Kloppenburg Room formally opened

On Friday 17 March the Rector Professor Sir Rick Trainor was delighted to welcome Henry and Cheryl Kloppenburg to Cohen Quad to open formally the Kloppenburg Room. The event took place ahead of the formal opening of Cohen Quad and the associated celebrations, which occurred over the weekend of 18 and 19 March.

kloppenburg-web

Cheryl Kloppenburg, Rick Trainor and Henry Kloppenburg at the formal opening

Henry, who came to Exeter in 1968 to read Law as a Rhodes Scholar from Saskatchewan province, Canada, made a generous gift together with his wife, Cheryl, to the Cohen Quad development. The College was therefore delighted to name one of the larger seminar rooms in their honour.

Situated just off the south colonnade near the entrance hall of Cohen Quad, the room looks out onto Worcester Place and features the original 1918 windows from the retained façade. The room has already been used extensively by Exeter fellows for seminars in Hilary term, and it was used further during the celebration weekend as postgraduate students and fellows spoke about their current research to the guests who attended the events.

kloppenburg-web2

Fellow in English Jeri Johnson gives a lecture in the Kloppenburg Room

We are very grateful for the generosity of Henry and Cheryl, who have already pledged their ongoing support to fund the College’s fellowship in Politics, currently held by Dr Michael Hart. This is great news for all future students as it means that the teaching of Politics at Exeter is guaranteed going forwards.

Exeter College formally opens Cohen Quad

On the weekend of Saturday 18th March and Sunday 19th March 2017, Exeter College formally opened Cohen Quad, its new premises on Walton Street. Named for the parents of Exeter College alumnus Sir Ronald Cohen, this new quadrangle, less than 10 minutes’ walk from the College’s historic site on Turl Street, transforms the College and allows it to provide 90 additional study-bedrooms for students, teaching and performance space, a reading room and climate-controlled storage for the College’s special collections, and a hub for social learning.

Rector Professor Sir Rick Trainor said: “The opening of Cohen Quad marks a major step forward for Exeter College as it moves into its eighth century. One of Oxford’s major new buildings of the 21st century, Cohen Quad provides, in a beautiful environment designed by architect Alison Brooks, a wide range of services for all members of the Exeter College community, including students, fellows, staff and alumni. Cohen Quad, to which more than 4,500 alumni and friends have contributed through a financial gift, indicates the vibrancy of Exeter College and is a springboard for its ambitious plans for the future.”

BRPhoto_CohenQuad_rick-web

Professor Sir Rick Trainor addresses guests

Under the leadership of former Rector Dame Frances Cairncross, Exeter College set out in 2007 a strategy to provide world class education within a collegiate environment: that is, a place where students and academics live and work alongside each other, interacting with each other both inside and outside the classroom, within inspiring buildings and spaces. The addition of Cohen Quad is the biggest single physical expansion of the College since its earliest years when it moved to its Turl Street site in 1315. It maintains a 700-year tradition of students and fellows across academic disciplines living and studying alongside each other and benefitting from each other’s knowledge and experience.

Cohen Quad provides study-bedrooms in the centre of Oxford and enables the College to guarantee up to three years’ accommodation for its undergraduate students.  This will have a significant impact on encouraging students to apply to Exeter College and the University of Oxford. It will help to alleviate pressure on Oxford’s private housing market and will provide students with pristine and affordable accommodation designed around the needs of modern students, including 30-week rather than 52-week lets. Cohen Quad therefore makes an Oxford education both more affordable and more enjoyable.

BRPhoto_CohenQuad_bedroom-web

An example of an en-suite study-bedroom

In addition to the study-bedrooms for students, Cohen Quad also has three “family kitchens” in which students can socialise and prepare and eat meals together, an auditorium for concerts, lectures and dramatic performances, a social and learning hub known as the Learning Commons, a café, teaching and seminar rooms, fellows’ teaching sets, a reading room and climate-controlled storage space for the College’s archives and special collections, a student common room, and two external quadrangles. All Exeter students, fellows and staff are welcome to use the space and students from other colleges who take tutorials with Exeter fellows will also be taught on site.

