In Memory & In Celebration
The UWC Atlantic ‘In Memory’ and ‘In Celebration’ programmes enable you to dedicate a donation and celebrate the life of someone you love, in a place that you love. Please see the brochure below to learn more.
Paying our tributes to alumni, employees and friends of UWC Atlantic and the UWC movement.
If you would like us to share the news of the death of a UWC Atlantic associate or to share your condolences, please contact the College on [email protected]
It is with sadness that we learnt of the passing of HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. Our thoughts are with our patron, HRH Queen Elizabeth and her family at this time.
The Duke of Edinburgh was a great supporter of the College and the wider UWC movement. As a former student of another of Kurt Hahn's schools, Gordonstoun, he appreciated the ethos of UWC, particularly in our boat building endeavours as a former member of the Royal Navy. He was also connected to the College and UWC through his uncle, Lord Mountbatten, who was pivotal in expanding the UWC movement. He visited the College soon after it opened in 1963 and as recently as 2014.
It is with sadness that we announce the news of the death of Dr. Bärbel Dietz on 21st May 2020. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends at this sad time.
Barbara, as she was known at the College, joined the College team by arrangement with the German government, from 1979 to 1985. She committed herself wholeheartedly to life at UWC Atlantic. As well as being recognised and respected for the standard of her scholarship, she involved herself fully in the general life of the College, making significant contributions to Social Service and Estate Service. Her generous hospitality had a sound and much appreciated culinary base.
Shortly after her return to her home town of Kǘnzelsau in Baden-Wǘrttemberg she was appointed Schulleiterin of the Gymnasium there. The warmth and generosity of the tributes paid to her in the local press by the present Head and staff of the school are indicative of the way in which her leadership was valued.
1959 - 2020
It is with heartfelt sadness that we announce the loss of a cherished friend of UWC Atlantic, alumna Deb Stewart Lewis, who died on May 1st at the age of 60. Our thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathies go out to her husband Neil, her children Rhys and Rhiannon, and her family.
Deb (UWCA 1977) and Neil (UWCA 1975) met at the wedding of a mutual friend and alumnus where they were introduced by close friend and fellow alumnus Oscar Strugstad, now a Governor on the UWC Atlantic Board of Trustees. The rest, as they say, is history.
Oscar says “I had the privilege of knowing Deb for over 40 years. She was a woman of passion and fierce intellect, warm laughter and incisive analysis (and a love of gin and pink champagne), all of which she engaged without hesitation for the benefit of others in both her personal and professional life. For those of us who had the privilege of knowing her in either, or both, capacities, she has left an indelible impression, which will be missed enormously.”
Her studies after UWC Atlantic took her to Aberystwyth University to study Spanish and Pure Maths shortly after which Deb and Neil moved to Spain to teach, spending several happy years in Madrid. Deb qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Ernst & Young and worked as a professional accountant in London, Vancouver and Plymouth, before moving to Estee Lauder. Completing her MBA at Swansea University, she entered the academic world as a senior teaching fellow at the University of Swansea before moving to Bath as Director of Studies for the Bath MBA at the University of Bath, where she carved a new career as Director of Studies and Senior Lecturer (Accounting, Finance and Law) - remaining positive and indefatigable in her work (Deb also made the time to co-author a book) and a beacon of love and support for her family, in spite of having been diagnosed with cancer nearly ten years ago.
Deb has received warm and glowing tributes from her colleagues at the Bath MBA and from the many people whose lives she has touched. Deb truly lived the UWC values. This was made evident last year when she was presented with the Director of Studies Award, given in recognition of the key role Deb played in supporting learning and teaching, her exceptional commitment to student wellbeing and her personal dedication to improving students’ experience. Deb was selected for her tireless energy and dedication in supporting a diverse cohort of students, using her own work experience outside academia to support those who faced personal or academic challenges.
Deb contributed enormously to UWC Atlantic over a number of decades both on the Finance Committee and on the College's Board, as a Trustee and Governor. Always committed to the ideals of the College, she worked tirelessly to support and develop the finance function, and to bring much-needed focus to the ongoing sustainability of the College to all concerned. She had an uncanny knack of being able to think very strategically at the same time being conscious of the detail.
