Peterhouse elects first female Master, Bridget Kendall

Stevie Hertz 2 February 2016

Peterhouse has announced the election of its first female Master, Bridget Kendall, following her election on 1 February. 

Peterhouse was the penultimate college to accept women, with the first female students matriculating in 1985.

Bridget Kendall is a journalist at the BBC, having previously reported on the break up of the Soviet Union and is currently the host of the talk show The Forum on the BBC World Service. She is also currently in a relationship with fellow BBC journalist Amanda Farnsworth.

Kendall attended Lady Margaret Hall and St Antony's College in Oxford. She was also a Harkness Fellow at Harvard University.

In a statement on the Peterhouse website, Kendall commented: "I feel very privileged to have been chosen by the Fellows of Peterhouse to be their next Master. This is an exceptional College with a distinguished history and record of academic excellence. It represents all that is best about Cambridge University."

Similarly, the outgoing Master of Peterhouse, Professor Adrian Dixon said "This is a great day in the evolving history of Peterhouse. Bridget will bring to the College her exceptional skills in communication and knowledge of international affairs. She also provides an outstanding role model for students and young academics alike."

Ellie Myerson, Peterhouse's JCR Women's Officer, shared this excitement, commenting to The Cambridge Student: "It really marks a big shift for Peterhouse and shows how far the college has come and what changes it is intending to make in the future. Apart from anything else, we're certain to get at least one portrait of a named woman now! … This appointment makes me proud to go to Peterhouse"

Peterhouse JCR's LGBT+ Officer, Julian Sutcliffe, was also thrilled, commenting that it was "an historic moment for a college that will hopefully mark a change from Peterhouse's reputation as the most conservative college".

Kendall is set to take over from Dixon in July. Dixon has been a member of the college for 30 years, and Master since 2008.