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Obituary: Jim Greaves

President of the Students' Union and Student Governor

Jim Greaves (BSc Psychology 1966), who died in April 2007, was President of the Students' Union and Student Governor between 1965 and 1967, at a critical time for Birkbeck. The management was seriously considering implementing government policy to substantially expand the number of full-time undergraduate places. This would have meant the end of the key role of Birkbeck as a college for mature students. Jim led the students in a vigorous campaign against this, with many academic staff, and defeated the proposals. As a result, the traditional role of Birkbeck was confirmed and strengthened.

Jim had to leave school aged 16 because of family circumstances, but was given a wonderful opportunity to develop his intellectual and professional life at Birkbeck. He went on to a career at the University of Glamorgan. He is survived by his wife Kathleen, whom he met at Birkbeck, and a daughter Claire. He will be remembered with great affection by the graduates who campaigned with him, many of whom had remained close friends.