[Press and Publications] Years of Service Celebrated

June 2001

No 66

Twenty-three members of staff at the University of Leicester will be celebrating 25 years service at a lunch to be held by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Robert Burgess, on Monday 18 June.

Those celebrating their 'silver' anniversary come from all corners of the campus, including academic departments, the Bookshop, Computer Centre, Library and the Accommodation office.

Professor Burgess said: "This is a chance not just to celebrate the contribution that longstanding members of staff have made to the University of Leicester's success, but also for me to say a heartfelt thank you to them.

"Twenty-five years ago the University had 3,790 students, while it today has 17,000 students and more than 3,000 staff. These members of staff have seen some of the most momentous changes in higher education during their 25 years at Leicester.

Michael Sackin, of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, said: "The University has grown much bigger in my time, but the atmosphere has changed remarkably little. It still feels quite small and friendly. I've been much involved in University musical activities from the outset. There have been many wonderful landmarks and many eras, mostly exciting and vibrant, but very different from each other."

Christine Mawer, who works in the Library, remembered: "From the old days of typed catalogue cards with only printed resources available to aid in cataloguing and classification, we have moved into the new millennium, with global automation and all the innovations ICT has brought with it.

The Library building has also been an historical experience in itself, from days when we had to wear gloves in the late 70s to be able to file cards in near subzero temperatures, to weeks of tropical balm in the 80s, when the air quality is reminiscent of a hot Mexican beach. Lots of memories, lots of changes and fortunately lots of very informative and valuable colleagues along the way."

John Wilson, Director of Computing and IT Services, has watched a complete change of attitude in his field: "In 1975 computing was seen as an expensive research tool for a few scientists. It is now indispensable for all staff and students and a way of life for many, as fundamental as the electricity supply. It has been very interesting and challenging to work with a wide variety of intelligent and gifted people, both within the Computer Centre and in academic and administrative departments. I am grateful for the opportunities afforded me to work in such a key area over the last 25 years."

Professor Stewart Petersen looked forward as well as back: "It is virtually impossible to relate the job of an academic now to that of 25 years ago.

Combined with the consequences of promotion and seniority this means that I could not have conceived 25 years ago of the job I do now. Allowing staff to develop professionally in ways which best suit their talents and abilities is what a University should be all about. I only hope that we can preserve this in the aggressive new order of the university world."

Note to Picture Desk: Photo Opportunity will be at 12.45 pm, Monday June 18 in the Gartree and Rutland Room, 4th floor, Charles Wilson Building, University of Leicester.

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Last updated: 25 June 2001 11:06
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