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News > Remembering OV > Tribute to Roger Isham Hall (1931-2020)

Tribute to Roger Isham Hall (1931-2020)

Roger Hall - a Tribute - Physicist to Academic
Roger Isham HALL
Roger Isham HALL

Roger I Hall (1931 - 2020)

Roger Isham Hall, who attended Bishop Vesey's Grammar School from 1943 to 1950, died on 20th November 2020 aged 89 years in Winnipeg, Canada. After a childhood in Streetly, he was a boarder at the School during the war years and became a day boy thereafter. Roger held many wonderful memories of Headmaster Geoffrey Cross, his teachers, Matron in the boarding house and friends from his years at the School. Among his best friends were Bertram and Cameron Johnston, Robin Leaney and David Worthington. Roger was recognized as having the potential to benefit from a university education, and Roger's father was persuaded to allow him to become the first person from the family to attend university.

From the University of Birmingham, Roger gained a BSc. in Physics and then spent his National Service in the Navy at HMS Collingwood, a Naval Electrical School. He was trained in the maintenance of electrics and electronics and then served on the aircraft carrier HMS Bulwark. After National Service Roger was employed by Edison Swan in the production and administration of cathode ray tubes and radio valves whilst attending part time courses in management. Meanwhile, Roger spent another eight years in the Royal Naval Reserves, teaching electrics and electronics on the Minesweeper HMS President in London. He attained the rank of Lt. Commander.

 The company sent Roger to Imperial College, London to study Production Engineering and he was awarded his D.I.C. Diploma in 1959. His return to Edison Swan as a Production Engineer and Production Manager was short lived with the development of transistors. Therefore, while looking for a new job, Roger visited his former Professor at Imperial College to ask for a reference. Roger was immediately offered a job as a lecturer in Production Engineering at Imperial College - and so began an academic career in the summer of 1960. As the second faculty member, Roger joined the London Business School as Senior Lecturer in 1965 and after teaching there for two years, Roger had the opportunity to study for a year at the Harvard Business School on their International Teachers Programme. At the end of that year, the London Business School asked Roger if he wished to pursue a doctorate in Business Administration, to facilitate starting a PhD programme in Business Studies at the London Business School. The family moved from the Harvard environs to Washington in Seattle where Roger embarked on his PhD at the University there. Upon completion of his PhD, the economic circumstances in England were such that cuts meant employment at the London Business School was no longer an option. At the beginning of 1971 Roger was appointed to the Business School at the University of Manitoba and so began a further academic career of twenty seven years. Roger retired in June of 1997 with the title of Full Professor and Senior Scholar. The university of Manitoba Business School later changed to the Asper School of Business.

Roger's academic career was in Management Sciences with a focus on the fields of Decision-Making, Organizational Analysis and Systems Dynamics. He served in several roles for the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, including as a member of the Academic Advisory Panel and the Committee for Management and Administrative Studies for Strategic Research. Roger served as President (1983-84) of the Administrative Sciences Association of Canada. He received the Bronfman Foundation Senior Faculty Award, the Canadian Pacific Prize of the Administrative Sciences Association of Canada, and a 1st prize in the 1983 International Competition of the Institute of Management Sciences for the most innovative new contribution to the field of Organizational Analysis.

It would be remiss in recording such a stellar career not to mention Roger's wife of 59 years, Birgit and their three children. Roland is a professor of Science in Biology, Manfred teaches English in China and daughter Brita is a Special Olympic athlete and has competed in two Paralympic Games in Norway and Japan both in cross-country skiing. Brita works at the University of Manitoba

Roger taught during a half sabbatical leave at the University of Western Australia (Perth, 1974) and a summer at Xian Jiaotong University in Xian, China (1985). He also spent two sabbatical years in England, at University of Leeds-Bradford (1977-78) and University of Warwick (1984-85 and 1993).

Roger was also active in the community volunteering with youth sports and coaching cross-country skiing. He loved classical music, attending Symphony and theatre performances with season tickets for 30 years. 


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