constituent college of Cambridge University, one of the world's most academically respected institutions. [cite web |title=Top 500 World Universities (1-99) |work=ARWU 2007 |url=http://ed.sjtu.edu.cn/rank/2007/ARWU2007_Top100.htm |accessdate=2007-10-09 ] [cite web |title=World University Rankings |work=The Times Higher Education Supplement (Requires subscription and log-in)|url=http://www.thes.co.uk/statistics/international_comparisons/2006/top_unis.aspx?window_type=popup |accessdate=2007-10-09 ] It is located in Cambridge, England, in the United Kingdom.

The College is often referred to simply as Caius (pronEng|ˈkiːz) (the College’s second founder John Keys fashionably Latinized the spelling of his name after studying in Italy). The college’s present Master, the 41st, is Sir Christopher Hum.


The College has been attended by . As an academic institution it has included twelve Nobel Prize winners on the official Cambridge Nobel list. [ [http://www.cam.ac.uk/cambuniv/nobelprize.html] ] Caius claims to be one of the colleges with consistently high undergraduate academic achievement. [ [http://www.cai.cam.ac.uk/admissions/caius/academicstandards.php] ] However, although ranked 2nd in the previous two years, Caius has fallen to 10th in the Tompkins Table in 2007. In 2008, the college has somewhat recovered to 4th place.

The college has long historical associations with medical teaching especially due to its alumni physicians John Caius (who gave the college the caduceus in its insignia) and William Harvey.

The college first admitted women as fellows and students in 1979. The college now has nearly 100 fellows, over 700 students and about 200 staff.


The College was first founded, as Gonville Hall, by Edmund Gonville, Rector of Terrington St Clement in Norfolk in 1348, making it the fourth-oldest surviving college. When Gonville died three years later, he left a struggling institution with almost no money. The executor of his will, William Bateman, Bishop of Norwich, stepped in, transferring the college to the land close to the college he had just founded, Trinity Hall, and renamed it The Hall of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, endowing it with its first buildings.

By the sixteenth century, the college had fallen into disrepair, and in 1557 it was refounded by Royal Charter as Gonville and Caius College by the physician John Caius. John Caius was master of the college from 1559 until shortly before his death in 1573. He provided the college with significant funds and greatly extended the buildings.

During his time as Master, Caius accepted no payment but insisted on several unusual rules. He insisted that the college admit no scholar who “is deformed, dumb, blind, lame, maimed, mutilated, a Welshman, or suffering from any grave or contagious illness, or an invalid, that is sick in a serious measure” (see Brooke's "History", p. 69-70, where it is suggested that 'Wallicum' is a scribal error for 'Gallicum'). Caius also built a three-sided court, Caius Court, “lest the air from being confined within a narrow space should become foul”. Caius did however found the college as a strong centre for the study of medicine, a tradition that it aims to keep to this day.By 1630, the college had expanded greatly, having around 25 fellows and 150 students, but numbers fell over the next century, only returning to the 1630 level in the early nineteenth century. Since then the college has grown considerably and now has one of the largest undergraduate populations in the university.

It is one of the more wealthy colleges with an estimated financial endowment of £115m and net assets of £140.5m in 2006.

Caius also admits academically accomplished American and other foreign students for its various summer programmes, the most prominent of which has been organized in the United States by the University of New Hampshire, although these programmes are not to the Tripos standard.

Rules & traditions

Gonville and Caius College is one of the few remaining colleges which enforces attendance of its students at communal dinners, known as 'Hall'. Consisting of a three-course meal served by waiting staff, undergraduates must buy 45 'dinner tickets' per term. Hall takes place in two sittings, with the second sitting known as 'Formal Hall', which must be attended wearing gowns.

The college also enforces the system of exeats, or official permission to leave the college. At the end of term students must get permission from their tutors to leave the college. If they do not, they are fined.


The first buildings to be erected on the college’s current site date from 1353 when Bishop Bateman built Gonville Court. The college chapel was added in 1393 with the Old Hall (used until recently as a library) and Master’s Lodge following in the next half century. Most of the stone used to build the college came from Ramsey Abbey near Ramsey, Cambridgeshire.

On the refoundation by Dr Caius, the college was expanded and updated. In 1565 the building of Caius Court began, and he planted an avenue of trees in what is now known as Tree Court. Caius was also responsible for the building of the college’s three gates, symbolising the path of academic life. On matriculation, one arrives at the Gate of Humility (near the Porters’ Lodge). In the centre of the college one passes through the Gate of Virtue regularly. And finally, graduating students pass through the Gate of Honour on their way to the neighbouring Senate House to receive their degrees. The students of Gonville and Caius commonly refer to the fourth gate in the college, between Tree Court and Gonville Court, which also contains the access to the toilets, as The Gate of Necessity.

