Lancaster University

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Obituary - Merton Atkins

01/17/2001 13:43:07

Merton Atkins, formerly Deputy Registrar, has died peacefully on 17 January 2001 at St Gregory's Home, Hutton Roof. He leaves a widow, Janet, and three children. The funeral is for family members only, and a memorial service will be announced later.

Mr M. G. de St V. Atkins came to Lancaster from the editorship of Chambers Encyclopaedia on 16 January 1967, as Assistant Secretary to Stephen Jeffreys. He subsequently became Deputy Academic Registrar and then Deputy Registrar, working with Mr Michael Forster. He was secretary of the Senate until his retirement in 1987 at the age of 67, as well as taking a keen interest in the emerging research-driven ethos of the university, initially in conjunction with Professor Philip Levy.

Merton was known far and wide throughout UK universities for his trenchant and provocative views, and his strong adherence to matters of principle, combined with a keen interest in and fellow feeling for colleagues and friends at Lancaster and more widely. He was until recently both an excellent cricketer and a regular player of table tennis. His distinctive appearance - dark three-piece suit, black boots, stiff white collar and watch chain - became as much a trade mark as his insistence on absolute observance of procedures; not for their own sake, but because of his belief that they were a safeguard to every corporator of the university to which he gave such devoted service.

He was a man of warmth, wit and wisdom and his many friends will mourn his departure.