John remembers what Hertford was like in the 30s and has seen how the college has evolved over the decades.
I’m told I’m the oldest donor to Hertford and have been giving annually since 1990; I was just 97 on August 3rd this year. I went up to Hertford in 1938 from Wellington School in Somerset and in those days Hertford had no tutor for Modern Languages so my French Tutor was at Merton and my German tutor, Reginald Maxse, was at Brasenose. In his youth Reginald had been a concert pianist to the Tsars in St. Petersburg. Such was the range of European culture in Oxford. And, I well remember a concert by Sergei Rachmaninov in the Sheldonian in 1938.
So why give? Hertford has been and is one of the path-breaking colleges at Oxford, among the first men’s colleges to admit women, and now extending the reach of admissions for bright secondary school students. That’s why money for scholarships and bursaries and other forms of student support is so necessary. That’s where my money goes. And I hope it can become an encouragement to other to do likewise.