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Loughborough University Medal
Cllr Peter Lewis
Monday 17 December at 10.30am
Peter Lewis was first appointed as Lecturer in English and Drama at Loughborough College of Education in 1967. His career therefore spanned the amalgamation of the college with the University in 1977 and a further 30 years until his retirement last August 2007. He has been part of the universities considerable growth both in size and stature and he is known as a key part of both the Department and of the wider university community.
Peter has initiated many developments at Loughborough including the department’s teaching of Creative Writing to undergraduates. Over the last 3 decades these modules have remained popular and are often mentioned by students as a factor that first led them to apply to Loughborough. When Peter first designed these modules such teaching was unusual in English departments, and the foresight and innovation he showed in this development was to be repeated in the years to come.
For example, in collaboration with the late Kathleen Banks, Peter led the establishment of the department’s Part-Time BA in English Literature, and for many years had the role of Programme Tutor for this highly successful course. Then, during the early 1980s, Peter initiated teaching of Canadian Literature at a time when such courses were rare.
Peter served for many years as Admissions Tutor for English and Drama, and in recent years extended this role with work in Widening Participation and International Liaison. He has been strikingly successful, broadening the Department’s intake and ensuring the Department met their Admissions targets year after year. He established Erasmus/Socrates exchanges with a wide range of European countries, and also initiated a very lively programme of Visiting Scholars from China.
Peter has contributed much more widely to the University than his work in English and Drama. In 1968 he initiated the Loughborough Opera Workshop producing, singing and directing operas and operettas with students across the whole campus. A talented tenor, he was soloist on many occasions for the Opera Workshop and on countless other occasions in University and University-town events.
Peter has always played a collegial role in the development of the university being concerned for the well being of staff as well as students. For example he played an important role at the time of the amalgamation of the Loughborough College of Education and the University, as he led the Union negotiations with the local Education Authority, and he later chaired the University Senior Common Room where he facilitated closer collegiality and understanding in the newly-merged community by arranging meetings involving both groups of staff right across the campus.
Peter also has an outstanding record as a participant in the university’s wider administrative structures. He has served many times on Senate, and on various Boards and Committees. More widely, he has taken every opportunity to build understanding and contact between the university and the locality; including being Secretary of Loughborough Council for the Arts; Chair of Charnwood Tourism and Borough Councillor for Nanpantan Ward.
Peter’s commitment to the University has been unwavering through his long service. He has been a constant source of helpful advice and information to students and colleagues alike, and has contributed in many ways to the Department of English and Drama’s success through challenging times. His record is outstanding; his commitment exemplary; his service unstinting.
Chancellor, it is my pleasure to present to you Peter Lewis for the award of a University Medal.