We spoke to Mark Green (Al. 1973-78), a chartered patent attorney about why he has chosen to leave a legacy to the College. Mark, who after coming to Brighton on a scholarship went on to read Natural Sciences at Downing College, Cambridge, was a partner at UDL for 26 years, before retiring from full-time practice in 2020.
What are your favourite memories of your school days at Brighton?
I enjoyed the camaraderie in the school and the sport. House competitions were always fun. We had a relatively large amount of freedom when I was a pupil, probably more so than children today, and as a day boy could easily go out into Brighton. The situation of the school in the town opened a lot of things up to us. I remember we could go and watch Brighton playing during their rise up the tables in the late 1970s. I am still in touch with a lot of our year group, and some of us still see each other on a very regular basis. We still hark back to shared experiences, and definitely, the good times shine through. School for me was a happy time. I don’t miss soaking afternoons on the New Ground though.
What did you go on to do?
I was able to go on to study Natural Sciences at Downing College, Cambridge, before going on to becoming a chartered patent attorney. Chris Pett (Ha. 1962-67), encouraged me to join the profession, and I enjoy the mix of science and law that it provides. I have just retired from the partnership, and am starting an MA at Birkbeck in History of Art. I was told at school “You should study sciences at university if you have a choice – you can study arts subjects any time”. That time has now come, 40 odd years later.
How did your time at Brighton prepare you for your life after school and university?
The school gave me the confidence to say what I thought, to express myself, and to try anything. It also gave me a valuable support network, one I still have today.
Why did you decide to leave a legacy gift to Brighton College?
My parents worked hard to send me to Brighton College. Even though my father was a civil engineer, he wasn’t highly paid for what he did and in the 1970s there were wage rise restrictions. I was lucky enough to be awarded a scholarship, which greatly helped them with the fees. I want there to be funding available to potential pupils who are thinking of going to Brighton College, where they might flourish, but where the costs might be a barrier to attending. Without the scholarship, I may not have been able to attend, and the doors which opened to me throughout my life would have stayed closed.
What would you tell anyone thinking of leaving a legacy gift to the school?
If you can, then do it!
There may have been a defining moment in your career which began with a classroom, a cultural, a social or a sporting experience at Brighton College. Did someone suggest you try out for the house XV and you became a rugby star? Did a lesson in modern history lead you to become a human rights lawyer? Did you meet your spouse at school? If you hadn’t been there, those moments may not have happened and for many children, a scholarship or a bursary can make all the difference to going to Brighton College or not. A legacy for a building project can help towards a better teaching experience, a new sports facility, a new school cinema screen. More children can be inspired to do something they didn’t think was possible. Pupils from Brighton College have achieved the highest accolades in their sports, in the cinema, in the law, in science, in society, based on a spark ignited at the school.
Your legacy might create that spark.
What difference do you hope your gift will make?
If my legacy can inspire one child to go on and achieve something, it will have been worth it. If that child can make lifelong friends who will support them in their darkest moments, it will have been worth it.