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Goodenough College is a postgraduate residence and educational trust in Mecklenburgh Square in Bloomsbury, central London, England. Other names under which the college has been known are London House, William Goodenough House, and the London Goodenough Trust.
Goodenough College is an educational charity that provides residential accommodation for talented British and international postgraduates and their families studying in London. The College provides a vibrant community for all those who live here through a unique programme of intellectual, cultural, and social activities that aims to provide Members with an international network and a truly global outlook.
The current director of the college is Rebecca Matthews MA (Cantab), former managing director of the European Capital of Culture Aarhus 2017.
Goodenough has residential and study facilities and an extensive extra-curricular programme, which includes a conference series aimed at examining subjects of international concern. As of 2018 the College is home to approximately 700 International postgraduate students and their families, representing approximately 80 different nations.
The college is located in London and set on Mecklenburgh Square, around a private garden to which only residents have access.
The college was incorporated in 1930 by a group of prominent Londoners, including the chairman of Barclays Bank and founder of Barclays Bank DCO (Dominion, Colonial and Overseas) Frederick Craufurd Goodenough. Goodenough and his friends wanted to provide able young men coming to London from the dominions and colonies, future leaders of what was then a large empire, with a collegiate life along Oxbridge lines in London. The college was a moot hall and at the same time a place where they would form lasting friendships in tolerance and understanding.
The search for a site for the new college was centred on Bloomsbury, to which the University of London was preparing a move from South Kensington. An ideal site for sale freehold was found between Guilford Street and Mecklenburgh Square, and the College bought it in 1930.
Plans were to design and build a new college, but this would take time which the governors did not want to waste. In the traditional manner of Bloomsbury's philanthropic institutions, they made a start in a small way in some of the roomy old houses on the site. London House first opened its doors in October 1931, in Nos. 4–7 Caroline Place (now Mecklenburgh Place) on the west side of the site. The house was soon full, with a long waiting list, and by the start of World War II occupied all the Caroline Place houses.
A new London House for 300 single students was built between 1935 and 1963 to the designs of the architect Sir Herbert Baker, his partner Alexander T. Scott, and their successor Vernon Helbing. It was completed in three stages:
Stage 1 (1935–37). The south-east corner including the Great Hall, Charles Parsons Library, common-rooms and the Guilford Street entrance. This was the only part to be completed in Sir Herbert Baker's lifetime.
Stage 2 (1948–53). The rest of the south wing, the west wing and the north-west corner. Alexander Scott continued in Baker's style, with some simplification of detail.
Stage 3 (1961–63). The north wing, including the north-east corner. It was built to a lower cost than the other stages, for example, no flint-work. At the same time, architect Vernon Helbing created the college chapel out of former offices.
William Goodenough House
In the 1940s, at the instigation of the Chairman of the College Governors, Sir William Goodenough, the Lord Mayor of London launched a Thanksgiving Fund, to raise money in the U.K. and do something to thank the people of the Commonwealth and the United States for their generous gifts, especially of food parcels, during and after World War II. The money raised was used to build William Goodenough House for women and married students from those countries, replacing houses destroyed or badly damaged in the war on the north east of the Square. At the same time the bombed houses in adjacent Heathcote Street were rebuilt as an annexe, and the House was completed in 1957. Later wings, Julian Crossley Court (1974) and Ashley Ponsonby Court (1991) brought the capacity of the House up to 120 rooms for single students and 60 flats for married couples and families.
The two parallel institutions developed their own characters over time – the quiet surroundings of the WGH common rooms appealed to some LH residents, and various "Willie G" girls preferred the noisier atmosphere of the London House bar. Traditions developed, such as the LH rugby team singing lullabies to the inhabitants of WGH after the annual sports dinner, and many LH-WGH romances flourished, and in some cases resulted in marriage and even children. The two houses, London House and William Goodenough House eventually became mixed in 1991.
The Goodenough on Mecklenburgh Square
Nos. 22–25 Mecklenburgh Square survived the war and were used as a nurses’ home until 1989 when they were handed back in a very dilapidated state. At first, the houses were repaired and used as inexpensive accommodation for short-stay visitors, mostly returning alumni and other academics in London to attend conferences and seminars. By 1997, however, it was apparent that the building required modernization if they were to meet the standards that would be required in the 21st century.
