A First Female Head of State
Somervillian Indira Gandhi (Nehru) is elected India’s first woman Prime Minister.
A Natural Diplomat in a Turbulent Era
Classicist Barbara Craig is elected Principal (1967-80). Craig's natural impartiality is a formidable asset as the university is rocked in 1968 and 1973-74 by students contesting the system of proctorial discipline. She also introduces active fundraising and supports the senior common room in becoming more cosmopolitan.
(Nearly) Time for a Change
The JCR (‘Junior Common Room’, a sort of student union for undergraduates) holds a survey of its members about whether to ‘go mixed’ by admitting men. 90 percent are in favour.
A Tireless Champion of Liberal Causes
Somervillian Shirley Williams serves as Secretary of State for Education and Science and Paymaster General in Harold Wilson’s Labour Government. She goes on to become one of the ‘Gang of Four’ who found the SDP (Social Democratic Party) in 1981.
Britain's First Female Prime Minister
Somerville celebrates its centenary in the same year that Somervillian Margaret Thatcher (a pupil of Nobel Prize Winner Dorothy Hodgkin) becomes the UK’s first woman Prime Minister