St Cross College
Blackwell Quad
St Cross Coat of Arms
Arms: Argent a Cross Potent Purpure a Quarter counterchanged; and for the Crest upon a Helm with a Wreath Argent and Purpure an Armillary Sphere upon a Stand Or thereon a Dove with wings elevated and displayed Argent holding in the beak a Sprig of Mulberry fructed and leaved proper mantled Purpure doubled Argent[1]
LocationSt Giles'
Coordinates51°45′24″N 1°15′37″W / 51.756528°N 1.260311°W / 51.756528; -1.260311Coordinates: 51°45′24″N 1°15′37″W / 51.756528°N 1.260311°W / 51.756528; -1.260311
Latin nameCollegium Sanctae Crucis Oxoniae
MottoAd quattuor cardines mundi
Named forSt Cross Road and St Cross Church[2]
Sister collegeClare Hall, Cambridge
MasterRana Mitter (interim)
DeanHeather Hamill
Postgraduates545 (2018)
VisitorThe Lord Mance as High Steward of the University of Oxford
Boat clubBoat Club shared with Wolfson College Boat Club
St Cross College, Oxford is located in Oxford city centre
St Cross College, Oxford
Location in Oxford city centre

St Cross College is a constituent college of the University of Oxford in England. Founded in 1965, St Cross is an all-graduate college with gothic and traditional-style buildings on a central site in St Giles', just south of Pusey Street. It aims to match the structure, life and support of undergraduate colleges, with the relaxed atmosphere of an all-graduate college.[3]


St Cross College was formally set up as a society by the University on 5 October 1965; it was to admit its first graduate students (five in number) in the following year. Like the majority of Oxford's newer colleges, St Cross has been co-educational since its foundation.[4]

The early location of St Cross was on a site in St Cross Road, immediately south of St Cross Church. The college took its name from its proximity to these places. In 1976 negotiations began between the college and the members of Pusey House over the possibility of moving the college to the St Giles site. The negotiations were successful, and in 1981 the college moved from St Cross Road into a site owned by Pusey House for a leased period of 999 years. The old site on St Cross Road continued to be used, initially by the Centre for Islamic Studies (at that time an Associated Centre of the college), and then subsequently in the early 1990s the site was developed by the college in collaboration with Brasenose College. The site now houses two residential buildings, which were opened in 1996.[5][6]

On 18 November 2010, it was announced that Sir Mark Jones, previously Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, had been elected as the next Master of the college; he took up the post in September 2011.[7] Unlike every other college head (except the presidents of Kellogg and Reuben), the Master of St Cross is appointed not by the college's governing body but by the University Council.[8] Therefore, the election has only the character of a recommendation to Council, albeit one which is constantly followed.[9][10]

In May 2016, it was announced that the Fellows of St Cross College had elected Carole Souter, then chief executive of the National Heritage Memorial Fund and Heritage Lottery Fund, as the next Master of the college. In September 2016, she succeeded Sir Mark Jones, who had been Master of St Cross since 2011.[11] In June 2022 it was announced that Souter will retire in September 2022.[12] Rana Mitter was appointed as interim Master in October 2022.[13]


The college is located on St Giles' near to the Ashmolean Museum, south of Regent's Park College and immediately north of Blackfriars and is facing St John's College, Oxford. It is also close to the Classics Faculty and the Oriental Institute.

The college buildings are structured around two quads, the Richard Blackwell Quadrangle and the new West Quad. St Cross shares the site with Pusey House, which comprises the first floor and parts of the ground floor to the eastern side of the Blackwell quad, a library on the first floor on its western side, as well as the chapel. The original Pusey House buildings around the Blackwell quad, including the chapel, date from the period of 1884 to 1926 and are mainly the work of the architects Temple and Leslie Moore and Ninian Comper. Discreet internal alterations were made when St Cross moved in by Geoffrey Beard and the Oxford Architects Partnership. Among these was the conversion of a cloister and store rooms into the Saugman Hall (now the Saugman Common Room) named after Per Saugman, a former Director of Blackwell Scientific Publications and a former fellow of the college. The first quadrangle was named the Richard Blackwell Quadrangle in honour of Richard Blackwell (another former fellow); both Saugman and Blackwell played a crucial part in securing the large Blackwell benefaction for St Cross. Most students, however, used to refer to the Richard Blackwell Quadrangle by its nickname: 'the Quad'. After completion of the second quad, it is now commonly known as 'the front Quad'.[citation needed]

