Lakehead University Alumni Magazine

In Memoriam

Published November 03, 2009

Professor Douglas Alexander


Douglas Hamilton Alexander passed away on June 24, 2009. Born April 15, 1931, in Montreal, he grew up in Oakville, Ontario, and later attended The University of Western Ontario where he graduated with an MBA in 1954. There he played varsity football and was on the varsity swimming team. He swam for Canada in the British Empire and Commonwealth Games of 1954.
Alexander joined Lakehead University in 1966.  He was one of the founders of the Faculty of Business Administration.  He spent most of his career teaching at Lakehead University in the Faculty of Business. He loved teaching and was committed to his students. Many lasting friendships grew out of this experience.

A lover of the great outdoors, Alexander passed on this love to his children. Hunting and fishing were his passions and these interests led to a fly-in hunting and fishing business venture. He also did consulting work in many remote northern communities.

Alexander is lovingly remembered by his wife Lois, their children, grandchildren, and their extended families. A celebration of Doug’s life was held on Monday, June 29, at St. Paul's United Church. Online condolences were made through www.nwfainc.com and donations to the Alzheimer Society, Parkinson’s Society, or Ducks Unlimited may be made in his memory. -- Submitted by staff in the Faculty of Business Administration

Professor Kenneth (K.C.A.) Dawson

Professor Kenneth (K.C.A.) Dawson
Professor Kenneth (K.C.A.) Dawson
Kenneth Cephus Arnold (K.C.A.) Dawson, one of the foremost archaeologists in Northwestern Ontario and the eastern Boreal Forest in general, passed away on Friday, July 24, 2009.

Professor Dawson directed some of the largest archaeological research projects in the Boreal Forest, and in 1968 he initiated the excavation of Fort William to provide basic data for the reconstruction of Old Fort William, an important heritage tourism attraction in Thunder Bay. In May 2009, Dawson’s many achievements were recognized formally at the Canadian Archaeological Association Meeting held in Thunder Bay with a session entitled Papers in Honour of K.C.A. Dawson: Northwestern Ontario and the Canadian Boreal Forest. Thirteen presenters participated in the session, and an edited volume in his honor is in development.

Professor Dawson was raised in southern Ontario and schooled in Toronto. After serving overseas in the RCAF during the Second World War, Dawson completed his Master's degree in Anthropology at the University of Toronto in 1951. During the 1950s, he worked with several prominent archaeologists including James V. Wright and Walter A. Kenyon.

In 1965, Dawson joined the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Lakehead University as an Assistant Professor and immediately began archaeological fieldwork in Northwestern Ontario. Particularly significant for Subarctic Ontario archaeology were his reconnaissance surveys in Lake Nipigon and along the Albany River. Most of his works continue to be read and referenced as an integral part of Canadian Boreal Forest archaeology. His recent works include a reminiscent overview about pioneering Boreal Forest archaeologists and a 2004 monograph that reviews 19th century interactions between Aboriginal and Euro-Canadian populations in Northwestern Ontario.

During the late 1960s, Dawson led the development of the Department of Anthropology with the 1973 appointment of Professors M.H. Greenwood and T. Kreps, (with K.C.A. Dawson as Department Chair). In 1976, Dawson achieved a second major initiative by establishing the Lakehead University Native Studies Programme within the Department of Anthropology.

In addition to his primary academic post, Dawson served on a number of committees and organizations within Lakehead University including appointment as Director of the Lakehead University Centre for Regional Development in 1981 and membership in the Lakehead University Senate. Professor Dawson was also a founding member of the Canadian Archaeological Association in 1968, the Society for Historical Archaeology in 1967, and the Canadian Rock Art Research Association. He sat on numerous committees and boards ranging from the Ontario Archaeological and Historic Sites Board to the Board of Directors of the Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society. Professor Dawson also served on the editorial boards for the journals Man in the Northeast and Multiculturalism.

Professor Dawson retired from Lakehead University in 1988 and continued to live in Thunder Bay with his wife Mary Jean Robinson until his death. -- Submitted by staff in the Department of Anthropology

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