History & Heritage
Wolfson has grown and evolved over the past 50 years, retaining its founding President Sir Isaiah Berlin’s egalitarian ethos of being 'new, untrammelled and unpyramided’. The College officially became Wolfson College in 1966, when it was renamed in honour of Sir Isaac Wolfson, who contributed toward the College’s foundation.
In 1965, the University of Oxford founded Iffley College. Later the same year Sir Isaiah Berlin was invited to be the College's first President. Through his efforts, generous benefactions were received from the Wolfson Foundation and the Ford Foundation, which enabled the College to include graduate students. The first of these were admitted in October 1968.
The College's buildings, designed by architects Powell and Moya, were ready for occupation in 1974 and the College received its Royal Charter in 1981.
Landmarks in Wolfson’s History
17 May 2019Wolfson College flies rainbow LGBT flag on 17 May
Wolfson College flies the rainbow LGBT flag for the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.13 May 2019Simon Armitage named the new Poet Laureate
Professor Simon Armitage, Honorary Member of Wolfson College and judge on the John Stallworthy Prize for graduate poetry has been named the new...13 May 2019The Isaiah Berlin Lecture: Liberalism and the resurgence of fascism
This year's Isaiah Berlin Lecture will be held by Professor Paul Gilroy, Professor of American & English Literature at King's College London...
Lectures and Seminars21 - 21May MayAsian Treasure Traditions SeminarTuesday 21 May - 3:00pm to 7:00pm
Anna Sehnalova Tuesday 21st May Seminar Room 3, 5.pm - 7pm, followed by dinner at Wolfson Title: Mountain Deities and Their Treasures: Possible Indigenous Origins of the Tibetan gTer ma traditionTuesday 21st May, Reinier Langelaar (IKGA, Austrian Academy of Sciences & Humboldt University of Berlin)
Wolfson College Seminar Room 3, 15:00 - 17:00Lectures and Seminars21 - 21May MayJapan’s Energy Policy After The Fukushima DisasterTuesday 21 May - 5:30pm to 6:30pm
Eight years on from the disastrous accident at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan, how has the clean-up operation gone; what are Japanese attitudes to nuclear power; and what energy mix is right for a resource-poor economic superpower? Naomi Hirose has for many years been at the helm of The Tokyo Electric Power Company which runs Fukushima, and he is in Oxford, at Wolfson College, to set out his views, and to take all questions.Lectures and Seminars23 - 23May MayWolfson Lecture Series: Diplomacy for the 21st Century: Expanding the diplomati...Thursday 23 May - 6:15pm to 7:15pm
Sir Peter Gluckman will deliver the lecture “Expanding the diplomatic toolkit: the further evolution of science diplomacy”.