Famous Women Alumni of Durham University

Durham University was officially founded in 1832 and gained its Royal Charter in 1837, breaking a centuries old tradition that had seen Oxford and Cambridge stand as the only two universities in England. Designed to be a great university for the burgeoning towns of the north in the aftermath of the Industrial Revolution, it has since gained a reputation to rank alongside that of Cambridge and Oxford and is regularly seen near the top of lists of the world’s best universities. It also has a proud list of strong and inspiring women alumni, as these examples show.

Mo Mowlam

Mo Mowlam graduated from Durham in 1971, having studied Sociology and Anthropology while at Trevelyan College. She later studied for a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Political Science at the University of Iowa in America, and it was in this field that she made a huge impact. Mo became a Member of Parliament for the Labour Party in 1987, representing the constituency of Redcar, just 30 miles to the south of Durham. Mo sadly lost her battle with cancer in 2005, but she has left a lasting legacy of peace, as she was largely instrumental in securing the 1998 Good Friday Agreement that led to power sharing in Northern Ireland, and the end of the armed struggle by groups such as the IRA.

Jill Black

Jill Black, more formally called Lady Black of Derwent, was born Jill Currie in 1954, and she read law at the University of Durham. A glittering and highly acclaimed career as a barrister and Queen’s Counsel followed, and in 1999 she was appointed a high court judge. Lady Black’s career continues in the ascent, and she is now a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, making her one of the nation’s most senior legal figures and only the second woman to sit in the Supreme Court.

Biddy Baxter

Even if you’re not familiar with the name of Biddy Baxter, you (and any children or grandchildren you have) are sure to be aware of something she invented – the Blue Peter badge. Biddy graduated from St. Mary’s College at Durham University in 1955, and by 1958 she had produced the first of many editions of Blue Peter, designing and introducing its famous badge five years later. Blue Peter has been a staple of children’s television ever since, and while presenters change, Biddy’s legacy of entertainment allied to education lives on.

Durham University Today

Durham University has enjoyed growth and expansion in recent years without diluting its proud history and principles. It now hosts more than 18,000 pupils, but as Collegiate’s website shows, there is a vast array of affordable and yet high quality student accommodation Durham waiting for them which you can view here: https://www.collegiate-ac.com/uk-student-accommodation/durham/. There’s plenty to see in Durham and its surrounds, for as well as its beautiful colleges there’s also a historic Castle and Cathedral to explore, as well as a beautiful shopping centre.

It’s little wonder that so many young women dream of studying at Durham University, and whatever field they wish to study in they’re sure to find illustrious alumni who have trodden the same path. From entertainment and media experts like Biddy Baxter to legal leaders like Lady Black and esteemed politicians like Mo Mowlam, Durham University can be proud of the women graduates it has produced, and of those to come.

Thanks to Zoe Price

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