Cambridge University Alumni and Achievements
As one of the most respected and renowned universities in the world, Cambridge University has seen some of the most influential and important figures graduate through its doors since it first opened. Below we shall look at just a few of the famous alumni and wonderful achievements of the university.
Cambridge University Academic Achievements
Cambridge University boasts some of the most exceptional academic achievements of any university in the world. It consistently ranks as one of the top universities in the world across all subject areas.
Due to its outstanding reputation, Cambridge University attracts some of the world’s brightest minds and it is within the university that some of the most life-changing discoveries have been made. Students from the university have won Nobel prizes, Fields Medals, Abel Prizes and many more prestigious awards.
Cambridge University has been around for over five hundred years and in that time it has seen some amazing graduates. Below we shall look at just some of the famous and successful alumni from Cambridge University.
Nobel Laureates from Cambridge University
Cambridge University has more graduates that go on to become Nobel Laureates than any other university in the world – with 61 so far. That is 13 more than the next best – Harvard University.
The first Nobel Laureate from Cambridge University was Lord Rayleigh, who discovered Argon in the 1904. This was followed by JJ Thomson in 1906, who investigates the electrical conductivity of gases.
In 1932, both Lord Adrian and Charles Sherrington were awarded Nobel Laureates for their work on the function of neurons.
Two of the most influential Nobel Laureate winners from Cambridge University were Howard Florey and Ernst Chain – who together discovered penicillin. The discovery of penicillin has undoubtedly changed modern society.
Other Nobel Laureate winners from Cambridge University include: James Chadwick (discovered the neutron); John Hicks (discovered equilibrium theory); Charles Barkla (discovered the characteristics of X-rays); and most recently, Venkatraman Ramakrishnan for his studies of the structure and function of the ribosome.
Politicians from Cambridge University
Some of Britain’s leading politicians studies at Cambridge University – including the first Prime Minister – Robert Walpole and fifteen additional British Prime Ministers. Oliver Cromwell, the Lord Protector was also a graduate of Cambridge University.
Additionally, over 25 foreign Heads of Government graduated from Cambridge University, including the current Prime Ministers of Jordan, Singapore and India as well as the Presidents of Trinidad and Tobago and Zambia.
Three signatories of the United States Declaration of Independence attended Cambridge University.
Inventors and Scientists from Cambridge University
Science is what Cambridge University is best known for – and as such some of the most influential scientists in the world graduated from Cambridge University. Henry Cavendish was a student at the university – he discovered Hydrogen. The co-inventor of the jet engine – Frank Whittle – also studied at Cambridge.
Cameras are used by millions of people around the world today – and it was a Cambridge graduate, William Fox Talbot – who invented it.
One of the most recognised modern graduate from Cambridge University in the field of science is Stephen Hawking. He is one of the initial people to study singularities and is still a Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the university.
Other famous science graduates from Cambridge University include: John Herschel, Lord Kelvin, Alfred North Whitehead and Georges Lemaitre.
Writers from Cambridge University
Many of the world’s best known and loved writers and poets were graduates from Cambridge University. C.S. Lewis who is best known for writing the Chronicles of Narnia was a Professor of Medieval and Renaissance English at Cambridge Unviersity.
E.M. Forster – best known for his book ‘Howards End’ – studied at Cambridge University between 1897 and 1901. Another famous writer who graduated from Cambridge University was John Boynton Priestley best known for his books ‘An Inspector Calls’ and ‘The Good Companions’. Other writers include: C.P. Snow, Iris Murdoch, A.A. Milne, Jin Yong and Christopher Isherwood.
Modern-day writers who are Cambridge University alumni include: Nick Hornby, Robert Harris, Alan Bennett, A.S. Byatt, Sir Peter Shaffer and Douglas Adams.
There are also dozens of acclaimed poets that attended Cambridge University. Some of the best known include: Robert Herrick, Thomas Gray, Cecil Day-Lewis, John Milton, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Lord Byron.