The Queen of Spies
Daphne Park is elected Somerville’s 8th Principal, after her hobbies listed in Who’s Who (‘good talk and difficult places’) attract the attention of the college’s SCR (fellows and tutors). She is later revealed to have been a senior MI6 controller, nicknamed the ‘Queen of Spies’.
An Eye for Equality
The historian and civil servant Catherine Pestell is elected Principal. Pestell is the first Principal since Agnes Maitland not to have studied at Somerville. She is also the first to get married in office, requiring her resignation and re-election (as Catherine Hughes).
A Diplomatic Pause
Somerville’s Governing Body votes to admit men. The JCR (representing the college’s undergraduates) challenges the decision, taking the case to the College Visitor, Lord Jenkins. He rules that, while the admission of men should go ahead, it should be delayed.
The End of the Beginning
After 115 years of being a single sex college and lobbying tirelessly to gain greater equality for women in education, Somerville finally welcomes its first male undergraduates.
A New Era
Fiona Caldicott is elected Principal. A renowned psychiatrist and psychotherapist, Caldicott works to improve student welfare across the University. At Somerville, her signature projects include the new, environmentally friendly ROQ buildings and the transition to a mixed institution, both of which she oversees with characteristic diplomacy.