- July 19, 2006

(l to r): Bart Vautour, Julie M. Ross and Dr. Leonard Diepeveen, alongside photo of Malcolm Ross (McNutt photo).

The lasting legacy of Malcolm Ross, former professor of English at Dalhousie, was celebrated at a reception in May where the endowment of a masterÕs scholarship in his memory was announced.

Since RossÕ passing in 2002 at the age of 91, Department of English faculty have been raising money for a scholarship bearing his name. Contributions have been made by the university, faculty members in the English department, and friends and former students of Ross. To date, $48,800 has been raised, with hopes of more donations still to come.

Creating the next literary generation

The first recipient of the Malcolm Ross Graduate Scholarship is Bart Vautour, whose studies focus on Canadian literature in the interwar period.  ÒItÕs simply an honour to have my name in proximity to his,” Vautour said. 

And he was not the only one. The reception, held in the McCain buildingÕs Fireside Lounge, saw faculty members who worked alongside Ross sharing some of their memories of the professor, as well as commenting on his contributions to Canadian literature.

ÒHe was central to the founding of the Canadian national identity in the 60s and 70s,” said Dr. Leonard Diepeveen, Chair of the English department, who also spoke about RossÕ lasting presence in the hallways of the department.  ÒHe came into the office every day well into his 90s. He was much, much loved.”

Celebrating a legacy

Ross joined the English department at Dalhousie in 1968, where he taught until his retirement in the late 1970s and held an office until his death.  He wrote the acclaimed academic works MiltonÕs Royalism (1943) and Poetry and Dogma (1954).  His most lasting legacy is likely the creation of the New Canadian Library, the first paperback series dedicated solely to Canadian literature and credited with helping popularize some of this countryÕs best and brightest authors.  He was awarded with the Order of Canada in 1976 for his contributions to education and his work as both an author and editor. 

Julie M. Ross, MalcolmÕs daughter, was in attendance at the reception.  She spoke of her fatherÕs passion for literature, and gave her thanks to the department for creating the award.  ÒThis is absolutely wonderful,” she remarked. ÒIt is exactly what my father would have loved.”


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