Teresa Welby. Courtesy of Special Collections, University of Exeter.

Teresa Welby (1960s)

Creating spur-of-the-moment speeches for Senate was all in a day’s work for Teresa Welby, Exeter’s Guild President for 1961-2.

After studying for a degree in Geology at the University, Teresa became Guild President in the early 1960s and demonstrated a pro-active and hardworking approach throughout her role.

Acting as the first female chairman, Welby organised the Inter-University Geology conference, and is reported by the Southwesterner - the student newspaper at the time - as showing initiative in obtaining resources for the event. With no time to prepare her case, she was able to persuade Senate to subsidise a book for the conference to the tune of £260 (around £5,000 today). Indeed, there was no standing committee of Senate without someone she knew on it.

After her time at Exeter she then spent ten years working for the Leprosy Mission, during which time she was able to visit and work in India, Thailand, Indonesia and Hong Kong.

Teresa worked hard to cement student-staff relationships during her time at the Guild, with an aim of extracting ideas from all members, not just those at the top. She went on to become headmistress at St Mary’s Hall School in Brighton and is now enjoying her retirement.