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August 8, 1980

Oxford Revisited

JAMA. 1980;244(6):577-579. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03310060033018

WINSTON Churchill's old school song "Forty Years On" says it all. To return to Oxford 40 years after graduation is to "wonder what we were like at our work and our play." But not solely—for Oxford, always changing is largely the same. For the sake of perspective let us proceed from what was and still is, and then look at the very recent and the proposed.

Precariously, down a narrow lane, (Fig 1) thronged with bicycles and tourists, I proceeded to the original gate of New College—which despite its name celebrated its 600th anniversary last year. The strong trunk of an oak tree, rough hewn and clad with iron bands, still bars the great doors against potential mobs of students. A low portal has been cut in it to allow inspection of all strangers. The stone nearby has been scuffed by thousands of feet over six centuries—some unshod, some in