As one of the larger hill colleges with a diverse community of over 1500 students, staff and mentors from all over the world, Van Mildert offers a relaxed and lively environment with a wide range of clubs and societies on offer.
We are particularly well-known for our community and fundraising spirit, with our growing number of outreach projects. Van Mildert's sports teams and societies also play a huge and active role in the college community offering opportunities in personal development and leadership as well as fostering an inclusive atmosphere for all.
It’s a great pleasure to welcome you to Van Mildert College. Mildert (as we call it around here) is one of seventeen colleges at Durham University, and we humbly think it’s the best. We may not have the biggest chandeliers or the shiniest silverware, but we have the biggest heart (not to mention the biggest dining hall).
The college is a community on a human scale, where I hope you’ll come to feel at home. It’s a stimulating, supportive, compassionate and challenging environment, where we can all help each other to learn, share and grow. There are plenty of occasions to come together as a community, whether that’s at formal dinners, balls, sports events, or on ‘Mildert Day’. Our community includes undergraduate and postgraduate students, academic and professional university staff, and friends from the local area. It also offers a lifelong connection to a distinguished worldwide network of alumni. We all have a part to play in making sure it’s a place where everyone can feel that they are valued.
I hope you’ll get involved in the life of the college while you’re here. Your university experience is something you make for yourself, not something anyone can provide for you. Whatever you’re interested in – sports, music, theatre, politics – there are plenty of opportunities. We have over 120 clubs, committees and societies that cater to every interest. Mildertians are intellectually curious, and we welcome visiting speakers, hold discussions and host a writer in residence each year to make sure your education doesn’t stop with your degree. We also contribute to the wider community, with six outreach projects that make a positive difference to people around the city and beyond. And if you don’t find something that tickles your fancy, we’re always open to new ideas.
It won’t be smooth sailing all the time, and when things get difficult we’re here to help. I promise that someone in college will listen to you if you’re having a tough time, won’t judge you, and will help you to figure out what to do. You can contact our student support team through my office, or reach out to the student-run talk and support service. We all look after each other here, so, if you think someone is struggling, take a minute to talk to them.
Our motto is ‘Sic Vos Non Vobis’, which means roughly ‘this you do not for yourself’. It encapsulates our sense that we can all become better when we’re part of something bigger than ourselves. You have exciting times ahead of you. I hope that you’ll make friends for life and memories to cherish and that Van Mildert will have a special place in your heart throughout your time in Durham and long after you graduate.
Professor Tom Mole, Principal of Van Mildert College.
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