The houses were closed, and plans made to add No. 21 and renovate and upgrade at a cost of £3.5 million. There were delays because the Georgian houses are listed buildings in a conservation area, and the work required the approval of both English Heritage and the London Borough of Camden planning department. Eventually, the plans were passed, and the Goodenough Club opened its doors in April 2001. The hotel is open to academic and professional visitors as well as conference delegates from around the world, and was renamed as The Goodenough on Mecklenburgh Square in 2018.
List of heads of Goodenough College
Directors of the college, 1945–present
As the name of the college and of the Director's equivalent position has changed over time, the title of each appointee is given.
Directors of the college
|Name||Job title and tenure||Career background|
|Brigadier Ernest Cecil Pepper CMG, CBE, DSO, DL (1899–1981) ||Controller of London House, 1945–1949;
Warden, London House, 1950–1969
|former Commandant of the School of Infantry|
|Sir Francis "Frank" A. Loyd KCMG, OBE, MA (Oxon) (1916–2006) ||Director, London House for Overseas Graduates, 1969–1979||former Queen's Commissioner (i.e. Governor) of Swaziland|
|Sir A. John Wilton KCMG, KCVO, MC, MA (Oxon) (1921–2011) ||Director, London House for Overseas Graduates, 1979–1986||former Ambassador to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia|
|David A. Emms OBE, MA (Oxon) (b. 1925) ||Director, The London Goodenough Trust, 1987–1995||former Headmaster of Cranleigh School, Sherborne School and Dulwich College|
|Major-General Timothy P. Toyne Sewell DL (b. 1941) ||Director, The London Goodenough Trust, 1995–2001;
Director of Goodenough College, 2001–2006
|former Commandant of Sandhurst|
|Major-General Andrew S. Ritchie CBE, BA (Dunelm) (b. 1955) ||Director of Goodenough College, 2006–2018||former Commandant of Sandhurst|
|Rebecca L. Matthews (Knight of the Order of Dannebrog), MA (Cantab), MA (Lond) (b. 1968)||Director of Goodenough College, 2018-present||Former Managing Director of the European Capital of Culture Aarhus 2017|
Wardens of London House, 1947–2008
Up until the 1970s, London House was a single-sex men-only building. The position of London House warden was abolished in 2008.
Wardens of London House
|Name||Job title and tenure|
|Philip Crofton |
|Reggie Gaskell |
|Peter Pepper |
|Lieutenant Colonel George L. Sprunt ||Controller of London House, 1947–1965|
|Lieutenant Colonel Eric C.T. Wilson VC||Controller of London House, 1966–1977|
|Colonel W.C.J. Naylor DSC ||Warden of London House, 1977–1983|
|John D. Pepper ||Warden of London House, 1983–1993|
|Commander Christopher J.S. Craig ||Warden of London House, 1993–1995|
|Rosemary Wilson OBE ||Warden of London House, 1995–1997|
|Andrew H. Mellows ||Warden of London House, 1997–1999|
|Chris Wright ||Warden of London House, 1999–2008|
Controllers and wardens of William Goodenough House, 1950-–2007
From the instigation of William Goodenough House in 1950, it was run by a separate warden. Up until the 1970s, William Goodenough House was a single-sex women-only building, while London House was a men-only building. The position of William Goodenough House warden was abolished in 2007.
