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John Harris has just been awarded an honorary MA in recognition of 50 years of service to the Department of Pharmacology and reflects on highlights over the past five decades

John Harris (left) receives his honorary MA at the Sheldonian Theatre. © Ian Wallman

He may have just received an honorary MA in recognition of 50 years’ service to the Department of Pharmacology, but John Harris still recalls his first day nerves aged 19.

“I think it was actually my mum who saw the job advertised,” said Oxford-born John, who started out as a Junior Technician in the Department of Pharmacology Workshop in 1969.

“I remember I came in early on my first day and I was a little bit nervous.

“I was mainly building things for the researchers in the labs and making sure everything was working in the classrooms for the medical students.”

John has remained in the workshop ever since and past his 50-year milestone in October 2019, when the department held a reception for him. Then, on 29 February 2020, he received his honorary MA at the Sheldonian Theatre.

“Everyone made me feel so special on the day,” said John, who particularly enjoyed part of the ceremony outside afterwards where, as a member of the procession, he had to doff his cap to applauding students who had received their degrees.

Read the full story on the University of Oxford website