40 Years of Women Undergraduates at Trinity


In October 1978, female undergraduates arrived at Trinity for their first term – and for the first time in the institution’s history. Since the statutes were changed in 1975 to allow women to be admitted, nearly 3000 women have lived and studied at the College, contributing to Trinity life and laying the foundations for a rich array of careers and eclectic trajectories.

Alumni, Fellows, staff and students of Trinity College are warmly invited to attend a special event on Sunday 28 April 2019, which will be the culmination of the 40th anniversary celebrations of women’s arrival at Trinity.

There will be a cornucopia of activities, including:

  • Tales of the Unexpected panel discussion, in the Master’s Lodge
  • Hidden Histories trail around College unearthing the women who lived and worked here, based on research by history student Amelia Hutchinson
  • Art works by Trinity’s three female Fellow Commoners in the Creative Arts, exhibited in a hitherto hidden space
  • World premiere of Women and Trinity, a new short film commissioned from alumna Sonum Sumaria
  • World premiere of a choral commission specially created by Joanna Forbes L’Estrange and sung by female choir members
  • Singing Workshop led by alumnae choir members
  • Living History of Women at Trinity installation in Hall, to which contributions can be made on the day

There will of course be plenty of refreshments throughout the day including drinks and a light lunch on arrival.


12:30 pm

Refreshments & activities in Hall

Hall will be the pivotal arrival and refreshments location. Join us from 12.30pm to hear from the Senior Tutor, Professor Catherine Barnard, followed by a world premiere Choir composition commissioned from Joanna Forbes L’Estrange.

Lunch will be served from 1.15pm.
2:00 pm


Guests are invited to join a Trinity College Choir workshop, led by current members Ellie Tobin and Kate Apley. The workshop will focus on existing work by Joanna Forbes L’Estrange.

A performance will follow in Hall at 3.10pm.
2:00 pm


A guide to women at Trinity past and present. Explore College and learn about the hidden histories of bedmakers, gardeners, Masters’ secretaries and famous visitors.
2:00 pm


A selection of work will be on display from Jane Boyd, Kate Palmer and Ulyana Gumeniuk, former Fellow Commoners in Creative Arts.
2:00 pm


An exhibition of the places, people and events at Trinity that have inspired students, alumni, staff and academics will be displayed in the Nevile’s Court Cloister.
2:00 pm


Explore an exclusive collection of letters and personal effects of Trinity alumnus Frederick Pethick-Lawrences and his wife Emmeline, well known campaigners for women’s suffrage in early 20th century Britain. Memorabilia from 1976 to 1978 will be on display.
3:30 pm


5:40 pm


Organ recital in Chapel by Trinity’s first female organ scholar, Eleanor Kornas, followed by Evensong, 6.15pm, with music by female composers.