Ross Geography Scholarship

Dr. William M. Ross (1945-1989)

Dr. William M. Ross, associate professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Victoria for 15 years, was well known for his generosity toward his students. His giving nature and dedication to the study of geography will be remembered, due to a very generous bequest in his will that enables maintenance of a scholarship fund for geography students.

Dr. Ross came in Victoria in 1974, following a career in geography that took him from his native B.C. through several states in the U.S. before arriving back in Canada. He was born in Vancouver, B.C., and attended Lord Byng Elementary and Steveston High in Richmond. He moved to the U.S. to attend the University of Washington in Seattle, and in 1971 received his doctorate. His forward-looking thesis was on "Oil Spillage and Pollution in the Gulf of Georgia and Puget Sound". From Washington he travelled to Ohio to take up a teaching position at Kent State University in 1972, and in 1973 he moved to Rutgers University in New Jersey to teach there. As well as teaching at the University of Victoria, Dr. Ross also served as an undergraduate advisor, cooperative education coordinator, and chair of both the Faculty Curriculum Committee and the Academic Standards Committee. During this time he also participated, with Dr. Norman Ruff from the Political Science Department at the University of Victoria, in a project which defined new electoral boundaries for the province of B.C.

Dr. Ross was 43 years old when he died, of a progressively-worsening three year illness. In his will, he bequeathed 55 per cent of his residuary estate to the University of Victoria, to assist deserving geography students to attain their goals and to help maintain an active study of geography within the academic community. It is these funds that have allowed creation of the Ross Geography Scholarships, awarded annually to undergraduate students in major and honours geography programs.

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