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Online condolence book opened for tributes to Stephen Hawking

  • 15 March 2018

An online book of condolence has been launched by Gonville & Caius College to allow those who wish to pay virtual tribute to Professor Stephen Hawking, Caius Fellow and brilliant theoretical physicist, who died yesterday aged 76.

Messages can be left using an online form, and will be posted on the College's website here following moderation. The online book complements the physical book of condolence opened yesterday and available in the antechapel at Caius for all those who wish to sign. Hundreds of well-wishers visited the College yesterday to leave handwritten messages, often personal and moving. Queues were so long at times that the number of books was increased from one to four. Once all tributes have been collected, the pages will be bound together in one volume and presented to Professor Hawking's family.

Visitors arriving yesterday (Wednesday 14 March) included many students and other members of Cambridge University, together with members of the public and those visiting the city. The College extended its opening time until 11pm to allow all who wished to leave condolence messages, and the book will remain in the antechapel for the next few days. Many more visitors are continuing to arrive today, bringing flowers and penning tributes.

One Psychology student from Homerton College wrote: "Granddaughter of an illiterate mother of three and daughter of a self-made businesswoman who doesn't speak a word of English, I'm so proud to study at the same institution as Professor Hawking. You have taught us all perseverance, grace, humour, creativity and bravery.... Every time I doubt myself, my research and my academic pursuits, I will think of you and your advice to carry on."

Another student, from Newnham College, left this message: "To have had the opportunity to hear Professor Hawking speak at the Union in 2017 is one I will treasure for a lifetime. Thank you for teaching the world so much, and reminding us all to look at the stars."

A choral service of prayer, reflection and celebration will be held in Caius chapel this evening for Fellows, students and staff to honour the memory and achievements of Professor Hawking as a member of their own community. (NB this service was held on Thursday 15 March 2018).


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