Professor Hawking died in the early hours of this morning (Wednesday March 14), aged 76.
Jack Inch, 17, was among a group of students who were invited to see him receive the Honorary Freedom of the City of London, at Guildhall, and were introduced to him afterwards.
Jack said: “Hearing the news today that Professor Stephen Hawking has passed away for many young aspiring academics, including myself, marks a time to mourn one of the great physicists and people.
"His perseverance through his personal and professional experiences has served as a wonderful lesson of courage to those in times of adversity, and his work and life has changed our understanding of the world forever.
"Having had the privilege of seeing Professor Hawking speak last year, I admired his brilliant humour and insight on world issues.
"I hope that people remember him in the good spirit that I saw of him, and hope his legacy to the world of physics and humanity reminds us of the capability of human endeavour for years to come.”