Gonville Court was refaced in a classical design in the 1750s, and the Old Library and hall were designed by Anthony Salvin in 1854. On the wall of the hall hangs a college flag that was flown at the South Pole by Dr Wilson during the famous 1912 expedition.

St Michael's and St Mary's Courts lie across Trinity Street on land surrounding St Michael's Church. The full formation of St Michael's Court only occurred in the 1930s, with the building at the south side of the court of a block overlooking the market place.

Students and fellows are accommodated in all of the courts on the central site.

Caius also has one of the largest and most architecturally impressive student libraries in Oxbridge, [ [http://www.cai.cam.ac.uk/college/library/tour/index.php] ] housed in the Cockerell Building. Previously the Seeley History Library and the Squire Law Library, Caius acquired the lease on the Cockrell Building in the 1990s. The college library was relocated from Gonville Court in the summer of 1996, following an extensive renovation of the Cockrell Building.

Caius owns a substantial amount of land between West Rd and Selwyn Avenue. Set in idyllic landscaped gardens, the modern Harvey Court (named after William Harvey and designed by Sir Leslie Martin.) was built on the West Rd site in 1961.

Adjacent to Harvey Court is the £13 million Stephen Hawking Building, which opened its doors to first-year undergraduates in October 2006. Providing en-suite accommodation for 75 students and eight fellows, as well as providing conference facilities in the vacations, the Stephen Hawking Building boasts some of the highest-standard student accommodation in Cambridge.

The college owns a large number of residential properties across Cambridge, many of which are used to house both undergraduate and postgraduate students.

The Old Courts

Tree Court is the largest of the Old Courts. It is so named because John Caius planted an avenue of trees there. Although none of the original trees survived, the court retains a number of trees and the tree-lined avenue, which is unusual for a Cambridge front court. The interior north-east corner of the Waterhouse Building can be seen on the left.

Gonville Court, though remodelled in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, is the oldest part of the college. The interior east side of Gonville Court, opposite Hall, can be seen on the left.

The "Gate of Honour" (to the left), at the south side of Caius Court, though the most direct way from the Old Courts to the College Library ("Cockerell Building", behind the wall on the right), is only used for special occasions such as graduation. The "Senate House" (on the left) as well as "King’s College Chapel" (directly behind the Gate of Honour) can also be seen.

Notable members

Nobel Prize winners

* 1932 Sir Charles SherringtonNobel Prize-winning neurophysiologist (student and fellow).
* 1935 Sir James ChadwickNobel Prize-winning physicist, discoverer of the neutron (student, fellow, and master).
* 1945 Sir Howard FloreyNobel Prize-winning inventor of penicillin (fellow).
* 1954 Max BornNobel Prize-winning physicist.
* 1962 Francis Crick – co-Nobel Prize winner for the co-discovery of the structure of DNA (Ph.D student and hon. fellow).
* 1972 Sir John HicksNobel Prize-winning economist (fellow).
* 1974 Anthony HewishNobel Prize-winning astronomer (student and fellow).
* 1976 Milton FriedmanNobel Prize-winning economist (visiting fellow).
* 1977 Sir Nevill MottNobel Prize-winning theoretical physicist (fellow and Master).
* 1984 Sir Richard StoneNobel Prize-winning economist.
* 2001 Joseph StiglitzNobel Prize-winning economist (fellow).
* 2008 Roger TsienNobel Prize-winning chemist (fellow).