“Deb was a combination of commitment and pragmatism. She cut through the noise and got stuff done. That is how I remember her from all her work on the finances of the College. UWC Atlantic is like the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona: unique, built on the shoulders of giants, and in continuous evolution by fabulous people. Deb was truly one of those!” Driek Desmet, Governor, UWC Atlantic.
During her time on the UWC Atlantic Board she also served on the Finance Committee of the International Baccalaureate and subsequently its Audit Committee.
Strong, positive, generous, warm and certain, as a teacher, she was inspiring, encouraging and supportive of others and passionate about the power of education to change and enhance lives. As a lifelong learner, she was always looking to grow as a person and face a challenge as a professional. We are honoured and thankful that Deb has contributed so much to the College, as a student, an alumna, an advisor, a donor, a parent and more importantly, as a friend. She will be deeply missed.
The last words are from her husband Neil. “Deb was the most amazing person who brightened every life she touched. Please remember her with joy and love in your hearts.”
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Mrs Brenda Rowlands, who died on 3 April at the age of 91 in Llandough hospital, after a long illness.
Brenda was secretary to the College’s founding Headmaster, Rear Admiral Desmond Hoare, when the College first opened in 1962. These were exciting times, and Brenda, who by all accounts was a force to be reckoned with (and quite enjoyed being considered so…), thoroughly relished being part of the team responsible for establishing the College and launching its pioneering work. She was also personally involved in the launch of the first rigid hull inflatable lifeboat, and kept photographs of that event, which she was so proud to have participated in.
Brenda loved to reminisce about her time at UWC Atlantic, where she enjoyed a very happy relationship with her colleagues, including the Headmaster and his wife. When Admiral Hoare retired in 1969 and moved to Ireland, Brenda left and moved to Colwinston as she couldn’t see herself working with anyone else other than the Admiral. UWC Atlantic was, as Brenda often said ‘a high point in her life’ and she was very fond of sharing photos and letters from those early days, which reflected so many interesting and exciting events that she had organised, including a glittering fund-raiser in London attended by Bob Hope and Grace Kelly (with a little help from Earl Mountbatten). She stayed in close touch with Desmond and Naomi and corresponded with Naomi after the Admiral’s death in 1988.
Brenda was always delighted to hear from previous students and members of staff, some of whom kept in contact with her for decades. Brenda was much-loved and continued to be an avid supporter of the College long after she left, and was still attending functions right up until the start of her illness. Her contribution to the early days of the College will always be valued and she will be remembered with great admiration and affection.
It is with the greatest sadness that we announce the loss of a very dear friend of UWC Atlantic, Terry Mansfield CBE, who died at the weekend from Covid-19 virus at the age of 81. Our thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathies go out to his wife Helen, two daughters, Victoria and Anna, and their families.
Terry will forever have our love and our gratitude. He was a remarkable man, an ardent supporter of the values and purpose of UWC Atlantic and the wider UWC movement and a generous benefactor of the College.
Jill Longson, Chair-Elect of The UWC Atlantic Board of Trustees said, “I had the great privilege of knowing Terry for many years. On the College's Development Committee he was inventive and creative, proposing new and imaginative ideas. As a member of our Advisory Council, he contributed wisely to our thinking. Terry gave his considerable ‘time, talent and treasure’ in equal measure, long before that expression had even been thought of.”
Energetic, imaginative, enthusiastic and warm-hearted, Terry was passionate about the power of education. He admired the creativity of young people and their capacity to see things in a different light. He was also hugely encouraging and supportive of emerging talent, inspiring students to embrace and pursue their goals.
He gave his time willingly and happily to help shape tomorrow’s generation. He was a great judge of potential and had a genuine empathy with those who had come from distinctly challenging backgrounds. His belief in our students’ ability to lead the future was evident in the way he engaged with them - always with kindness and with wisdom.
Unfailingly generous, loyal and kind, he supported UWC Atlantic both personally and corporately through the Hearst Foundation and brought his valuable global perspective, passion and extensive commercial experience to support our philanthropic efforts.
