Sir Robert Worcester isn’t a typical Kansas University alumnus.
For starters, his house has 26 bathrooms.
He and his wife live in Allington Castle in the county of Kent in England, about 30 miles southeast of London.
Worcester, who graduated from KU in 1955, is founder of Market & Opinion Research International, commonly known as MORI.
Worcester, in addition to being a Knight of the British Empire, also serves as one of Her Majesty’s Deputy Lieutenants in the county of Kent. He holds dual British and American citizenship today, having lived for many years in both countries.
He led a discussion on the history of his castle for friends of the Hall Center for the Humanities on Tuesday.
Its history harks back to the time of Normans, Celts and Romans, and it has also housed advisers to Henry VIII.
It fell into disrepair before being renovated in the early 20th century, he said, but today serves as a glimpse into the past.
“Nine out of 10 people, they go through the door and they see the great hall. Their first word is ‘Wow,’” Worcester said. “I still think, ‘Wow.’”
In addition to a huge great hall, the castle has towers, spaces for archers to shoot arrows and, yes, a moat. Worcester said he often joked with anyone who asked about the moat.
“Would I buy a castle without a moat?” he said. “No, certainly not.”
Heating costs can be a challenge, he said, but he and his wife can live in most of the area.
He has maintained ties to the university, having endowed a professorship at KU in his field of public opinion.
“It changed my life,” he said of KU, recalling visiting an engaging lecture that sparked his interest in politics with Kenneth Dam, who would go on to serve in various Republican presidential administrations.
Without the experience, he had no idea where he may have ended up. Though likely in some form of business, it would have led to a life vastly different from the one he’s lived.
“When I was that age, I figured if I’d earn over $25,000 I’d make it,” Worcester said.
He said that while he’s worked hard throughout his life, he’s often found himself in the right place at the right time.
“I’m just lucky,” he said.