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Robin Skelton | VOX Alumni

ROBIN SKELTON (1926-1997)

Robin Skelton—poet, teacher, scholar—passed away Aug. 22 at the age of 71. Founding chair of the UVic Creative Writing Department and co-founder of the Malahat Review, he published more than 100 works of poetry, fiction, non-fiction, art criticism and biography. Skelton influenced and inspired a great number of students who became successful authors and poets, including Marilyn Bowering, Rhonda Batchelor and Margaret Blackwood. "He taught me that poetry is life, the way you define your place in the world," said Victoria writer Kerry Slavens.

Library expansion

Thirty-four years after placing the cornerstone of the McPherson Library, the University is planning a major expansion of the facility to address difficulties in housing the growing collection and providing adequate study space.

A UVic president’s committee is drafting recommendations for a 10 year expansion plan based on ideas gathered from students, faculty and staff. University Librarian Marnie Swanson notes: "Libraries have changed drastically over the past decades, in part as electronic dissemination of information has mushroomed and collaborative study has grown in popularity."

Committee members, as they travel on other business, have been touring other university libraries that have dealt with problems similar to those facing UVic. Their report is expected early in the new year.

Ruttan scholarship

When the Hon. Mr. Justice John G. Ruttan passed on last year, his legal career and rich personal life were recounted in several Canadian publications. Now, he will also be remembered through a scholarship bearing his name. The J. G. Ruttan Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to students entering UVic’s Faculty of Law who demonstrate strong academic achievement, service to the community, and involvement in the performing or creative arts and athletics—criteria reflecting the many facets of Ruttan’s life.

As a high school student in Victoria, he was an outstanding rugby player and swimmer. He participated in theatre at Victoria College, UBC and Oxford. Ruttan served aboard the Canadian destroyer HMCS Restigouche during the Second World War. Named to the B.C. Supreme Court in 1956, he presided over the trial of Leo Mantha, who had stabbed his male lover to death in a jeolous rage. Since sexual passion was a reason to commute a death sentence, Ruttan recommended clemency. But the federal cabinet rejected his submission and Mantha became the last man in B.C. to die by hanging.

Ruttan served on UVic’s Board of Governors in the 1960s, received an honorary degree from UVic in 1978 and retired from the bench in 1988.

For more about the J. G. Ruttan Memorial Scholarship contact Dree Thomson, development officer, Faculty of Law, P.O. Box 2400, Victoria, B.C. V8W 3H7 Phone: (250) 721-8025; email: dree@uvic.ca

Pasquale returns to
national basketball

No one would have blamed Eli Pasquale if, at the age of 37 and five years into his retirement from competitive basketball, he had decided to stay home instead of boarding a flight to Toronto this summer for a try-out with the national team. After all, Pasquale’s hoops career had already been filled with success. He led UVic to five consecutive Canadian championships during the 1980s, helped Canada win gold at the 1983 World University Games, and was part of the 1984 and 1988 Olympic teams. But the try-out proved there’s more basketball left in Pasquale’s six-foot frame and, surprising everyone, he earned a spot on the roster. Coach Steve Konchalski values Pasquale’s experience and quickness, saying "it’s like having another member of the coaching staff" in the line-up. In an August qualifying tournament in Uruguay, Pasquale helped the Canadian team advance to the 1998 World Championships.

Chamber singers

UVic Chamber singer Don Lehton is pictured above with Soweto high school students during the group’s sixth international tour of England and South Africa. A High Anglican church service in the township of Guguletu, near Cape Town, was the "most profound musical experience of my life," conductor Bruce More said. It mostly consisted of hymns, chants and spirituals sung by the congregation, the church choir and by the Chamber Singers, who were the first Canadian choir to perform in South Africa and the first white choir to sing in Soweto.

Alumni win awards for
science magazine, e-forms

YES Mag: Canada’s Science Magazine for Kids, published by two UVic grads, won the 1997 Science Council of BC award for science communication while a computer software company started at UVic is gaining recognition for its unique electronic business form system.

David Garrison and Shannon Hunt hatched the magazine idea while completing studies at UVic. YES Mag includes do-at-home projects, new science, "brain bumpers", contests, features on Canadian scientists, environmental updates and new technology. It’s the first magazine of its kind in Canada.

UWI Unisoft Wares Inc. was founded on research conducted at the UVic Fine Arts Laboratory for Extended Media and on business planning aided by the UVic Innovation and Development Corporation. Former students Eric Jordan (Fine Arts) and David Manning (Engineering) are now enjoying success with UWI Masque—the first sophisticated forms system that works seamlessly in a network environment. In September, UWI received the federal government’s "Information Highway Heroes" award.

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