At the west side of the Blackwell Quad lies the Four Colleges Arch, named after the four colleges which had contributed especially generous capital and recurrent funding to St Cross: Merton, All Souls, Christ Church, and St John's. Behind the Four Colleges Arch originally lay a large open garden bordered by medieval boundary wall. This offered the college the possibility of expanding its buildings and erecting a second quadrangle, the West Quad.[citation needed]

Work was first completed on the South Wing on the southern side of the West Quad, containing a hall and kitchen, with bar, the Ian Skipper conference room, and the Caroline Miles games room below, a guest room and study bedrooms above. This development has in part been financed by Ian Skipper, Domus fellow of the college, after whom the conference room on the lower ground floor was named.[14]

A second building to the western and northern sides of the West Quad was set to be completed in time for the college's semicentennial in 2015.[15] However, planning permission for the new building was rejected, as it required the demolition of a medieval boundary wall, an action which the council qualified as 'unjustifiable'.[16] Planning permission was subsequently granted following an appeal,[17] and the new West Wing building was completed in 2017.[18] The new West Quad includes 50 student bedrooms, a lecture theatre, a library with a garden room (the Douglas and Catherine Wigdor Library), several seminar rooms, and the Audrey Blackman Guest Room.[19]

In addition to the current main site, the college still owns its original site on St Cross Road, located near the Law Faculty and English Faculty. After the college moved to its present location, this site was developed into student accommodation, the St Cross Annexe. The site is shared with Brasenose, who also own an annexe on the site. Additional buildings which are run by St Cross College as student accommodation include Bradmore Road House, Stonemason House, and the Wellington Square houses.[20]

The master's lodgings are also located in Wellington Square.[citation needed]


In 2016, St Cross had over 550 graduate students, studying for degrees in all subjects.[21] There is a strong emphasis on international diversity, with regularly over 75% of the students coming from outside the UK (2016: 83%[22]). This is reflected in the college motto Ad quattuor cardines mundi, meaning 'to the four corners of the earth'. The fellowship is similarly diverse and represents a broad range of academic disciplines in the sciences and the arts.[citation needed]

The college awards a number of scholarships in different subjects, predominantly in the humanities and social sciences.[23][24]

Student life

Students are admitted and matriculated according to the same admissions procedures as the other colleges and halls of the University of Oxford. Unusually for an Oxford college, there is a founding tradition of sharing social facilities between fellows, members of Pusey House, the Common Room and students, with no separate high table or Senior Common Room. This gives the college a much more informal atmosphere and makes it an important community of scholars who forge links across a range of subjects.[25]

The college has an active social calendar for both current students and alumni. There are a range of college societies and sports teams (often in collaboration with other colleges), as well as weekly academic seminars and annual conferences.[26]

The college's Boat Club shared with Wolfson College is particularly successful, and like many other college boat clubs competes both within the university itself and in external competitions.[27] The St Cross women's football team also enjoys success, becoming Cuppers Champions in 2015.[28]

Other events in the college include regular formal hall, a feast once a term, 'bops' (informal college-based parties) and a yearly ball. As a result of the large international community at St Cross, the college strives to cater a wide range of events from other cultures; St Cross was the first Oxford college to officially celebrate Chinese New Year.[29] Reunion events for alumni are hosted by the college annually both in Oxford itself and abroad.[30]

Students are provided with accommodation in the first year of study. College students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of extra-curricular activities. There are sports teams in football, rowing, netball and basketball as well as opportunities to play other sports for other Oxford colleges.[31]

The Common Room also provides arts activities, such as an annual play and pantomime, as well as several social societies.[32] The cafe/bar area is a large oak-panelled room, including leather sofas, a TV, a sound system for bi-termly parties (bops), a football table. There is also a free DVD rental library. During Trinity Term, croquet and Pimms are enjoyed on the quad.


Together with Kellogg and Reuben, St Cross is one of only three Oxford colleges without a royal charter. It is officially a society of the university rather than an independent college.[33] The main difference from an independent college is that the governing body only recommends a Master, who is then appointed by Council; in other colleges, the head of house is elected and appointed by the governing body directly. For accounting purposes, the societies are considered departments of the university.[34] St Cross has one of the smallest endowments of any Oxford college, at approximately £8 million.[35] Nevertheless, the college has several scholarships that it awards to current and prospective graduate students and that are funded by third party donations and alumni.[36]



The college grace is:

(ante cibum) Adesto nobis, Domine Deus noster: et concede ut quos Sanctae Crucis laetari facis honore, ejus donis quoque salutaribus nutrias, per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum. (before the meal) "Be present with us, O Lord our God: and grant that those whom thou makest to rejoice in the honour of the Holy Cross, thou mayest also nourish by wholesome gifts, through our Lord Jesus Christ."