Notable alumni

"See also "
* Harold AbrahamsOlympic athlete men's 100-metre gold medalist, portrayed in the film Chariots of Fire.
* Alistair Appleton - TV presenter
* Andy Baddeley - Middle distance runner
* Homi J. Bhabha - Indian nuclear physicist and father of India's nuclear programme.
* Francis Blomefield – Historian of Norfolk.
* Max BornNobel Prize-winning physicist.
* Alain de Botton – popular philosophy writer.
* John Brereton - chronicler of the first European voyage to New England, 1602
* Lord Broers – vice-chancellor of Cambridge University, 1996-2003.
* Alastair Campbell – aide to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
* Jimmy Carr – comedian and television presenter.
* Robert Carr – former British Member of Parliament and Home Secretary.
* Ken ClarkeBritish Member of Parliament and former Chancellor of the Exchequer.
* John Horton Conway – mathematician.
* Mark Damazer- controller of Radio 4
* Carolyn Fairbairn - Media Executive
* Henry Fancourt – naval aviator.
* Orlando Figes – historian.
* Paola Doimi de FrankopanCroatian aristocrat and wife of Lord Nicholas Windsor
* Peter Fraser, Baron Fraser of Carmyllie – politician.
* John Hookham Frere – diplomat and author.
* Sir David Frost – broadcaster.
* Sir Harold Gillies – “the father of plastic surgery”.
* Lord GoldsmithAttorney General of England and Wales, 2001-07.
* Andrew Gowers – journalist.
* George Green – mathematician.
* Sir Thomas Gresham – founder of the Royal Exchange.
* Sir Percy Wyn-Harris - Mountaineer, Adventurer & former governor of the Gambia
* William Harvey – medical pioneer.
* Christopher Helm – publisher.
* Harold James (historian) – historian.
* John F. Lehman – American Secretary of the Navy and member of the September 11th Commission.
* Thomas Lynch, Jr. – signatory, United States Declaration of Independence.
* Iain Macleod – former Chancellor of the Exchequer.
* Inagaki ManjiroJapan’s first Minister Resident in Siam in 1897.
* Stephen Mangan – actor.
* Gordon Manley – climatologist.
* Stephen Marchant – ornithologist.
* Geoff Nicholson - novelist.
* Michael Joseph Oakeshott – philosopher.
* Titus Oates – Popish plotter, “17th century’s worst Briton”.
* Richard Overy – historian.
* G. H. Pember – theologian.
* Gideon Rachman - journalist.
* Andrew Roberts – historian.
* Sir Basil Schonland – physicist and academic.
* Simon Sebag Montefiore – historian.
* Thomas Shadwell – playwright, Poet Laureate.
* Howard Somervell - Surgeon, Mountaineer and missionary.
* Norman Stone - historian
* Sir Richard StoneNobel Prize-winning economist.
* Dorabji Tata - Indian industrialist and philanthropist.
* Jeremy Taylor – author and clergyman.
* Richard Tomlinson - Former British MI6 Officer.
* Adair TurnerBritish businessman.
* Edward Adrian Wilson – explorer who died with Robert Falcon Scott in the Antarctic.

Notable fellows and Masters

"See also
*Edward Hall Alderson - mathematician, classicist, lawyer and, as Baron Alderson, judge (student and fellow)
*Lord Bauer - economist (student and fellow)
*Sir James Chadwick - Nobel Prize-winning physicist, discoverer of the neutron (student, fellow, and Master).
*Francis Crick - co-Nobel Prize winner for the co-discovery of the structure of DNA (Ph.D student and hon. fellow).
*Rabbi Jonathan Sacks - Chief Rabbi of British Commonwealth(fellow).
*Sir Alan Fersht - chemist and Fellow of the Royal Society (fellow).
*Thomas Fink, physicist and author (fellow).
*Sir Ronald Fisher - statistician, evolutionary biologist, and geneticist (student, fellow, and President).
*Sir Howard Florey - Nobel Prize-winning inventor of penicillin (fellow).
*Milton Friedman - Nobel Prize-winning economist (visiting fellow).
*Francis Glisson - physician, and one of the founders of the Royal Society (fellow).
*Stephen Hawking - theoretical physicist and Lucasian Professor (fellow).
*Anthony Hewish - Nobel Prize-winning astronomer (student and fellow).
*Sir John Hicks - Nobel Prize-winning economist (fellow).
*Robin Holloway - composer (fellow).
*William Lubbock - divine
*Sir Nevill Mott - Nobel Prize-winning theoretical physicist (fellow and Master).
*Joseph Needham - sinologist (student, fellow, and Master).
*Stephen Perse - founder of The Perse School in 1615.
*J. H. Prynne - British poet (student and fellow).
*Tun Mohamed Suffian Mohamed Hashim - Chief Justice of Malaysia (student and fellow).
*Sir John Seeley - Regius Professor of Modern History at Cambridge (fellow)
*D.R. Shackleton Bailey - classicist (student and fellow).
*Sir Charles Sherrington - Nobel Prize-winning neurophysiologist (student and fellow).
*Quentin Skinner - Regius Professor of Modern History at Cambridge (student and fellow)
*Joseph Stiglitz - Nobel Prize-winning economist (fellow).
*John Venn - inventor of the Venn diagram and historian of the College (student, fellow, and President).
*Peter Tranchell - composer (fellow)
*Sir William Wade - English academic lawyer (student and Master).
*Charles Wood - composer (fellow).
*Edward Wright - English mathematician and cartographer who first explained the mathematical basis for the Mercator projection (student and fellow).

See also

*Caius Boat Club
*Gonville & Caius Association Football Club

External links

* [http://www.cai.cam.ac.uk/ Gonville and Caius College Website] (the official college website)
* [http://www.caiusjcr.org.uk/ Gonville and Caius Students Union Website] (the undergraduate student social organisation for the college)
* [http://www.caiusmcr.com/ Gonville and Caius MCR Website] (the graduate student social organisation for the college)


Brooke, C. "A history of Gonville and Caius College." Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell, 1985 (corrected reprint, 1996). ISBN 0-85115-423-9.

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