Where There’s a Will There’s a Way

Gift: Mary Tregear FBA left £238k to St Cross College and royalties split between St Cross and the Ashmolean.

Legacies have a huge impact on future generations of students, and colleges benefit in many ways – from new posts, to new bursaries, to new buildings.

Mary Tregear was Curator of Chinese art at the Ashmolean for 30 years and a Fellow of St Cross College. She was born in 1924 in Wuchang, China and became curator at Hong Kong University’s Fung Ping Shan Museum. She joined the Ashmolean as Assistant Keeper for the Chinese collection in 1961, and from 1987 until her retirement in 1991 was Keeper of Eastern Art.

Sir Mark Jones, Head of House at St Cross explains how Mary’s legacy will be used.

“Although St Cross is quite large in terms of numbers, we badly need more accommodation to make its communal and intellectual life work better. At the moment we only have 18 students living on this site. The rest are dotted around all over Oxford. The aim is to create a new building which will house 50 more students and provide us with a library, and improved facilities for seminars and lectures that will help the College to work well as a community.”

“St Cross developed as a college in which there were relatively close relationships between the Fellowship and the students. We don’t have a distinction between the senior common room and middle common room, there is no high table, and we think of ourseleves as being as being informal and democratic. We are a graduate college and 60–70% of our students come from overseas, so having all those different cultures and languages in the same common room is very exciting.

“The College needs to think of itself as being a place that has a lively exchange of ideas as well as encouraging participation in College life – that is what this building is for. We hope to name one of the rooms after Mary Tregear.”

For more information on leaving a legacy to Oxford, visit http://www.campaign.ox.ac.uk/contribute/legacies_bequests/