In 2013, to mark the College’s 50th and the Hearst company’s 125th Anniversary, a full scholarship was offered to the first student from Syria, a decision shaped by Terry’s visit to the country two years earlier, shortly before the troubles escalated. This scholarship was then followed by a further scholarship for a Palestinian refugee from the Wavel camp in Lebanon.
In paying tribute, Peter T. Howe, Principal, UWC Atlantic said, “The students Terry sponsored throughout the years really enjoyed their relationship with him and have received the news with universal sadness. He had the ability to connect with each of them on a personal level and as a sponsor he cared for them deeply. He’d ask them thought-provoking questions and was genuinely interested in their responses. They adored speaking with him and he was always deep in conversation with students at the many Leavers’ Ceremonies he attended, including his final one at the College last May.”
Terry, the former president and CEO of the National Magazine Company Ltd., Hearst’s international publishing arm in the UK, was awarded the CBE in 2002 for his service to the magazine industry and was the first non-American to serve on Hearst’s board of directors. Alongside supporting UWC Atlantic, Terry also worked tirelessly with a number of other charities and organisations with a social, humanitarian or change-making focus.
He was a founding member of Victim Support and, with The Princess Royal, he helped change the law to protect the rights of victims in court. He never really stopped working and, in the 18 years since stepping down from executive duties to become a consultant at Hearst, he was also a major fundraiser for Historic Royal Palaces and last year received an award for his work in raising funds for the Diana Princess of Wales Exhibition and the Children’s Playground at Hampton Court Palace. He also acted as chair and patron of World Heart Beat, a music school for underprivileged children in south London and dedicated time to the Shine Awards, the schools’ magazine awards for over 1000 schools in the UK, and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Lancashire University for his work in fashion and for championing talent.
It is hardly surprising that glowing, heartfelt tributes have been pouring in from every sector of business and industry and from every corner of the globe.
‘Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend’ and every hour, every minute and every second Terry spent supporting others defined the remarkable man that he was. He will be much missed by the UWC Atlantic community. His impact will live on and continue to be felt in immeasurable ways, particularly in the students whose lives he has transformed.
It is with the greatest sadness that we announce the passing of Colin Jenkins, former Principal of UWC Atlantic (1990-2000). Everyone who had the privilege of knowing Colin came to love Colin. No man had a bigger heart or cared more deeply about the UWC mission and values and its students. For me, Colin was the most humble giant of them all. A true mentor who led by example, including always making sure his wife Isobel was at his side. A noble life lived to its fullest.
He will be dearly missed and our thoughts and prayers are with Isobel, Robin, Jenny, Joel and his extended family.
David B. Sutcliffe's family has sent a message to all of us:
"We have been greatly moved and are immensely grateful for all the wonderful messages, memories and thanks to David, which have comforted and supported us at this sad time. David’s funeral will take place at All Saints’ Church, 122-122A High Street, Lindfield, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, RH16 2HS on Friday, 29th November at 11.30am. Family and friends are welcome. There will be a reception afterwards at The Tiger (church hall) next door. Family flowers only. According to David’s wishes, any donations should please go to the UWC Mostar Endowment Fund for student scholarships at Mostaredowment.com/DavidSutclife.
"It is thought that there will also be a memorial event for David held in the New Year. With love from Elisabeth, Michael, Veronica and families."
Tribute by Keith Clark, former Executive Director at UWC International
John Lawrenson, who has died at the age of 70, was a UWC hero. Although a little behind those founding and pioneering figures who joined UWC in the 1960s and 70s (John and his wife Nicky arrived at UWC Atlantic College in 1978), he was instrumental in shaping the movement that we know today, often in subtle, behind-the-scenes ways. Of one thing there can be no doubt: he loved UWC.
There was very little John did not do in UWC. At UWC Atlantic College, he was a Physics and Theory of Knowledge teacher (his PhD was in physics), head of science, Director of Studies, Coastguard coach, Vice-Principal. John and Nicky perhaps made their biggest impact as Houseparents. John also had a short period away to be part of the leadership team for the founding of Li Po Chun UWC of Hong Kong in 1992. He became Rektor of UWC Red Cross Nordic in 2002, serving for ten years. He served UWC International in numerous ways, including as Chair of the College Heads’ Committee and as a member of the International Board, and he played a role in some of the early work that eventually led to the founding of UWC Changshu China. John was also active in various ways in the IB, including as a workshop leader and examiner.
