Regular gifts to Somerville change lives and shape the College’s future.

Our new Cedar Circle aims to thank alumni who give year on year and offer them the chance to see the impact of their generosity first hand. It recognises the loyal commitment of donors whose continued altruism enables the College to plan effectively for the future, invest in student support, and respond to urgent need in a timely manner. 

Our Main Quad tree after which the Circle is named, was planted under Janet Vaughan’s leadership by Harold Macmillan in 1976, the same year Professor Dorothy Hodgkin was elected President of the British Institute for the Advancement of Science and Philippa Foot was elected to the British Academy. It has since seen 5 more principals, the admission of men, and now, even academic life during a pandemic. In the 46 years since the then cedar sapling was planted, regular donations to Somerville have enabled the College to double on-site accommodation so that all students have the opportunity to live here in College; funded the provision of a counsellor; and ensured that Somerville was able to weather the financial storm unleashed by the pandemic while committing a previously unseen level of discretionary financial support to students.

“[Somerville] was honoured by a visit from the Chancellor of the University, Mr Harold Macmillan, on 20 May 1976. Before planting a cedar sapling, the Visitor made a generous and witty speech…”

(Somerville College Report, 1976).

Those who commit to a regular gift become members automatically and they will be sent our Cedar Circle pin badge. Members of the Cedar Circle will also be contacted with exclusive invitations to bespoke events and further details regarding membership and opportunities to visit the College. 

Find out how you can support Somerville with a regular gift here



A colour, pencil sketch of the Cedar tree in Somerville's Main Quad with the library to the left and House and Hall behind.

Jemima Storey (2020, History)