Old Boy Obituary Just Found on Lancaster University Site
Michael Waller, founding member of Russian Studies passed away on 24 October 2021. Michael was born in Manchester on 14th February 1934 and was educated at Douai College and Altrincham Grammar School. He learnt Russian while on National Service with the Navy. After taking a degree in Classics at Corpus Christi, Oxford, and a period of teaching at the Lancaster Royal Grammar School, he took a second degree in Russian at Manchester. He also worked with the late Barry Gregson to open a pottery at Caton, and he continued to make elegant and distinguished ceramics for many years. The forthcoming University of Lancaster planned to include the study of modern languages within Humanities, and it is said that Michael persuaded Charles Carter (Lancaster’s founding Vice-Chancellor) to include Russian. He, therefore, took up a post on 1st September 1964 as the founding member of Russian Studies (subsequently Russian and Soviet Studies), and further additions enabled Lancaster to offer a cluster of East European languages. Michael also met his wife, Manon Allee, at Lancaster, and she predeceased him in 2019. Language studies suffered under the Thatcher cuts to universities in the early 1980s, and the Senate narrowly approved the closure of Russian and Soviet Studies. Michael then moved to the Government Department at the University of Manchester, and in 1993 to a chair in Politics at Keele, where he became Director of European Studies.