Bequest supports Wadham during COVID

22nd October 2020

News, Student news, Alumni news

Financial support to help students and academics with their research during COVID restrictions has been given to Wadham following a bequest by former Visiting Fellow Dr Peter Burum Sherry.

  • Wadham student in a mask

The Dr PB Sherry Trust gift will help support Wadham’s academic community during the current COVID crisis. In his bequest Dr Sherry expressed particular concern for the difficulties facing academics in the earliest stages of their careers.

Early in his career Dr Peter Sherry, Professor of Chemistry at Georgia Institute of Technology, spent a year at Wadham in 1953-54 as a Visiting Fellow.  He was greatly influenced by his time here and his interaction with Fellows and students. His observation of the tutorial system had a profound effect on how he taught in later life, leading him to take care to treat every student as an individual and to give them the attention they needed. 

A student of his from the 1970s at Georgia Tech, Dr David Carlton, commented: “I remember visiting [Dr Sherry] frequently, probably taking up too much of this time with all manner of questions about the class material. The fact that he would spend time with a student who otherwise would’ve been hesitant to bother a professor of chemistry really impressed me. Dr Sherry had a generosity of spirit that I’ve tried to adopt in my career.” 

The donation is being used to enhance existing support during the pandemic in the following areas:

  • Emergency financial relief to undergraduate and graduate students
  • Financial Support to graduate students on research degrees facing financial difficulties due to degrees being extended.
  • Assistance with the cost of IT equipment and infrastructure to support academics with teaching and research. 

The disbursement of these funds is being co-ordinated with other areas of student support, and will be made on a case-by-case basis. Students facing financial difficulties are invited to contact the Finance Bursar.