The Spencer House at Oxford
Mr. and Mrs. J. Kyle Spencer have supported Columbus State University's international education activities for more than two decades. Their passion for international education was ignited by participation in an Oxford continuing education program during the early 1980s. Shortly thereafter in 1984 Mr. and Mrs. Spencer created The Spencer/Oxford Fund at CSU enabling several dozen CSU faculty members to study Oxford history and architecture, Shakespeare, the history of science, and other topics.
During 2000 CSU began discussing the possibility of a more permanent presence in Oxford. In September 2002 Mr. and Mrs. Spencer provided funds to enable CSU to purchase a house at 182 Woodstock Road, on land that was formerly part of Bull Farm and was one of the last remaining properties to be developed in Summertown and North Oxford. Built in 1913 for the growing professional class of Edwardian Oxford, Columbus State refurbished the house and opened it in December 2002 as the Spencer House at Oxford.
In addition to the CSU in Oxford Summer program (est. 2003), spring break programs, and programs with Columbus high schools, the university launched a visiting student program in 2004, which the Spencers also support. Columbus State University is one of only four U.S. universities with such a program based at its own facility and is the only one with a true tutorial experience at an Oxford college. For a number of years students were part of Greyfriars Hall but since 2008, CSU has partnered with Regents Park College to arrange all tutorials for students. In 2013 two more colleges partnered with CSU for year-long and semester programs: St. Anne's and St. Catherine's.
With the support of the Spencers, more than 50 students have participated in The Spencer Oxford Visiting Student Program, enjoying a year-long immersion into the life and scholarship of the University of Oxford. Several British Oxford students have also resided with CSU students at the Spencer House at Oxford. More than 25 CSU faculty and staff members have also provided parochial care and support while serving as site directors at the Spencer House.
Additionally, CSU professors have participated in faculty development workshops in at the Spencer House. During their week in Oxford the faculty members learn about Oxford and England and design a class they will teach during the CSU in Oxford Summer Program.
The Spencer House at Oxford has enabled the University and its Spencer Oxford Visiting Student Program to continue the long Columbus tradition of providing access to the highest quality undergraduate education. Between 2003 and 2019, Columbus State University has operated more than 50 spring and summer programs in the Spencer House with more than 600 students and faculty members participating.
The Spencer House is located in northern Oxford, near Summertown.