University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 2JD, UK
The Honourable Alice Bruce (29 April 1867 – 4 November 1951) was a British educator and school administrator. She was a long serving staff member of Somerville Hall, Oxford, and was President of Aberdare Hall in Cardiff. Eleanor Rathbone chose to go to Oxford for her university education and at the age of twenty-one at Somerville College met significant friends, Hilda Oakley and Barbara Bradley, who were to last a lifetime. Other women in Eleanor’s circle of friends included Agnes Catherine Maitland, the Principal of Somerville, Alice Bruce, the Vice-Principal, Mildred Pope, the modern language tutor and Sara Melhuish the history tutor.
Bruce was born in London in 1867. She was the youngest daughter of the eight children born to Henry Austin Bruce, first Baron Aberdare (1815–1895), and his second wife Nora Creina Blanche Napier, daughter of General Sir William Napier. Her father had three children from his first marriage. She had a fine education ending with Bedford College and Somerville Hall in Oxford University. She graduated with a second class degree in history in 1890. In 1894 she returned to Somerville to become the secretary of Agnes Maitland. When she retired from Somerville she was appointed as president of Aberdare Hall, Cardiff in 1929 and she served until 1936. Her mother had been the founding President of the hall in 1883 and had served until 1895. She took on other roles including becoming the vice-President of the important Girls' Public Day School Trust. Bruce died in Oxford in 1951 as an honorary fellow of Somerville Hall. Somerville owns a painting of Bruce by Robert Duckworth Greenham.
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