Professor Terry Wade

TERRY WADE Professor of Russian at Strathclyde University

Born: 1930 in Essex. Died: 22 November, 2005, in Glasgow, aged 75.

TERRY Wade's first encounter with academia saw him leave the University of Durham in 1951 with a first-class honours degree in German with French. Following this, and after a year teaching German at King's College, London, he spent national service mastering Russian and Polish and thereafter teaching these languages to military personnel in Crail and Cornwall.

In 1963, he moved to the Scottish College of Commerce, in Glasgow, and helped set up the highly regarded postgraduate diploma in Russian sponsored by the old Scottish Education Department. A year later, the Scottish College and the Royal College of Science and Technology merged to form the new University of Strathclyde for which Wade helped design the new BA in Russian.

Returning to studies himself, he received a First in Russian and Polish from the University of London in 1968 and a PhD on Russian prepositions in 1977.

At Strathclyde, he laboured mightily as teacher, course planner, mentor to junior colleagues and native speakers and as counsellor to students. Outwith the university, he acted as marker and setter for school exams for the Scottish Examination Board. He edited the Newsletter of the Association of Teachers of Russian. He wrote articles for and then edited the Journal of Russian Studies. He won promotion to senior lecturer in 1969 and to reader in 1981.

In 1985, his colleagues in a federal five-language - and therefore boisterous - department called for Wade to be made chairman, a post he filled for two full terms till 1993. The department benefited greatly from his judicious guidance and quiet, unassuming but very effective leadership, particularly after 1988 when the old university grants committee judged that the Italian and Spanish sections, bulging with students, were so under-resourced that they should be closed down. Wade led the gruelling campaign to ensure not only survival but continued development for the two sections. This successful confrontation with the forces of darkness drew strength from Wade's commitment to the principle of the federal department and his determination to ensure the students a wide spectrum of languages.

As chairman - and professor from 1987 - Wade made the department's voice heard on arts faculty and senate committees. He won a raft of promotions for what had been an under- valued body of staff. He oversaw an expansion of the classes and specialisms available to students. He took on extra responsibilities for the teaching of English to the university's rapidly increasing population of students from abroad, and was a key element in the work done to consolidate the link between Strathclyde and the University of Lodz, in Poland. His eight years as chairman were enormously successful in strengthening the image of the department throughout the university.

As a Russianist, he continued to publish - on the language of the military, on Russian pop music, on humour, on background studies including the extensive ecological damage in the old Soviet Union. He was external examiner at several universities. He served long years on the presidium of the International Association of Teachers of Russian Language and Literature.

Over the 1992-96 period, he was one of seven members at the Russian, SIav and Eastern European Languages Panel during the nerve-racking research assessment exercise. He became a member, fellow and avid promoter of the Institute of Linguists and its branch in Scotland. His A Comprehensive Russian Crammer (1992) went into a fourth printing within 12 months. He also published the Russian Grammar Workbook, the Russian Etymological Dictionary and - with Larissa Ryazanova-Clarke - The Russian Language Today. After formal retirement in 1995, he continued in the Russian Division as an honorary research fellow. A major study of Russian synonyms (with Nijole White) is due shortly.

He was a veritable hive of industry on behalf of his department, his faculty and his university. His 55 year love-affair with the Russian language produced many fine Russianists and an impressive list of distinguished publications. He was loyal to and deeply supportive of all his colleagues - secretarial, technical and academic - in the five major languages, the Language Centre, Linguistics and the TEFL unit. He was an exemplary colleague and friend.

He is survived by his wife, May, two daughters and six grandchildren.