Jesus College, Cambridge

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Jesus College

Jesus College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge, England.

The College was founded in 1496 on the site of a Benedictine nunnery by John Alcock, then Bishop of Ely. It has been traditionally believed that the nunnery was turned into a college because the nunnery had gained a reputation for licentiousness.

The College's full name is "The College of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint John the Evangelist and the glorious Virgin Saint Radegund, near Cambridge". Its common name comes from the name of its Chapel, Jesus Chapel. Founded at the beginning of the 12th century, the Chapel is the oldest university building in Cambridge still in use.

When founded in 1496, the College consisted of buildings taken over from the Nunnery of St Mary and St Radegund: namely the Chapel, and the Cloister attached to it; the nuns’ refectory, which became the college hall; and the former lodging of the prioress, which became the Master’s Lodge. This set of buildings remains the core of the College to this day, and this accounts for its distinctly monastic and non-collegiate character, which sets it apart from other Cambridge colleges. A library was soon added, and the Chapel was considerably modified and reduced in scale by Alcock.

The 500th anniversary of the College’s foundation in 1996 saw the completion of the new Quincentenary Library, designed by Eldred Evans and David Shalev, which was shortly followed by a new accommodation building.

The College is also known for its grounds, which are unlike those of Cambridge’s other old colleges, being much more spacious. Set back from Jesus Lane, all the courts are open on at least one side (with the exception of the Cloister). The main entrance to the College is a walled passage, called the “Chimney” (derived from the French word chemin).

Jesus College is one of the few colleges to allow anyone to walk on the lawns of its courts, with the exception of First Court, Cloister Court and those that are burial sites for deceased nuns from the original nunnery. However, in common with other Cambridge colleges, this privilege is only extended during the summer term. Jesus gets far fewer tourists than most other colleges due to being slightly away from the centre.

Professor Robert Mair, Professor of Geotechnical Engineering in the University, has been Master of Jesus since March 2001.

Jesus College has an endowment of approximately £236,404,421, making it Cambridge’s third wealthiest college. [1]

Contents

College Grace

The following Latin grace is recited before formal dinners at Jesus College (Oratio Ante Cibum):

Oculi omnium in te aspiciunt et in te sperant, Deus. Tu das illis escam tempore opportuno. Aperis tu manus, et imples omne animal benedictione tua. Benedic nobis, Domine, et omnibus tuis donis, quae ex larga liberalitate tua sumpturi sumus, per Jesum Christum Dominum nostrum. Deus est caritas. Qui manet in caritate manet in Deo et Deus in illo. Sit Deus in nobis, et nos maneamus in illo.

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