The University of Essex has announced its former chairman of council Bill Gore died in October.
During Mr Gore’s time in the role, he saw the university secure investment needed to establish a new campus in Southend.
He served as chairman from January 2008 to July 2011, and before that as a member of council from 2005.
A university statement reads: “This was also a time of significant financial challenges and a radical reorganisation of university funding as tuition fees became embedded.
“He faced these challenges with humour and determination.
“As he told the audience at his honorary degree ceremony in 2012: ‘Thanks to you all – students, staff, council colleagues, for allowing me to have one of the most rewarding and fulfilling and happiest times in my career to date. It has all been great fun’.”
Mr Gore was a qualified chemical engineer and accountant and coached at Colchester Rugby Club for almost 20 years.
The statement added: “Through his charity and voluntary work alongside his contribution to the University of Essex, Mr Gore made a huge difference to young people and his community.”