In 1934 he became principal of U.C.W. Aberystwyth where he displayed outstanding gifts of creativity laced with prudence: he redeemed a substantial College debt, attracted valuable benefactions and made shrewd purchases of property. The long-range planning and initial development of new college buildings on Penglais hill was almost entirely his work. He spent little time in social contact with students but strongly supported schemes to promote their welfare and instituted an advanced system of joint consultation between the authorities and the student body. Deeply interested and involved in what he called ‘the sacred cause of agricultural education’, in which Aberystwyth specialised, he published, in collaboration with A.W. Ashby (see above) , The Agriculture of Wales and Monmouthshire ( 1944 ).
He rendered outstanding service to the University of Wales as vice-chancellor ( 1937-39 , 1946-48 , 1950-52 ), chairman of the Press Board and, notably for years, as chairman of the Estates Committee when large sums derived from the disestablishment of the Welsh Church became available for investment. He played a leading part in establishing the Royal University of Malta (which honoured him with a D.Litt. degree) and the development of University College, Ibadan .
Masterful, courageous and occasionally ruthless, he had a wide experience of the ways of the world and a cultivated understanding of other people and languages, with which he combined a passionate interest in Welsh culture. He published several anthologies and translations into Welsh of literary works, among them Emynau o'r Almaen , Y Cybydd ( Molière 's L'Avare ), Blodau Hyfryd , Chwedlau La Fontaine , Ffordd y Deyrnas and Mawl yr Oesoedd (an anthology of the hymns of Europe ).
On 11 Nov. 1938 he m. Ruth Jolles of Hamburg , by whom he had a son and a daughter. He d. 31 May 1952 .
Dr Edward Lewis Ellis, Aberystwyth
Published date: 2001