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Trinity College, Cambridge facts for kids

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Trinity College
Trinity College Great Court
Trinity College Great Court Trinity College scarf
Trinity College coat of arms
Coat of arms of the Trinity College
Blazon: Argent, a chevron between three roses gules barbed and seeded proper and on a chief gules a lion passant gardant between two closed books all Or
University University of Cambridge
Location Trinity Street (map)
Full name The College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity within the Town and University of Cambridge of King Henry the Eighth's Foundation
Motto Virtus Vera Nobilitas (Latin)
Motto in English Virtue is true nobility
Founder Henry VIII of England
Established 1546; 477 years ago (1546)
Named after The Holy Trinity
Previous names King's Hall and Michaelhouse (until merged in 1546)
Sister college Christ Church, Oxford
Master Dame Sally Davies
Undergraduates 730
Postgraduates 350
Senior tutor Sachiko Kusukawa
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Trinity College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge. The college was founded in 1546 by King Henry VIII. Trinity is one of the oldest and largest colleges in Cambridge, with the largest financial endowment of any college at either Cambridge or Oxford. Trinity has some of the most distinctive architecture within Cambridge, with its Great Court reputed to be the largest enclosed courtyard in Europe. Academically, Trinity performs exceptionally as measured by the Tompkins Table (the annual unofficial league table of Cambridge colleges), coming in first from 2011 to 2017, with 42.5% of undergraduates obtaining a first class result in 2019.

Members of Trinity have won 34 Nobel Prizes out of the 121 won by members of Cambridge University, the highest number of any college at either Oxford or Cambridge. Members of the college have won five Fields Medals, one Turing Award and one Abel Prize. Trinity alumni include the father of the scientific method (or empiricism) Francis Bacon, six British prime ministers (the highest number of any Cambridge college), physicists Isaac Newton, James Clerk Maxwell, Ernest Rutherford and Niels Bohr, mathematicians Srinivasa Ramanujan and Charles Babbage, poets Lord Byron and Lord Tennyson, English jurist Edward Coke, writers Vladimir Nabokov and A. A. Milne, historians Lord Macaulay and G. M. Trevelyan and philosophers Ludwig Wittgenstein and Bertrand Russell (whom it expelled before reaccepting).

Two members of the British royal family have studied at Trinity and been awarded degrees: Prince William of Gloucester and Edinburgh, who gained an MA in 1790, and Prince Charles, who was awarded a lower second class BA in 1970. Royal family members that have studied at Trinity without obtaining degrees include King Edward VII, King George VI, and Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester.

Trinity has many college societies, including the Trinity Mathematical Society, which is the oldest mathematical university society in the United Kingdom, and the First and Third Trinity Boat Club, its rowing club, which gives its name to the college's May Ball. Along with Christ's, Jesus, King's and St John's colleges, it has also provided several of the well known members of the Apostles, an intellectual secret society. In 1848, Trinity hosted the meeting at which Cambridge undergraduates representing public schools such as Westminster codified the early rules of football, known as the Cambridge Rules. Trinity's sister college in Oxford is Christ Church. Like that college, Trinity has been linked with Westminster School since the school's re-foundation in 1560, and its Master is an ex officio governor of the school. Trinity also maintains a significant connection with Whitgift School in Croydon, as John Whitgift, the founder of Whitgift School, was the master of Trinity from 1561 to 1564.

With around 730 undergraduates, 300 graduates, and over 180 fellows, Trinity is the largest Oxbridge college by number of undergraduates.

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