Queen Laying Foundation Stone 2 May 1968. Copyright: Oxford Mail & Times Ltd.

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.

Learn more
Wolfson College Oxford – The First Fifty Years by John Penney and Roger Tomlin, gives a detailed account of the College's history and is available from the Lodge.

Landmarks in Wolfson’s History

News
Events

The latest from Wolfson College

Aamer Sarfraz portrait photo
7 August 2020
Aamer Sarfraz appointed to the House of Lords

Wolfson congratulates Aamer Sarfraz on his appointment by The Queen as a member of the House of Lords.

George Smith portrait photo
5 August 2020
Professor George Smith Honoured by Royal Society

Congratulations to Professor George Smith, FRS, who has been awarded the Armourers & Brasiers' Company Prize 2020

Balcony view from the Harbour lawn
8 July 2020
Refurbishment of the balcony

This project has been given the go-ahead as part of the Estates Strategy to improve our College buildings and environment.

Our upcoming events

Parties and Dinners
12 - 12
Sep Sep
Degree Day
Saturday 12 September - 11:00am to 3:30pm

Preceding the degree ceremony in the Sheldonian Theatre at 14:30, the College hosts the Signing of the Graces and a celebratory reception for our graduands and their family and friends. This event is by invitation only; please see the degree days page on our website for further information. 

Lectures and Seminars
05 - 05
Nov Nov
Margaret Oliphant and Oxford
Thursday 5 November - 1:30pm

Merryn Williams is a poet and critic. Her latest works are The Fragile Bridge: New and Selected Poems (Shoestring Press) and Mansfield Park Revisited (Plas Gwyn Books). At present she is collecting poems about the pandemic and the lockdown. Merryn is a long-standing member of Wolfson's Common Room.