Remembering Dean Andrew Rippin

Lisa Surridge honors former Dean of Humanities
Lisa Surridge remembers Rippin for love of teaching, his dedication to scholarship.

“Philanthropy to me is a way of reaching out beyond myself and my family to a wider world,” says Dr. Lisa Surridge, associate dean of academic in the Faculty of Humanities, “A way to create a legacy that is meaningful to you.”

In the summer of 2018, Surridge began collaborating with UVic’s Alumni & Development office and a team of faculty and staff from History, Religious Studies and the Humanities dean’s office to create the Andrew Rippin Memorial Scholarship in religious studies in honour of her former dean and mentor.

“He inspired me by his love of teaching, his dedication to scholarship, and his deep humanity,” says Surridge. 

Rippin served as dean of the Faculty of Humanities for ten years and was a world-renowned expert in Islamic History. Shortly after retiring from UVic, he died of brain cancer.

Rippin’s family, colleagues, and friends have given more than the $26,000 toward the scholarship, and through the generosity of the Murray Dawson Estate, the funds will be matched up to $50,000. The first scholarship recipient is expected to be selected in the Fall of 2019.

“I like to think this scholarship will ensure that Andrew’s passion for religious studies is carried forward by students,” says Surridge.

 Throughout her 26 years at UVic as a professor of English, Surridge has given to many funds including English, Humanities, Music, UVic Child Care, UVic Libraries and a graduate travel award.

“I am fortunate that I get to see the impact of my gifts first-hand,” says Surridge. “I have been privileged to meet the students who received the travel award that I helped to fundraise in memory of my fellow Victorianist Margot Louis and the young teachers who won a teaching award I helped to create in memory of Kelly Curtis, a graduate student whom I taught.”

Surridge says her gifts to UVic not only allow her to help honour her mentors like Andrew Rippin but are also helping her to create a legacy of her own.

“To some, the funds I have given to might seem like an eclectic collection, but if you know what I value as a person, you will understand the list reflects my heart as well as my head,” says Surridge.

“I hope my donations help students build a better future for themselves, for local communities and humanity.”