Dr David Millard (1931–2021)

David Millard portraitIt is with great sadness that the college learned of the recent death of Emeritus Fellow Dr David Millard.

David was a Founding Fellow of Green College in 1979, was Senior Tutor for 4 years from 1983 to 1987; and was Dean of Degrees for 17 years from 1991 to 2008 – a College record. He became an Emeritus Fellow in 1991, first of Green College and, since 2008, Green Templeton College. He was a much respected and great supporter of the college until his death on 13 January 2021.

David completed medical training in Birmingham, and after national service, specialised in psychiatry. He returned there to complete his training on the professorial unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. He subsequently obtained a Consultant Psychiatrist post at Rubery Hill Hospital. He then took the unusual step of relinquishing this post to move to Oxford to become a lecturer in Applied Social Studies at Barnett House in Wellington Square, a post he held for about twenty years. He was closely involved in the education of future social workers and probation officers. He maintained a clinical role as an Honorary Consultant, within the Professorial Department of Psychiatry at the Warneford Hospital.

At an important time for health and social care, David thus had a foot in both camps as a clinician, and also very involved in social and welfare studies. David moved very easily between worlds of medicine and social policy and was respected in both disciplines. As a result he was integral to providing added value for college students on applied social studies courses through the 1980s.

On giving up his lectureship, he took up more clinical responsibilities as a Consultant in the Psychiatry of Old Age. Within psychiatry he had a special interest in the Therapeutic Community movement, the subject of his MD thesis. For some years, he was editor of the International Journal of Therapeutic Communities.

David was one of the eighteen founding Governing Body Fellows elected in December 1977 under Sir Richard Doll’s leadership. Right from the very outset of what would become Green College, David was fully involved as a member of the powerful General Purposes Committee charged to design and develop the putative new college, and to formulate and recommend every decision for the development of the college, including the refurbishment of the Radcliffe Observatory building and the development of new buildings – in conjunction with the Warden.

The General Purposes Committee met very, very frequently in the early days, made rapid executive decisions and all members had to be fully committed to the task. David was a very wise and senior voice, and put his back into the development of the college. In fact, many of the very first non-medical students (when students were admitted in 1980) were MSc Social Policy students, and their entry was organised by David and a small number of other colleagues.

Music took a high place among his many interests in the arts, and after retirement he obtained a degree in that subject from The Open University. In harmony with this interest, David has commonly been described as a very ‘listening’ person, perhaps from his experience in psychiatry, and both earnest and sincere in his approach to people. He was never given to glib remarks or ill-considered opinions in his conversation, but weighed matters up thoughtfully.

Our thoughts are with David’s family and friends at this time.

Please let Gillian Cane know if you would like to pass messages or tributes to his family.

Created: 27 January 2021