A service to celebrate Steve Purchase's life took place on Wednesday 22 November, 2017 at Kemnal Park Cemetery, attended by many colleagues from the College. Steve's time at Dulwich began in 2002 when he joined us as a Teacher of Mathematics after having taught briefly at Hills Road Sixth Form College and at Eton College.
Steve was equally happy teaching boys across the age range, from Year 7 to Further Mathematics at A-level, and he also helped prepare boys for Oxbridge, most recently with the Mathematics section of the Oxford Physics entrance paper. Every year Steve also oversaw the writing of the College Mathematics magazine, DC Mathematica, helping organise the articles submitted by boys and staff and arranging the printing in time for Founder's Day. Steve ran squash at the College for many years, and together with Richard Clancy organised matches for the boys.
Steve's love of Mathematics was evident to those with whom he came into contact. The subject of his PhD thesis was galactic clusters, solving the n-body problem using computational numerical methods. His love of the subject was evident; he thought deeply about his teaching, regularly posing insightful and penetrating questions on the theory behind the syllabus to others in the department.
Steve will be much missed by his colleagues at the College, particularly in the Mathematics Department but more widely too. He will be remembered as someone with a good sense of humour, determination as well as kindness – whether listening to others when they wanted to discuss a problem, or visiting a friend in hospital. Steve's kindness was also clearly evident to his pupils. Several messages to the College since Steve's death have confirmed the lasting impression that he made on many of his students, a common theme being Steve's patience, willingness to adapt his teaching to an individual's needs and his sense of fun.
In memory of Dr Steve Purchase, the prize for the best article for DC Mathematica will be named the Purchase Prize in future years and his love of squash will also be recognised in an appropriate manner.