The building work is now at an end – or almost. We still have the Hall lighting and acoustics to sort out, but the quads are done, and – Hallelujah! – there are no diggers around. The new building (the Hubert Perrodo Building) was opened by the Chancellor in March.
The Perrodo family and friends outside the Hubert Perrodo Building (13 Mar 2018)
I have been away for a while and just walked around the Chavasse Quad, and to my delight find that the downstairs room is being used as we had hoped, with small groups of students imbibing coffee and peering at their laptops while chatting. The student bedrooms are occupied, and the top seminar room – with a spectacular view over the college – is now set for use. And the building has been nominated for a RIBA prize.
I had hoped that some bulbs would have been showing some life for the March opening, but they were in full protest against the winter. But now, several weeks later than last year, the flower show in Linton Quad has begun, and will last for several months.
Linton Quad beginning to bloom (April 2018)
Would that our great Honorary Fellow had seen it. But Gus Born – at 96 – died last week, having been ill for a while. He was an FRS, a hugely eminent Pharmacologist (having trained as a doctor), a medical inventor, a passionate supporter of the college (he donated to help medical students), and much else. We had several evenings with him and his wife, Faith, at Canal House, where he reminisced about his childhood in Germany (before the Nazis arrived in 1933 and the Born family rapidly departed), his early period in Britain, and his work.
Prof Gustav Born (1921-2018)
He was the eminent son of an eminent father. Max Born was a Nobel Prize winner for his work on quantum theory, and Gus was hugely proud of him and his entire family – both his antecedents and his children and grandchildren (one of whom studied here). He wrote a lovely family history, rich in anecdote and bathed in affection for scholarship, culture, pre-Nazi Germany, and Britain.
He wore a duffel coat when he came to college, often to the chapel to listen to student concerts, and there was a bit of Gus that still behaved like a student – full of curiosity, and radiating energy and optimism. I will miss him hugely.