Jan 27 2022

In memory of Adrian Hall (1949-2021)

It is with great sadness that LSE learned of the death of Adrian Hall, who died aged 71 on 13 December 2021.

Adrian spent his entire working life in higher education. After serving as President of the Students’ Union at Royal Holloway, his first post was at the Committee of Vice Chancellors and Principals. After this he moved to the London School of Economics and Political Science where he met his wife, Sarah.

Adrian worked at LSE for 40 years, completing his career as the Head of Administration. Described as a force of nature, his range of experience, his phenomenal capacity for hard work, his innovative approach and sense of humour in difficult situations were all very much valued and made him a dedicated LSE servant.
Mark Thomson, Academic Registrar, remembers Adrian as his first boss at LSE.

“I’d made it to the second round of interviews for a role in what was then known as the Secretariat. Adrian was on the panel this time and it was utterly nerve-wracking. Amidst the standard questions of “Can you give an example of a time you…”, he blindsided me with “How do you know something’s finished?” Not a question for which I had prepared. But I discovered that by providing half a competent answer, followed by a pause, Adrian was ready to step in and answer his own question. I made a mental note of this stalling technique and used it for years afterwards, learning about successful and steely administration from a master practitioner.

“Adrian was a skilled strategist and canny political operator, with a network whose tendrils reached into every nook and cranny of LSE. He was a fleet-footed administrator who could nudge the wheel of LSE’s governance machinery with a gossamer touch or with fearsome firepower – whatever was required.

“Working with him in those early years was often not less nerve-wracking than that initial interview, but I certainly owe him a debt of gratitude for influencing my development as a neophyte administrator. He showed me how to see the big picture.”

Adrian will be missed by so many across our LSE community, and beyond. Members and friends of our School are invited to share their own memories and reflections of Adrian in the comments below.

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9 Responses to In memory of Adrian Hall (1949-2021)

  1. Hazel Johnstone says:

    I’m very sorry to hear this. I have fond memories of Adrian always flying round campus in a cape (not literally) in the old days.

  2. Anne Page says:

    Adrian was a wonderful guide for a new governor, and a wonderful source of information and gossip during the term of office. I would not have understood so much of the subterranean life of the LSE without his insights. He also developed a great team of staff who greatly assisted governors. Commiseration to his family and friends.

  3. Kevin Featherstone says:

    Adrian epitomised much of what the LSE is about. His judgements were always well informed and sound. His manner to colleagues was respectful and inclusive. And, he was very pleasant company. He contributed so much – he will be well remembered.

  4. Adam Gale says:

    What sad news. Adrian was a massive part of LSE during his tenure and was certainly known by everyone on campus. Whilst he could be quite an imposing character to have to visit and provide support to back as a junior member of staff, he was also incredibly supportive. I have many happy memories of my dealings with him, and will always remember his ways of showing his appreciation by mentioning it in front of my (then) senior management.
    Please pass on my condolences to his family and friends.

  5. Alan Revel says:

    Am sad to learn of Adrian’s passing. He contributed so much to LSE over his 40 years at the School moving up from a relatively junior position to end his time here as Secretary and Director of Administration. He was LSE to his core. He seemed to know everyone at the School and knew everything that was going on, there was little that escaped his attention. He expected excellence but he showed his appreciation with formal thank you notes arriving after various annual events that we organised. Sincere condolences to his wife, family and friends.

  6. Viet Anh Hua says:

    I am very sorry to learn of Adrian’s loss. His institutional knowledge was phenomenal, and he was always happy to help the Development office advance our fundraising efforts, particularly through his involvement with the Legacy Giving Programme. Even after retirement he remained an invaluable source of information and advice. I will miss his candour and for the way in which he acknowledged the hard work of staff no matter how junior. My heartfelt condolences to his wife, family and friends.

  7. Andrew Farrell says:

    Great memories of working alongside Adrian and grateful for his advice on the dark arts of university management. Also very grateful for his support to my older daughter when she needed to change university/course – nothing to do with LSE but his experience and advice was invaluable. A sad loss.

  8. Janet Hartley says:

    Adrian was absolutely committed to the LSE, and not only to the staff (academic and administrative) but also to the students. He believed the LSE was a special place and was proud to be part of it. It was a privilege and a pleasure to work with him, and he will be greatly missed.

  9. Liz Chapman says:

    I’m sorry to see the announcement of the death of Adrian Hall. As others have noted Adrian was LSE through and through. He knew so much about the place and used this to help others find their way through the considerable labyrinth. He was constantly rushing about with too much on his plate, but also more than willing to go out of his way to support others. He was a canny political operator and once convinced of a cause would work hard for it. (You did have to convince him though.) I for one was very pleased to have his support on the project to bring the Women’s Library to LSE as he saw the fit with the existing Library archives and academic research. It was a pleasure to “work” with him and Sarah after their retirement as they sought to bring their local Battle Museum of Local History into the modern world. They created a section on Votes for Women in 2018 to celebrate both the centenary and the considerable contribution that local women had made in the struggle for the vote. He really enjoyed hearing about Suffragette marches up and down the beach at nearby Hastings. He also volunteered at Kipling’s home of Bateman’s and immersed himself in learning all there was to know about the man and his home. So, in retirement Adrian was as busy as he was at work and constantly interested in learning new things. He was also keen to help his alma mater Royal Holloway. It is regrettable that in this last two years so many friends have been kept apart but I hope Sarah will be able to understand from the various messages how much Adrian was appreciated both as a colleague and a friend. He retired from LSE with great dignity at what was a very difficult time politically, but he displayed in his commitment to work and life a pattern of support and friendship which others can value and follow.

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