The Elizabeth and JD Marsden prizes were founded in 1953 “to encourage not only the development of the mind (with which education seems to be mainly concerned) but also to encourage and reward the cultivation of those qualities which are the essence of character and personality” and by these prizes to “provide pecuniary help to students on leaving the University to enter upon their life’s work.”

The prizes are “awarded to students who are adjudged the best students of the year — who have gained high distinction in their examinations, and who have throughout their University careers been of exemplary conduct and given proofs of outstanding character and personality.”