It is with great sadness that we report the recent death of St Hugh’s alumna Dr Ann Soutter FRSA (née Morris, Modern Languages, 1953). Ann was a great friend and supporter of the College for many years, and she was recently elected a Distinguished Friend of St Hugh’s in recognition of her outstanding and significant contribution both to the College and to the St Hugh’s Alumni Association (formerly the Association of Senior Members), of which she was a committee member from 1982-2011.
As many of our alumni will recall, Ann dedicated many years to compiling and editing the first volume of the St Hugh’s College Register with Mrs Mary Clapinson (Modern History, 1963). The Register, which was published in 2011, includes over 2500 biographical entries about the women who attended St Hugh’s as undergraduates between 1886 and 1959. She was also Editor of the St Hugh’s Chronicle between 1982 and 1991.
After four years as a teacher at the start of her career, Ann embarked on a long career as an educational administrator and college inspector. She held several posts, including Registrar for Arts and Humanities and Registrar for Special Academic Developments, with the Council for National Academic Awards (CNAA) before becoming Chief Assessor of the Council for the Accreditation of Correspondence Colleges (later re-named Open and Distance Learning Quality Council) between 1989 and 1998, and Chief Inspector of the British Accreditation Committee for Independent Further and Higher Education between 1994 and 1999. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 1997.
Ann was a founding member of the George Borrow Society in 1991 and became its chairman in 1998, writing many articles under her professional name of Dr A. M. Ridler. In 2014, Ann started the Lavengro Press with the aim of publishing scarce material on George Borrow in a series of Occasional Papers.
Ann will be sorely missed by the St Hugh’s community. We send our deepest condolences to Ann’s family, and to all those who had the pleasure of knowing her.
St Hugh’s friends are very welcome to attend Ann’s funeral on 20th December 2018. Details are available here.
Veronica Lowe (Modern History, 1969), President of the St Hugh’s Alumni Association: It is humbling to note that Ann’s contribution to the College as a Senior Member spanned almost 40 years from joining the ASM Committee and becoming Editor of the Chronicle in 1982 to providing the spark for the Association’s 2018 symposium “A Woman is Not a Person” celebrating the life of Gwyneth Bebb and the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919. Ann was a person of many interests and with many friends but it is typical of her modesty that the self-penned entry in her herculean work, Vol. 1 of The Register, underplays her achievements. She was truly a distinguished friend of St Hugh’s.