The following are biographies of the Legacy Project’s interview subjects.
Director, French Centre
“I was born in France, I was born in the middle of France. If you took out a French map and put it on top of a pin, where the city I was born, it will stay there because I am right in the middle.”
Dr. Francis Andrew is currently Program Director Emeritus of the French Centre in Continuing Studies, which offers government-sponsored French (and English) immersion programs for university students and teachers of French. He has a doctorate in Oriental Philosophy from Paris X-Nanterre. Andrew joined UBC in 1976, teaching French as a sessional instructor. He joined UBC’s Centre for Continuing Education that same year and worked as French instructor, language coordinator and finally program director. He was instrumental in the development of the Writing Centre and Math Centre at UBC Continuing Studies.
Andrew has been involved with the promotion of French education in the province and has worked closely with the BC Ministry of Education on a number of projects. He is a member of several professional associations in Canada and the US devoted to the promotion and teaching of languages, and has been the BC Representative for the American Association of Teachers of French. Andrew is an officer of the Palmes Académiques (an educational distinction from the French government).
Andrew, with colleagues in the French, Hispanic and Italian Studies Department and the Modern Language Education Department, is advocating the creation of a French Centre at UBC where French would be the language of instruction. A version of that proposal is available on the UBC French Centre website in English and in French. A similar concept–“French across the curriculum”–was presented at the Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) conference in Adelaide in 2006.
Andrew is also one of the founding members of the Centre de la Francophonie à UBC.
Andrew’s other interests include travelling (particularly to the US and Australia), the outdoors, and visiting and photographing aboriginal petroglyph and pictograph sites.
“I started with, developing, in fact, and then teaching, Indigenous education courses that dealt with the history of Indigenous education, policy development, curriculum development and innovation […] those are ones we felt we needed to have open for all students.”
(b. 1950 in Chilliwack, BC)
Jo-ann Archibald is Professor Emerita of Indigenous Studies in the Department of Educational Studies at the University of British Columbia. She also previously served as Associate Dean for Indigenous Education, Director of the Indigenous Teacher Education Program (NITEP) (1985), and Director of the First Nations House of Learning (1993). Archibald completed her Bachelor of Education degree at UBC in 1972. She continued her studies at Simon Fraser University and received a masters and doctoral degree in education.
Archibald is a member of the Stó:lō Nation and is known for her work in teacher education and development of graduate programs for Aboriginal students. Throughout her career, she was dedicated to including Indigenous culture and language into the public school system. She notes, in an interview with The Tyee, that her then Masters of Education program had zero Indigenous content. It was not until her doctoral work that Archibald discovered ways of incorporating her heritage. And from there, Archibald was dedicated to making a change in the UBC system.
For her work, she was awarded the Justice Achievement Award from the National Association for Court Management. Archibald is also a 2000 Laureate of the National Aboriginal Achievement Award (now known as Indspire Awards). She is the author of Indigenous Storywork: Educating the Heart, Mind, Body, and Spirit (2008) published by UBC Press.
Archibald retired from UBC in 2017.
UBC alumnus (Faculty of Commerce)
“My father was a bank manager and he worked for the Canadian Bank of Commerce, as it was then called […] he had quite an accident with a bank robber with a sawed-off shotgun who attempted to rob his bank. Whereupon my father hadn’t been a sturdy veteran of the World War I, tackled this man, and shoved him off, and locked him in the vault until the police came.”
(b. 1922 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan)
Blair Baillie is an alumnus of the Faculty of Commerce (known as the UBC Sauder School of Business since 2003). He moved to Vancouver in 1925 at the age of three. He graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in 1944.
He was drafted twice by the federal government during World War II, and due to his myopic condition, was limited to certain duties.
“My office was in the James Miller building and one of the things I remember is we didn’t have any windows, which made a big impression on me. And I think one of the things that’s changed is they’ve put some windows in afterwards […] But I gave lectures in IRC, at the time it was just new. And that was a fantastic upgrade.”
