Sancta Sophia College, University of Sydney

Sancta Sophia College, University Of Sydney

Sancta Sophia College, University of Sydney

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Sancta Sophia College, or simply Sancta, is a Catholic residential college at the University of Sydney. The college admits female undergraduate and male and female postgraduate students. Dr Marie Leech has been the Principal of the College since 2008.


Sancta Sophia College was founded in 1925 as a residential college for Catholic Women.

The first steps to establish a residential college for Catholic women at the University of Sydney were began as early as 1910 when social changes meant it was expected that more women from rural as well as urban centres would enrol at the university. In November 1923 the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Michael Kelly and the Bishops of New South Wales issued a pastoral letter that drew attention to the advantages of university education for the Catholic community and announced that a Catholic Women’s College would be built. The College was to be administered by nuns from the order of the Religious of the Sacred Heart, which had been founded in France in 1800.

The foundation stone of the Hall of Residence was laid on 26 March 1925, and the name ‘Sancta Sophia’ was chosen. Archbishop Michael Kelly was appointed Visitor of the College and, in due course, the newly elected Council of eighteen members appointed Reverend Mother Margaret MacRory (sister of Joseph MacRory) as the first Principal.

The first students moved into the Hall in its current location on Missenden Road, on 15 March 1926. Three years later, in 1929, the Hall was...
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