In Memoriam

Remembering Oxford Brookes community members who have passed away recently

Lives of consequence

John Henry Brookes spoke of his desire to educate students for "lives of consequence." We are proud of the contributions made by members of the Brookes community, whose presence made the world a better place. We celebrate their lives below.

If there is someone that you would like to see commemorated here, whether former student, member of staff or friend of the institution, please contact us at


Sylvia Denman

Sylvia was an academic, lawyer and public servant who worked hard to advance the causes of race relations and equal opportunities. She was a lecturer at Oxford Polytechnic and a governor of Oxford Brookes. Sylvia died in May 2019.

Professor Chris Hawes

Chris was an internationally recognised researcher who was passionate about passing on his skills and enthusiasm to others. He will be remembered by the many generations of students he taught and tutored. Chris died in July 2019.

Dr Ken Howells

Ken joined Brookes when it was Oxford Polytechnic in 1974. After retiring from Brookes where he taught anatomy to Health, Sports and Human Biology students, Ken continued to teach in the Department of Sport, Health Sciences and Social Work. He entertained and inspired countless individuals over the years. Ken sadly died in May 2023.

Tony Lewis

Co-creator of the Duckworth-Lewis method for deciding the results of incomplete one-day cricket matches, and former Oxford Business School lecturer, Dr Tony Lewis sadly passed away in March 2020.

Andrew McNab

Andrew (Andy) McNab studied Town and Country Planning at Oxford Polytechnic. In a career that took him to different parts of the world, he specialised in environmental resource projects and strategic planning. Andy passed away in March 2020, and is survived by his wife Carolyn and their sons Andrew and Douglas.

Alison Murphy

Alison came to Oxford College of Technology in 1968 to start the training course for social workers. The course grew and prospered under her leadership. She moved to Lancaster University in 1977 before working part-time as a social worker. Alison died peacefully on 21 September 2023.

John Neville

John was an Engineering lecturer at Oxford Polytechnic and the Oxford College of Technology, as well as founding the Neville Dining Club with his late wife, Kay. John died in January 2021.

John Perkins

John joined Oxford Polytechnic in 1971 and went to become Head of History and a Pro Vice-Chancellor at Oxford Brookes, before retiring in 2008. He transformed the History Department, developing specialist research centres, and the success of his approach came to national media attention in 2001 when Brookes scored higher than Oxford University for history in the Research Assessment Exercise. John died in May 2023.

Ken Selvester

Ken taught at the School of Business between 1990 and 2006. He was a cheerful, warm-hearted and generous man and is survived by his wife Norma, their three children and several grandchildren. Ken died in January 2021.

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