Lives and Times: Professional Writing students profile retirees for UVic's 50th birthday


L to R: Grant, Rutherford, Pearce, Best

To celebrate the University of Victoria’s 50th anniversary, professional writing students interviewed and profiled UVic retirees who had seen the university's transformations at first hand. 


Profile: Prof. Michael Best: Shakespeare scholar and digital pioneer 

by Nicole Rutherford

Michael Best

Dr. Michael Best enters the room in an energetic flurry, five minutes late, but eager to get started with the interview. He shakes off his jacket and sits down. Filling out the pre-interview papers, he mumbles to himself.


Profile: Dean Goard, emergency planner

Brittany Schina

Dean Goard

Dean Goard unzips a brown leather case and sifts through a well-organized collection of media releases and stories, each of which documents an event that shaped his 18 years as an employee of the University of Victoria. He is a planner by nature, and his careful planning shaped UVic’s emergency response strategies.


Profile: Laura Proctor, ed tech pioneer

Clarke Duggan

Laura Proctor

Three decades ago, computing students at UVic didn't use computers—they used pencils, paper and what were known as “punch cards”– pieces of paper in which holes represented digital information. However, those olden days are long gone, and UVic has since become one of Canada’s leading centers for digital scholarship. This transformation didn’t happen overnight. For more than two decades, Laura Proctor, a woman with a vision, worked behind the scenes, teaching UVic’s faculty and staff how to incorporate new technologies into their research and instruction.


Profile: James Pearce, master maintenance man

Rowan Grant

James Pearce

Different kinds of people experience UVic from different vantage points. Academics know it as a hotbed for research and knowledge. For activists, it introduces a world of issues and opportunities. The socially inclined are able to appreciate the broad diversity of its population. But no one understands the University of Victoria quite like James Pearce.