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Homerton College, Cambridge

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  • Reverend Dr. Samuel Blatchford (1767 - 1828)
    Samuel Blatchford (August 1, 1767 – March 17, 1828) was the first president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.,_Cambridge

Homerton College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge in England. Its first premises were acquired in London in 1768, by an informal gathering of Protestant dissenters with origins in the seventeenth century. In 1894 the College moved from Homerton High Street, London, to Cambridge, and received its Royal Charter in 2010, affirming its status as a full college of the university. The College will be celebrating its 250th anniversary in 2018.[1]

With around 600 undergraduates, 800 graduates, and 90 fellows, it has more students than any other Cambridge college, but because only half of these are resident undergraduates its undergraduate presence is similar to large colleges such as Trinity and St John's. Homerton has educated alumni of considerable influence – including prominent dissenting thinkers, educationalists, politicians, and missionary explorers. In this sense, the College has particularly strong ties to public service as well as academia.[2] In 2005, Homerton was rated the "friendliest college in Cambridge" in a study by the Friends Reunited website.[3]

Homerton was admitted as an "Approved Society" of the university in 1976. Until 2001, it largely admitted Education studies students, but has since broadened its intake to include most subjects offered by the university. The College has extensive grounds which encompass sports fields, water features, beehives and the focal point of the college, its Victorian Gothic hall. It also has a wide range of student clubs and societies, including Homerton College Boat Club, Homerton College Music Society and the Homerton College Rugby Football Club. In 2011 and 2012 the college was also selected to field a team on University Challenge.

In 1850 Homerton Academy in London, a dissenting academy already having a history stretching back to 1695, was refounded by the Congregational Board of Education to concentrate on the study of education itself. It did so by transferring its theological courses to New College London, whose Congregationalist Principal was the Rev. John Harris DD, and by extending and rebuilding the old mansion house and 1820s buildings of the academy at a cost of £10,000. The college reopened as the Training Institution of the Congregational Board of Education in April 1852, with Samuel Morley as its Treasurer. Shortly afterwards, it began admitting women students, although then Principal Horobin ultimately called an end to mixed education in 1896, shortly after the move to Cambridge, and thereafter the college remained all-women for 80 years.

Towards the end of the century, the growth of industry had turned the village of Homerton into a manufacturing centre, lowering the quality of life of the students and leading to seven deaths between 1878 and 1885 from tuberculosis, smallpox and typhoid. Also, increasing numbers of students required more space.

In 1881 former students of Homerton College who were members of Glyn Cricket Club formed a football section to help keep their players fit during the winter months. The football section continued to grow over the ensuing years and is now Leyton Orient Football Club - a fact acknowledged by an annual match between the college's football team and that of the Leyton Orient Supporters Club.