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News > Family Announcements > Remembered with Affection - Margery Grace Ord (HA 1944)

Remembered with Affection - Margery Grace Ord (HA 1944)

Obituary published in OGA Chain magazine 2020
Obituary published in OGA Chain magazine 2020

23 Apr 1933 - 13 Jan 2020

Margery Ord had been part of Lady Margaret Hall (LMH), Oxford for nearly 70 years. Her long association with the College began in 1952 when, as a young post-doctoral researcher, she was appointed to help look after LMH’s science undergraduates, even though at the time of her appointment the College had no undergraduates in Margery’s own specialism of biochemistry.

Taken from the words of Gillian Peele, Emeritus
Fellow and colleague of Margery

In her first years at LMH, Margery acted as personal tutor for the chemists and briefly for all the scientists, medical students and mathematicians. She soon became an Official Fellow. Her students quickly recognised her personal and intellectual qualities and appreciated that, although she was a demanding tutor, she was also very approachable and anxious to support them as individuals.

In addition to her teaching she held a succession of College offices including those of Dean, Tutor for Graduates and College Treasurer. To all these roles she brought her own style: she was a problem solver who liked to move things forward, but she was also inherently anxious always to help those who needed support or encouragement.

Margery served on a number of important university bodies, served two terms on the General Board of the Faculties and at one point chaired the University Personnel Committee.

Research, however, was at the centre of Margery’s academic concerns. After her undergraduate degree at UCL she embarked on a PhD before going to Oxford to undertake research with Lloyd Stocken. Lloyd, by this time was studying the effects of irradiation on cells, a subject of acute importance in the immediate post-war era as a result of the use of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Their contributions to this field were recognised in the award of the Royal Society Silver medal in 1968 and the Oxford higher degree of DSc in 1973.

Margery was also always very happy to talk about her childhood, her close friends and family, her interests and her hobbies. She had grown up in the Portsmouth area where her father was an orthopaedic surgeon and had gone to St Swithun’s school where she was a boarder.

She had a deep interest in wildlife and conservation, was a keen photographer and she enjoyed collecting paintings as well as memorabilia from her travels over the years. On her count she had visited 59 countries over the course of her life and many of them more than once. Some of the travel was prompted by academic conferences but much of it was spurred by the desire to see dramatic scenery and her passion to see animals in their native habitats.

What mattered most to her was the predictability and stability of the institutions with which she identified and the support of friends and colleagues. LMH was an integral part of her life and she was devoted to its scholarly purposes and a regular and generous donor to its academic activities. From 1984 she owned a flat adjacent to College which enabled her to take lunch regularly in Hall until she was nearly 90.

She will be much missed.

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