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Centenary of the University of Durham

    Naturevolume 140pages5556 (1937) | Download Citation

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    THE University of Durham, though now well over a hundred years old, has just celebrated its centenary. It was originally intended to hold the celebrations five years ago, since the Act of Parliament which provided for the foundation was passed in 1832. Owing to the economic depression, however, it was felt inappropriate to enter into rejoicings under the cloud of industrial stagnation which, in 1932, was locally responsible for widespread distress. The present year has a historical claim to recognition, apart from the atmosphere of returning prosperity, for it was in 1837 that the University was granted its charter by William IV. Moreover, as a result of the recent Royal Commission, the University is about to enter upon a new phase of its history. The main celebrations were held at Durham on July 1, and were attended by delegates from all the other Universities of the British Isles and from several in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India and the United States. Learned societies were represented by, among others, Sir William Bragg, Lord Dawson of Penn, Dr. H. Spencer Jones, Prof. F. G. Donnan and Prof. O. T. Jones. After a morning visit to the Colleges, including the Castle, a centenary service was held in the Cathedral, where the preacher was the Bishop of Durham. The keynote of Dr. Henson's discourse was that universities are the "watchdogs of human liberty". "The new universities," he said, "were born and cradled in an atmosphere of freedom. They surely must stand in the forefront of the champions of academic liberty against the aggressions of the totalitarian State or the subtler assaults of racial fanaticism". After the service, the delegates were entertained to luncheon, some in the Great Hall of the Castle (by the University), and others at the Town Hall (by Lord Londonderry, Chancellor of the University and Mayor of Durham).

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    https://doi.org/10.1038/140055c0

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