It is with great sadness that St Catharine’s learnt that Sir Michael Heller, alumnus and Fellow Commoner of the College, died on 30 January 2023. The College flag was flown at half-mast above Main Court on 31 January 2023 in his memory.
Sir Michael was admitted to St Catharine’s to read Economics and was later elected a Fellow Commoner by the College’s Governing Body in 2003. With Lady Heller (2003), he established the Michael and Morven Heller Charitable Foundation in 1988 to support the arts, education and medicine. His dedication to philanthropy resulted in a knighthood for charitable services in the 2013 Queen’s New Year Honours list.
Professor Sir Mark Welland (2016), Master of St Catharine's, commented:
“Sir Michael was a generous supporter of both St Catharine’s as a member of our 1473 Foundation, and the wider University through the Vice-Chancellor’s Circle. The profound impact of this support is perhaps best exemplified by the funding he and Lady Heller committed for over 20 years to the Heller Research Fellowship in Computer Science, which helped to lay the foundations for considerable progress in this important field of research. On behalf of everyone at St Catharine’s, I want to extend my deepest sympathies to Lady Heller and their children, Andrew, John and Nicola. May Sir Michael’s memory be a blessing.”