Life Member: Jack Foks

Awarded 2020

Over the past eleven years, Jack has been a dedicated tutor, insightful Committee member, supportive participant in the tutor team, and “song and dance” man extraordinaire.


In 2010 Jack launched into an innovative, stimulating and popular series of short courses on Democracy. Drawing on his considerable audio-visual skills, enquiring mind and collaborative approach to teaching, Jack engaged his students in many fascinating discussions on diverse and unexpected themes: What is Democracy? (2010); Democracy and the Media (2011); Does Democracy Work? (2012); Democracy and Satire (2012); Democracy and Law (2013); Democracy and Sex (2013); Democracy and War (2014); Who is Democracy Good For? (2015).

With a Distance Education background Jack was interested to widen the reach of his Democracy courses, offering our first “on-line” course in 2011 to 28 members. Organised as an internet blog, it aimed to enable flexible student participation during the week.

From 2012 to the present, Jack has also been a collaborative and creative co-tutor of the yearlong German Conversation course. Jack’s technology skills, humour and teaching expertise opened new doors for class discussion, language study and connectedness.

Always keen for new students, Jack developed a video promotion of the German Conversation course. This format provided U3A members with more information about the course and its tutors than just reading the yearlong course guide. Supportive of other tutors, Jack assisted several other language tutors to develop similar videos explaining their courses.

With a strong interest in program quality and development, Jack actively contributed to general Tutors meetings across the years, as well as co-facilitating New Tutor and topic specific Tutor workshops.

Committee of Management

A similar dedication made Jack a valued member of the Committee of Management between 2011-2013. In particular, his passion for audio-visual resources as a rich and flexible teaching tool saw Jack devote much time and expertise in arguing for improvements to the Ross House technology systems.

With such energy and flair, Jack was regularly the “Song & Dance Man” at New Members meetings, imparting information and enthusiasm for U3AMC in equal doses. Many will remember his rendition of the U3A theme song. Perhaps his crowning glory in this regard was taking to the catwalk in the Fashion Parade “Don’t Stop Me Now” which celebrated our 30th Anniversary in 2015. Spotted by the press at the rehearsal, Jack gladly jumped at the opportunity to promote the Fashion Show in both the TV news and daily papers.

Based on the energy, innovation and commitment Jack has brought to so many volunteers roles since 2010, Jack was commended for and awarded Life Membership of U3AMC in 2020.