Pembroke College University of Cambridge is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge, England. The college is the third-oldest college of the university and has over seven hundred students and fellows. Physically, it is one of the university’s larger colleges, with buildings from almost every century since its founding, as well as extensive gardens.
As of 2014 the college has a financial endowment of £67 million.Pembroke has a level of academic performance among the highest of all the Cambridge colleges; in 2013, 2014 and 2016 Pembroke was placed second in the Tompkins Table.
Pembroke is home to the first chapel designed by Sir Christopher Wren and is one of the six Cambridge colleges to have educated a British prime minister, in Pembroke’s case William Pitt the Younger. The college library, with a Victorian neo-gothic clock tower, is endowed with an original copy of the first encyclopaedia to contain printed diagrams.
The college’s current master is Chris Smith, Baron Smith of Finsbury.Marie de St Pol, Countess of Pembroke (1303-1377) founded Pembroke College, Cambridge. Christmas Eve 1347, Edward III granted Marie de St Pol, widow of the Earl of Pembroke, the licence for the foundation of a new educational establishment in the young university at Cambridge. The Hall of Valence Mary (“Custos & Scolares Aule Valence Marie in Cantebrigg'”), as it was originally known, was thus founded to house a body of students and fellows. The statutes were notable in that they both gave preference to students born in France who had already studied elsewhere in England, and that they required students to report fellow students if they indulged in excessive drinking or visited disreputable houses.
The college was later renamed Pembroke Hall, and finally became Pembroke College in 1856.
Marie was closely involved with College affairs in the thirty years up to her death in 1377. She seems to have been something of a disciplinarian: the original Foundation documents had strict penalties for drunkenness and lechery, required that all students’ debts were settled within two weeks of the end of term, and gave strict limits on numbers at graduation parties.
In 2015, the college received a bequest of £34 million from the estate of American inventor and Pembroke alumnus Ray Dolby, thought to be the largest single donation to a college in the history of Cambridge University.