First female Home Secretary (2007-2009), Hospital Trust Chair, Honorary Fellow
I hardly dared hope on a snowy December day in 1980 that I could be the first person from my Worcestershire comprehensive to study at Oxford. It was Hertford, with its pioneering approach to outreach and entry requirements which gave me the confidence to apply and the opportunity to build lifelong interests, friendships and insights.
I am so grateful for having the chance to think, read and be intellectually challenged during my PPE studies. Great libraries, leading thinkers and passionate teachers leave a mark for life. But for me, so did being able to experience practical politics as JCR president and OUSU presidential candidate. I lost – an important lesson for later in life.
Laughing with friends in the bar and talking into the night are happy Hertford memories. Here we prove that it’s possible to enjoy the splendour of Oxford surroundings and traditions without stuffiness or exclusivity.
Getting up early to row in the 1st Eight taught me that late nights have next day consequences.
I want others to have the experience that I so enjoyed. I trust Hertford to always put access and inclusion at the heart of their excellence and I will do what I can to support that tradition.