Pelby College, Cambridge

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Colleges of the University of Cambridge

Pelby College

Full name Pelby College, Cambridge
Founder Lord Sir William St Stephens Pelby
Established 1708
Overlord Russell Brand
Undergraduates 249
Graduates 107
Sister college Jordan College, Oxford
Location Bridge over the River Cam
Oxonienses est plena, Stultorum
("Through Perseverance, Reward")

Pelby is widely regarded as being one of the harder Cambridge colleges to locate, most students only knowing that it is somewhere between Magdalene and St John's. In fact, Pelby is relatively invisible compared to other colleges, being both set back from the road and hidden amongst shops. Much like other well hidden colleges, the only indication that it exists is the entrance to the Porters' Lodge, this being a small door slightly to the right of the Oxfam shop, just before the bridge over the River Cam.

Although not one of the more visible colleges of Cambridge University, Pelby is estimated to be one of the richest, with almost £40bn in cash, as well as a large portfolio of valuable land assets, including two-thirds of the London borough of Kensington, all of Yorkshire, and the quarter of the Moon rejected by both the USA and USSR after the 1969 Moon Wars.

edit History

Pelby was founded in 1708 by Lord Sir William St Stephens Pelby, 5th Earl of Rottenham, when he accidentally won four thousand guineas whilst betting on horses. Basking in his easy winnings, he spent the first two hundred guineas on twelve barrels of Jamaican rum, and awoke from his drunken stupor to find the rest of his winnings gone, and a college at Cambridge erected in his name.

edit College Crest

Pelby is known for having one of the most controversial crests of all of the colleges of the University of Cambridge.

The crest's colours were created as the result of a printing accident, being originally cream, gold, and Cambridge blue, which Pelby retains as official college colours.

The new crest colours came about in the summer of 1942, at the height of the Second World War. Whilst being used to print letterheads and documentation for Pelby College, the printing rooms of Cambridge University Press were struck by shock waves caused by the detonation of bombs dropped nearby. The vibrations caused the feed lines containing the ink colours to jam, resulting in the college crest being printed many thousands of times in basic CMYK colours.

As it was the height of the war, paper was rationed, and as a result, was both in short supply, and extremely expensive. Replacement paper was unavailable within the city of Cambridge at the time, as the University had purchased all available stocks in order to prepare materials for the forthcoming examinations.

In order to avoid a very embarassing and extremely expensive scandal, the Governing Body of Pelby College opted to adopt the new crest as the official crest of the college, as it remains to this day.

In the current era, most students simply accept the fact that Pelby is noted for having the most garish and aesthetically displeasing crest of all the colleges of the University of Cambridge. The jarring design and unpopularity of the crest within the university are the main reasons, besides Pelby's relative obscurity as a college, why the crest is rarely (if ever) seen on merchandise intended for the tourist market.

edit Traditions

Amongst Oxbridge colleges, Pelby is unique, in that the majority of college decisions rest ultimately with a Governing Body, rather than a single leading figure. As a result, it is college tradition that this position required by University Statutes exists as an honorary role. It is both allocated and titled by an open poll, in both nominations and final voting, with the right to suggest and vote available to all members, past and present. At the time of writing, Russell Brand holds the position, and bears the title "Overlord of Pelby College, Cambridge". Brand accepted this offer in July 2014, and was formally awarded the title in a ceremony the following September.

Pelby's other notable tradition is its so-called "Anti Time Ceremony". Students of the College gather at midnight, and process around the main quadrangle, imitating walking styles popularised by a well-known Monty Python sketch, whilst drinking from glasses of Jamaican Rum, as favoured by the College founder. This tradition arises from Pelby's bitter rivalry with Merton College, Oxford, and exists solely to counter their more famous "Time Ceremony", out of spite and competition.

edit Notable Alumni

Pelby College theoretically has fourteen notable alumni.
However, due to it being famously difficult to locate, many of its students seek positions in secret service organisation around the world upon graduation. As a result, thirteen of these names are withheld for security reasons.
The remaining alumna is Amelia Earhart, who vanished whilst attempting to circumnavigate the globe by air.

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