Roy E. L. Watson Scholarship in Sociology

Roy E. L. Watson Bursaries in Social Work

Roy E. L. Watson Traffic Safety Prize

Roy E. L. Watson (1925 - 1991)

A dedicated professor, a generous and wise person is how friends and family remember Roy Watson, founding chair of the Department of Anthropology and Sociology.  Dr. Watson was the driving force behind establishment of the School of Social Work at the University of Victoria.

Watson was born in St. Catharine's, ON.  He began his teaching career in 1950 at Acadia University in Nova Scotia, and came to Victoria in 1957 to begin teaching at Victoria College the following year.  As a Senate member he participated in Victoria College's shift to university status, and was instrumental in development of the Department of Anthropology and Sociology (which later split into two departments), and the School of Social Work.

"He was deeply respected by all of us for his discreetness and for his outstanding personal qualities. Among those qualities was an ability to face head-on any problem that arose,” remembers close friend and colleague, Dr. Rennie Warburton, from the Department of Sociology. “Roy was one who always found the time and energy to help people, particularly the handicapped and the underprivileged."

Watson is remembered by students and colleagues as thoughtful, gentle and kind.  He was a dedicated teacher and often devoted hours to helping students after they had graduated.  "Some of our graduates who are now university professors themselves were attracted to sociology because of his introductory class," added Warburton.

Dr. Watson was President of the Faculty Association twice, and during his years at UVic served on more than 100 university committees.  "As president of our association, Roy won the respect of colleagues and administrators alike.  He showed a remarkable ability for developing cooperation among people with diverse viewpoints," Warburton said.

Watson also contributed to the community. He held executive positions in a variety of organizations, including the local Presbytery of the United Church, the Canadian Mental Health Association, and the Capital Mental Health Association. He sat on the boards of the Island White Cross Rehabilitation Society, Cool-Aid, the Sara Spencer Foundation and the Warehouse School.

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