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Durham University

Van Mildert College

Information for New Undergraduate Students

Welcome from the JCR President

Let me first say – bravo! Everybody’s going to say ‘well done’ but honestly, what you’ve achieved isn’t remotely easy (even if you think it is) and getting into Durham is something you should be immensely proud of. My view is that we’re lucky to have you, and so allow me to say three words which make me supremely excited: Welcome to Mildert!

Now, I know that every university tries to convince you they are unique, but here we genuinely do things differently. If you’re reading this then you are about to become part of the brilliant, bizarre, and impassioned community of students and staff from around the world that is Van Mildert College.

With a host of inexplicable traditions and our own troop of mallards, moorhens, and even swans around the lake, plus seventy or so societies, sports teams, committees, and outreach projects, this is one seriously imaginative, welcoming, diverse, and peculiar place.

All of this comes within the Junior Common Room, or the JCR for short, of which you are now a member. It is an historic organisation run by and for students with the aid of wonderfully committed college staff, comprising around 1,500 undergrads. Every college has its own JCR, and they form the beating heart of this university. You’re about to become part of something truly unique, and if I could follow up that statement with a load of praying emojis and duck emojis then I would.

Anyway, my name is Sheehan Quirke (alternatively Disco Dave…) I’m the JCR President at Mildert, elected in February, and I’ve just taken over after graduating from the Law School. It will be the greatest privilege of my life to welcome you into this college, so speak soon and enjoy the glorious summer weather!

Peace & love to the world,
Sheehan ”
Sheehan Quirke, JCR President