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Jeremy Lewis came to Coleraine as a bright undergraduate in 1974 studying English Language and Literature, and graduating in 1977. He stayed on at Coleraine to complete a postgraduate qualification and then landed himself a job at the Riverside Theatre and managed it from 1978 until 1985.
What is your most enduring/standout memory of life at the Coleraine campus?
"Being a student, no doubt about it."
Jeremy expressed his love for the campus and how wonderful it is to experience it. He said:
"It was a wonderful campus, just try and imagine the campus without any buildings, we just had Phase One and the Tower had just been completed in my first year."
Jeremy also shared how campus life itself, as a student, differs hugely compared to today. He said:
"It was completely different, it was a seven day week operation. In my day, on Saturday and Sunday, there was a film society running, all the student societies and clubs would operate over the weekend, there was a tremendous sense of what you would call collegiate loyalty."
Jeremy also shared the best thing about being a student at Coleraine - the opportunity to mix with friends from other faculties.
"Most of my best friends came from Science and Geography and things like that, even though I was doing English. In those days there was only 1,500 of us, staff and students. It was tiny!"
Jeremy loved life at Coleraine so much he said If he had the opportunity to do it all again, he would jump at it!
What was the best thing about working at the campus?
"Definitely the staff."
Jeremy said universities are microcosms of life in general, and the wonderful thing about working at the university was, you encountered all sorts of different people.
"Meeting a variety of staff taught me a lot. There were some really lovely people, some really ghastly people, but you learnt from each of them. You learnt how to deal with difficult people, you had a really good time when you worked alongside people that you liked and respected.”
"Being part of the staff taught you a huge amount about interaction between human beings, and it taught you how to be more civil, and more courteous, and more understanding of other people."
Jeremy expressed his passion for the University and commented on how much he appreciated it. He said:
"I loved it! I can honestly say that in the time of working in the University there was only one period within 30 years, when I didn't actually look forward to going to work in the morning. I was just one of those lucky people who had a job that he loved!"
What are your hopes for the campus as we look to the future?
My big hope is that the Coleraine campus keeps going. The University has done a hell of a lot for Coleraine and I hope the town appreciates it, and I hope that the University understands that the town appreciates it.
Jeremy proudly shared his future hopes, he said:
"I hope it develops and gets bigger, and I hope it continues to be, in 100 years’ time, still hugely successful."
Like many others, Jeremy also praised the beautiful campus, and how pleasant it is to visit for a good walk around.
Interview by Lauren Wilson, Coleraine @ 50 student ambassador