Image: Mary Paley Marshall, one of the first five students at Newnham, sat the tripos exams unofficially, and was issued a certificate by the College rather than the University [NCA AC/6/3].
Degrees for Women
Newnham College has been in existence for 150 years, but for over half that time, women students did not enjoy full membership of the University or receive full degrees:
1870 Henry Sidgwick’s series of Lectures for Women begins in Cambridge.
1871 A residence for women attending the lectures opens in Regent Street, run by Anne Jemima Clough.
1881 Women are allowed to take Tripos exams, and their achievements are recognised with a University certificate.
1897 The University votes against giving women ‘titles of degrees’ (degrees without associated privileges such as involvement in University governance and the right to attend lectures).
1921 The University votes to give women ‘titles of degrees’, but votes against allowing them any further rights and privileges.
1948 Full membership of the University for women comes into effect.