Adam Bell, 1984-2011

August 18, 2011

In a tribute to Adam Bell, John Cater, vice-chancellor of Edge Hill University, said that if there was anyone who did not like him, it was because they loved him instead.

Born in Ormskirk, Lancashire, in 1984, Mr Bell had his first experience of higher education at the age of 15, going to nearby Edge Hill as a work experience student in the marketing department.

He went on to study English at Lancaster University between 2002 and 2005 but kept his links to Edge Hill, working in the registry as a temporary employee while he studied. After he graduated, he joined the registry full-time as a graduate trainee.

In 2007, Mr Bell was promoted and took responsibility for the university's scholarship scheme. His success in the role led to another promotion in 2009 to the post of assistant registrar and head of ceremonies.

In the same year, Mr Bell also completed a master's degree in English and became the first student to receive his degree from Edge Hill's new chancellor, Tanya Byron.

Dr Cater said that, as well as being an exemplary employee, Mr Bell's personal qualities made him stand out from others. "He was conscientious yet great fun to be with," he said. "He was an optimist who managed great feats of coordination - 13 ceremonies, 4,000 graduates, 10,000 guests - without ever appearing seriously stressed. He was charming and charismatic, and much loved by those who knew and worked with him."

Helen Smallbone, senior registrar for assessment and awards at Edge Hill, added that Mr Bell was an affable and outgoing individual.

"He was the type of person who would be asked, 'Are you really this nice?', and he was," she said. "But he wasn't boring either - he was really lovely but he had a dry sense of humour and would always come out with funny comments that you wouldn't be expecting from him. He sounds like a quiet wallflower but he wasn't."

In addition to his academic endeavours, Mr Bell was a keen rock guitarist and supporter of Sheffield Wednesday Football Club. Dr Cater said that he could often be found "spending winter nights travelling the dark reaches of the lower divisions with his fellow Owls".

Ms Smallbone said that Mr Bell would be deeply missed within the university: "Adam was a colleague, but he was also a friend to everyone in the team. We've all really felt the loss. There aren't many people who everybody likes: Adam was one of those people."

Mr Bell died after suffering a brain haemorrhage on 12 July. He is survived by his partner, Helen.

sarah.cunnane@tsleducation.com.

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