The School has been shocked and saddened to hear of the tragic death of Jake Hale, who was in his third year of an MA in Philosophy and Theology.
School update 17 December 2018: Jake's funeral was well attended. Head of School, Professor Helen Bond, was among those who attended. The tribute given at the funeral by Jake’s Personal Tutor, Dr Sara Parvis, is recorded below. Cards of condolence, messages of support and notes from students and staff have been passed on to his family.
Tribute: In memory of Jake Hale
"It was our privilege to have Jake at the School of Divinity from September 2013 until his death in November 2018. We have heard in the tributes from his family and his friend Fergus of Jake as a promising youngster and a lively teenager, a mischievous boy and a great friend to a wide circle of companions. We have also heard of the terrible accident he had at the end of his teenage years, which left him in a wheelchair, and the pain and distress he suffered as a result, as well as his gradual recovery of a sense of purpose and interest.
"As we knew Jake at the School of Divinity, he showed all these traits, but had also added others. He had a mischievous glint in his eye, exchanging jokes with staff as he nipped out for a quick cigarette in between classes, and a lively appreciation, born of fellow feeling, of the untidiness of his Personal Tutor's Office. But he had also become much more reflective. He was an example to us all with his patience, his determination and his enduring thirst for knowledge. He could be seen pushing himself up the Mound to New College in his wheelchair, with a strong, confident action. Each year he would come back full of enthusiasm for his new courses. Jake's A-levels had been English Literature, Philosophy and History, and he continued those subjects, as well as theology and religious studies topics, in his time at the University of Edinburgh, despite the fact that it meant he had courses in different buildings all over the central campus, and had to educate the staff of three different Schools as to his access needs as a wheelchair user. He would show great patience and not a little humour when the lifts broke down and his classes had to be moved to other rooms. Jake had to take some time out for illness, and to move to part-time study for a couple of years to catch up, but he returned full of determination and more enthusiastic than ever for his studies, and began to show the results he was capable of in his coursework and exams. This last year, when he had moved into Honours and the seminar work which that entails, his lecturers delighted in his mature and engaged presence in the class and his thoughtful comments and presentations.
"The news of Jake's death was a shocking blow to all of us in the School of Divinity, and also to his teachers and fellow students in Philosophy. We give thanks for the witness that his life was to us of friendship, courage and thirst for knowledge, thank all his family and friends for sharing him with us in the time he was here, and offer them our heartfelt condolences."
Sara Parvis, Jake's Personal Tutor
School update 4 December 2018: Jake's funeral will take place on Tuesday 11 December at 1.30 in St John's Church, Princes Street. It will be led by the University Chaplain, Dr Harriet Harris, and anyone who would like to attend is very welcome to do so.
School update 28 November 2018: The School has been shocked and saddened to hear of the tragic death last week of Jake Hale, who was in his third year of an MA in Philosophy and Theology. Jake had a range of medical problems following an accident 10 years ago and died at his Edinburgh home. Our thoughts are with Jake’s family and friends at this terribly sad time.
Jake’s Personal Tutor, Dr Sara Parvis, says:
“I was so sorry to hear of Jake's death. As his Personal Tutor, I had the pleasure of meeting with him a fair bit over the years. Jake was a bright and intelligent student, eager to learn, enthusiastic about his courses and engaged in his learning. He was also very skilled at manoeuvring his wheelchair up the Mound and around the New College building. His cheerfulness, tenacity and determination were an example to us all. He will be sadly missed.”
Head of School, Professor Helen Bond, says,
“Students and staff who knew Jake are understandably shaken and upset. He will be remembered in School at tomorrow’s weekly communion service."
“There are a number of sources of support available for University students and staff. I encourage anyone in New College who needs support to get in touch.”
Please come and speak to Karen or Alex in the Divinity Student Support Office or contact any of the services below.
- Divinity Student Support
- Chaplaincy and belief-specific support
- Student Counselling
- Nightline for students in Edinburgh
Jake was a bright and intelligent student, eager to learn, enthusiastic about his courses and engaged in his learning... His cheerfulness, tenacity and determination were an example to us all. He will be sadly missed