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40 years of women at Sidney

College history was made at Sidney on Wednesday, 18 June, 1975 at about 2.20 p.m., when Miss Lynne Brydon was admitted to a Research Fellowship, and so became the first woman ever to be a member of the College."

College Annual, 1975


In the same year, Sidney’s first four female graduate students were admitted. At that time, five colleges already existed solely for women (Girton, Newnham, Hughes Hall, Murray Edwards (New Hall) and Lucy Cavendish), and Darwin admitted both male and female graduate students from its inception in 1964. Churchill, Clare and King's were the first previously all-male Colleges to admit women undergraduates, and they did so in 1972. Sidney was the next to do so in 1976, and the rest followed suit culminating with Magdalene which did so in 1988. In 1998, Sidney was the first previously all-male College to elect a female Master, Professor Dame Sandra Dawson.

Forty years after the matriculation of the first cohort of twenty-five female undergraduates at Sidney in October 1976, a year-long programme of events has been planned to celebrate the achievements of Sidney women past and present and their wide-ranging contributions to the Sidney community and beyond, as well as looking forward to a future of widening access and participation at the College.

On Saturday 22nd October 2016, the College launched the celebrations with a special event exploring the achievements of women at Sidney. You can find out more here.


The launch of our year of celebrations of 40 years of women at Sidney.

How Sidney is marking the anniversary of 40 years since the first admission of women as undergraduates in 1976.

Share your memories of 40 years of co-education at Sidney.