Influential women of Chichester acknowledged in Oxford Dictionary

Sarah Frances (Fanny) Trevor oversaw mass expansion at the college
Sarah Frances (Fanny) Trevor oversaw mass expansion at the college

Two historic women connected to Chichester University have been honoured with entries in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Sarah Frances (Fanny) Trevor (1818-1904) and Dr Dorothy May Meads (1891-1958) are being recognised for making a difference to the progression of women in education.

Dr Dorothy May Meads was a pioneer in championing the autonomy of students and teacher training reforms

Dr Dorothy May Meads was a pioneer in championing the autonomy of students and teacher training reforms

Fanny Trevor and Dr Mead were both principals of Bishop Otter College, now the University of Chichester, at different times in the institution’s history. Both also played vital roles in its development over the years.

Fanny Trevor was appointed ‘lady principal’ of Bishop Otter College in 1872 and supported the construction of a new wing, incorporating a library, classrooms and dormitories.

She represented the college in dealings with government and was even invited to give evidence at the 1886 Royal Commission on the working of the Elementary Education Acts.

After completing her doctorate from King’s College London in 1936, Dr Meads was appointed principal of Bishop Otter College, where she quickly established new advanced courses in craft work, gardening and physical education and oversaw the building of a new gymnasium.

The war and illness cut short many of Dr Meads’ plans for Bishop Otter College, but she was a pioneer in championing the autonomy of students and teacher training reforms.

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Chichester Jane Longmore said: “We are delighted that two such influential women have been recognised with entries in the dictionary.”