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21 May 2009 | PR 09/55

Schofield’s great-grandson officially opens Centenary exhibition

An exhibition charting Loughborough University’s origins was officially opened earlier this week by the great-grandson of Dr Herbert Schofield, the first Principal of Loughborough Technical Institute, the University’s predecessor.

Jim Mutton, Principal of Loughborough College; Professor Shirley Pearce, Vice Chancellor of Loughborough University; Don Wix, Chair of the Friends of Charnwood Museum; and George Drake, Loughborough University student and great-grandson of Dr Herbert SchofieldMembers of the University and local dignitaries – including the Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire Lady Gretton and the Mayor of Charnwood Cllr Roy Brown – were among the invited guests at the opening on 18 May of the ‘One Hundred Years of Education and Innovation’ exhibition at Charnwood Museum in Loughborough.

George Drake, who is a first year Economics student at the University, said he is immensely proud of his great-grandfather Dr Schofield, who was largely responsible for the early development of further education provision in Loughborough.

“I didn’t really realise the magnitude of who he was,” said George. “But when people come up to me to say that without him the University wouldn’t be what it is today, I do feel a lot of family pride.”

During his 35-year tenure, Schofield firstly remodelled the Technical Institute as an Instructional Factory for the Ministry of Munitions to support the war effort and then, between the two wars, he significantly expanded the College’s educational offering.

Alongside the historical exhibition, there is a display of the University’s world-renowned research in sports technology, including the science behind the rugby shirts, footballs and trainers used by sports men and women today.

George, who is a keen rugby player and was part of the squad that beat the England Under 20s team last week, says Loughborough’s sporting prowess was a big factor in his decision to study here. “When you see the names of athletes and rugby players who have been to Loughborough, and of course the facilities that are second to none, it’s certainly a good place to be for sport.

“And when I first came to look around the University, I saw the Schofield building and a painting of my great-grandfather so there was a real family pull to come here as a student.”

At the opening Loughborough’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Shirley Pearce, also paid tribute to the Friends of Charnwood Museum, who collated the colleges’ and University’s history for the exhibition.

“Quite simply this exhibition would not have happened without them. Their commitment to researching and compiling all the historical information has been absolutely wonderful,” she said.

The exhibition, which runs until 5 July, is open at Charnwood Museum on Monday to Saturday from 10am to 4.30pm, and on Sundays from 2pm to 5pm. Admission is free.

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Notes for editors:

  1. The photograph above shows (L-R): Jim Mutton, Principal of Loughborough College; Professor Shirley Pearce, Vice Chancellor of Loughborough University; Don Wix, Chair of the Friends of Charnwood Museum; and George Drake, Loughborough University student and great-grandson of Dr Herbert Schofield.

  2. Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

    It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2008 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, with 22 out of 30 of its subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. It was named winner of the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other institution.

    It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research-intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

    Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

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