Van Mildert College
Welcome to Van Mildert College
Centred around a lake in spacious, leafy grounds, Van Mildert College offers a beautiful setting in which to live and study. 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.
"There was a genuine team ethos demonstrated and staff are passionate about creating a good community of learning. The atmosphere in the college was positive. Students feel well supported and that staff are very approachable."Commendation by the University Review Team, 2013
Paul Welberry Kent (1923-2017)
(31 March 2017)
Dr Kent’s arrival coincided with the first fully mixed intake into what had initially been a male college. He and the Senior Tutor, Arnold Bradshaw, successfully steered the college through those heady times which also saw the College hosting students from the then new Collingwood College. Under Dr Kent’s vision and leadership, Middleton Stairs were built, enabling the College to grow and expand. His diplomatic connections saw visits from a number of Ambassadors, a tradition that continues to this day. With his wife Rosemary, he encouraged the establishment of a caring collegiate community that prepared the base for the extensive outreach activity for which the college is now famous. A keen musician, he had his pipe organ installed within the main building and many alumni will remember the music of that instrument in his hands.
Dr Kent’s research focussed on carbohydrate chemistry and on his arrival in Durham, he established the Glycoprotein Research Unit, a forerunner of the extensive research activity in biochemistry that exists today. He received several international prizes for his work including the Rolleston Prize, the Medal of the Société de Chimie Biologique and the Verdienstkreuz . Within College, he developed the Senior Common Room as a place of lively academic exchange and was extremely supportive and encouraging of young staff members. He had high standards and his hard stare, given when he did not quite agree with a statement that one had made, will be remembered by many staff and students.
On his retirement from College in 1982, Paul Kent moved back to Oxford where he continued to be academically active for many years.
Mill Hill Lane
Principal Van Mildert College, Professor of Palaeontology, Durham University. Chair, International Commission on Stratigraphy