I would like to start this message by thanking all of those who have written to me following the news of my retirement. It has been very humbling to hear from my colleagues and it has certainly made me reflect again on what our University stands for and how this has driven me over the years in Sheffield.
Many of you will have heard me talk about the historic poster displayed in Sheffield's factories which made the case for the establishment of a university which would be 'for the people'. I have found this the most moving of documents because, in it, I have seen the hopes and efforts of those who came before us.
One of the people I particularly relate to is the young Welsh scientist and the Principal of Firth College, John Viriamu Jones, who later went on to found Cardiff University. Like me, he studied physics at Oxford. But Sheffield was where it began and where he made a passionate case for a broad and excellent education that made a difference to the lives of people in this industrial c