Contents | Grading Technology | Space Studies |
Editorial | Eureka! | Around the Ring |
Call for Nominations | Alumni News | Development News |
Travel | Keeping in Touch | Where are You Now? |
Robin Skelton | VOX Alumni

Accounting for success

Being somewhat analytical and having a background in finance, I confess that I enjoy reviewing balance sheets and income statements. So I asked Don Jones, our already overworked Director of Alumni Relations, for a summary page of the Alumni Association’s previous eight years of revenues and expenditures. This document proved to be very interesting. I share my findings here not because I know that you too revel in budget analysis but to acquaint you with what the Association has done for the University, faculty, graduates and students.

Our biggest contribution has gone to the University through a gift of $250,000 to the successful UVic Capital Campaign. We requested that this money go to the new cluster housing for students and to help the new Centre for Global Studies. About $100,000 has been granted to University departments over the past eight years to support various initiatives. Students have directly benefited from Alumni Association grants of $67,000 and from scholarships and awards in the amount of $119,000. The total figure for grant, gift, and scholarship expenditures in the past eight years is around $575,000. This is a remarkable sum when you consider the Alumni Association does not directly solicit funds from you, our fellow alumni.

Our revenue comes from successful enterprises like the Alumni Cruise Program, the Alumni Card and a long distance telephone plan. These ventures allow us to funnel much needed money back into the University. Our goal over the next five years is to increase revenue and, therefore, our financial support to the University community. We are able to accomplish this by offering even more programs and services to alumni. I encourage you to get in touch with us and discover all the benefits the Alumni Association can offer.

Derek Graham (BA ’82)

Letter from the editor

The cover photo of E.B. Paul, the first principal of Victoria College, comes from a time when distance education, for his students, meant moving to McGill University to complete a degree. Nearly a century later, the ascent of communication technology—from cameras and wire services, to radio, television, satellites and now the Internet—has revolutionized life in society and life on campus. The distance between learners and teachers is shrinking. Technology is making research and data collection faster than ever and classrooms are becoming electronically linked from community to community. In our cover story, Victoria writer and UVic grad Alisa Smith evaluates learning in cyberspace: what’s working and what still needs work. Much has changed since Principal Paul’s day...but not everything.

Also in this issue, UVic computer science grad Larry Reeves writes of his experience at the International Space University in Strasbourg, France, where he graduated this summer with a Master’s in Space Studies.

And on the back page, the Vox Alumni column comes from novelist and children’s author Richard Van Camp (The Lesser Blessed, A Man Called Raven) who provides a wonderfully honest account of his days as an awestruck student in the UVic Writing Department.

On behalf of the staff, contributors and supporters of the UVic Torch, I hope you enjoy this edition. We welcome your suggestions and comments.

Mike McNeney

Prof explores ancient shipwrecks

"The deep sea bed is the Earth’s final frontier," says Dr. John Oleson (Greek & Roman Studies) who was part of a National Geographic Society team that discovered the largest concentration of ancient shipwrecks ever found in the deep sea.

In June the team located a shipwreck dating from the late second or early first century BC essentially undisturbed on the sea bed. It’s one of the oldest ever discovered. Three other wrecks, containing marble or granite building stones and a large supply of kitchenware, probably date to the first century AD.

Oleson directed the U.S. Navy’s nuclear research submarine NR-1 in its survey of the site off southern Italy, and was in charge of selecting and processing artifacts retrieved by the remotely operated submersible Jason from 2,500 feet beneath the ancient Mediterranean trade route.

"Sampling the splendidly preserved cargo of cooking wares was like shopping in a Roman kitchenware outlet," says Oleson.

The expedition was led by Dr. Robert Ballard, discoverer of the wrecks of the Titanic and the German battleship Bismarck.

National Geographic magazine is preparing a feature article and a documentary film on the expedition to air on the "Explorer" series on TBS in early 1998.

Honours for
Nancy Turner

Dr. Nancy Turner (School of Environmental Studies) has won the 1997 Richard Evans Schultes Award—the world’s premier ethnobotany honour.

"Some people have described Nancy as ‘Canada’s treasure’ and I agree with that," says Dr. Paul West, Director of the School of Environmental Studies. "She is one of the top ten people in ethnobotany globally and her works are regarded as standards in the field."

The Schultes Award includes a $5,000 US cash prize and is presented annually by the US-based Healing Forest Conservancy. Turner completed her undergraduate degree in biology with honours at UVic in 1969. While working on her thesis, she collaborated with Saanich First Nations elders to learn about the significance of plants to their culture. Her post-graduate work concentrated on plant classification systems among the Haida, Nuxalk (Bella Coola) and Stl`atl`imx (Lillooet) people.

President UVic Alumni Association

High marks for UVic law

A 1997 survey by Maclean’s magazine places the UVic Faculty of Law among the top law schools in Canada. Judges, lawyers and academics who responded to the survey ranked UVic second among 16 Canadian law schools, while recent law graduates placed UVic third. UVic was ranked first for innovation and quality of environment. The latest survey follows a number one ranking for UVic in a survey of law graduates released this year by Canadian Lawyer magazine.

Contents | Grading Technology | Space Studies |
Editorial | Eureka! | Around the Ring |
Call for Nominations | Alumni News | Development News |
Travel | Keeping in Touch | Where are You Now? |
Robin Skelton | VOX Alumni