Words that mean Keele to me

In 2013 we sent a survey to Keele alumni asking, "What three words mean Keele to you?".

Your answers have been very helpful to understand how we are perceived and remembered by those who experience Keele. Here are the responses depicted as word-clouds, created using Wordit-Out.

All Words that mean Keele to me

This word cloud above represents the percentage of all alumni who chose each word. We offered 20 options. The 8 most popular choices among all Keelites were: Friendly 15%, Broad Education 11%, Beautiful 9%, Fun 8%, Intellectual Challenge 7%, Green 7%, Different 6%, The Bubble 4%.

These perceptions have evolved over the decades....

Words that mean Keele to me 1950s1960s

Classes of 1954-1969 Top Five: Broad Education 19%, Friendly 14%, Intellectual Challenge 11%, Innovative 11%, Different 8%

Words that mean Keele to me 1960s-1970s

Classes of 1970-1989 Top Five: Broad Education 17%, Friendly 13%, Fun 9%, Intellectual Challenge 8%, Beautiful 8%

Words that mean Keele to me 1990s
Classes of 1990-1999 Top Five: Friendly 16%, Broad Education 9%, Intellectual Challenge 8%, Beautiful 9%, Fun 8%

Words that mean Keele to me 2000s
Classes of 2000-2009 Top Five: Friendly 15%, Beautiful 12%, Green 10%, Fun 9%, Traditional 8%

Words that mean Keele to me 2010-2013

Classes of 2010-2012 Top Five: Friendly 16%, Green 13%, Beautiful 12%, the Bubble 11%, Fun 7%

Keelites of the 1950s and 1960s: Broad education 19%, Friendly 14%, Intellectually Challenging 11%, Innovative 11%, Different 8%
Keelites of the 1970s and 1980s: Broad education 17%, Friendly 13%, Fun 9%, Intellectually Challenging 8%, Beautiful 8%
Keelites of the 1990s: Friendly 16%, Broad education 9%, Intellectually Challenging 8%, Beautiful 9%, Fun 8%
Keelites of the 2000s: Friendly 15%, Beautiful 12%, Green 10%, Fun 9%, Traditional 8%
Keelites of the 2010s: Friendly 16%, Green 13%, Beautiful 12%, the Bubble 11%, Fun 7%

Changes in the top 5 words across the generations are interesting and show an evolution in the Keele experience as well as some consistency.
“Friendly” is the most consistent word and is chosen in the Top Five by every decade, reflecting the community features of the Keele experience.
The innovative inter-disciplinary nature of the Keele Experiment was a very powerful aspect before the closure of the original FY concept, and this is reflected in the early strength of "Broad Education", and perhaps "Intellectual Challenge".
More recently, Keele’s community has been increasingly understood by the term “The Bubble” while an appreciation of the campus has also grown - “Beautiful”.
The most rapid recent growth has been in the word “Green”, a term which can be understood in more than way.

The original survey was sent to 43,816 alumni from the founding Class of 1954 to the Class of 2012, both in the UK and abroad.

All Respondents by decade / No of Responses / % by decade
1950s / 85 / 4
1960s / 204 / 10
1970s / 257 / 13
1980s / 237 / 12    
1990s / 383 / 20
2000s / 524 / 27
2010s / 274 / 14
Total 1,964

Percentage Responses by Alumni of each decade
Number of Mailable Alumni / % Who Responded
1950s / 375 / 23%
1960s / 1,232 / 17%
1970s / 2,520 / 10%
1980s / 4,451 / 5%
1990s / 1,4352 / 3%
2000s / 23,382 / 2%
2010s / 4,232 / 7%

The alumni body has grown in numbers decade-by-decade, and we have to bear in mind that the 2010s group includes only three Classes. Our most senior alumni were the most likely to return a completed survey – over a fifth of mailable alumni of the 1950s responded. Alumni of the 1960s also 1970s also responded very strongly.

Did you enjoy this? Why not read more stories from the Keele Oral History Project?