Lakehead University Alumni Magazine

CESME Scholarship Honouring Dr. Melville Bartley

Brings exciting opportunities for Students

Published August 03, 2015

Thanks to Dr. Jim Franklin and Phillip Walford, more of our students will be engaging in trailblazing research.

Dr. Melville Bartley
Dr. Melville Bartley

Phillip and Jim are two industry leaders who have strong Lakehead links. Phillip was one of our first geology graduates and Jim was our first economic geology professor. Both of them have generously donated to a new scholarship at Lakehead's Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Mining and Exploration (CESME).

"One of the key things we need is people to do the research," says CESME Director Peter Hollings. "The new Dr. Melville Bartley CESME Memorial Scholarship will support work vital to the future of Northern Ontario."

The scholarship will be awarded annually to Lakehead graduate students doing research within CESME's environmental pillar and mining and exploration pillar.

"This will result in diverse research that might include anything from geology students investigating how to locate ore deposits," explains Hollings, "through to biology students looking at the environmental impact of mining."

Jim Franklin proposed establishing this scholarship because he wanted to honour Dr. Melville (Mel) Bartley, an influential Northwestern Ontario geologist and iron ore specialist who played a pivotal role in Lakehead University's evolution.

Mel Bartley was the founding principal of Lakehead University's predecessor – the Lakehead Technical Institute – and served on Lakehead University's board of governors. After retiring from the private sector, he taught in Lakehead's geology department.

four female students standing on a rock face by water

Mel was a mentor to many geology students and young professionals including Jim Franklin – Mel encouraged Lakehead to hire Jim as a geology professor shortly after Jim completed his PhD. "I've had a long connection with the Bartley family," Jim says, "and Mel was instrumental in getting my career started."

Jim was with Lakehead for six years before joining the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC). At the GSC, he directed major exploration research programs and later become chief geologist. He currently runs the consulting firm Franklin Geosciences, is an adjunct professor at three universities, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Phillip Walford, too, has a personal connection with Mel Bartley. "One year I had a summer job working for Mel on Lake Superior and Pigeon River looking for platinum palladium. I was impressed by his knowledge, intelligence, and gentlemanliness."

Since his days as a Lakehead student, Phillip has worked on three continents, discovered two new minerals, received a Lakehead Alumni Honour Award, and become the co-founder and CEO of the resource development company Marathon Gold. But his ties with Lakehead have become stronger – his wife, daughter, and one of his sons are all Lakehead graduates.

Phillip is glad he's now able to help students and fuel innovative research. "I think it's important to give back – my wife Gale and I have always been Lakehead supporters. This will give students opportunities like the ones I had starting out."

Jim Franklin agrees. "CESME builds on Mel's original vision of the university – a university that serves the community of Northwestern Ontario. I encourage all my former students to step up in recognition of the successful careers they've had because of Lakehead."

Find out how you can support the Dr. Melville Bartley CESME Memorial Scholarship by contacting Philanthropy Director Jennifer Childs at 807-343-8899 or

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