Founding families reunite

Nearly 100 years ago, Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland College – now the University of Leicester – first opened its doors, following a generous fundraising campaign within the city and county.

On Saturday 17 March, the University welcomed back descendants of seven key benefactors whose generosity contributed to establishing a world-class institution for the region.

The benefactors celebrated were:

  • Dr Astley Clarke
  • Thomas Fielding Johnson
  • Thomas Hatton
  • Sir Jonathan North
  • Harry Hardy Peach
  • The Gee family
  • The Tyler family

Nearly 150 people attended the event, where they discovered more about their ancestors and their associations with the University and region.

The University College opened in October 1921 with fewer than 20 students. They took classes in English, Latin, French, geography and botany. Today, the University has more than 20,000 students, almost 4,000 staff and provides nearly 300 courses.

As the University looks toward its centenary commemorations, it remains committed to international excellence, life-saving research and inspirational teaching.