The foundation stone of University College Hull, then an external college of the University of London, was laid in 1927 by Prince Albert, the Duke of York (who later became king as George VI).The college was built on land donated by Hull City Council and by two local benefactors, Thomas Ferens and G F Grant. A year later the first 14 departments, in pure sciences and the arts, opened with 39 students. The college at that time consisted of one building, now named the Venn building (after the mathematician John Venn, who was born in Hull). The building now houses the administrative centre of the university.
Other early buildings include the Cohen Building, which originally housed the college library, and Staff House, now named Canham Turner building, built in 1948 as the Students’ Union. Another early structure was the Chemistry Building, built in 1953. With the rapid expansion of student numbers which took place in the 1950s many academic departments were housed in temporary buildings, colloquially known as ‘huts’, which gave the campus the feel of an ‘academic army camp’. The Dennison Centre on Cottingham Road was formerly the Brooklands Officers Hospital opened by the Red Cross in 1917. The author J. R. R. Tolkien was a convalescent patient at Brooklands and his connection is marked by a blue plaque.
Though many of the older buildings on Hull’s campus are of red brick it is not a redbrick university in the strictest sense of the term, as it was not founded as part of the civic university movement of the late Victorian and Edwardian eras. Hull, with its origins in the 1920s, has been categorised as a ‘younger civic university’ (also referred to as a “Whitetile university”) and it is placed between the ‘redbricks’ and the ‘plateglass universities’ founded in the 1960s.
The first principal of the college was Arthur E. Morgan (1926–1935), the second was John H Nicholson (1935–1954), who also served as the university’s first vice-chancellor when the college was granted university status (1954–1956).
Coat of arms
The university coat of arms was designed by Sir Algernon Tudor-Craig in 1928. The symbols are the torch for learning, the rose for Yorkshire, the ducal coronet from the arms of the City of Hull, the fleur-de-lys for Lincolnshire and the dove, symbolising peace, from the arms of Thomas Ferens. These symbols were later reused to create the current university logo. The motto, Lampada Ferens (Bearing the Torch), incorporates the name of the university’s founding father within a Latin pun.
Cottingham Rd, Hull HU6 7RX, United Kingdom
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