These many roles gave John the finest of insights into UWC. He was fiercely committed to the UWC mission, he was idealistic about what he thought UWC could achieve (while also being pragmatic), and he had enormous faith in the power of UWC students and alumni to make a difference in the world. Service lay at the very heart of his commitment, and in this he was a role model.
Appearances could sometimes be deceptive with John. Jovial, for sure, a storyteller, occasionally dishevelled, maybe even chaotic at times. He got himself into scrapes that provided more fuel for his stories: the airport security attendant accidentally pulling down John’s trousers was not untypical! None of this fooled those who knew him. He had an extremely sharp intellect and great clarity of vision, he was determined and one look at his notebooks, full of his elegant handwriting, demonstrated his organisation. Underpinning this was a deep sense of care and constant kindness. Above all, something you could never miss, was the commitment.
When John and Nicky left UWC Atlantic College for UWC Red Cross Nordic, some were sceptical at his appointment: there was a view that the college didn’t need a ‘British boarding school tradition’. But John’s appointment was a masterstroke. The college had experienced an uncertain two years and there was much to do. John healed the community, gradually it regained its sense of purpose and its unity, and it addressed how to bring together the Red Cross and UWC dimensions of its existence. The college needed John in 2002.
John and Nicky were great friends to many within UWC, colleagues of course, but notably to the many generations of alumni who had been in their house at UWC Atlantic College. When John travelled, very often there would be meet-ups with these alumni. The mutual friendship, respect and appreciation – love even – were palpable.
John was an ever-present in my own UWC career. He first appeared in a slightly crumpled white suit during my second weekend, a series of meetings on IT that John helped me navigate. Seventeen years later, despite having already retired, John was a guest at a Norwegian Embassy event in London just a couple of days before my departure. I shared some of the most uplifting and funniest moments of my career with John, but also some of the most painful. I constantly benefited from his kindness.
It is impossible to picture John without Nicky alongside. They were a totally devoted couple, a true partnership, from schooldays through to the end of John’s life. When they left Flekke, they returned to their roots in the UK’s west Midlands. They renovated a home and threw themselves into the life of the community. John became involved in the University of the Third Age, and there were more opportunities to get to Old Trafford – Manchester Utd being the only challenge to UWC in John’s affections. It was therefore heartbreakingly sad when, far too soon after their move, illness started to deprive John of his independence of mind and then his independence of body. The fullest, most committed and selfless of lives, had been diminished. Nicky remained devoted throughout. Our thoughts must now be with her as we celebrate John’s life of service and 34 years of total dedication to UWC, its mission and students. We will miss a stalwart UWC figure, but more than that, many within UWC will miss a very dear friend.
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of The Rt Revd Ian MacDonald Griggs, who served on the UWC Atlantic Council and as a Governor of UWC Atlantic for many years. Ian passed away peacefully on the 11th January 2021, aged 92. May He Rest In Peace.
As described by his son, Julian Griggs (UWCA 80-82), “He had a long and rich life, as an athlete, a mountaineer, a husband and father to six children, a Cambridge graduate, a parish priest and later a Bishop, a delightful storyteller with a twinkle in His eye, and as a much-loved grandfather and great-grandfather.”
Ian was special to so many people. Positive and thoughtful in His manner and being, He exemplified a man who cared so much for the world and for people around Him, whether He knew them or not.
Ian was involved for decades with UWC Atlantic and in numerous ways, including being an important, regular leader and contributor to the annual Inter Faith Conference. “I remember Him walking around the College and enthusiastically introducing Himself to whoever He met,” reminisces Jill Longson, Chair of the UWC Atlantic Board of Governors. “Everyone warmed to Him, smiled with Him, and you could see people felt so much better in themselves and the world having met Him. He will be sorely missed”.
Our thoughts are with His family at this sad time.
Worked at UWC Atlantic from 1970 - 1984
Head of English, Head of languages, Houseparent, Head of Drama, Director of Studies
Atlantic College sets out to be an amazing place - and often succeeds in being both empowering and creative. For me and for many others in the 70s and early 80s the gift of that special experience was chanelled through Margaret Skarland who, alas, died on April 9th in Stratford on Avon. Our sympathy and thoughts are with her family and her many friends.
