Downing College, Cambridge was founded in 1800 by the bequest of Sir George Downing, making it “the newest of the old and the oldest of the new”. Its neo-classical architecture, designed by William Wilkins is set within 20 acres of grounds in the very heart of the city. Downing College has all the conveniences of being in the centre of Cambridge whilst still giving its students room to think and breathe. Downing is home to 420 undergraduates and 250 graduates all of which are able to be housed on site, this makes Downing distinctive form other colleges and helps strengthen a sense of community within the college.
Graduate students at Downing become members of the Middle Combination Room (MCR) whose committee represents graduate students’ views and organises social events. These events include Formal Halls, frequent swaps with other Colleges and Graduate Seminars giving students the opportunity to present their research to members of the College.
With around 250 members, the MCR is a multi-disciplinary, culturally diverse and international community, closely integrated into the academic and social life of the College.
Downing College has a very active MCR with many members getting involved in sports and societies. The MCR has many events throughout the year, including a fresher’s week to help new students settle in and a postgraduate only summer ball. The MCR bar is open most Friday evenings, offering graduate students with the opportunity to relax and catch up with friends at the end of the week. The Butterfield Bar is open to undergraduate and postgraduate students every night throughout the week. Downing College MCR is a tight knit community with graduate students often eating lunch and dinner in hall together throughout the week and eating brunch together on a Saturday morning (after celebrating the end of the week in the MCR bar the night before!). On a Sunday, students will meet in the MCR to catch up over free tea and cake provided by the committee or read one of many complimentary daily newspapers or magazines the MCR subscribes to. The MCR is a supportive community with an excellent welfare team making sure everyone is happy and receiving the care they need at Downing.
Learn more about Downing’s history here..