(b. 1937 in Littleborough, Great Britain)
Dr. Patricia A. Baird is University Killam Distinguished Professor Emerita in the Department of Medical Genetics at UBC. She specializes in ethics and health policy and genetic and reproductive technologies.
Baird and her family emigrated to Ontario when she was seventeen. She studied at McGill University, completing her undergraduate degree in Honors Biology, and going on to study at the medical school there. She interned at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montréal. After her internship, she moved West and specialized in paediatrics, and subsequently became a faculty member in the Department of Medical Genetics in 1968. As one of the founding members of the Canadian College of Medical Geneticists, Baird was important in getting the training program started and having the standards established. At UBC, she was the first woman Department Head of a clinical department. In that position she campaigned for the department to move from the James Miller building to the Westbrook Building.
Dr. Baird has served as Vice-President and Vice-Chair of the Board for the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, Chair of the Advisory Committee for the Population Health and Human Development Programs, and Chair of the Premier’s Council on Aging and Seniors’ Issues. She is the recipient of honorary degrees, the Order of British Columbia, and is an Officer of the Order of Canada and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
English, UBC and SFU, UPEI President
“I was asked with some others to prepare the legislation, and we found that we had to put a name in. And at that time my future wife was named Fraser, doing her Ph.D. in London. And I said, Why don’t we call it […] Fraser University? And that was attempted. So I wrote to my future wife, said I just named the University after you. And that letter is in the Simon Fraser Archives. But when the legislation came out, it didn’t say Fraser University–it said Simon Fraser University. And the gossip was that that was because the minister has been advised that it wouldn’t be a good idea to have the football teams yelling ‘F.U.'”
(b. 1924 in Lambeth, Great Britain)
Dr. Ronald James Baker is an academic administrator. A man of firsts: he is known for being the first President at the University of Prince Edward Island (1969-1978) and for being heavily involved in John B. Macdonald’s famous report, Higher Education in British Columbia and a Plan for the Future, which led to the creation of Simon Fraser University! He was subsequently the first faculty member hired by SFU, and served as the first Head of the English Department. While at SFU, he was also the Director of Academic Planning.
Dr. Baker began studying at UBC in 1947 and completed a Bachelor of Arts (English, 1951) and Master of Arts (English, 1953). During his undergraduate studies, he lectured freshman and Engineering students. He was also a member of the Letters Club (a group dedicated to the study of English) and he contributed a piece on Joseph Conrad. His piece can be found in Volume 31 of the Letters Club fonds, housed by UBC Archives. He then attended the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London for graduate work. In 1962, he returned to UBC as Associate Professor.
For his achievements, Dr. Baker is an Officer of the Order of Canada (1978) and is the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal, the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal (2002), and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. Additionally, he has received honorary law degrees from four institutions: University of New Brunswick, Mount Allison University, University of Prince Edward Island, and Simon Fraser University.
Dr. Baker retired in 1991.
“The things that I enjoyed most, when I look back, originally we did have labs in the pharmacology courses. And they were really the most fun because, per group, there would be maybe 3 students. And so as you went around, you were able to tutor the students on virtually one-to-one basis. And it was very effective and really enjoyable, both for the students and for yourself. Unfortunately, in the first series of monetary cutbacks that hit the University, the lab went and so we didn’t have that anymore and I regret that because the students came out with a much better fundamental understanding of the general principles of pharmacology from having been in a lab.”
(b. 1939 in Kindersley, Saskatchewan)
Dr. Gail Diane Bellward is Professor Emerita of Pharmaceutical Sciences in the Faculty of Medicine at UBC. She is also a UBC alumna, having completed her masters and doctoral degrees in medical pharmacology at the University. Additionally, she completed post-doctoral work in clinical pharmacology at Emory University in Atlanta. She was first made a faculty member in 1969. She also formerly served as Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Studies. At one point, she was the only Canadian working on drug-metabolizing enzymes to predict when toxicities and drug interactions will occur. Dr. Bellward won Canada’s top prize for faculty research in 1997: the Janssen-Ortho award. Other achievements include obtaining a Isaac Walton Killam Senior Fellowship in 1988 and being the first woman president of the Pharmacological Society of Canada and the Society of Toxicology of Canada.
