Dr. Rowland Smith, University of Calgary faculty of humanities dean, passed away early Monday morning at the age of 70. Smith is survived by his wife Ann and his children Russell and Belinda.
Students' Union humanities faculty representative Daniel Pagan said Smith will be remembered by his students as a man who shared his immense kindness with all who crossed his path.
"Dr. Rowland Smith was a great man, scholar, friend, mentor and dean who will be sorely missed by many students," he said. "He deeply cared about students and about them getting a good education in the faculty of humanities. He always tried his best to make students feel welcome no matter what their grade was, where they came from or their struggles with learning disabilities. He always treated people equally and with respect."
SU vice-president academic Pamela Weatherbee echoed Pagan's sentiment, stating that Smith was very student-oriented.
"He always had the best interests of the students in mind," Weatherbee said. "He came across as very cultured, student-centred and as a really interesting kind of person. He was such a force on the university campus and he always made you feel like he wanted the university community to succeed as well as the students and the faculty."
Julie Labonte, a former faculty representative, stated Smith focused on getting funding for students to internationalize their degree.
"Since he got to the University of Calgary, he was interested in extending the amount of financial support for students in humanities," said Labonte. "He felt that the liberal arts didn't have enough financial awards for their students. He would go through his budget and get money, a few dollars here and a few dollars there, for students."
Labonte sent an e-mail to the faculty once she heard the news, calling for a scholarship to be made in his name. Pagan has also approached the SU and the faculty with a plan to name the student lounge after him.
Faculty of humanites associate dean research Dr. Daniel Maher, who worked with Smith for three and a half years, remembered his colleague's career as both an administrator and as a friend to students.
"He was a character and very astute administratively," said Maher. "He had been a vice-provost academic at Wilfrid Laurier and I found him very honest. He was as much of a student's dean as you could get."
A celebration of Smith's life will take place in the Rosza Centre in the Husky Great Hall Saturday, Oct. 25 at 2 p.m. All are welcome.