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Our Tennyson Scholarship

When Alfred, Lord Tennyson began writing his epic poem, Idylls of the King in 1859, his home country was in the throws of radical industrial change. He witnessed England’s cultural roots in apprenticeships and intensive initiation into manhood being torn up in favor of sending young people off to work in factories and live in wildly unsavory and self-indulgent industrial dorms far away from home. England was losing its first love quickly. 

To restore Christian cultural values and norms, Tennyson situated his poems in the time of England’s legendary King Arthur. In the last of the twelve poems of the collection, we find a young man, Gareth, who pleads that his mother allow him to go off to Camelot to become a Knight of the Round Table. Knowing the dangers awaiting the life of a Knight, his mother tries to appease Gareth with an attractive alternative, “Go hunt deer.” 

 The young man, fully aware that he was designed by the Creator for great and noble deeds, responded with words that formed the Iron Academy honor code: “Follow the deer [, Mom]? Follow the Christ, the King… Live pure, speak true, right wrong, follow the King—Else, wherefore born?” In modern language, “Mom! What was I created for if not to ‘live pure, speak true, right wrong, and follow the King?”

The Road Not Taken 

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

It is in admiration of the spirit of Gareth (and the need for more like him) that the Iron Academy Board commits valuable resources to offer Tennyson Scholarships. It knows Iron Academy is financially out of reach for some families, but some of the sons of these families are of the mold of Gareth.



Tennyson Scholarships are funded entirely by donors who share our admiration for young men like Gareth and see the dire need for more like him. Our Tennyson Stakeholders invest in what should be and what is possible. They invest in these special young men because they defy the tug of our self-indulgent culture. They give because they also know why they were born: to live pure, speak true, right wrong, and follow the King! 

Click here to make a donation today towards the Tennyson Scholarship.

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