UPEI saddened by death of President Emeritus Dr. C.W.J. Eliot

Posted: 
Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) was saddened to learn of the death of President Emeritus, Dr. C.W.J. Eliot, C.M., on Tuesday, May 20.

Dr. Eliot passed away at the Sackville Hospital, after suffering a stroke at his home in Dorchester, New Brunswick, last month.

Dr. Eliot served as president and vice-chancellor of the University of Prince Edward Island from 1985 to 1995, and was named President Emeritus in 1996. He was the third person to serve as president since UPEI was created in 1969. He also taught classics at UPEI from 1985 to 1997.

Born in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, in 1928, Dr. Eliot had a prolific professional career as a classicist, especially in Greek history and archaeology. After receiving his BA, MA and Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Toronto, he attended the American School of Classical Studies in Athens from 1952 to 1957 where he did graduate research.

He taught and held numerous academic and administrative positions at universities in Greece and Canada including UPEI, Mount Allison University, University of British Columbia, American School of Classical Studies and the University of Toronto. He was the author of a number of books and articles on fifth-century Athens and 19th-century English travelers to Greece, and was involved in numerous professional and learned societies, including the Classical Association of Canada, Archaeological Institute of America, Canadian Association of University Teachers, Society of the Study of Architecture in Canada, Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, Association of Atlantic Universities, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

His advice and counsel on academic issues was highly valued and often requested. He provided a strong public voice on issues pertaining to the state of Canadian education and the plight of Canadian students.

An active member of the Prince Edward Island community, Dr. Eliot was intensely interested in the Island's heritage and architecture. He served on a number of committees and boards, including the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation, Government House Committee, City of Charlottetown Heritage Review Board, P.E.I. Archaeological Review Board, P.E.I. Council of the Arts and the Ministerial Steering Committee on Culture.

Dr. Eliot was accorded many honours during his career. In 1992, he received the commemorative medal for the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada for his involvement in so many aspects of Canadian life and his determination to preserve Canadian culture and history. In 1993 he received the Lescarbot Award (regional) from the Government of Canada, and also the Prix Nicole Raymond from the federation of New Brunswick Faculty Associations. In 1994, he joined the prestigious ranks of the Order of Canada. In 1999, he was granted an honorary degree by Saint Mary's University at convocation, and in 1988, he received one from the University of King's College.

He was also awarded fellowships from the American School of Classical Studies, the Canada Council, Dumbarton Oaks Museum in Washington, DC, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

Dr. Eliot is survived by his wife Mary (Williamson) Eliot, and their children, Charles, Nicholas, Johanna and Luke. He was predeceased by his daughter Sophia.

The University of Prince Edward Island will hold a memorial celebration in honour of Dr. Eliot at a later date.

Anna MacDonald
Department: 
Media Relations and Communications, Integrated Promotions
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