Sometimes the gift came in her personal encounter with the literature she taught, sometimes through her acute perception of another’s different potential, and sometimes through her respect for that person’s own truth. The core of her strength is shown in her talisman quotation from Jane Eyre who, when asked why she should hold to her judgement when no-one cares what she does, replied:
‘I care for myself. ... The more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.’
Her own integrity coupled with unstinting generosity was the strength of her teaching, her work as houseparent and director of studies and just as present in her enabling of the poetry-writing activity and the variety and dynamism of her commitment to drama in the college.
From Atlantic College, Margaret moved on to be Principal of St Clare’s in Oxford. She and I then retired to the same village near Stratford on Avon and shared 20+ happy years there, though Margaret’s health increasingly became an anxiety. Margaret enjoyed time in her garden continuing the pleasure she had discovered in the cottage garden at St Donat’s. We both did a postgraduate diploma at the Shakespeare Institute where Margaret’s insight and elegance of expression was the wonder of the staff. She took up Latin Literature in a big way and joined an excellent class. We did not go in for any more Skar-jack drama productions but belonged to the local book club, learnt to play bridge and, at her insistence, joined an aqua-fit group - though neither attained great prowess in the water any more than at college!
Just now all those happy years seem a long way away but I trust they will come back as more important than the immediate loss. Othello’s words at Desdemona’s death:
Methinks it should be now a huge eclipse
pinpoint a wish to acknowledge her value and our loss. This is my attempt to recognise the importance of the death of a person whose sensitivity, insight and grace meant so much to so many.
We are deeply saddened by the passing of Justin Amery (UWCA ‘83) who died suddenly and unexpectedly at the age of 56.
Following studies at UWC Atlantic and at Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School (now part of Imperial College School of Medicine), Justin worked as a senior GP partner with a long parallel career as a children’s palliative care doctor in the UK and Africa. He wrote 12 medical books.
Justin met his wife Karen at UWC Atlantic in 1983 and they have been together since. While at the college they were in the same house, Post House. They married in 1988 and have five children, two of whom are also UWC graduates. Over the years, Justin and Karen kept very close friendships with AC friends.
Justin and his UWC Atlantic dorm-mate, Webster Nonde (UWCA ‘83), over the years enjoyed a remarkable friendship, from their young years at AC up to this time when they could be referred to as senior citizens. In Webster’s words, “If ever I saw a man living out the UWC ideals of international understanding, then Justin was the man”.
Justin sought to understand and embrace people from diverse backgrounds. He took people for who they were, always looking out for the inner beauty in the individuals he interacted with.
On 23rd July 1988 Justin made Webster best man at his wedding with Karen in London and on 14th December 1991 Webster repaid the honour of having Justin as his best man at his wedding with Elizabeth in the mining town of Mufulira in Zambia. Webster, godfather to Justin's youngest child, enjoyed many family come-togethers during Christmas. Webster recalls that he was so humbled when three years ago Justin came with his family to Ndola, Zambia, to attend the wedding of Webster’s first daughter, Grace. Justin was also envious when 2 years ago Webster phoned him and told him that he had become a grandfather. He yearned for the day when he too was going to hold a grandchild in his tender arms.
Justin died unexpectedly by taking his own life. This was an out of the blue unexpected act as he was a man that lived his life to the full and embraced his work, family and friendships completely.
Justin lived his life to the full. He enjoyed going to Highbury and later on to the Emirates to watch Arsenal FC, the team he'd supported since he was a child. With close friends he also engaged in very fulfilling spiritual conversations. In many ways, Justin was a very spiritual man and sought to understand the real essence of our existence here below. Justin is gone and gone too soon but he has left behind an amazing heritage of true and meaningful friendships.
Justin is survived by wife Karen (née Bateman), his children, Michael, Mair, Rhiannon, Florence and Katende, his parents and his siblings, Paul (UWCA ‘81), Julian and Louise.
He will be remembered as a passionate innovator and an inspirational leader who put kindness and compassion at the centre of everything he did.
