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A tribute to Jo Hodges

Jo_Hodges2_photo by Alys Tomlinson103 (1)
Jo_Hodges2_photo by Alys Tomlinson103 (1)

Written by
Published date
31 July 2017

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of our tutor, colleague, lecturer and friend Jo Hodges. Following an ongoing illness, Jo died peacefully in her sleep on Tuesday 25 July 2017.

She was a passionate tutor, an inspiration to many and will be greatly missed at LCC. Jo had worked at UAL for 15 years, initially as a lecturer on BA (Hons) Graphic Design at Central Saint Martins from 2002 – 2007 before joining us here at LCC on BA (Hons) Advertising in 2006, subsequently as Course Leader and most recently as Creative Practice Director for Communications and Media.

Jo had extensive experience in both the advertising and film industries. Her professional background in advertising as an award-winning art director led to her working at leading agencies such as DMB&B, GGK, Ogilvy and Mather and as feature film screenwriter with International production credits at London Film Festival and Toronto Film Festival amongst others.

An example of Jo’s groundbreaking work was with the Football Association for which students produced materials for ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ and ‘Kick Homophobia out of Football’ campaigns. Some of the work is on permanent display at the Football Association’s headquarters.

Jo brought all of this experience and enthusiasm to her teaching and she will be greatly missed. Our thoughts go out to her family and friends.

We pay tribute to Jo at our Graduation Ceremony and with memories from staff and students below:

Adrian Crookes, Programme Director for Communications and Media

“Jo was never happier than when she was with students, particularly on field visits where she would take students halfway around the world to introduce them to the latest thinking and to meet the best in the field, with her LCC bag in tow.

She was always very proud of student achievements and was a strong advocate where she went of our students, their work, and of LCC and UAL. She was always very generous with her time and knowledge. A big presence with the best of intentions, particularly with getting the best out of her students and pushing them further to deliver the most creative ideas. Those who understood this always excelled. She would produce work from students at a creative level that others couldn’t, you could always rely on her delivering something out of a class that was unexpected and remarkable.”

Mary Lee-Woolf, Lecturer for BA (Hons) Contemporary Media Cultures and MA Media Communication & Critical Practice

“Jo was a great lecturer, a true creative and experienced industry professional with an imaginative spirit and enthusiasm, who was passionate about her work. In always wanting the best for her students she sought out stimulating projects, which offered fantastic industry opportunities often on an international scale and frequently involving trips to New York and Europe. Latterly in her role as Creative Practice Director she broadened out her scope of activities so that more students within the media school on degrees other than advertising could benefit from her expertise and experience. And the work that the students produced as a result always had astonishing high creative values. Jo was a good friend and colleague and her death is a great loss to LCC.”

The Cinema Museum

“The Cinema Museum trustees and volunteers were very upset to hear that Jo Hodges has died. Jo pioneered the London College of Communication partnership work with The Cinema Museum and since her first approach some 5 years ago we have worked with hundreds of LCC students to help them develop their skills and experience; Jo loved The Cinema Museum – she understood the value of the Museum and its collections and the impact that universities and museums working together can have on fledgling arts and communications careers. As a professional partner she was decisive, practical and effective so we will miss her work very much.  As a person she was an explosion of energy, positivity and innovation – with a huge and generous heart – so we will miss her company and her friendship very much too.”

Martin Humphries, Ronald Grant and the trustees and volunteers of The Cinema Museum.

GK Partners

“I was 11 years old when I first met Jo – she was a sporting whirlwind at our old school Anstey Martin in Leicestershire, a highly competitive athlete and a fearsome hockey player – but was very well liked. As an adult I worked with her for quite a while before I realised that she was the Jo Hodges that I’d been at school with over 40 years earlier – and I was thrilled to see that she had not changed: ambitious and tenacious but warm and kindly, a strong role model for women of colour and for all women of all types and sorts who are keen to make a useful place for themselves in the world. She was a great help and support to me as an adult and I shall always remember Jo with great fondness. My condolences to the others who I know will be equally sad.”

Katharine Ford, GK Partners.

Konichiwa Agency

“Jo was full of life and brilliant creative who never failed to inspire. As a teacher she was always encouraging, helping us achieve our dreams, by making us strive to do better and accepting that not so great ideas are all part of the process in making brilliant ones. She taught me to think about creativity in a completely different way, and demonstrated that all you need is a great idea to do something brilliant. If it wasn’t for Jo being such a driving force, I don’t think I would have felt as excited about the possibilities and creativity in the industry I work in. I’d like to think that some of her inspiration is reflected in the work we do at Konichiwa. I know that she will be a constant inspiration to us and I know that her infectious energy will also live on through the many students under her tutelage.”

Ursula Hutchinson, Creative Director.

Simon Wood, Copywriter

I met Jo at LCC 15 years ago when my friend Gordon Henderson died. He was a lecturer there of the old school. Jo was a new kind of being and unique. She had advertising experience but was a new renaissance woman when it came to the creative world, saw the genius wherever it existed. I gave a few rambling talks to her students – I’m an old copywriter – and got to know her quite well. She was someone for whom the phrase “live wire” existed. I was amazed how capable and sparky her students were when I set them some exercises. I would have given any of them a job.

I worked for many years in advertising agencies – it was rare you came across someone like Jo who was way above that world as well as part of it. Today I thought of contacting her to ask her about the current scene – and was shocked to see she had died. She was so full of life – she created it around her, she was a true creative.

If you’d like to contribute, please send your memories of Jo to 

If you work or study at UAL and are affected by this news about Jo, please be advised that the following support is available: