Stephen was a first-generation student and began his degree in English and Religious Studies in 1971.
I was the first of my family to go to university, the second from my school to be accepted at Fitzwilliam, the latter due to one particular teacher encouraging and enabling my application. Had it not been for him, that would have been a non-starter, never considered. My image had been of gowned public school pupils in candle-lit banqueting halls.
I would not have been willing to apply to more ancient colleges; Fitzwilliam however seemed less threatening. I spent three years studying English, then Religious Studies, continuing for two more years as an affiliated student. They were wonderful years set in a stimulating university and city. I continued to benefit from the experience, of learning, friendships and groups in which I participated, throughout my working life. I have also been able to disabuse those who had stereotypical views which prevented them from considering such an option for themselves.