The University of Kent undergraduate Colleges were named after men who achieved great success in their chosen fields, but not all had a smooth passage to fame. Although Keynes went to Eton and obtained a First at Kings College Cambridge, Eliot suffered from medical problems and, in his first attempt, obtained only a pass degree. Rutherford was the second choice for the Exhibition Research Scholarship which set him on the path to become the father of nuclear physics, and Darwin failed to complete his studies to become a doctor and – later – a pastor, before becoming the world’s most famous botanist.
The lesson: even those we now know as the greatest in their field did not always have a smooth or obvious path to fulfil their capabilities. Indeed we, the undergraduates who helped found the University in 1965, were chosen against a wide range of criteria, often not including high A-Level results; what was identified in us was the capability to develop both ourselves and the new University.
This is why we, the undergraduates who helped found the University, have established the First 500 Scholarship to assist those whose full potential has yet to develop or whose talents are not recognised by current assessment methods. Should you choose to apply we, your predecessors of 1965, wish you every success in your application and future studies.