Shock death of fellow

Jennifer Boon - Deputy News Editor 1 March 2010

Dr Emile Perreau-Saussine, a fellow of Fitzwilliam College, died suddenly on Tuesday 23rd February.

Dr Perreau-Saussine, who was 37, had been researching and teaching political philosophy and the history of political thought at Cambridge since 2001.

He was a Newton Trust Lecturer who lectured at Pembroke College as well as being a fellow of Fitzwilliam.

In 2005 Dr Perreau-Saussine was awarded the Prix Philippe Habert, a prize given for the best writing on political science by a young researcher, for his work on Alasdair MacIntyre.

Professor Robert Lethbridge, Master of Fitzwilliam College, said, “Both the Fellows and students at Fitzwilliam College are deeply saddened and shocked by the loss of Dr Emile Perreau-Saussine, a much admired colleague and teacher.”

Nora Wukovits-Votzi, a student at Pembroke who was supervised by Dr Perreau-Saussine, told The Cambridge Student (TCS), “Emile to many of his students was not only an inspiration because he was a very engaging supervisor who challenged his students, but also a beloved friend.”

A foreign student who keeps a blog entitled ‘Drew Goes to Cambridge’ wrote this morning: “He was one of the kindest, most genuine, and engaging people I’ve known.  He was also surely one of the most brilliant – you could see in his eyes how passionate he was about the subjects he studied and taught.  I looked forward to our meetings and I will miss him dearly, as I’m sure many other students will.”

Flags flew at half mast in both Pembroke and Fitzwilliam on Tuesday and Wednesday and flowers were left outside Dr Perreau-Saussine’s door.

Students who were affected by his death have been offered support by their colleges.

Miss Wukovits-Votzi commented that: “Personally, and I know that many students feel the same way, no one has influenced me as much academically.

“Emile had a passion when he supervised his students that was awe-inspiring and truly unique.”

Charlotte Lawes, another student at Pembroke, told TCS that, “As a person (let alone supervisor) Emile was truly inspirational – and not in that cliché way that people say on these sorts of occasions. He loved being an intellectual, and was always engaged with what we were reading.

“He loved his family dearly and would often talk about his kids – my last supervision was in his wife’s office where he was looking after his daughter who was off sick.

“I’ll miss him. He was a fantastic supervisor but more importantly he was a happy and wonderful person who has had a big impact on my life and others.”

Jennifer Boon – Deputy News Editor