In 2011, Exeter College selected Alison Brooks Architects (ABA) to design the new site following an extensive design competition. The first female architect and principal director of an architectural practice to work for an Oxford college, Alison Brooks’ design was a reinterpretation of the traditional collegiate quadrangle, with a hub for social learning at its heart. Drawing on the design influences within the local neighbourhood of Jericho, the history of both Exeter College and Ruskin College (the latter, now concentrated in Headington, previously occupied the site of Cohen Quad), and the needs of 21st century scholars, ABA have delivered a building that is stunning, uplifting, and inspiring.

Alison Brooks said: “Cohen Quad has exceeded our expectations. Even though we model in 3D, there are some things that have really flowered through being built and I think the proportions of the space are wonderful and feel better and more lofty than even we imagined.”

BRPhoto_CohenQuad_alison-web

Alison Brooks addresses guests

As part of the celebrations the Rector paid tribute to the donors who together gave £18m towards the creation of Cohen Quad and a total of £46m to Exeter College in the period running up to and immediately following the 700th anniversary of the College’s foundation, which it marked in 2014. A large board hangs at Cohen Quad, listing the many people who gave to Exeter College between 2006 and 2016 and who helped make Cohen Quad possible.

The lead donor to the new quadrangle is Sir Ronald Cohen (1964, PPE) and it is in memory of his parents that Cohen Quad is named. The dedication as you walk into the quadrangle reads “In honour of Michael and Sonia Cohen, who knew that education was the one thing that could not be taken away from you”.

Sir Ronald said: “It is at Exeter College that I really learned to think. Education is the one possession that cannot be taken away and I am lucky that I can help future generations of Exeter College students to live in a collegiate environment where their minds are best nurtured and inspired.  The stunning design by Alison Brooks will greatly enhance our College’s life.

“It is a building where I think your soul soars, and at the same time it has a sense of community. When you walk into the Learning Commons you can’t help but smile. I think this building is proof that architecture can affect the way you feel, and hence the way you think.”

BRPhoto_CohenQuad_ronnie-web

Sir Ronald Cohen and his wife Sharon at the formal opening of Cohen Quad

BRPhoto_CohenQuad_inscription-web

The dedication to Sir Ronald’s parents in the entrance hall of Cohen Quad

Students moved into Cohen Quad on Sunday 8th January ahead of the start of Hilary Term. They are delighted with the building; many regularly bring friends and family members around to see the new facilities for themselves. Isabella Neil is in her final year of an English degree at Exeter College. She said: “Anyone can see that Cohen Quad is a beautiful addition to Exeter College, but unless you get the chance to live here, it is less obvious how great an impact the new building will have on students’ everyday lives. The extra living space that Cohen Quad offers means an end to Exeter students desperately scrambling to find private housing that is ‘adequate’. We now have the option to avoid 52-week rents, hefty deposits and administration fees, and potentially difficult landlords.

“Arriving in Cohen Quad, it became immediately clear that all the photos and computer-generated renderings don’t do the building justice and, as a finalist, I can’t imagine a better place to live than Cohen Quad. Having a place to live that also has everything we need – spaces to work, eat, socialise, cook, and relax – less than 10 minutes away from the College’s Turl Street site is amazing, and makes a huge difference in what is a pretty stressful year. Everything about Cohen Quad’s design feels well thought through, and the building feels tailor-made to support Exeter’s students and staff. We are just settling in at the moment, but it is clear to see that Cohen is going to be a huge part of college life at Exeter.”

donor-board-web

The donor board at Cohen Quad

In addition to Exeter College students, five Exeter College fellows have also moved into their teaching rooms at Cohen Quad and a Junior Dean, responsible for discipline and welfare, has also moved into the Quad. The fellows in residence teach classics, Spanish, English, history, and chemistry.

