Following the sad death of Shirley Williams in April 2021, the Principal and Fellows of Somerville College are seeking to ensure the preservation of her legacy by endowing a new Politics fellowship in her name.

Often described as the best prime minister Britain never had, Shirley Williams’ was both a model politician and human being. Her contributions to Parliament, her staunch support for the European Union and her championing of democracy around the world embody the progressive, compassionate politics of a true original.

We would like to safeguard the Shirley Williams Fellowship in Politics so that generations of future students will benefit from the same education that set Shirley Williams on the path to her outstanding political career. It seems especially fitting to endow this Fellowship now, during the centenary of the PPE degree and in a year when the University of Oxford’s Politics and International Relations faculty was ranked number one in the world.

Fundraising Goal

In order to endow the Fellowship, Somerville will need to raise £450,000. We would be immensely grateful for your support in meeting that target and thereby securing Shirley Williams’ legacy.

Watch Shirley Williams’ Memorial Service

The Memorial Service for Shirley Williams was held on Friday 26th November 2021 in the Somerville College Chapel. The service featured eloquent tributes from the Chancellor of Oxford University, Lord Patten, former Somerville Principal, Dr Alice Prochaska and Jan Royall, Somerville’s current Principal, among others.

Shirley Williams' Memorial Service, 26th November 2021
Shirley Williams' Memorial Service, 26th November 2021

A Life in Politics