Professor Sir Eric Thomas, 1953 -2023

IntoUniversity pays tribute to former trustee Professor Sir Eric Thomas

At IntoUniversity, we were deeply saddened by the news of the death of Professor Sir Eric Thomas. In a hugely rich and varied career which touched the lives of so many, at IntoUniversity we will remember Eric in particular for his passion for social mobility and his commitment to working to eradicate educational inequality. 

While Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol Eric got in touch after reading about IntoUniversity in The Guardian when we were their Christmas charity. With Eric as the whirlwind tour de force, a (still thriving) partnership with the university was developed, and in 2012 our first centre in Bristol was opened. 

In 2013, Eric joined our Trustee Board, and a second Bristol centre followed a few years later. Eric brought to the Board his customary enthusiasm and dedication, his strategic vision and his helpful and incisive plain-speaking – in his trustee role he also always gave us his unstinting support outside of Board meetings too – in particular providing wise and practical counsel to our development team, introducing us to key contacts in the Higher Education sector and always, always banging the drum very loudly for fair access and participation. We are so grateful for his service and for all his many, many contributions to the life and work of our charity. 

But my most abiding memory of Eric is seeing the absolutely gleeful smile of utter delight on his face when he shared the very important news with me that he was becoming a grandfather.

Our thoughts are with all of Eric’s family as they mourn his loss.

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IntoUniversity pays tribute to former trustee Professor Sir Eric Thomas