Jesus College was founded at the request of a Welshman, (Dr Hugh Price, Treasurer of St David's Cathedral) and continues to maintain strong links with the Principality. About 15% of our current undergraduates are Welsh, some from Welsh-medium schools. Chalk drawings of Welsh dragons sit proudly at the entrances to staircases in Second Quad, and student rooms are bedecked with the Welsh flag. Our Welsh connections have even generated royal interest - the Habakkuk Building in Third Quad was opened by HRH The Prince of Wales in 1971 as part of the College's 400th anniversary celebrations. The College numbers many Welshmen amongst its former Principals. For example, Sir Leoline Jenkins, Secretary of State for Charles II, was a significant figure in Welsh society and culture in the 17th century.
Academically, Jesus College is one of the world's centres of excellence for Celtic Studies. Sir John Rhys was the first Jesus Professor of Celtic Studies, a position currently held by Professor TMO Charles-Edwards. Meyricke Scholarships, to the value of £900 per annum for three years, are available to graduate students in any discipline who hold a first degree from the University of Wales. The Vice-Chancellors of the constituent colleges of the University of Wales are, for a year in turn, awarded status within Jesus College as Supernumerary Fellows.
The St David's Day celebrations every year provide our Welsh members with an opportunity to meet together. Tea is served in the Principal's Lodgings to invited guests, including many Old Members and distinguished friends of the College. The service in Chapel is conducted almost entirely in Welsh, with Welsh undergraduates invited to take part in the service. Even the Chaplain endeavours to speak Welsh on this occasion!
Our Welsh students continue to enrich the College with their cultural heritage. The choral tradition is maintained with several Welsh students joining the Choir each year. Turl Street Arts Festival allows for more individual interpretations of Celtic culture, following in the footsteps of the poet, Henry Vaughan (1625?-1691) the Silurist.