Cuthbert's prominent role at the Military Scholarships programme launch


Pictured, left to right, General The Lord Dannatt, Elizabeth Archibald (Principal, St. Cuthbert's Society) and Pte Tom Wilde (St. Cuthbert's Society 2011-2014)



There were lots of Cuthbert's faces at the The Cavalry and Guards Club in London's Piccadilly on Tuesday 28th April for the official launch event of the Military Scholarships scheme, which will see ex-servicemen join St. Cuthbert's Society as undergraduates or Durham Global Security Institute as postgraduates.

A room of assembled guests heard from Pte Tom Wilde, a Cuths alumnus (2011-2014) and the first to receive the military scholarship, who spoke passionately about the scheme and his time at Durham and in Cuths. Having served on multiple tours to Afghanistan, the last of which took place after a period of recuperation after being injured by an improvised explosive device (IED), Tom decided to leave the Army. The first in his family to pursue higher education, he joined Cuths the very day after becoming a civilian (in his own words, leaving him no time to change his mind!). The financial support of the military scholarship gave him the peace of mind to focus on his degree and enjoy the university experience. He spoke of the opportunity as life-changing: through his studies, Tom not only gained a degree in Theology but also explored his faith in new ways and hopes to become a Chaplain. Tom also met his future wife Whitney in Durham.

We also heard from Elizabeth Archibald, Society Principal, who talked about the long history Cuths has long had with the military, notably being refounded after World War II by ex-servicemen (also commemorated with the renaming of Refounders House). Elizabeth continued to say how proud we are to continue this connection by taking on military scholars funded by many generous donations. Indeed, the military scholarship programme was initiated in 2011 by Patrick (Paddy) Walker, also in attendance, who was at Cuths in 1980-83.

The keynote speaker was General The Lord Dannatt, himself a Hatfield alumnus, who talked passionately about both Durham and the military, encouraging support for the scholarship scheme. Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor Tom Ward emphasised how the scholarships are able to open doors for former military services personnel.

In addition to Tom, Elizabeth, and Paddy, other Cuths attendees included Mark Rowland (Chairman of the Association, President 1967-1968); members of the Association committee Richard Peralta (President 2005-2006), Simon Stanley and Vixie Silcock; Tony Wells (President 1965-1966 and current Chair of the North America Development Board of the University's alumni organisation there, Dunelm USA); Cressida Peever (Sabbatical Alumni Relations Officer 2014-2015); and Major General Rob Talbot-Rice. 

If you would like to find out more about the scholarships, contribute to the fund, contribute in other ways, or know of potential applicants, please see the links below.



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