It is with great sadness that we record the death of Barbara Kennedy, Emeritus Fellow in Geography. Barbara retired in 2005, after 26 years at Oxford. She will be greatly missed by the international community in physical geography for her incisive critique of contemporary geomorphology. Barbara will be remembered in Oxford as a kind and demanding tutor, and an inspirational mentor.
An early pupil of Barbara's, Julia Marsden (neé Denham; 1979, St Hugh's) recalls:
"I was part of the first group of Geographers Barbara Kennedy taught when she arrived in Oct 1979. She came to Oxford from another university and she couldn't be doing with the Oxford way of undergraduates reading out their essays in tutorial times. She thought that was a waste of the hour and possibly also partly a product of laziness on the part of tutors? So, we had to give our essays in by 5 or 6pm the night before tutorials. She would then read and mark the essays over night and so the whole tutorial time was spent interacting about the essay rather than spending half of it just reading the essay aloud. The first essay title she set us was, "Lakes are either long or round" Discuss." I remember that we wondered how we could fill a whole hour saying moderately intelligent sounding things about this deceptively simple topic. When we went out to measure rivers with her, she, somewhat disconcertingly, waded in fully clothed, commenting that the choice when doing "this sort of thing" was either waders, which were cumbersome, or fast drying clothes… When we did "Schools" at the end of our time at St Hugh's she equipped herself with a large box of tissues and a bucketful of cowslips which she distributed amongst us for sympathy and encouragement."
Barbara Kennedy's funeral was held on 18 February 2014 in St Hugh's College Chapel. After consultation with Barbara's family, a larger memorial service, to which alumni will be welcome, has been arranged for Friday 3 October 2014 at 2.15pm at the University Church. A reminder will be sent nearer the time. For more information please see the St Hugh's website.