Library Services


UCL Student Centre welcomes Jeremy Bentham

9 March 2020

The auto-icon of UCL founder Jeremy Bentham has moved to the Student Centre.

Jeremy Bentham auto-icon

Jeremy Bentham, UCL’s spiritual founder, stipulated in his will that his body be preserved after his death as an ‘auto-icon’. He believed that individuals should make themselves as useful as possible, both in life and death. 

A celebrated social reformer, Bentham, strongly believed that education should be made more widely available. He is best known for developing the doctrine of utilitarianism, which aimed to promote ‘the greatest happiness of the greatest number’. This he considered ‘the greatest happiness system of morals and legislation’.

Bentham’s new home in the Student Centre, puts him at the very heart of UCL’s Bloomsbury Campus.

Professor Anthony Smith, Vice-Provost (Education & Student Affairs), said:

“Bentham takes his place at the heart of a space dedicated to bringing students from all backgrounds and disciplines together, to exchange ideas, collaborate and discuss the global challenges of our day. What better way to honour Bentham’s legacy and from where he will continue to remind us all of UCL’s values which remain as true today as they did in 1826”

Bentham’s new home in the public atrium of the Student Centre is open to staff and students 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year. Visitors can view the auto-icon from 7am - 7pm each day. 

YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVWH0X-ecPs