Ex Hilda’s Principal and pro-Vice Chancellor dies at 92

first_imgMary Bennett, the former Principal of St. Hilda’s College, has died in her home at the age of 92. Mary Bennett was Principal of St. Hilda’s from 1965-1980. She was University Pro-Vice-Chancellor from 1979-1980 and served on the University Council from 1973-1979. Mrs Bennett begun her Oxford association when she took a First in Classics at Somerville before work­ing for the BBC during the Second World War and at the Colonial Office from 1945-1956. She was at the forefront of the skirmishes which accompanied the introduction of mixed-gender colleges at Oxford in the late 1960s and vigorously contested the opening of men’s col­leges to women, arguing in a letter to the Principal of LMH that the older, male establishments would “skim the cream” of female candidates, motivated by the “stupid men out, clever girls in” argument. Sally Mapstone, a Tutor and Fel­low at St Hilda’s said: “Mrs Bennett represented everything that is best about St Hilda’s. She came from a background of academic distinction, and she believed in academic excel­lence. She had formidable presence, but she was also famously fair-mind­ed. She was a vintage Principal.” Mary Bennett’s family are holding a private funeral but St Hilda’s is to announce a public memorial service in duecourse. ARCHIVE: 4th week MT 2005last_img read more