The newly completed Mount Oswald site, housing the new South College and the relocated John Snow College, has welcomed its first students. This £80 million project made way for Durham University’s first new college since Josephine Butler College opened in 2006.
The two colleges are both self-catering, providing new options for those who do not want catered accommodation, and each have their own café bar, common rooms and support offices as well as a new multi-use games area on site. This new location marks a new permanent residence for John Snow College, having been relocated three times in recent years, and the start of the history of South College who have embraced their new motto ‘Libertas, Aequalitas, Civitas Totius mundi’ meaning ‘Freedom, Equality and Global Citizenship’.
In order to simulate the typical college environment for incoming freshers, 60 Pioneer Scholars were recruited to transfer from their previous college to help create this new college community. These Pioneer Scholars have been the first to arrive in the new location in order to help prepare for freshers’ week. South College’s JCR President, Richard Freeman has said of the new college: “South College is fantastically exciting – students are at the heart of every Durham College and build the community and spirit. Our students are at the forefront of South College, and they will have the unique opportunity to create traditions, sports teams, society groups and so much more. My hope is South College offers something for everyone and to put students in charge of their own student experience. I am excited to support and see what our students create.”
South College’s new Principal, Professor Tim Luckhurst, former BBC News Executive and editor of The Scotsman Newspaper also shared the same enthusiasm for the new college community, stating: “It is a privilege and a delight to lead this superb new College at a great University with a rich history. I look forward to welcoming South’s first students. We are already working together to create the College’s identify and bring new ideas to enhance Durham’s finest traditions.
“The students are determined that South must be a diverse and inclusive community in which we can enjoy some of the best days of our lives and give meaning to the precious values expressed in our College motto.”
Similarly, John Snow’s Principal Carolyn Summerbell stated: “The John Snow College community are thrilled to have arrived at our wonderful destination on Mount Oswald. It feels very special to be here.
“The College students, Alumni and staff have stayed strong and close during our journey to get here, and I am confident that our longstanding College ethos and traditions will flourish in this new environment.
“The value of friendship and the importance of respecting others and our environment run ‘blue’ through the John Snow community. Our ambition to use our wisdom and curiosity to solve the wicked problems around us will be even more important this year and in the years to come.”