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In memoriam: Alan Phillips

We are deeply saddened by the death of Alan Phillips, a distinguished former student who was a source of great support for Warwick’s work on international inclusivity across many decades.

Alan came to Warwick in 1966 to study Physics. He was the first-ever sabbatical President of the Students’ Union in 1968-69, before graduating with First-Class Honours in 1970. Alan later entered the human rights sector, using his knowledge and passion to give back to his former university.

Professor Alison Ribeiro de Menezes (School of Modern Languages and Cultures), said:

“Alan was always a committed ambassador for Warwick, and offered his time and expertise generously to support both research and policy on refugee and minority ethnic issues. He helped to shape the development of a Peace and Conflict Resolution Institute at Warwick, a key project in our forthcoming Social Sciences Grand Challenge.

“As general secretary of World University Service UK (WUS), he was instrumental in establishing a scholarship campaign to support Chilean academics and students whose lives were at risk in the wake of the September 1973 Pinochet coup d’état. WUS, in collaboration with the group Academics for Chile, went on to rescue 900 individuals and their families, enabling them to study and to rebuild their lives in the UK. Many would later return to Chile, contributing to the reestablishment of democracy after the fall of Pinochet. Alan would later comment that, the WUS programme was ‘one of the most complex and demanding ones I have been involved with in almost forty years of human rights work’.

“His passionate advocacy on behalf of refugee and asylum-seeking students at the University – and across the world – was unparalleled. Recognising the need to increase access to and awareness of available opportunities, he worked with the Widening Participation and Sanctuary Scholarship teams to bridge the gap for those who may have been unaware of the resources at their disposal.

“During his long association with Warwick, Alan was the first President of the Graduates Association, a member of the University Council, and a member of an academic advisory board on ethnic relations. He was awarded an honorary degree by Warwick in 2005.

“Alan’s contribution to refugee and ethnic minority issues was transformational, and his invaluable input and guidance influenced Warwick’s mission to create actively inclusive international communities.”

You can read more about Alan and his work in this obituary in the Guardian.

Support is available

Please do reach out if you’ve been affected by Alan’s death and would like support. You can get help and support through the Staff Wellbeing Hub, or by contacting the Employee Assistance Programme. Bereavement support from the Chaplaincy is also available.