Emeritus Professor John Rucklidge passed away late last week in England. Prior to retiring to the Lake District John had a long and illustrious career at the University of Toronto teaching mineralogy and crystallography to many of our graduate and undergraduate students. Early in his career, he along with John Gittins and Jeff Fawcett spent several field seasons exploring the geology of Greenland. He often would regale guests at dinner with some of their more funny/exciting adventures. John also developed an interest in trace element analysis and pioneered the early development of electron microprobe analysis of rocks and minerals, as well accelerator mass spectrometry. The latter in conjunction with the Isotrace facility maintained for many years in the basement of the physics building. John’s interests were very eclectic both within the department and outside academia from singing in assorted choirs to playing a pretty good game of tennis. He will be missed.
Grant S. Henderson
It is with great sadness we announce that Jeff Fawcett, Emeritus Professor, and former Chair of Geology, passed away on Friday March 12, 2021, after a courageous battle with cancer.
Jeff received his PhD (Petrology) at Manchester University. He joined the Department of Geology at University of Toronto in 1964 with research interests in metamorphism and flood basalts. He held several administrative appointments at U of T including Associate Dean (physical sciences and engineering) at the School of Graduate Studies, Associate Dean (sciences) at Erindale College, Vice-Principal (academic) at Erindale College, Associate Chair and Coordinator of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Geology, and Chair of the Department of Geology from 1995 until 2001.
Along with his academic and administrative work, Jeff was a leader in the department’s alumni engagement and advancement efforts taking an active role on committees responsible for fundraising. Among his legacies is his work in establishing the endowed faculty chairs in the department, creation of a number of Explorer’s Fund graduate and undergraduate scholarships, and the grand 150thcelebration he organized in 1998 for alumni and friends of the Department of Geology. In 2011 he was recognized for his efforts with an Arbor Award.
Always a kind and gracious person, Jeff will be missed by all who knew him. Due to pandemic restrictions a memorial service celebrating Jeff’s life will be held later in the year, once it is safe to do so.
If desired, donations in Jeff’s memory can be made to The Graduate Explorers Fund
To post a tribute to Jeff please send your message to email@example.com
It was with great sadness that I heard of the passing of Dr Fawcett. Dr. Fawcett was always a keen supporter of young geoscientists at the Department of Geology and promoted their successes in his roles and Chair and Professor. Jeff encouraged many students to consider a career in research and was one of several professors at U of T that convinced me to enter academia in the geosciences as a career path. After graduation from U of T with my third degree (B.App.Sci 9T9; M.Sc. 0T1; Ph.D. 0T6) Jeff always kept in touch, asking for updates about what we were working on and showcased many of our successes in the Department newsletter. I was glad to have known Jeff and benefited greatly from his mentorship and support. Condolences to Jeff’s family and to the Department.
Dr. Jacob Hanley (Professor, Saint Mary’s University, Department of Geology)
I was deeply saddened to hear of the death of Professor Jeff Fawcett. Jeff was Vice Principal at Erindale College when I worked as a PDF in Ian Campbell’s INAA lab between Dec 1982 and July 1984. Ian was on study leave in Canberra at the time and Jeff helped me settle in. We saw each other often at scientific conferences over the years and I will miss his friendly smile and insightful discussions about science and academia. His passing is a loss for all of us, but he left a lasting impact that will never be erased. Please accept my deepest condolences.
Prof Michael Lesher, Laurentian University, Sudbury.
I was shocked and saddened to hear of Jeff’s passing. When Janet and I entered the U of T Geology program in 1967 Jeff was part of the establishment, one of the faculty pantheon, and the fact he was less than 10 years out of his PhD and only four years at U of T Geology and was therefore rather new was rather lost on us. His standard answer when students were trying to figure out some problem at field camp was “Well what do you think?” was iconic. No easy ways out provided – we had to think things through in a way that could then be assessed and critiqued. Although neither Janet nor I specialized in Jeff’s field of petrology, his involvement in departmental affairs and alumni events meant we got to know and keep in touch with him long after graduation. Later we found ourselves in the same dog obedience class with him and came to appreciate more of his non-academic side and came to consider him a friend too. And at the 2019 lunch that he organized honouring the return of Udayan Dasgupta for a department visit, I learned of his passion for antique clocks and got several tips from him on resources for some of our household clocks too. It is hard to figure out a world in which so many people who seems to b “fixed stars”, who have always just been there, have moved on and are no longer with us. All we can do is cherish the memories and learnings and shared times and carry on, but he will be missed all the same. Sending all best wishes for strength and the future to all of Jeff’s family.
Dennis Waddington, BSc (1970), MSc (1973)