Queens’ Women – The Portrait Project

From the President, Dr Mohamed El-Erian:

As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the first female students matriculating at Queens’ and as part of our continuing efforts to enhance diversity and inclusion, it is important to reflect on the many women who have shaped, and continue to shape, the College. In this context, the Governing Body plans to commission a series of portraits of notable Queens’ women who “broke ceilings” and provide inspiration for our students, Fellows and staff. They will be displayed around the College, including in the Cripps Dining Hall and Senior Combination Room.

Through an expanding set of these portraits, our students will, for generations to come, see and be inspired by the pioneers and foundation-builders who grace the College walls.

Thank you to all who are able to support this important project.

 We aim to raise £100,000 for this important project as soon as possible.  

An anonymous donor has generously pledged to match the donations made by other Queens’ members and friends.

 The notable women may include a series of firsts:

  • Fellow Prof Naomi Segal (1979)
  • The Visitor The Rt Hon Beverley McLachlin PC, former Chief Justice of Canada
  • Honorary Fellows Mairi Hurrell (retired College Nurse), Emily Maitlis (1989) and Dr Amma Kyei-Mensah (1980)

We will be pleased to invite donors to view the completed portraits once the College has re-opened to visitors.

To support this project, please make an online donation or use our downloadable donation form

Please contact development@queens.cam.ac.uk with any questions. 


Notes on making a gift:

  • Each portrait will cost between £5-10,000. Large portraits will be £20,000 each.
  • If a donor wishes to fund a portrait themselves, then an attribution is possible.
  • All spare funds will go towards ensuring the portrait collection remains diverse throughout the 21st century. A diverse group of artists will be commissioned.
  • College finances are not being used for this project because of the severe Covid-19 impact on Queens’.
  • To make a tax-efficient donation from the United States, please give through Cambridge in America: https://www.cantab.org/give.
  • Donors who give £10,000 or more will be invited to the Commemoration & Ceremony of Benefactors and Feast for the three years following their gift.
  • The names of all donors will be listed in the annual List of Donors, both in print and online. Please let the Development Office know if you wish to remain anonymous.