College Events

Whitelands College boasts an enviable range of events that span the year, from formal dinners and seasonal parties through to regular film nights on our big screen projector and friendly small study groups; the college strives to cater for its diverse range of members. 

This page contains information on our annual events that the college builds on each year with the help of students and staff across the college. Some represent historical origins of the college such as the slightly off the wall yet wonderful May Day Celebration, while others such as our formal dinners mark milestones in the progression of our students. 

The box to the right will hold information on the events which are to be happening next here at Whitelands, so be sure to check back often to see what’s going on.

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Highlights of the Year

Science Week

Whitelands College ran it's first ever Science Week on 19th-25th March 2014 in which the Department of Life Sciences and Department of Psychology celebrated all things science.

As part of activities, the University was delighted to welcome Dr Ben Goldacre to present a lecture on “Bad Pharma” Ben is a doctor, academic, campaigner and writer whose work focuses on uses and misuses of science and statistics by journalists, politicians, drug companies and alternative therapists. His first book Bad Science reached number 1 in the UK non-fiction charts and has sold over half a million copies worldwide.

The programme last year included guest lecturers, poster presentation, interactive workshops, discussions and demonstrations. Science Week concluded with the debate ‘To Vaccinate or not to Vaccinate?’ and provided an opportunity for learning about vaccination with experts, drawn primarily from the University. As the week was such a success planning for Science Week 2015 is already underway. If you wish to be involved, or want to be first in the know about Science Week then feel free to contact Oliver Birrell.


Whitelands College May Day Festival

The first May Day Festival was held at Whitelands College in 1881, at the instigation of Ruskin, whose wish was that each year the women students should elect ‘the likeablest and the loveablest' of their number to be their May Queen. This enchanting tradition has survived and each year the May Monarch is installed on a Saturday in May by a visiting bishop at an impressive ceremony in the College. Until 1986 a May Queen was elected, now a May Queen or a May King can be chosen.

A major feature of the day's events is the customary return to the College of many former May Monarchs who, where possible, wear their original outfits and who, after the Ceremony, process round the College Lawn behind the new King or Queen and her/his retinue.
Celebrations continue with maypole dancing and student activities in the College grounds organised in order to raise funds for the retiring May Monarch's chosen charity.

May Day 2015 will take place on Saturday 16th May.

Mayday queenMayday pole

Whitelands vs Southlands Annual Football Match: Shitelands

This annual football match lovably named by the students of both colleges is the final culmination of college rivalry over the year with a simple head to head showdown between the two college’s football teams.

Both colleges gather their students by the masses on the fields of Parkstead house to enjoy the mini festival atmosphere created by food, music and giant inflatables ahead of kick off for the match itself. The crowds of students cheer and chant for their college alongside the Badger and Shark mascots until a winner is decided.

Every year it’s a close to call match between the two colleges, but Whitelands has proved victorious time and time again. The cup can currently be seen in the Whitelands trophy cabinet in the Student Common Room.

Shitelands 2015 will take place on Wednesday 20th May.

Shitelands 1Shitelands 2

College Formal Dinners

Whitelands holds a series of formal dinners over the year open to students of the college:

  • At the start of term in October Whitelands throws a ‘Welcome Dinner’ open to all new students of the college in the prestigious and ornate Manresa Hall.
  • During December a Christmas formal takes place which is a more relaxed affair that continues late into the night. Staff from around the College are invited to join and socialise with the students.
  • End of Year formal, after exams have concluded and we begin winding down for the year our final formal takes place to celebrate the achievements of students and give out the annual College awards.

These formal affairs often come complete with a 3 course meal prepared especially by our impressive caterers; sparkling welcome drinks on arrival into the spectacularly lit Parkstead House, guests enjoy the services of a professional photographer to capture the evenings to remember them long after graduation.

Formal Dinner 2   Formal Dinner 1   Formal Dinner 3