Students at the University of Sydney

Residential colleges - the early days

SANCTA SOPHIA COLLEGE

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A brief history

In 1925 the foundation stone was laid for a new Catholic women’s college, initially as part of St John’s College. Sancta Sophia Hall, St John's College, opened in 1926 with Reverend Mother Margaret MacRory as the first Principal. The first 23 women students moved into the Hall in its current location on Missenden Road on 15 March 1926 - three were student nuns and 20 were lay students.

Three years later, in December 1929, the Hall was raised by Act of Parliament to the status of a College within the University of Sydney.

Today Sancta Sophia College houses up to 150 students including undergraduate women and graduate men and women from a broad range of religious, social and ethnic backgrounds studying a wide range of disciplines at the University of Sydney and other universities.


Gallery

In the 1920s
The proposed Sancta Sophia Hall

1925 artist's impression of the proposed Sancta Sophia Hall, St John's College, image from The Catholic Press, 1 October 1925, National Library of Australia.

1925

The Archbishop, the Most Rev Dr Kelly, laying the foundation stone of the first of the three portions of the new Sancta Sophia Hall on Thursday 26 March 1925, photo, Freeman's Journal 2 April 1925.

Sancta Sophia shortly after its opening in the late 1920s

Sancta Sophia Hall shortly after its opening in 1926, photo by Sam Hood from the Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW, digital order number hood_08026

Reverend Mother Margaret MacRory, the first Principal of Sancta Sophia College

Reverend Mother Margaret MacRory was the first Principal of Sancta Sophia Hall in 1926, photo G3_224_1418 taken in 1930, University of Sydney Archives.

1927

'Guess its weight!' Students from Sancta Sophia Hall at the Sports Union University Appeal Fete held in 1927, photo, The Sydney Mail, 14 September 1927, Google News Archive.

In the 1930s
1930

Sancta Sophia College and grounds in 1930, photo G3_224_0465, University of Sydney Archives

The entrance to the College

The entrance to the College, photo G3_224_1574, University of Sydney Archives.

1936

Joan Haynes (top) and Helen MacDonald BA - two Brisbane women who were students at Sancta Sophia College in 1939, photo, The Sunday Mail, 8 March 1936, National Library of Australia.

1937

Joan Buxton of Sancta Sophia College organised an all day tennis tournament in aid of the Newman Society on 4 July 1937, photo from 'The Sydney Morning Herald', 5 July 1937, National Library of Australia.

1939

From left, the president of the Rose Bya (Convent) Association Mrs F Playoust, and the president of the party committee Mrs Edward Laydon Fahey with the Rev Dr John Panico at the garden party at Sancta Sophia College on Saturday 21 October 1939, which was held by members of the Rose Bay Association with the proceeds going to the Lord Mayor's War and Patriotic Fund and the Amelie Salmon Scholarship, photo, The Sydney Morning Herald, 23 October 1939, National Library of Australia.

In the 1940s
1941

Just engaged Joan Fotheringham (left), senior student at Sancta Sophia, mets sister Pat for lunch in town, photo, The Australian Women's Weekly, 19 July 1941, National Library of Australia.

1941

From left, Jean Dwyer and Enid Benecke watching a tennis tournament between resident and day-students at Sancta Sophia College, which the resident students won, during the garden party held there on 10 September 1941, photo, The Sydney Morning Herald, 11 September 1941, National Library of Australia.

In the 1950s
1950

St John's College students Frank Taylor (left) and Ted Marsden chatting with Sancta Sophia students Mary Candrick (left) and Ann Hannan, at the dinner dance at the Pickwick Club arranged by Sancta Sophia students for a resident scholarship fund for their College in 1950, photo, The Australian Women's Weekly, 4 November 1950, National Library of Australia.

1952

Senior students Barbar White and Patricia Standish give advice to newcomer Pauline Riley while she unpacks, photo from 'The Sunday Herald', 16 March 1952, National Library of Australia.

1952

Wendy Burrell (centre) is made to feel at home in the Common Room by senior students Dorothy Caldwell and Barbara Dougherty, photo from 'The Sunday Herald', 16 March 1952, National Library of Australia.

1953

From left, Pat Barham, Lec Yule and Ann Stuckey at the Sancta Sophia dance in June 1953, photo, The Sunday Herald, 28 June 1953, National Library of Australia.

1954

Norma Adams with medical student Petere Castaldi at the formal dance given by the students of Sancta Sophia College on Friday 16 July 1954, photo, The Sun-Herald, 18 July 1954, National Library of Australia.

1954

Mrs Frank Sheed (author Maisie Ward) signing the visitors' book at Sancta Sophia College on Saturday 7 August 1954, watched by two of the students, Juliana Yong and Jennifer Logan. Mrs Sheedy was guest at an At Home attended by more than 200 graduates of the College, photo, The Sun-Herald, 8 August 1954, National Library of Australia.

1955

Escorted by her father, Mary Horsley walked from Sancta Sophia College to St John's College Chapel for her wedding with Dr Harding Burnes in November 1955, photo, The Australian Women's Weekly, 23 November 1955, National Library of Australia.

In the 1960s

A University production of 'Romeo and Juliet' opened at the Union Theatre from 18 April 1963. The photos below of rehearsals were taken in the courtyard of Sancta Sophia College.

Star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet Romeo kills Tybalt, Juliet's cousin

Star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet,
played by part-time Arts students
Arthur Dignam and Rosemary Gerrett,
photo from 'The Australian
Women's Weekly', 24 April 1963,
National Library of Australia,
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article47509733
 

 

Romeo kills Tybalt, Juliet's cousin, played by
Jim Hirschfeld, a research science student,
photo from 'The Australian
Women's Weekly', 24 April 1963,
National Library of Australia,
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article47509733


In the 1970s
1975

Pattie Jenkins and Esther Haworth (right) were among guests at the soiree held at Sancta Sophia College, which displayed Elizabeth Reimer's jewellery in May 1975, which raised funds for charity, photo, The Australian Women's Weekly, 28 May 1975, National Library of Australia.

Today
Sancta Sophia College today

The entrance to Sancta Sophia College today, photo, University of Sydney.

Sancta Sophia College students during O-Week 2007

Sancta Sophia College students during O-Week 2007, photo from Wikipedia

Sancta Sophia College Academic Dinner

Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO, Chancellor of University of Sydney, was guest of honour at the annual Sancta Sophia College Academic Dinner held on Tuesday, 28 April 2009, where High Distinction students were acknowledged and awards presented to those mentioned in the University of Sydney Honour Roll for 2008, photos, courtesy Sancta Sophia College website.


Lis Bergmann 2013