Towards dusk last Friday, students trickled into the ante-chapel. Clad in gowns, they were assembling for a special ceremony, the Admission of Scholars, which dates back to 1560.
At Trinity a scholarship is awarded to a student who receives a first in university exams or is strongly recommended by their Director of Studies.
In June 2015, Trinity topped the Tompkins Table of university exams for the fifth consecutive year – with 41 per cent of students achieving firsts. The College was also ranked first in the Baxter Tables.
On Friday, curiosity and excitement tingled through the Chapel as relatives took their candlelit seats and Tutors mingled with their best-performing students.
During the ceremony, scholars are formally ‘admitted’ to the Foundation of the College. On 19 December 1546 King Henry VIII founded Trinity College, which he dedicated to ‘the honour and glory of the Holy and Undivided Trinity.’
The Foundation of the College comprises the Master, the Fellows, the Scholars, the Chaplains, the Librarian, and the Regius Professors of Divinity, Hebrew and Greek. On Friday, 99 Senior Scholars and 63 Junior Scholars were admitted members of the Foundation.
After a welcome by the Senior Tutor, Professor Catherine Barnard, the candidates were presented to the Master, Professor Sir Gregory Winter, by their Tutors.
Professor Barnard said:
I feel immensely proud of all our students. They excel academically, as demonstrated by the number of scholars being admitted, but many excel in other ways: on the sporting field, as writers, musicians and artists. Trinity is a place which recognises and rewards students’ ability to fulfil their potential.
Before they can be admitted to their scholarship, candidates must sign a declaration of loyalty to the College. The Admission of Scholars’ ledger is held in the Wren Library.
Senior scholars received a copy of Trinity: A Portrait and the Junior Scholars a copy of the History of the College by G M Trevelyan.