“That Walter Gage, who at that time, I think, was Acting President, he was a fascinating person. I met him by accident on the bus. He gave me a quarter–I didn’t have enough fare. And he gave it. And I talked to this elderly gentlemen and we got along very well, so well in fact that I learned quite a bit over the next three months from him. […] Neville Scarfe was a character. He had fun in the Faculty of Education. […] But a very insightful man, and in many ways a pioneer. Because although he was dealing with education in its entirety, he had a passion for play. That was way ahead of its time. You know, that play would be important in the development of a person entirely.”
(b. 1930s in Belfast, Northern Ireland)
Dr. Roy Bentley is Professor Emeritus of Language and Literacy Education in the Faculty of Education. He began as a teacher of English in Ireland, although he wanted to be a writer. He was recruited to Canada to reinvigorate education following World War II. Dr. Bentley completed his masters and doctoral work in Canada.
He, along with Ron Jobe, Wendy Sutton, Marion Ralston, launched the Vancouver Children’s Literature Roundtable (VCLR).
Dr. Bentley and co-author Sydney Butler produced the book Lifewriting: Learning Through Personal Narrative (1997).
“I also remember the old… it used to be a field house [. . .] a small coffee place field house, between the physics building–the Hennings building– and where the student union building is right now. We used to go there for coffee between classes–it was a very cozy atmosphere. The football coach, Frank Gnup, used to come there occasionally too, he was quite an interesting character.”
(b. 1943 in Kitsilano, Vancouver)
Dr. George Bluman is Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at UBC, and former Head of the Mathematics Department (1997-2002). He began studying at UBC in 1960 and completed a Bachelor of Science degree (Honors in Math and Physics) in 1964. Afterwards, he completed doctoral work (Applied Math) at the California Institute of Technology.
(b. 1948 in Vancouver)
Steve Bohenen is UBC Campus Security Crime Prevention & Community Relations Officer. He attended UBC in 1966 and studied in the Faculty of Arts. He left in 1968 to move up north to Kitimat. He worked in the industry up there, including a sawmill and pulp mill. Discovering an appreciation for working with his hands, he and a friend opened a construction business, which was in operation for ten years. After the recession of 1982, he started working at UBC’s FORINTEK Lab as a shop carpenter and maintenance mechanic. When the new FORINTEK Western Research Facility lab was built and the building superintendent quit, Bohnen stepped into the role of Facility Coordinator. He wrote the training program for the alarm systems, demonstrating a capability for administrative work. Finding a desire to manage facilities he took a locksmithing course and began looking for security jobs. He has been with UBC since 1995. In 2003, he worked aCommunity Relations.
Outside of his time at the UBC community, Bohnen enjoys music and playing guitar.
Physics and Astronomy
(b. 1946 in Orlando, Florida)
Dr. Jess Brewer is Professor Emeritus in the Physics and Astronomy Department of UBC.
When he applied to university, he intended to be a science-fiction writer and poet. But with the launch of Sputnik 1, he wanted to be a physicist. After his first year at Trinity College, he decided to change his major to English. Realizing he could take all the required courses for Physics and still complete his English major, Brewer decided to return to studying physics. Dr. Brewer finished in 1967 with a Bachelor of Science in Physics. When applying for graduate school, he decided to pursue physics further “so that [he’ll] have credibility as a science fiction author.” His masters degree was completed at the University of California at Berkeley in 1969. His doctoral work was completed at the same school and in 1972. During this time, he developed an interest in meson factory accelerators. In 1973, Dr. Brewer came to TRIUMF (one of the three meson factories in the world at the time). He taught courses in the UBC Physics Department at the same time and eventually became a professor of the University in 1977.
He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Killam Postdoctoral Fellowship (Chemistry, UBC, 1975-77), Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science Fellowship (1983), Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society for µSR Spectroscopy (2005), Brockhouse Medal from the Canadian Association of Physicists (2008), Yamazaki Prize from the International Society for µSR Spectroscopy (2011).