Wardens of William Goodenough House
|Name||Job title and tenure||Career background|
|Dame Jocelyn May Woollcombe DBE (1898–1986) ||Controller of William Goodenough House, 1950–1956||former Director of the Women's Royal Naval Service|
|Air Commodore Dame Felicity Peake DBE (1913–2002) ||Controller of William Goodenough House, 1956–1961||former founding Director of the Women's Royal Air Force|
|Joanna Sybil Macdonald Dannatt MBE, MA (Cantab) (1913–2010) ||Controller and Warden of William Goodenough House, 1961–1982||former ATS cipher clerk and translator|
|Jill C. Morrogh ||Warden of William Goodenough House, 1982–1989|
|Sandra E. Lello MA (Oxon) ||Warden of William Goodenough House, 1989–1992||former Fellow of Hughes Hall, Cambridge|
|Mary M. Lomas ||Warden of William Goodenough House, 1992–1994|
|Noelle Vickers ||Warden of William Goodenough House, 1995–2001|
|Annie Thomas ||Warden of William Goodenough House, 2001–2007|
Chairmen of the board of governors, 1931–present
Chairmen of the board of governors
|Frederick Crauford Goodenough DCL, BA (Zurich) (1866–1934) ||1931–1934||Chairman of Barclays Bank|
|Sir William Macnamara Goodenough LLD, DL, JP, MA (Oxon) (1899–1951) ||1934–1951||Director of Barclays Bank|
|Sir David M. Evans-Bevan Bt (1902–1973) ||1951–1965||Director of Barclays Bank|
|Sir Julian S. Crossley Kt, MA (Oxon) (1899–1971) ||1965–1971||Chairman of Barclays Bank|
|Lieutenant-Colonel Frederic Seebohm, Baron Seebohm Kt, TD, MA (Cantab) (1909–1990) ||1971–1983||Chairman of Barclays Bank|
|Sir Ashley Charles Gibbs Ponsonby Bt, KCVO, LL, MC, MA (Oxon) (1921–2010) ||1982–1989||Managing Director of J. Henry Schroder Wagg|
|Colonel Graham Stephen Paul Carden CBE, TD, DL (1935–1992) ||1990–1991||Chairman of Greenfriar Investment Co.|
|Rosina "Wendy" Philippa Price French, Lady French, MA (Cantab) (1927–2000) ||1992–1997||Barrister and former Editor of the All England Law Reports|
|Sir Christopher Wates, MA (Oxon) (b. 1941)||1997–2006||Chairman and CEO of Wates Building Group|
|Dr Tidu Maini, BSc (Lond), PhD (Lond) ||2006–2009||Pro-Rector for Development and Corporate Affairs, Imperial College London|
|Jonathan Hirst QC, MA (Cantab) (b. 1954) ||2009–2016||Head of Brick Court Chambers|
|Eric Tracey||2016-Present||Chartered Accountant|
- Dame Norma Restieaux (WGH 65), Associate Professor of Cardiology at the University of Otago 
- Gordon Thiessen (LH 65–67), former Governor of the Bank of Canada 
- The Rt Revd George Cassidy (LH 66), Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham 
- The Rt Hon Sir David Lloyd Jones (LH 74–75), Lord Justice of Appeal in England and Wales and Chairman of the Law Commission 
- Dr Helen Clark (WGH 75–76), former Prime Minister of New Zealand 
- Paul Zed (LH 80–81), member of Canadian parliament 
- Professor Edward Byrne (WGH 80–82), President and Principal of King's College, London
- Dr Jennifer Barnes (WGH 82–83), President of Murray Edwards College, Cambridge 
- The Hon. Dr. Greg Selinger (LH 83–85), former Premier of Manitoba 
- Karan Bilimoria, Baron Bilimoria (LH 85–87), co-founder and chairman of Cobra beer 
- Dr Max Price (WGH 86–87), Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Town 
- Professor George Ellis (WGH 87–88), Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Complex Systems in the Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics at the University of Cape Town 
- The Rt Hon Carwyn Jones (LH 88–89), First Minister of Wales 
- David McGuinty MP (WGH 90–93), member of Canadian parliament 
- Stuart Shilson (LH 91–93), former Assistant Private Secretary to The Queen in the Royal Household of the Sovereign of the United Kingdom 
- Stephanie Nolen (LH 93–94), journalist 
- Nicole Krauss (LH 97–98), author 
- Sergei Stanishev (LH 99–00), former Prime Minister of Bulgaria 
- Ashvin Kumar (LH 01–03), independent filmmaker 
- Llŷr Williams (WGH 02–06), internationally acclaimed pianist 
- Scott MacIntyre (LH 05–06), former American Idol contestant 
- Lewis Pugh (WGH 05–06), environmental campaigner 
- International Students House, London
- International House of New York
- International Student House of Washington, D.C.
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