Tributes from former students and colleagues have poured in for beloved professor David Lessels, who died at the end of December.
The skilled academic worked to establish many of the university’s links with Europe through the exchange programme Erasmus and visited many other universities across the globe to foster relationships.
Former students have referred to him as “inspirational” and “wonderful” having benefited from his teaching of law.
I still remember his classes. Every lecturer should aspire to teach in the class and inspire their students as David Lessels did. https://t.co/6GRF4jQShl
— Piotr Teodorowski (@PTeodorowski) January 5, 2019
Dr Greg Gordon, head of school of law at Aberdeen University, said: “He was, quite simply, a master of the lecture.
“His delivery was dramatic, but this was no case of style over substance.
“His gestures and mannerisms were perfectly calibrated to accentuate key points and draw the students in to his material.
“He expected his students to be prepared and on time and woe betide the hapless fresher who disappointed him in that regard.
“But David did not ask his students to do something he would not do himself.
“No-one was just a face in the crowd to him; everyone was an individual and worthy of being treated as such.
“He had an almost uncanny ability to remember faces and names.
“He could meet a student years after they had left the University and know exactly who they were, who their friends were, and what their interests had been.
“He loved to hear how his students were getting on and reveled in their successes.”
So sad to hear the news about my absolute favourite lecturer at @AberdeenUniLaw. David Lessels was entertaining, dramatic and an outstanding teacher. I thoroughly enjoyed his lectures and remember people chanting his name at the annual law ball – respect and love for Lessels https://t.co/b7D2hDWmg2
— Chloé (@mini_klaus) January 5, 2019
Professor Lessels retired in 2013, after 40-years working within Aberdeen University’s
A special ceilidh and dinner was held at Elphinstone Hall to mark his retirement, with students and staff members gathering in huge numbers to celebrate his achievements during his time at university.
Upon retirement, he was appointed an honorary professor, a tribute which was as popular as it was richly deserved.
He moved to East Lothian to be closer to family, but still made frequent trips north to attend graduations and meetings of alumni.
He enjoyed golf, gardening, travel and music in his spare time.
Upon the announcement of his death on Friday, former students shared their fondest memories of the Professor.
Scott Peterkin, partner at Burness Paull Scottish Law Firm, said: “He was a wonderful man – the first person I met when I visited Aberdeen University.
Such sad news. Like so many, I too will always be indebted to Professor David Lessels for introducing me to family law with such passion & enthusiasm – it was simply infectious. So much so that I couldn’t imagine practising anything else! https://t.co/9bQ1hFVBON
— Caroline Millar (@SKOcaroline) January 4, 2019
“He was intelligent, warm and always welcoming, he very much in my thoughts.”
Former student Njoki Mahiaini added: “When I wanted to switch courses from law to politics after my first year, David Lessels guided me through the transfer process with characteristic wisdom and warmth.
“Here’s to an extraordinary academic and wonderful man.”
Professor Lessels is survived by wife Sue, children Ellie, Tom and Andrew and son and daughters-in-law Stuart, Anna and Kerry, and grand-children Finn, Maggie, Lena and Albie.