May 7 2020

Jennifer Pinney

We are saddened to learn of the recent death of longstanding former member of staff, Jennifer Pinney, who worked at the School for 25 years. Colleague and friend Celia Phillips shares her memories of Jennifer.

I first met the formidable Miss Pinney when she arrived at the School. She had come from Paris OECD to head up the administration of the then new, post-Robbins Report Higher Education Research Unit headed by Claus Moser, then Social Statistics Professor there, and Philip Redfern, shortly to become the Head of OPCS. I had just finished my degree and embarked on a doctorate in the educational Statistics area with Claus and officialdom was strange to me. I was terrified of her initially. Jenny however, quickly smoothed my way so I was included in all seminars and given rapid access to any information or contacts I might need. In the days when this was not normal for graduate students she even found me a desk to perch on! She remained supportive, and I owe any proofreading skills I have to her careful tutelage over what seemed endless drafts of my thesis!

Once I joined the Staff, we became friends. And I discovered that her rather formal work demeanour concealed a lively sociable and sympathetic person. I have happy memories of her joining the LSE choir of which she remained a loyal supporter, suppers with musical friends, and many happy nights socialising and playing bridge. Later, she became a family friend and our children remember her exciting visits….

After she left EUSSHE (as it became) she continued her career within the School and others will be more fitted than I to talk of her fundraising under Dahrendorf, her other work with alumni and her whole contribution to the LSE. But over the years, we kept in touch.

In the early 2000’s she persuaded me to follow her ten years on as President of the University of London Lunch Club, one of the LSE-connected things which she continued to support and enjoy until relatively recently. Although her last few years were dogged by illness, I have fairly recent memories of lunches at the club, Easter at Kensington, and numerous musical events….

Celia Phillips  

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4 Responses to Jennifer Pinney

  1. Dr John Carrier says:

    It is with great sadness that I hear of the passing of Jennifer.
    I knew her throughout the 1970’s and 80’s at the School
    She was a close colleague of Dr. Anne Bohm and a great friend and support to all students and staff in various roles.
    Jennifer had a lively personality , was easy to talk to and approachable and always gave good advice on administrative issues and how the School functioned.
    She had a most charming smile and was easy to talk to on matters both serious and light.
    Nothing was too much for her where the good of the students and School was concerned.
    My condolences to all her family and friends.

  2. Eileen Barker, Professor Emeritus says:

    Jennifer was a loyal friend and servant of the School who will be missed by those who knew her.

    I first came across Jennifer when I received a note telling me that I shouldn’t start a sentence with a But. I can’t remember the details – I think it was something I had circulated as Dean of Undergraduate Studies – but I do remember feeling irritated as I prided myself for my grammar, punctuation and English style. If I wanted to make a point by starting a sentence with a But, then that was my prerogative, not my mistake.

    Somehow, again I can’t remember the details, we overcame this first hiccough, and became close friends. We spent time together, not only at the School, but at each other’s homes – she was the perfect hostess, and she enjoyed sitting in my garden. Our conversations would cover a wide variety of topics – she was an extraordinary font of information on the most surprising of subjects. After she retired from the School, Jennifer helped me out in an emergency by working at Inform, an educational charity I had set up. Her filing system is still in place.

    Until fairly recently, she was a Past President and regular attender at the University of London’s Intercollegiate Luncheon Club. I know I am far from the only one who misses her presence at those meetings. It’s not quite the same without Jennifer.

  3. Leslie Hannah says:

    Among her many contributions Jennifer was a pioneer fundraiser for the Business History Unit at LSE the 1970s, working with Sir Alastair Pilkington, Sir Arthur Knight and other industrialist friends of the School. They and many others found it a pleasure to work alongside her and she taught me a lot that would later be useful when fundraising briefly became part of my job description!

    Professor Leslie Hannah, first director of the Business History Unit (1979-89); Pro-Director (1995-7) and Acting Director of the School (1996-7) in the interregnum before Tony Giddens.

  4. Rosalind Jones says:

    I first met Jennifer Pinney in the LSE Choir when she was External Relations and Appeals Officer, about 1980. The Choir was a splendid gathering of people from all parts of the School and I am still in touch with a postgraduate student who was very welcoming when I joined. As I published a journal I was on the fringe of activities, so the Choir was a good place to meet people.

    Jennifer was a lively and friendly member and devoted to all aspects of LSE life. She was disappointed and hurt when the Centenary Appeal was taken from her department and outside ‘experts’ were called in (She was informed of this by telephone when on a fundraising visit in Canada.) However, Jennifer did not let this embitter her and continued to be devoted to the institution she loved. She was an enthusiast who pursued all tasks with dedication and energy and even in retirement still supported the LSE. Will we look upon her like again?

    Rosalind Jones (Managing Editor, Government and Opposition journal 1979-2003)

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