Master of St Catherine’s College, Professor Roger Ainsworth, has passed away following what the College called “a short battle with cancer.”

The College will be flying their flag at half-mast as a token of respect to the Professor.

Professor Ainsworth became Master of the College in 2002, having been a Tutorial Fellow in Engineering since 1985. During his time at the College, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales. He also fostered connections with Denmark, which saw him being appointed a Knight of the Order of Dannebrog by HM the Queen of Denmark in 2005.

Closer to home, the Professor served as a Pro-Vice-Chancellor from 2003 and supervised a £750 million building programme as Chair of the University’s Building Committee.

He was originally both an undergraduate and graduate at Jesus, and became an Honorary Fellow of the College in 2002.

A spokesperson for St Catherine’s said: “During his time as Master, Professor Ainsworth presided over an immense amount of change at St Catherine’s, with thousands of students coming and going during his tenure. His dedication and commitment to ensuring that St Catherine’s remains a welcoming college and a remarkable environment in which to live, work, and study was extraordinary. He will be sorely missed by students and colleagues alike.”

The Vice-Master, Professor Penny Handford, said: “The entire College community is deeply indebted to Roger for his loyal friendship, his outstanding leadership, and his immense contribution to the advancement of St Catherine’s College. He will be greatly missed and we will continue to honour the tremendous impact he has had on our community. In the meantime, as Roger himself said, the College must march forward together.”

Well-wishers can sign the book of condolences at St Catherine’s College Porters’ Lodge, and messages for the family are being received at ww.stcatz.ox.ac.uk/roger-ainsworth/.

Details of a memorial service will be announced in due course.

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