Lawrence William Kershaw was born in Bradford, Yorkshire, in September 1886. He studied civil engineering at the University of Birmingham between 1903 and 1908. By 1919 he was head of the Department of Mechanical and Civil Engineering at Loughborough College, and in 1928 was appointed Principal of the Leicester College of Technology. Under his leadership the College expanded in size and new departments were added including production engineering and languages. He worked to foster greater links with local industries, particularly through the introduction of advisory committees where members of local businesses were asked to advise on teaching methods and curriculum at the College. Kershaw was awarded the OBE in 1943 and in the same year became President of the Association of Principals of Technical Institutions. He retired in August 1946, aged 60, stating that he was tired out by the fast pace of work during the Second World War.
The portrait was modelled by H Wilson-Parker.