Robert J. Murphy Travel Award in Greek and Roman Studies Endowment

Robert J. Murphy’s work ethic was engrained in him from a young age by virtue of necessity.  Born in St. John’s, NL, in 1916 as the eldest son of five children, his father’s early death required him to leave school at age 13 to take over the family barber shop in order to support his siblings and mother. 

Despite the abrupt career launch, Robert succeeded, running the business for 53 years.  He married and raised a family of nine children–first solely from this income and then later, through his real estate interests.  Largely self-educated through a voracious reading appetite, he was a stickler for proper English grammar, valued education and demanded good grades of his children. 

This endowment was named in tribute to him by his son, Derek Murphy, in 2016, which marked the 100th year of Robert’s birth.  Derek earned his undergraduate degree from Memorial University and an MBA the Richard Ivey School of Business, Western University.  He was the first member of his family to attend university.  Robert’s granddaughter—Derek’s daughter Chantal Murphy—attended the University of Victoria, majoring in Greek and Roman Studies. While her grandfather passed away in 1994 a few months before she was born, this endowment links their legacies together in perpetuity.

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