It is rare to find a person that embodies an institution, but for many, Bishop James Grant (TC 1950), is synonymous with what it means to live, study or work at Trinity College. At the end of November 2017, Bishop farewelled Trinity after seven decades of service.
He is a renowned historian, who has written five books including the College’s one-hundred-year history, Perspectives of a Century, he contributes to wider society through his church and other community service work, but perhaps, the Bishop’s most enduring legacy will be the compassion and genuine interest he displays for all those that he comes into contact with.
As Director of Advancement, Scott Charles reflects, ‘The Bishop. What can you possibly say in a few sentences that can do any justice to the impact that this man has had on the College and the thousands of students and alumni, who he has interacted with and who love him?’
Bishop first came to the College in 1950, to take tutorials as a non-residential student. Since then, he has been a resident, chaplain, council member, board member, joint acting warden, senior priest of the Theological School, senior fellow, benefactor and most recently, the Bequest Officer.
When Bishop became the acting warden in 1974, the College had effectively no money. Now, the College is in a state of financial stability. Yet, Bishop believes the College can do more to increase diversity among its student cohort, particularly in the Residential College.
‘I would like to see the College broaden its intake. Even though, there are students from 132 schools in the Residential College, they’re a bit monochrome in that they’re nearly all independent (private) schools,’ says Bishop.
The Bishop’s comments line up with our resolve to continue to diversify our student cohort in line with the Strategic Plan.
The Bishop takes with him fond memories of current and former colleagues, particularly: Clare Pullar (former Director of Development) and Don Markwell (sixth Warden), who recruited him back to the College as a staff member; David Cole (former Chaplain), Stewart Gill (former Dean of Trinity and current Master of Queen’s College); Gary Norman (Director Major Projects & Infrastructure, Director Planitgreen); and Scott Charles (Director of Advancement) for his openness and enthusiasm, his interest in people and the desire to know what makes them tick.
There are a number of ongoing projects Bishop plans to work on during retirement, he might find though, his expertise is once again being called upon by Scott Charles and the Advancement team.
‘I am just hoping he will consider my request to offer consulting services. He is only a spring chicken after all,’ says Scott.