Formal launch to celebrate The Bedford Society

Posted on 29/04/2013

Celebrating Bedford College

The Principal, Professor Paul Layzell hosted a reunion of over 450 Bedfordians on Tuesday (23 April) at a reception and lecture to celebrate the formal launch of The Bedford Society.

The event took place at Senate House with afternoon tea in the Macmillan Hall and a special pictorial display presented by the College Archivist and Curator who spoke at length about the Bedford Collection and the historical importance of Bedford College which was founded by Elizabeth Jesser Reid in 1849 as the UK’s first higher education college for women.

In his welcome speech the Principal highlighted the many things named after Bedfordians at College today, commenting,  “This is a society to celebrate the rich heritage of Bedford College and to ensure that the College’s past achievements benefit future generations. We look forward to many more events and are sure this is the beginning of something very special.”

An excellent lecture was delivered by Dr Lawrence Goldman on ‘Pioneers of Higher Education for Women in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: Bedford College in Context’, while Chair of  The Bedford Society, Professor Caroline Barron spoke about the Society and how it will benefit Bedfordians today as well as scholars of tomorrow.

All guests left with a copy of Bedford College – Memories of 150 years by J Mordaunt Crook, tucked under their arms, a book tracing the many interesting milestones of Bedford College and the more recent story of its amalgamation with Royal Holloway in the mid-eighties to form a major constituent of the University of London under the name Royal Holloway and Bedford New College.

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