Reporter 422, 8 June 1998

Conrad Leser’s legacy lives on

A scholarship fund has been set up in memory of the late Emeritus Professor Conrad Leser to help refugees and those from developing countries who want to study at the University’s Business School.

Professor Leser, a retired Professor of Econometrics, died in his eighties in April. His wife and daughter decided the fund should be for a cause close to his heart. His own life-story illustrates why refugee students will be among the beneficiaries.

Born in 1915 in Heidelberg, Germany, Conrad Leser studied at university in Switzerland in the 1930s. On a visit home his passport was confiscated – due to his non-Aryan status – and only returned when he declared his intent to emigrate.

He moved to England and continued his studies at the London School of Economics, frequenting Speakers’ Corner near Marble Arch to improve his English. Along with others of German origins, Conrad Leser was interned to Canada in 1940. On his return to England in 1941 he took up a post at Manchester University and spent time in Canberra, Dublin and then Leeds.

The terms of scholarships will be decided by Mrs Marion Leser and Leeds University Business School.

A number of donations to the fund have already been received – anyone interested in adding to the fund should contact Jackie Findlay in the Research Degrees and Scholarships Office on ext 4001.

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