Professor Christina de Bellaigue, Fellow in Modern History, moved into her teaching rooms at Cohen Quad in January. She said: “As one of the Fellows who has just moved into Cohen Quad, I want to say thank you to everyone who made it possible. It’s an inspiring building to work and teach in and the views are fantastic. The building is going to bring such a new lease of life to the College. I love walking around and seeing the students at work in the Learning Commons or chatting over coffee, and I can’t wait to use the Special Collections housed on site to teach some of them.”

The celebration events over 18th and 19th March enabled donors who gave to Exeter College between 2006 and 2016 to visit Cohen Quad and experience this remarkable building for themselves. They had the opportunity to hear from the architect Alison Brooks and to take a tour of the Quad, as well as talk to current students about what it’s like to live and study in Cohen Quad.

BRPhoto_CohenQuad_jeri-lecture-web

Guests attend a lecture on James Joyce by Fellow in English Jeri Johnson

BRPhoto_CohenQuad_choir-web

Exeter College Choir sings at the formal opening

BRPhoto_CohenQuad_sign-for-web

Guests could explore Cohen Quad or take a tour with current students

BRPhoto_CohenQuad_19-for-web

Many guests attended a closing ceremony in the Sheldonian Theatre

Fellows and students enjoying Cohen Quad

Professor Christina de Bellaigue, Jackson Fellow in Modern History, moved from Turl Street to Cohen Quad at the start of term. She is now installed in one of the Fellows’ teaching rooms on the third floor of Cohen Quad and her office looks out over the auditorium towards the western outskirts of Oxford. Here’s what she says:

“As one of the Fellows who has just moved into Cohen Quad, I wanted to say thank you to everyone who made it possible. It’s an inspiring building to work and teach in, even still in progress, and the views are fantastic. The building is going to bring such a new lease of life to the College.

“I held a workshop on admissions, outreach and access in the Kloppenburg Room on Tuesday. It was fantastic, we could all hear what each participant was saying, the room was comfortable and accessible to everyone, and we had lots of good ideas about how we could make good Exeter’s commitment (dating back to 1314!) to recruit the most able students from all walks of life, and honour the spirit of Ruskin College (which was established to extend access to education, and on whose former site Cohen Quad now stands). It’s really exciting to have the opportunity to organise events like this because we now have the space. I’m confident that the building will become a hive of intellectual activity and a key hub for academic exchange.

“I also love walking around and seeing the students at work in the Learning Commons or chatting over coffee, and I can’t wait to use the Special Collections rooms to teach some of them. On a personal level, after 10 years at Turl Street, I feel re-energised and ready for anything.”

c2je7crwqaaevu

The view from Professor de Bellaigue’s teaching room

Cohen Quad family kitchens completed

Last week saw the completion of the family kitchens at Cohen Quad, which now await the arrival of soft furnishings.

These three kitchens, envisaged by Rector Frances Cairncross, provide a central space on each residential floor where students can gather, cook and eat together, and get to know each other better.

20161201-family-kitchen-for-web

One of the completed family kitchens

The first floor kitchen will be named the “Cairncross Kitchen” at the request of many donors who wished to see Frances honoured at Cohen Quad. The kitchen on the second floor will be named the “McRae Kitchen” in recognition of her husband, Hamish McRae, who played an active role in the life of the College during Frances’s rectorship.

The third floor kitchen is at present unnamed and waiting for a donor who would like to support the style of community and collegiate living that Cohen Quad will offer. If you are interested in sponsoring this family kitchen please call 01865 279662.

 

Contractors put finishing touches on student rooms

Over the last few weeks, Mace (our contractors) have been working to finish specific areas of Cohen Quad ahead of handing the whole site over to us at the end of the calendar year.

Last week, focus was on snagging student bedrooms ahead of moving in furniture and fitting out the three student kitchens.

Two other key pieces of work were to build and install the pigeon holes that will be used by the Cohen Quad residents and to pave the Benson Quad and its amphitheatre steps. Each of these steps will be engraved with the names of donors who gave £7,000 or more during the 700th anniversary year and will provide a wonderful outdoor area adjacent to the café where students can sit out and enjoy a coffee – when it’s not raining of course!

cohen-quad-steps-nov-2016

Paving leading into the amphitheatre steps of Benson Quad 

cohen-quad-pidge-nov-2016

The pigeon holes

Fundraising for the Maddicott Teaching Room Completed!

