Toronto gathering for Dad II: Unremembered

These past few years, few people came to visit. Friends and colleagues dropped away as Dad's dementia deepened; even those in the organization he had helped found, Science for Peace, rarely came by. And the work he did at the university to set up an undergraduate program in peace studies and to establish a chair in that field would never, it seemed, be recognized.

He'd done much of the background work on establishing that chair, getting support from numerous departments on campus, going to endless meetings—and this man hated meetings—and discussions with deans and chancellors and so on. Things were falling into place.

And as that interdepartmental, multi-disciplinary effort gained steam, Dad's college in the University of Toronto, University College, agreed to establish an undergraduate program in peace studies. Dad located the perfect first professor for that program in Anatol Rapoport, who agreed to come to Toronto in 1985, accepting only a symbolic dollar a year in payment.

Then there was a change of personnel somewhere at the top, and while the undergraduate program proceeded, the whole idea of an endowed chair was put on the back burner.

By the time a more sympathetic dean (or chancellor, or provost) came on the scene, Dad had retired. But here's the kicker: all the papers documenting his work had been misplaced or lost. There was no record of it.

Several years later, when the province passed legislation that meant it would match the funds already raised, the chair was established. That position and the directorship of the program eventually merged; the program became a center; and in 2004, with great fanfare, it was named the Trudeau Center for Peace and Conflict Studies. Dad was not even invited to the opening ceremony. He never said anything about this; I only know it because Connie has told me the story. But it must have hurt him.

It would seem that there was little that could be done at this point to right that wrong.

 

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