Murray Russell Dawson

Murray Russell Dawson

Putting others first

A man who valued education, never hesitated to help others, and loved to laugh has gained a place in the hearts of UVic Humanities students for generations to come.

The late Murray Dawson graduated from UVic in 1989 and, soon after, went to live in Vanderhoof, BC. His sister Marion Mills says one of his most rewarding life experiences happened there, when he was asked to work with adult students who were finishing their GEDs.

Murray remained single most of his life and had no children, but that didn’t matter. “He always ended up with crowds of friends, no matter where he lived,” says Marion. Toward the end of his life he was involved in an accident that resulted in a leg amputation. Despite this hardship he maintained his sense of humour and love for helping others. This impressed the administration of his rehab facility and they asked him to visit and encourage other amputees and victims of trauma, which he gladly did.

By this time, Murray had been living on Vancouver Island for many years. He moved back here from central B.C. to be near the ocean he loved. Murray kept boats at the French Creek and Quadra Island docks and was well known in those two places. He found the Island environment motivated him to hone his gardening skills and pursue his artistic endeavours. He was a gifted musician and had a passion for painting. “His celebration of life was more like an art show” Marion recalls.  

His family is absolutely delighted about the legacy he left to University of Victoria. They feel it perfectly represents the person Murray was and is a truly fitting way to pass on his dedication to education and serving others.

Murray set up gifts in both his Will and in a Trust that are directed to the Faculty of Humanities for graduate student awards and special projects.  

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