Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Legacy of learning

A couple of months ago I wrote about the scholarship I wanted to create in Chris' memory and now - with the help of friends and family - that initiative will come to life.

Several months after his sudden death last July, I met with representatives of the library school where Chris & I met as grad students to discuss ways in which his life could be honoured. It was quickly agreed that one of the best ways would be to support the same passion in a new generation of Library and Information Science (LIS) students.

Chris' curiosity and openness to new knowledge led him not only to PhD studies but also to explore interests as varied as cooking, travel, music, Russian literature, and mini-golf! He had the rare gift of true joy in learning and generously shared his knowledge with others. Many of us have had the experience of leaving a get-together with Chris more energized and excited about our own endeavours than when we arrived.

We've established an award named the Christopher Mathew Dixon LIS Memorial Scholarship. It will be awarded once annually to a Master's or Doctoral LIS student who not only shows the same passion for the field in which Chris studied, but who also exemplifies a commitment to making his or her community a better place through active and ongoing volunteer work.

I've donated some "seed money" to start the ball rolling and now we're appealing to faculty, alumni, staff, colleagues, family, and friends to help build the endowment so that this scholarship can be awarded to deserving students for many years to come.

To make a gift you can donate securely on line. If you prefer to make a donation by mail or telephone, or if you have any questions, please contact Karen Boddy, Alumni & Development Officer, by e-mail or call (519) 661-2111, ext. 87463.

This living legacy would not have come to life without the dedication of several people in particular at the faculty who are very dear to Chris and me. I affectionately think of them as the Three Musketeers (3M for short) - I hope they know how much I appreciate their support.

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