It is with the deepest sadness that we announce the death on 12 February 2016 of Maurice Fraser, former Head of the European Institute.
A personal message from Professor Craig Calhoun, President and Director of LSE:
Maurice Fraser was a friend of LSE from his days as a student through his career in public life to his return as a distinguished leader in the European Institute. Charming, gracious, and a witty conversationalist he brought wide and practical knowledge to the School. He will be sorely missed, not least in the context of the current debates over Europe, on which an LSE Commission he helped found will soon report.
Maurice’s ties to the School stretch over a long period: having been an undergraduate in Government, he returned after 1995 to teach in what was then the new European Institute. He became Head of the European Institute in 2013, but was obliged to step down in December 2015 owing to ill-health. Maurice was Professor in Practice, having served as special advisor to three successive British foreign secretaries during the tumultuous historical period of 1989-1995, amongst other posts. Maurice had wide professional experience, being a member/trustee/chair of a range of public bodies. Of special importance to him was his work on Europe and, in particular, Anglo-French relations. He had been educated at the Lycee Francais de Londres and he became Vice-Chair of the Franco-British Council and a contributing editor to ‘Valeurs Actuelles’, a French weekly. At LSE, he was the Programme Director for the European Institute’s double Masters’ degree with Sciences-Po. He was made Chevalier de la Legion d’ honneur in 2008 and Cavaliere dell’Ordine della Stella d’Italia in 2015.
Maurice was the long-term Director of the LSE’s public lecture series on Europe, utilising his extensive professional experience and contacts to make the School the premier UK platform for public debate on Europe. He was a devoted teacher and was inspired to help bridge the gap between the practical world of policy-making and that of academe for successive generations of the European Institute’s students.
Maurice was widely liked and admired, by both staff and students and across public life. He was very well-read and had a range of intellectual interests. Discussion with him was often stimulating, sometimes maddening, but always courteous and fun. He was a supportive and respectful colleague and he loved LSE. Latterly, he gave everything to the European Institute – endeavouring to carry on as Head, despite his deterioration and amidst much stress. It had been his dearest wish to attend last December’s Graduation Ceremony to announce the names of his beloved graduands, but alas this was already not feasible for him. His family background and his professional experience made Maurice a committed and life-long ‘European’ in his political orientation. His legacy of service to LSE will ensure that he always remain a cherished part of the European Institute community. We will all miss him terribly.
The European Institute has received many, many warm personal messages of sympathy from his friends – from across British and European academic and public life – and these reflect Maurice’s character and stature. Maurice’s family are inviting donations to the Brain Tumour Charity, in lieu of flowers – www.justgiving.com/mauricefraser
Our thoughts and prayers are with Maurice’s family.
Professor Kevin Featherstone
Head, European Institute
Professor Christian Lequesne,of Sciences Po in Paris, has written an obituary for Maurice Fraser in French newspaper Le Monde.
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