01 November 2007

Professors’ send-off leaves legacy for the future

Photo: Bob Russell and Bill Leatherbarrow

Two of the longest-serving and best-loved Professors in the Department of Russian and Slavonic Studies were given a wonderfully fitting tribute on their retirement last week.

Professor Bob Russell and Professor Bill Leatherbarrow gave the University nearly 75 years of dedicated service between them, and more than 160 alumni and current and former staff turned out to celebrate their achievements at their joint retirement reception on 20 October in Mappin Hall.

Students were always at the heart of Bob and Bill's work at the University. So, instead of giving them the more traditional retirement present of a clock or fountain pen, the Department of Russian and Slavonic Studies and the Development and Alumni Relations Office asked their former colleagues and students to contribute towards a Russian Scholarship in Bob and Bill’s names. This scholarship will provide a 'year abroad' bursary for an academically promising student in need of financial support.

The response was extremely generous – to date, the Russell and Leatherbarrow Scholarship Fund has received over £5,500 from more than 100 alumni and current and former staff.

“We’re delighted to be able to honour Bill and Bob in this way,” said incoming Head of Russian Neil Bermel. “The fact that so many of their former students and colleagues are here today and have contributed to the scholarship fund shows the esteem in which Bob and Bill are held. We’re going to do our best to live up to their legacy in the post-Bill-and-Bob era.”

If you would like to contribute to the Russell and Leatherbarrow Scholarship Fund, please contact Ruth Stanley, Head of Annual Giving, using the details below.