Elias Mandel Prize for Study Abroad

Dr. Elias Mandel, MD (1928-2011)


Born and raised in Montreal, Dr. Elias Mandel attended Westmount High School, and received his undergraduate degree from McGill University.  He attended graduate school overseas at the Universities of Paris and Fribourg, earning his medical degree with a specialty in Pediatrics at the University of Geneva, Switzerland.

After serving residency at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, he set up private practice in suburban Chicago. Dr. Mandel had teaching affiliations with University of Illinois(Chicago), Northwestern University, Christ Hospital, and Rush Medical School.

Dr. Mandel was active in many service organizations, notably VOSH International and Rotary International. With VOSH, he went on service missions to provide eyeglasses for the poor. He served as Governor for Illinois Rotary International and was part of the Rotary Intl. Polio Plus Committee that raised over $240 million for childhood immunizations.

Dr. Mandel had many accomplishments and varied interests, including travel and photography. He was multi-lingual and, in retirement, studied many subjects at the University of Victoria, but most particularly classes in the Hispanic and Italian Studies Department. Other organizations with whom he was active include the Harborside Rotary Club and the Victoria Society for Humanistic Judaism.  Dr. Mandel was a docent at the Royal BC Museum, the Victoria Maritime Museum, and the Victoria Tall Ships Society.

Dr. Mandel travelled extensively overseas, with a particular love of Italy.  His presence in the Hispanic and Italian Studies Department is still keenly missed, and was brought home in a particular way the academic year following his death: the absence of his first-day-of-classes visit (usually accompanied by flowers or a plant).  It was then the department was reminded with sadness that he was truly gone. 

Despite his physical absence, he ensured that he would be well remembered within the department and within the University of Victoria, thanks to his very generous bequest.   Department members speak often of him with praise and gratitude for his overwhelming generosity.

Knowing how much he enjoyed and valued travel and learning, the department decided to use his gift to help sustain Study Abroad Programs for its students, and for Humanities students in general, by establishing two endowments in his name (Elias Mandel Prize for Study Abroad in Hispanic and Italian Studies and the Elias Mandel Prize for Study Abroad in the Humanities). 


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