Legendary dean's legacy recognized

Sociology lectures drew students like magnets

by Bruce Mason staff writer

The memory of Kaspar Naegele--who was appointed as the first dean of Arts when Arts and Science became separate faculties in 1964--lives on.

The proof that his legacy lingers on campus 35 years after his death is a growing memorial endowment, which will establish an undergraduate Sociology and Anthropology scholarship in his honour. "He was absolutely brilliant and his lectures were filled with curious students who wanted to hear what he had to say even if they weren't enrolled in the courses he taught," recalls Arts alumnus Robert Doll who has established the endowment with his wife and fellow alumna Judith.

In early February 1965, the university community was shocked and saddened by the sudden and tragic death of Naegele, a Sociology professor. He was in his early forties, a husband and father of three, a devoted teacher and a renowned scholar.

In a little more than a decade at UBC, he left a deep impression on campus and his death left a profound sense of loss, particularly among students.

A Kaspar Naegele Memorial Lectureship was created shortly after his death to bring well-known speakers to UBC.

Doll notes that the lectures recognize Naegele's dynamism at the podium, but wanted to also pay tribute to the inspiration he provided for many careers including his own in Social Work.

"Kaspar was charismatic and knowledgeable about the world," recalls Sociology Prof. Patricia Marchak. "The campus was small when he arrived in the mid-'50s and he encouraged people to consider deep questions." Marchak, a former dean of Arts, remembers looking at his picture and wondering what he would have done when she confronted problems and difficulties in UBC's largest faculty. Sociology Prof. Yunshik Chang, director of the Centre for Korean Research says, "He took an interest in me as a young student from Korea and suggested I apply to Princeton. I told him all I knew about Princeton was from a novel I read back home, but he prevailed and wrote a letter of support. My acceptance profoundly influenced my life and career."

more information
For information on the endowment, contact the Arts Development Office at 604-822-9594.