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Van Mildert College

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.

Life in the Junior Common Room
Postgraduate study in the Middle Common Room
Events and activities of the Senior Common Room
Van Mildert College's events calendar for the year
Find out whats going on around Mildert
Hear from our Alumni all around the world

"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)

It was with great sadness that the College learned of the death of its second Master, Dr Paul Kent on 7th March 2017 at the age of 93.

Born in Doncaster in 1923, Paul Kent attended Doncaster Grammar School before studying at Birmingham University, where he was awarded a BSc in 1944 and a PhD in 1947. After a year at Princeton, he went to Oxford University as a University Demonstrator in Biochemistry, a post associated with Jesus College. He moved to Christ Church in 1955, becoming Dr Lee’s Reader in Chemistry in 1956. He left Oxford in 1972, to become the second Master of Van Mildert College.

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.


The funeral will be held at St Michael's Church, Cumnor on 10th April 2017 at 11 a.m.

Contact Details

Van Mildert College
Durham University
Mill Hill Lane
Durham
DH1 3LH

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