- French 1967
- Talking about
- Legacy: scholarships for disadvantaged students
Roy Ludlow (French 1967) believes the culture of learning at Leeds has shaped some of the University’s greatest achievements – and he has pledged a gift in his will to open the opportunity for study to others.
“Leeds encourages its students to learn by investigation and look beyond what everyone else sees,” Roy says.
“It is an approach that has resulted in the most incredible achievements – making the seemingly impossible, possible, such as the discovery of the structure of crystals using x-ray technology by William Henry Bragg and his son, paving the way for new discoveries.”
But for Roy, Leeds meant more than scientific breakthroughs:
“It was a cultural awakening. I came from a working-class background in East London, and was the first person in my family to be in education beyond the age of 15. Actually, I was the only child in our whole street who went to university.
It was a simply wonderful experience; it was always a big university and you can find advantages in that – with size comes great vibrancy and diversity. Wherever one wanted to develop a skill or interest, it was possible. For the first time in my life I experienced light opera and came to love the Gilbert and Sullivan productions put on by the Light Opera Society. I also played a lot of football.
I want others – especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds and difficult circumstances – to be able to enjoy such a life-enhancing experience too.”
Roy recognises that for that to happen, students may need extra financial support:
“I come from a time when we had grants, and I do not know if I could have accepted my place without that help. My education led to a very fulfilling career in teaching, culminating with 15 years as a headmaster.
Education is enabling – it enables people to learn about themselves, to discover their innate skills, to learn about this world and the wonders of science, arts, music and literature. It is our duty to spread it to the furthest echelons.
I hope to support young people who, in turn by virtue of their education, will be in a position to support others. They will be in my position in years to come and will be able to do things to help the world.”
Find out more about leaving a gift to the University in your will.