Three generations at Birmingham

James and Richard Cox

Studying at Birmingham has become something of a tradition for the Cox family.

Richard Cox (BCom Commerce, 1985), brother Christopher (BSc Geological Sciences, 1987; MSc (Eng) Foundation Engineering, 1988) and sister Sarah Cox (BCom Commerce, 1988; Hon DUniv, 2012) all followed in the footsteps of their parents Joseph (MbChB Medicine, 1961) and Barbara Cox (MBChB Medicine, 1959) who met during their studies at the University.

And Richard’s son James became the third generation on campus when he began his English degree in September 2014.

Richard says: ‘I put no pressure on James to study at Birmingham, but he was aware of how much I enjoyed my three years at the University. I think there are few better universities in the world than Birmingham.

‘James looked at several institutions but ultimately picked Birmingham because of the reputation of the English course.

‘He’s really thrown himself into all that Birmingham has to offer. I firmly believe there’s more to your time at University than going to lectures, and to see James with his own show on Burn FM (the University’s student led radio station) is great.

‘As it happens he got a place in Mason Hall in his first year, and I lived in the old Hall during my degree – the new building looks very different to mine, but not much else seems to have changed.’

Joseph and Barbara’s good memories towards the University set the tone for the family, and Richard’s own ties with Birmingham are just as strong.

He recently enjoyed a 30th anniversary reunion with his former flat-mates. As the sole owner of a car, he would drive many of them to watch Liverpool FC home and away throughout their degrees.

‘You do form friends for life at university and I’ve stayed in touch with my four flat-mates on and off since graduation, supporting Liverpool or playing golf. The reunion was great fun and we’re already talking about our plans for next year,’ he adds.

Are you a family member of a current University of Birmingham student, and would you like to share your story? The Development and Alumni Office would love to hear from you.

Ahead of the arrival of the new first year students at Birmingham in September, do you have any tips for parents or guardians who may be dropping off their children to university for the first time? Please get in touch and share your advice with us.