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Emmanuel College at Cambridge University was founded in 1584 by Sir Walter Mildmay. He created the college to support the thorough education of Protestant preachers at a site that had previously emphasized the teachings for a Dominican priory. The name “Emmanuel” references Jesus of Nazareth from the Christian Bible.
Emmanuel consistently ranks in the top five of the colleges at Cambridge University, according to their Tompkins Table annual ranking. Originally the college focused on theological teachings, but now offers an education in a variety of academic subjects.
John Harvard, who Harvard University is named after, graduated from Emmanuel in 1632. The relationship between the two colleges started when the founders of Harvard modeled the university after Emmanuel. Harvard and Emmanuel still maintain contact through shared lectures and student exchanges.
Located near the center of Cambridge University, Emmanuel receives praise for its large fish pond and swimming pool, both of which remain from the friary that previously occupied the college’s grounds. The pond now houses a family of ducks, and the Fellow’s Garden, where the pool sits, also draws in visitors to view the old Oriental tree.
In 2006 the dean of Emmanuel College, Reverend Jeremy Caddick, announced the college’s chapel would bless same-sex partnerships. The chapel represents the first in the Church of England to make this action. The chapel limits the blessing to members and alumni of the college.
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