Former Registrary, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Master of Downing College Dr Stephen Fleet has died aged 69.

Dr Fleet was educated at Lewes County Grammar School in Sussex and first came up to Cambridge to study at St John’s College.

His first post in 1962 was lecturer in physics and crystallography at Fitzwilliam College, where he became a Fellow, and later was made an Honorary Fellow.

As Registrary he guided the university through a period of change, including the introduction of a permanent vice-chancellorship and reorganisation of the university’s administrative structure.

In 2000 he took over from Professor Sir David King as Master of Downing College when Sir David moved to become the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser.

His other roles included Director of Studies in Physical Sciences, Treasurer of the University’s Commonwealth Trust and Chairman of the Bursars’ Committee and Treasurer.

He also spent a short spell with industry working at research labs in Surrey.

After a lifetime of service to the University, his retirement was blessed with personal happiness by his marriage in 2002 to Alice Percival.

Dr Timothy Mead, his successor as Registrary, said: "Stephen Fleet was a lifelong Cambridge man. A man of great commitment and integrity, with a splendid but quiet sense of humour, he worked tirelessly for the University. He was particularly associated with the development of financial support arrangements for students, especially graduate students and those from overseas. Even after he retired, he continued to be active in this area. Cambridge has every cause to be grateful to Stephen and will miss him greatly."

Only a fortnight ago Dr Fleet joined the Vice-Chancellor, Dr Mead and many others at a dinner to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the role of Registrary.

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