Tonight students of Pembroke College celebrated Independence Day in style, with a carvery dinner in the 17th century hall!
Oxford has had intimate ties with America since the colonial period, with James Oglethorpe and William Penn, founders of the US states of Georgia and Pennsylvania respectively, having attended the university.
Other famous American politicians to have graced Oxford’s dreaming spires include Bill Clinton, former President; Bobby Jindal, Governor of Louisiana; and J. William Fulbright, former Senator and founder of the Fulbright Scholarships.
Oxford’s influence is felt in the American judiciary, through alumni Justice Elena Kagan and Justice Stephen Breyer. Edwin Hubble, regarded as one of the most important astronomers of all time, studied at Queen’s College for his bachelors in jurisprudence. Robert Penn Warren, American poet laureate, even wrote the poem ‘Oxford City Wall’ during his time there as a student.
Many American colleges maintain student exchange systems with Oxford, sending students to experience Oxford’s unique tutorial system for one term. Stanford houses its visiting students in a townhouse near Magdalene College that, depressingly, is much nicer than many modern complexes in actual Oxford colleges.
Then, of course, there is The Oxford Tradition. Around 45% of our new cohort are American, hailing from 36 different states, though our students quickly formed very international friendships.
It was certainly an unusual experience for our American students, celebrating Independence Day in the country that their nation went to war to escape from!