In his free time, he still enjoys creating writing and science-fiction, fishing, and track & field.
(b. in Hardisty, Alberta)
May Brown graduated from Surrey High School and Vancouver Normal School in British Columbia, where she completed a teaching certificate at the latter. She taught for four years and then went on to work for the YWCA in Physical Education. In 1945, Brown began her studies at McGill University while working part-time. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Physical Education in 1947. After this, she was offered a position in Montréal with the Protestant School Board but ultimately declined it, deciding that she wanted to return to BC. Later on, she was offered the job of Instructor at UBC. She was also asked to coach both the varsity and junior women’s field hockey teams, which she did for eight years. In 1961, she completed her Master of Physical Education.
For her work and contributions to University and Canadian politics and education, Brown is a recipient of the UBC Alumni Achievement Award, an inductee in the UBC Sports Hall of Fame, and a Member of the Order of Canada. In 1993, she was inducted into the Order of British Columbia. Brown has maintained a relationship with UBC Athletics, as well as the Big Block Club and the women’s field hockey team. Her expertise has also been utilized in her service to the Vancouver Park Board as city councillor, the YWCA, the the Canadian Camping Association, the National Advisory Council of Fitness and Amateur Sport, and the Victoria Commonwealth Games Society.
(b. 1944 in Frontier, Saskatchewan)
William Bruneau is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Educational Studies under the Faculty of Education. He attended the University of Saskatchewan for his undergraduate studies and went on to the University of Toronto to complete his Ph.D. in the History Department. Growing up in a literary- and musically-rich family, Bruneau originally contemplated studying piano and organ but decided otherwise. That being said, music has remained a large part of his life and he retired early from UBC in order live life as a chamber musician.
Bruneau became a UBC faculty member in 1971 and he retired in 2003. His research interests were in the history of universities, history and politics of education, university governance in theory and in practice, Bertrand Russel’s life & through, and Canadian musical history, theory, and practice. On the topic of Bertrand Russel, Bruneau co-edited a volume in the Collected Papers of Bertrand Russel alongside Stephen J. Heathron (of McMaster University). Bruneau primarily wrote papers about governance in Canadian post-secondary education, academic freedom, and public education. He previously served as editor of Canadian Journal of Education and the Revue d’histoire de l’éducation. At UBC, he served as President of the UBC Faculty Association as well as the Canadian Association of University Teachers. He was an elected Vancouver School Board trustee.
To view William Bruneau’s papers, reviews, and reports, see here: https://ubc.academia.edu/WilliamBruneau
Political Science and Psychology (University of New Brunswick)
VP Human Resources
Medicine, The Chung Collection at Rare Books and Special Collections
Theatre and English
UBC alumnus and former President, Alumni Association
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Economics, Dean of Arts
Audiology, College of Health Disciplines
German, Comparative Literature
Chemical Engineering, Dean of Graduate Studies
School of Nursing
Pediatrics and Medical Genetics
Theatre/Film & Continuing Studies
Sauder School of Business
Microbiology and Immunology
Mayor, Premier of BC
Managing Director, UBC Community Services and Director, UBC Bookstore
Sauder School of Business
UBC Bookstore Manager
Former AMS President and staff member
Chair, School of Music Voice and Opera Divisions and University Marshal
First Nations and Indigenous Studies, English
IRES (Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability)
Alumnus and Chancellor
Language and Literacy Education
Former Director of IT
UBC alumnus and Plant Operations
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Faculty Women’s Club
CEO, UBC Properties Trust
Facilities & Infrastructure Development
Art History, Visual Art & Theory
Land and Food Systems, Sauder School of Business
Provost and Economics
UBC Library, SLAIS
Dean of Education
Anatomy and PACCE
Psychology, Graduate Studies
Nursing, Associate Dean of Faculty of Applied Science
History, UBC Library
English and Theatre
Art Gallery, The Belkin Gallery
UBC alumna, UBC coach