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Loughborough University Medal


Dr Leslie R Mustoe

Thursday 8 July 2004 at 3.00pm


Les Mustoe joined the university as a Lecturer in mathematics in 1969. At the same time, he took on the role of sub warden in Faraday Hall, a position he held until 1973. In 1977, Les was promoted to Senior Lecturer. Now, as Director of the Science and Engineering Foundation Studies Programme, he plays a pivotal role in teaching mathematics to Engineering students as well as continuing to teach on several mathematics programmes.

In these various roles, Dr Mustoe, or “Uncle Les” has been revered by generations of students, who have benefited from his personal commitment to them and his mastery of the subject. Indeed his dedication extends beyond University students and numerous children of University staff have reason to thank him for helping them (in his own time of course) to achieve their Maths A levels.

His reputation and capacity for detail are legendary, not least his remarkable talent for memorising student names from lists of photographs, so that even in the first week of term he can identify those students who had been absent from his lectures – truly disconcerting for all who experienced it!

Never one to shy away from unconventional techniques that worked, I am told that Les used to award a plastic pig to the student who had done the least work in a week. Maybe some of you graduating today can say whether this is still the case! But his ability to encourage others to achieve their full potential is just one of the many qualities which make him one of the best teachers which this University has had the good fortune to employ.

Les is a member of Council of the Institute of Mathematics and its Application and sits on both its Membership Committee and its Higher Education Service Area Group; he is a very distinguished practitioner in mathematics education.

But the strongest case for this award is the loyalty and affection of former students for him. It is they who nominated him: “Never have we known any educator go so far to help and educate. Les Mustoe is a man truly dedicated to his students and to mathematics… He is a man never too busy to help.”

There can be no greater measure of his lasting impact, than that two of the students graduating at this Ceremony have been watched by their fathers, whom he also taught.

Therefore Chancellor, I am delighted to present to you, for the award of the Loughborough University Medal, Dr Leslie Raymond Mustoe.


Loughborough University - Degree Speeches 2004, July 2004
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