crystallographers\(\def\hfill{\hskip 5em}\def\hfil{\hskip 3em}\def\eqno#1{\hfil {#1}}\)

Journal logoJOURNAL OF
ISSN: 1600-5767

Stephen Fleet

aConvenor, IUCr Finance Committee, UK
*Correspondence e-mail:

(Received 5 July 2006; accepted 5 July 2006)

Keywords: obituary.

Stephen Fleet, who served for many years on the IUCr's Finance Committee, died on May 18th 2006, aged 69. Stephen's input to the IUCr was unique and is irreplaceable because he combined a professional knowledge of crystallography (he was Demonstrator, then Lecturer in Mineralogy at Cambridge University until 1983) with the financial acumen borne of being, in succession, Bursar of Downing College (from 1974), then Registrary of Cambridge University, in other words its chief administrative officer (from 1983). He held the latter post for 14 years and oversaw many important changes in the university's processes. Later he became Vice-Master then Master of Downing College.

His university and college roles gave him much experience and expertise in managing very large trust funds and investments. This, combined with his crystallographer's understanding of the IUCr's journal publishing business, ensured that his informed advice on our relatively modest investments was soundly based and invariably accepted. Indeed, in our six-monthly meetings with our financial advisors `in the City' it was clear that Stephen was well known and his opinions highly respected.

Stephen was a charming individual with a great sense of humour and jollity. I first met him as an undergraduate when he sought to teach me and others how to calculate axial ratios of monoclinic crystals and other forms of torture involved in studying `Min. and Cryst.'. After that, our paths hardly crossed until I became involved with the IUCr's Finance Committee in the last decade. We had thought of Stephen as a life-long bachelor but were delighted when he proved us wrong in 2002 and introduced us to Alice, whom he married and whose company we enjoyed at the time of Finance Committee meetings in Copenhagen and, most recently, in Jersey, not to mention in the Master's Lodge at Downing College.

Stephen's death, after a long battle with cancer, leaves the IUCr the poorer and its Finance Committee bereft of its most knowledgeable and amiable member.

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