Up Close & Personal: Senior Bursar

The other half of the notorious Bursary department, Senior Bursar is something of an anomaly among The Fellowship at Old College. Although impeccably educated by way of Eton and The Other Place, Senior Bursar does not languish in academic titlery, being neither a Doctor nor Professor. Whereas Junior Bursar scaled scholarly heights from the humble beginnings of a local comprehensive, Senior Bursar mingled with the elite when he was still in short trousers.

That is not to say that his prestigious beginnings supplement his intellect – far from it. Armed with a double first in economics, the young Senior Bursar was itching to leave books behind and embark ferociously on making something of himself in the real world. Like any self-respecting young gentleman seeking his fortune, he headed to London with his sights firmly set on taking the Stock Market by storm. He spent most of the 80s in pinstripes and wine bars, steadily amassing a respectable fortune. Never one given to the vulgarity of excess, Senior Bursar eventually decided to make one final trade – that of the frenetic rollercoaster of city life for domestic bliss, in the shape of a charming ex-model-turned-philanthropist and two young sons swiftly after.

Now a family man, Senior Bursar sought employment that would offer both a vehicle for his great experience and intellectual prowess, and also allow him the freedom to be a husband and father. Inevitably, Old College found him and the rest is history.

A tall, powerful man, customarily swathed in tweeds of varying intensity, his cut-glass accent and booming voice quickly silenced any mutterings about his academic integrity. He has a particular penchant for biscuits and without doubt his pre-drinks reception drinks receptions are the absolute last word in refined debauchery. However, Senior Bursar seems to have less salubrious connections within the shadowy under-circles of Old College – which make him potentially a very dangerous man indeed.

The real Senior Bursar is a chap for whom I have tremendous respect. The quintessential English gentleman, he had a rare demeanour that balanced the sort of restrained gravitas one might expect, with a passionate intensity that occasionally erupted into quite unnerving outbursts. He would always apologise immediately and profusely for these often colourful disclosures, particularly to any nearby ladies who may have been caught in the backdraft. Undeniably brilliant, he held all around him to his own exacting high standards, but with a sense of fairness and decency that invariably left one with the intention of upping one’s game considerably. A remarkable fellow, without doubt.

UK EDITION

US EDITION

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Welcome to Old College… you’ll never leave…

54 comments

  1. It must be a bit tricky to write a fictionalized account of academia without offending some of the models for your characters (or their supporters). You do a good job with the balance, but personalization might be the real danger! Watch your back. lol 🙂
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

    1. I have been keeping one eye over my shoulder for a little while now, I could be lulled into a false sense of security but I hope that if they were going to be violently offended, it might have happened by now. And it is a work of fiction, after all 😉
      That aside, isn’t it fun to get to know a few of the characters a little better? The hardest one to write was for DHP – that’s coming on Thursday…
      xx

    2. There will be ‘up close & personal’ posts for both Head Porter and my alter ego coming up very soon indeed! I am also considering writing the definitive history of Old College – that could be very satisfying to do, although maybe a bit dull for the reader. Although it is quite a murderous history, so maybe not!
      xx

    3. Haha I knew what you meant! I shall certainly be mulling it over, I would love to write it. Someone really needs to invent more hours in a day so I can get everything done I really want to 🙂
      xx

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