A classmate, Tim Knatchbull (UWCA ‘83), said that laughter followed Justin everywhere. “In our AC induction week I arrived in camp wet and exhausted after a long day orienteering,” recalled Tim. “I found a sleeping bag in a tent with a large number of as yet unknown first-years. Shivering I lay in the darkness. Then a voice started a Monty Python sketch. It was Justin. Soon the tent was alive with laughter and I forgot the cold. It was the first time I had encountered Justin and the infectious warmth he spread in the world.”
Another classmate, Andrew Manion (UWCA ‘83), reflected: “Whoever said youth is wasted on the young certainly didn’t have Justin in mind. Memories of our college days are a veritable kaleidoscope of laughs and misadventure. For Justin, fun was mandatory and rules were optional. The editors must have had Justin in mind when they stamped “Top Secret” on our Yearbook. As an Aussie far from home I was welcomed into the Amery household and fondly recall wonderfully boisterous meals shared with his loving family. He was also a great travelling companion. Away from college, with AC friends we careered from adventures in occupied East Germany to the Australian Outback in an eclectic assortment of vehicles, collecting stories along the way. Not a moment was wasted. We miss you mate.”
In the words of another of Justin’s co-years, Philip Griffiths (UWCA ‘83), “Justin was compassionate; although we were not consciously religious young men, it was obvious to us all that someday Justin would do God’s work. Justin was curious - about other people and how he might help them, and he knew how to listen. And Justin was cocky. But Justin’s was the most endearing, enthusiastic, energetic, disarming and self-aware cockiness. With his cockiness Justin would light up a room - not in the sense of a glamourous persona – Atlantic College was as far from glamorous as you can get, and Justin was at the lower end of the glamour scale, even there – but he would light it up with possibility and promise. The possibility that we could be the architects of a better future, the possibility of finding ways that we could better ourselves and help others, but also the possibility of great silliness and mischief, and always the promise of great laughter and joy.”
Compassionate, curious and cocky - this is how many will always think of Justin.
29.03.1997 - 31.12.2021
On the last day of 2021, Floor lost her battle against cancer. She was 24.
Floor was at ‘home’ with us between 2013 and 2015. In her yearbook message, she quoted ‘Rather Be’ by Clean Bandit, a song which I am sure will strike a chord for many of those who knew her.
Floor was diagnosed with incurable lung cancer in December 2017. Her case was so exceptional that doctors called her a white raven, an extremely rare, blue-eyed, breathtaking, extremely intelligent bird who, like Floor, suffered a genetic mutation.
“Witte raaf’’ therefore became the title of the book that Floor wrote. In the book she describes how she copes with her illness, and writes about her thoughts, childhood, future, hopes and expectations. Knowing it could be over at any moment. She called being struck by lung cancer at such a young age extreme bad luck. “So unique, it actually makes no sense at all. Just bad luck.”
After leaving Atlantic College, Floor studied art history and shortly after the diagnosis also resumed law studies. She hoped for a miracle, because for a long time the drugs and experimental treatments seemed to keep her afloat.
Floor also blogged about her illness for NRC Handelsblad and inspired many young people who were also affected by cancer. With her foundation F|Fort Foundation, she committed herself to young adults who, just like herself, have cancer. She explained why she believes more attention should be paid to the mental well-being of young patients.
Floor was an accomplished artist and writer. Together with photographer Loet Koreman, she made a photo book in which they captured eleven young adults with cancer. The whole of art photography, text and design invites the reader to visit a world that is insufficiently known to most people.
Floor always had an artistic soul and a wonderful way with words. In her art teacher’s words, Lucy Male, “Floor was a wonderful, fun loving, creative, adventurous, kind and beautiful person. Particular pieces which I remember she created included a wonderful dress and corset outfit, worn by one of her African friends, made out of many packs of cards for the fashion show and a beautiful yarn chandelier brought to life with packets of fairy lights hung in the Arts Centre.”
Floor made many friends at the College who all rallied around her since 2017. She was really loved.
The image of the white raven will stay with us all. It was already with her at the bottom of page 87 of her 2013-2015 yearbook page.
Margot McIntyre, UWC Atlantic College, January 2022