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A History of Van Mildert College

A History of Van Mildert College

Van Mildert College was founded in 1965 and is named after William Van Mildert (1765-1836), the last Prince Bishop of Durham. An Englishman of Dutch descent, he was instrumental in the founding of Durham University in 1832 and his castle is the present University College.

The College Motto ‘Sic vos non vobis‘ – Not for yourselves’ is a fitting maxim for a college which gives so freely of itself. Van Mildert students number among the most frequent and generous givers in Durham, not just in charitable endeavours, but in sport, drama, outreach and student politics.

Although originally founded as a male-only college, women postgraduates were admitted in 1967, shortly followed by female undergraduates in 1972: an early sign of the college’s progressive and forward-thinking nature. Today Van Mildert is the third largest college of Durham University and is a lively community of around 1100 undergraduates and 120 postgraduate students.

The current Principal of Van Mildert is Professor Tom Mole, and he is supported by Deputy Principal, Victoria Brown.

Each year, the Junior Common Room members (undergraduate students) elect an Executive Committee and this is led by the JCR President. The Middle Common Room (postgraduate students) also elects an Executive Committee on an annual basis.