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Famous King's People

Desmond Tutu

desmond tutuThe Most Reverend Desmond Tutu, former Archbishop of South Africa and Nobel Peace laureate, took his bachelor's and master's degrees at King's in the 1960s. A Fellow of King's since 1978, he was visiting professor in Post-Conflict Societies at King's in the spring term of 2004.

South Africa

A priest first and foremost, Tutu is regarded as one of the great civil rights activists for his leadership in the fight against South African apartheid. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his work as Secretary General of the South African Council of Churches to end apartheid. He chaired the Peace and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa in the 1990s.

Tutu on King's

'I have wonderful, happy memories of my time at King's. My experience was one of great encouragement and support in my academic studies and an acceptance and warmth from my fellow students. Study opened up a whole new world to me. I was excited by the accessibility of books, the freedom to question and to debate and the opportunity to listen to the wisdom of minds whose experience and learning left me eager to discover more.'

Visiting professorship

His visiting professorship in 2004 marked King's 175th anniversary. One of his roles was to teach students studying for the Associateship of King's College (AKC): a qualification unique to King's which provides lectures on aspects of ethics, philosophy and theology.


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