University of Cambridge Union
The Cambridge Union Society, commonly referred to as “The Cambridge Union”, is a debating and free speech society in Cambridge, England, and the largest society at the University of Cambridge. It is the oldest continuously running debating society in the world. Additionally, the Cambridge Union has served as a model for the foundation of similar societies at several other prominent universities, including the Oxford Union and the Yale Political Union. The Union is a private society with membership open to all students of Cambridge University or Anglia Ruskin University, and is completely separate from the Cambridge University Students’ Union. The Union became a registered charity in May 2010.
The University of Cambridge Union has hosted political and other figures in its chamber, both state- and international-based, including the Dalai Lama, President Ronald Reagan, Professor Germaine Greer, Prime Ministers Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher, and Clint Eastwood. Speakers from the 21st century include academics Richard Dawkins and Rowan Williams, former British Prime Ministers John Major, former President of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf, actor and comedian Stephen Fry, civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, Olympic legend Lord Coe, comedian and activist Russell Brand, and actor Sir Ian McKellen.