Henry Kloppenburg (1968, Civil Law) came to Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. He is one of a long line of Rhodes Scholars who came to Exeter from the province of Saskatchewan in the Canadian Prairies.
Saskatchewan is well-known at the College on account of the lecture theatre under staircase 9 which bears its name, built in the 1980s thanks to generous donations from Henry and his wife Cheryl and several fellow Saskatchewan Rhodes Scholars. It was Henry who organised the campaign among Exonians from Saskatchewan, encouraged by then Rector Lord Crowther-Hunt (Lady Hunt also having a Saskatchewan connection).
Henry lived on Staircase 11 both years he was at the College. He was offered Tariq Ali’s former room for his second year, popular accommodation because it boasted central heating (which sometimes failed). Henry distinctly remembers the polyester in his trousers melting when he stood too close to the electric fire on a cold winter’s day!
Henry feels that the defining quality of Oxford’s excellence comes from both the tutorial system and the existence of a social life and community in college which bring together individuals of diverse backgrounds. This is why he believes in the ethos of Cohen Quadrangle, which “will provide accommodation for superior tutorial / teaching facilities and support relationships among the students of the College.”
Henry and his wife Cheryl have made a generous donation towards Cohen Quadrangle, specifically towards the construction of a seminar room which is to be named the Kloppenburg-Saskatchewan Room in a nod to the Turl Street lecture theatre he helped make possible 30 years ago. “Through this donation, my wife and I wish to acknowledge my debt to Exeter College for my time there. I am also grateful to give recognition to the connection of my home province of Saskatchewan”, Henry wrote.
Henry believes that the new quadrangle will foster an active community among the students in residence that would not be possible if they were dispersed in private accommodation around Oxford. This community life will in turn, he feels, result in greater benefit to students from the richness of the tutorial system. He adds that being able to live in a contemporary urban residence with good internet facilities will be a great improvement.
Henry finishes by saying “I would like to applaud the vision of Rector Cairncross and Governing Body for making this leap of faith for Exeter, and to Exonians for their support. We ought to be exceedingly grateful for that Rector’s contributions to the College during her tenure and for the current Rector’s acceptance of the challenge of making that vision come to be. “