(post cibum) Gratias agimus tibi, Domine, pro omnibus beneficiis tuis per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum. (after the meal) "We give thanks to thee, O Lord, for all thy favours through our Lord Jesus Christ."


Dinning hall
Dinning hall

The college prides itself on a deliberate egalitarianism among its members. Unlike most colleges, St Cross does not divide its common rooms between senior and middle members. [37] All facilities are open to everyone, students and fellows alike.[38] There is no High Table in the dining hall, and, at formal meals, the Master and Fellows sit amongst the students in the dining hall (which seats 120 people across 3 long tables), with the master sitting at the centre of the top table.[39]

People associated with the college

Notable alumni

Further information: Category:Alumni of St Cross College, Oxford


Further information: Category:Fellows of St Cross College, Oxford

Honorary Fellows

Further information: List of Honorary Fellows of St Cross College, Oxford



  1. ^ "Marlin, J.T. HERALDRY: St Cross College, Oxford".
  2. ^ Emilie Savage-Smith (2009) St Cross: The first 45 years. St Cross College Record 26:78–90
  3. ^ Why Choose St Cross College Archived 23 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine St Cross College Website, 30 May 2012.
  4. ^ Communication from Professor Emilie Savage-Smith, college archivist
  5. ^ "St Cross Road, the original site of the College".
  6. ^ (PDF) ((cite web)): Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ Sir Mark Jones elected Master of St Cross CollegeArchived 23 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine University of Oxford news 18 November 2010.
  8. ^ University of Oxford. Regulations for St Cross College. Council Regulations 11 of 2002, sec. 5 subsec. 1.
  9. ^ "The Foundation of the College".
  10. ^ (PDF) ((cite web)): Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^ "St Cross College Elects New Master – St Cross College". University of Oxford.
  12. ^ "Master of St Cross Carole Souter to Retire". St Cross College.
  13. ^ "Professor Rana Mitter announced as Interim Master of St Cross College". St Cross College. 2022. Retrieved 26 November 2022.
  14. ^ Burnley Express, Ian Skipper Obituary
  15. ^ Quadrangle design shortlist Archived 23 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine St Cross College News, 12 June 2012.
  16. ^ Niall McLaughlin's Oxford college plans rejected Architects' Journal, 28 October 2013
  17. ^ "St Cross College achieves planning permission for the proposed West Quad". University of Oxford.
  18. ^ "St Cross College Accommodation". University of Oxford.
  19. ^ "St Cross College West Quad Brochure" (PDF). University of Oxford.
  20. ^ "St Cross College Accommodation". University of Oxford.
  21. ^ St Cross College, Record 33 (2016), p. 63.
  22. ^ St Cross College, Record 33 (2016), p. 62.
  23. ^ St Cross College, Funding Support.
  24. ^ "Scholarships".
  25. ^ "Student Representative Committee (SRC)". St Cross College. 21 January 2022. Retrieved 5 April 2022.
  26. ^ "Sports and Societies". St Cross College. 27 September 2021. Retrieved 5 April 2022.
  27. ^ Wolfson-St Cross Boat Club College Website
  28. ^ 'St Cross Women's Football Team are Cuppers Champions 2015' St Cross College news, 3 March 2015
  29. ^ 'International Community' St Cross College, 30 May 2012.
  30. ^ 'Alumni reception held in New York' Archived 23 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine St Cross College News, 30 May 2012.
  31. ^ "Sports and Societies".
  32. ^ "Student Representative Committee (SRC)".
  33. ^ "Regulations for St Cross College". University of Oxford. Retrieved 3 June 2017.
  34. ^ "Financial Statements of the Oxford Colleges (2017–18)". University of Oxford. Retrieved 5 July 2019.
  35. ^ "Leaving a Legacy to St Cross". St Cross College. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
  36. ^ "St Cross College Funding Support". University of Oxford.
  37. ^ "StX facitlities". St Cross College Website.
  38. ^ "Why Choose St Cross?". St Cross College Website.
  39. ^ "StX facitlities". St Cross College Website.
  40. ^ ""St Cross College Welcomes His Majesty Sultan Muhammad V"".