King’s is a setting of singular beauty to which, for more than five centuries, young people have come in hope and aspiration to sharpen their intelligence, broaden their horizons, and set out to shape the lives they mean to lead. In the shadow of its astonishing church, it was unmistakably a place of religion from the outset, with a worship of great antiquity, intensity and beauty, and a musical resonance which now echoes across the world. As a place of learning and education, it has nurtured and challenged its pupils generation after generation, marking many indelibly by their passage through it. In recent decades it has launched scores on glittering careers in the sciences, arts and humanities, and still more to lives of great distinction in the law, industry, commerce, music, literature and public service. For more than fifty years it has led the great University to which it proudly belongs in opening up its peerless opportunities to ability, energy and initiative across the barriers of class, gender or ethnicity, within the British Isles and increasingly far beyond them. Over the last century, in the traditions of Maynard Keynes, E.M. Forster and Alan Turing, it has lavished its resources on promoting research and contributed quite disproportionately to the wider intellectual life of the University and the country by doing so.
It is a place of intellectual adventure, high achievement and personal transformation, and a community of warmth and irony, in youth and age, that cares for those who most need its aid.
To preserve this priceless heritage and carry King’s College boldly forward with the confidence and imaginative audacity which these exacting traditions require it needs, now more than ever, the generous aid both of those whose lives it has most enhanced and of the ever widening world which it exists to serve.
Professor John Dunn FBA