Farewell to a Carleton “founding father”

It is with deep regret that the Carleton community learned of the death of Dr. Bruce McFarlane, who passed away suddenly on September 9, 2004.

Dozens of mourners have contributed their thoughts and condolences on a special Web site dedicated to his memory. You can view the many heartfelt tributes at: www.carleton.ca/rememberingbruce/

Long-time colleague, Sociology Professor Dennis Forcese wrote the following tribute to Dr. McFarlane for Carleton NOW:

“Bruce McFarlane was a ‘founding father.’ The formal accomplishments are there to be perused in his resume and public documents – his degrees, publications, and conference presentations relating to occupations and professions, his university and public service, and the prodigious number of students whom he taught and supervised. I reckon, however, that the full measure of the man, his goodness and his influence, is not apparent from a curriculum vitae.

Bruce loved the idea of the university. That idea included wit and wisdom, of course, but also community, sharing, and a good deal of “schmoozing.” I am not sure that he ever thought we had got it right at Carleton. But this was not for want of his trying. If something needed doing, he would do it. In the last few years, for example, he forged the wonderful Learning in Retirement program.

More generally, if ever a man deserved to be known for gregarious mentoring it was Bruce. He was proud of being a university professor and treasured his formal honours, but he was never high handed, never officious, never wounding; he served and taught by dignified example and informed conversation. His university was about people, those who stay and those who pass through. He influenced so many colleagues and students, who in turn have imparted and developed insights and values that had their origin in contacts with him. I do not think that he ever forgot a student. He was generous in his time with them at university, and he was proud of their achievements subsequently as he followed and celebrated their successes. He taught by example that the quality of life and the quality of a university are gauged in no small part by conviviality as well as by intellectual and material benchmarks.

I for one will be raising a glass of two, often, in his memory. He would have wished it – especially if we were all to do it in company.”

Dennis Forcese, colleague and friend

From – http://www.now.carleton.ca/2004-10/526.htm

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