The term ‘Middle Common Room’ refers both to the collective graduate community at Pembroke and to the suite of rooms that we all share. The MCR is located on the first floor in staircase 3 and looks out onto Old Quad and Library Quad. It is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for MCR members and guests are welcome until midnight.
The MCR takes a number of newspapers and periodicals which you can enjoy in the ‘Wood Room’ and tea, coffee and biscuits are always provided and in the evening the MCR has its own bar, which is amongst the cheapest and best stocked in Oxford. The ‘Blue room’ has a 50inch plasma screen and DVD player and we also have a computer suite with four machines and cheap printing.
The Common Room is particularly busy after lunch and in the evenings, when many members drop in for a tea or coffee and a chat.
The common room is run and represented by the MCR President and the MCR committee with the bar run independently by the ‘BarTsar’. The President and Committee represent the interests of graduates to the College and organises the MCR’s social events. The BarTsar maintains the substantial liquor collections (including the Whisky collection of more than 40 single malts) and organises bar opening.
Pembroke MCR is well known for being one of the most social and friendly in the University and the comfortable space of the MCR is complemented by a number of events including termly banquets, speaker events, the annual exchange dinner in Cambridge, exchange dinners with other colleges, film nights, cocktail nights and nights out in Oxford.
- King James I co-founded Pembroke, and Pembroke students ‘have the right, in memory of this sovereign, to wear silver tassels in their caps’.
- It has a history of producing rich founders, from Smithson of the Smithsonian Institute to Fulbright of the Fulbright Scholarships and the founder of the National Portrait Gallery of Britain.
- As might be surmised from this, it is a college with strong historic links to the United States (as evidenced by the enormous sculpture of George Washington in the fellows’ garden, a gift from Washington University). At one point both the US ambassador to the UK and the UK ambassador to the US were Pembroke students. US Senators Fullbright and Lugar, both Pembrokians, between them over saw most of the postwar foreign policy of the United States as chairs of the Foreign Policy Committee. Sir John Kerr, former head of the British Foreign Office and ambassador to the EU, was also an MCR member.
- The college colour is cerise (a kind of obscene pink worn with great pride) and the college port is widely held to be the best in Oxford or Cambridge.
- The Pembroke MCR was the first MCR to have a reigning monarch (Albert the Second of Belgium) as its patron.