Celebrating 175 years of Whitelands College at Westminster Abbey

As part of a series of events to recognise 175th anniversary of the foundation of Whitelands, a service of thanksgiving was held at Westminster Abbey yesterday.

Posted: 25 May 2016

image for news story Celebrating 175 years of Whitelands College at Westminster Abbey
The Very Reverend John Hall with Vice Chancellor Paul O'Prey at Westminster Abbey.

The service, led by Roehampton Pro-Chancellor and Dean of Westminster the Very Reverend John Hall, was attended by 1,900 guests made up of staff, alumni, students and honorary alumni including Sister Dorothy Bell OBE, Dr Priscilla Chadwick, Dr Daleep Mukarji and Julian Filochowski CMG OBE. The Chancellor Professor Dame Jacqueline Wilson, Chair of Council Sir David Bell, Vice Chancellor Professor Paul O’Prey and other senior staff were also in attendance.

Vice Chancellor, Paul O’Prey commented, “These celebrations are about recognising our rich heritage, but they also provide an opportunity to look forwards to the future. We are proud that, through Whitelands College, we have been providing higher education to women for longer than any other university in the country. But we are also pleased that the values of our four Colleges continue to inform what we do today, and will do so for very many years to come.”

The thanksgiving service featured a reading of the Proverbs 8:1-11 by Dame Jacqueline Wilson, an address by the Reverend Lucy Winkett and a reading of Gerard Manley Hopkins’s The Caged Skylark by Paul O’Prey. Flautist and Whitelands College Music Scholar, Kate Grace also performed during the service.

Roehampton’s Whitelands College was founded in 1841 as a teacher training college for women by the Church of England’s National Society, and by the early twentieth century it came to be regarded as one of the foremost women’s teacher training colleges in the country. Today, the University of Roehampton is the UK’s longest running provider of higher education to women in the country and continues to be one of the biggest providers of teacher education.

The thanksgiving service is one of several events taking place across the year to pay tribute to the University’s heritage. Visit the website for more information.

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