“She left no glass ceiling intact”: Newnham’s Margaret Anstee Centre opened by the Vice-Chancellor and Robert Ward Jackson

The legacy of one outstanding Newnham woman came to fruition today, when with music and laughter the college celebrated the opening of the Margaret Anstee Centre.

The Margaret Anstee Centre for Global Studies, a research centre for “outstanding women working in the fields of development policy and social change” was formally opened by the Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University and Robert Ward Jackson.

Prof Stephen Toope returned to Newnham for the second opening ceremony in a month, joining the Principal of Newnham and Robert Ward Jackson, son of Anstee’s partner and trustee of the Margaret Anstee Centre.

Based at Newnham College and led by Dr Emma Mawdsley, the Margaret Anstee Centre supports research in international relations and economic and social development. Research is broad in scope: in the last month alone, publication topics have included Eritrean attitudes towards migrants, the lithium flats of Bolivia and approaches to researching South-South development cooperation.

The Margaret Anstee Centre was made possible through a legacy from Dame Margaret Anstee, an alumna of Newnham College, and the first woman Under-Secretary General of the United Nations. In keeping with Dame Margaret’s vibrant spirit, the celebration included a guitarist, flags of the world bunting, and beer from her beloved Bolivia.

The Principal of the College, Dame Carol Black, paid tribute to her late friend in a moving speech, commenting “My memories of Margaret are very rich and they’re wonderful. The resilience and determination of this woman was incredible.”

Prof Toope said of Dame Margaret Anstee that “she encapsulates everything Newnham stands for. Passionate and progressive, she left no glass ceiling intact.”

Commenting on the Margaret Anstee Centre research team, he said “under the distinguished directorship of Emma Mawdsley they all face a task of defining the centre’s direction over the next few years. They truly encapsulate the University spirit of interdisciplinary collaborative research and they are already on an upward trajectory.”

Robert Ward Jackson explained “her deep love for Newnham was persistent throughout her life. This is the end of one journey and the start of another. I’m sure that the journey to the future will be a testament to my friend Margaret.”

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