Marion (Watson) MacLeod Memorial Scholarship

Bob & Marion MacLeod

Marion MacLeod

Marion was born in Salisbury, England, in 1939 (she claimed she crawled out from under one of the stones at Stonehenge). Her father, Harold Henry Watson, was a specialist scientist, working in the general area of particles in the air (including pneumoconiosis, or black lung disease; and explosions).  During World War II, in 1941 Henry was seconded to the Defence Research Establishment experimental station at Suffield, Alberta. In 1944, the family returned to Britain, settling in southern Wales. By 1953, Henry succumbed to the lure of a permanent move to Suffield. In 1957, Marion was among the top two or three students in the Alberta grade XII exams. She decided to accept a scholarship to Queen's University, in Kingston, Ontario. In the summer of 1959, she and Bob, who was an undergraduate at the University of Alberta, met while working for the Department of Insurance after their second year studies. She obtained a B. Sc. in Honours Mathematics in 1961, and an M. Sc. in 1962, both from Queen's. Marion then spent three additional years of studies at Royal Holloway College, near London, England, working under the eminent cosmologist Dr. McRae. 

In 1965, Marion was hired by Carleton University in Ottawa, where she taught in the Department of Mathematics until 1979 (her parents had moved to Ottawa in 1960). Unfortunately, she contracted rheumatoid arthritis in 1970, and by 1979 was no longer able to work, and went on permanent disability. That year, she married Bob, who had been in the Mathematics Department at UVic since 1966, and moved to Victoria.

While at Carleton, Marion developed a strong interest in helping students with weaker mathematics backgrounds to succeed in first year calculus. This had developed into a programme consisting of a diagnostic exam, followed by a set of 'modules' designed to cover those areas of weakness exposed by the exam.

In the Fall terms of 1983 and 1984, Marion volunteered to develop and implement a similar programme at UVic, which she did. Unfortunately, her disease robbed her of more and more of her movement, and she finally passed away in 2000. Thus, this scholarship is designed to reward a student who has succeeded in first year calculus after overcoming a lack of success or training in grade twelve precalculus.

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