It is with great excitement that we can announce completion of the fundraising for the John Maddicott Teaching Room at Cohen Quad. Between them, just under 30 alumni have made gifts that total slightly over £100,000 – the target set to fund and name the room in Dr Maddicott’s honour.

When we shared this achievement with Dr Maddicott he said: “I’m delighted to hear this news and proud of the commitment my former students have made to the College’s future. Their most welcome support will help future generations of Exonians to benefit from first-class teaching in the same warm collegiate environment which we all enjoyed in the past.”

Dr-john-Maddicott-visits-Cohen-Quad-005

Dr Maddicott inspects what will be the Maddicott Room in Cohen Quad

The Maddicott Room at Cohen Quad will be used for tutorial and seminar teaching – for historians and indeed for students in all disciplines. And it is a very fitting way to celebrate one of Exeter’s longest serving Fellows who is so warmly admired and respected by his former pupils.

Dr Maddicott came to Exeter in 1969 having undertaken his first degree and doctorate at Worcester College and served as Official Fellow and Lecturer in Medieval History until he retired in 2006. He has taught more than 200 Exonians, as well as students from other colleges. His recent publications include The Origins of the English Parliament, 924-1327 (on which subject he gave the University’s prestigious Ford Lectures in 2004) and, more recently, Founders and Fellowship: The Early History of Exeter College, Oxford, 1314-1592 to coincide with the College’s 700th anniversary in 2014 (more details, including how to purchase a copy can be found here).

We are very grateful to all those alumni whose generosity has made the naming of this room possible and we look forward to planning, with Dr Maddicott, a formal opening of his teaching room in the 2016-17 academic year.

Invest in Cohen Quad

The generous support of alumni and Friends of Exeter has enabled us to purchase the former Ruskin College site on Walton Street, enlist award-winning architects to produce an innovative design for the new campus, and begin to make this vision a reality during construction.

Cohen-Quad-Leaflet-WEB_Page_2
New brochure outlining remaining opportunities for support

The total cost of purchasing, designing and building Cohen Quadrangle is expected to be £46m. To date, over £17m has been given in donations from Exeter alumni and Friends out of a fundraising goal of £18m. This means that we are just £1m short of our target!

Cohen-Quad-Leaflet-WEB_Page_3
New brochure outlining remaining opportunities for support

Be part of Exeter’s future! This is your last opportunity to support the quadrangle as it enters its final few months of construction. Donations of all sizes are extremely welcome, and examples of what your gifts could achieve are set out below.

Student bedroom

There will be 90 student bedrooms at Cohen Quadrangle, all with en-suite bathrooms, with views looking out across Jericho, North Oxford, Worcester College and beyond.

A donation of £10,000 will name a student bedroom (with a plaque outside the door honouring your support) as you direct. Click here to read about two Exonians who have done exactly this.

Student-Room
Student bedroom

South Quadrangle steps

The amphitheatre-style steps in Cohen Quad’s South Quadrangle are a sun-trap, providing an attractive outside seating area for Exonians during the summer months. The steps lead down to the Dakota Cafe and up to the Porters’ Lodge and main entrance, forming an important pathway through the site.

A donation of £7,000 will see your name engraved on a step in the South Quadrangle as a visible marker of your support of the new building.

South-Quad
The steps in the South Quadrangle, leading down to the Dakota Cafe

Chair in the auditorium

Cohen Quad’s auditorium will be Exeter’s first above-ground lecture and performance venue.  It is a large, multi-purpose space that offers modern facilities for a wide range of activities.

A donation of £2,000 will ensure there is a chair named in your honour in this exciting part of Cohen Quadrangle.

Lecture Theatre
The auditorium

There are opportunities to invest in other parts of Cohen Quad, too. To see the full range of projects to support such as the Cairncross Kitchen and the Maddicott and Eltis Rooms, please click here.

To make or to discuss a donation, please contact Development Director Katrina Hancock.