File /Humanist.vol22.txt, message 29

Date: Tue, 20 May 2008 06:42:19 +0100
From: "Humanist Discussion Group \(by way of Willard McCarty              <>\)" <willard-AT-LISTS.VILLAGE.VIRGINIA.EDU>
Subject: 22.029 Donald Theall 1928-2008
To: <humanist-AT-Princeton.EDU>

                Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 22, No. 29.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to:

         Date: Tue, 20 May 2008 06:33:28 +0100
         From: Willard McCarty <>
         Subject: Donald Theall 1928-2008

From: Hypermedia Joyce Studies <>
Date: Mon, 19 May 2008 21:32:23 +0000 (GMT)

Trent University Mourns the Passing of Former University President 
and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Donald Theall

Friday, May 16, 2008, Peterborough

The Trent University community is saddened to learn of the passing of 
former Trent University president and vice-chancellor Dr. Donald Theall.

Following a brief illness Dr. Theall died at the Peterborough 
Regional Health Centre on Thursday, May 15, 2008.

"I wish to express my heartfelt sympathies to the family of Dr. 
Theall," said Bonnie Patterson, president and vice-chancellor of 
Trent University. "The loss of a former university president is a 
profound one, especially for an institution as young as Trent 
University, where so many fondly remember Donald Theall's years here. 
Certainly, all of us benefit from his legacy as a leader and as an 
academic. He will be missed here at Trent and at the many 
institutions that he has influenced through his admirable 
administrative and academic work."

"Dr. Theall's own passions and pursuits were so much a reflection of 
the institution he led for seven years," added Reid Morden, chair of 
Trent University's Board of Governors. "As a leader whose academic 
credentials were well-known in humanities circles internationally, he 
epitomized the benefits of a well-rounded liberal arts education. An 
effective and respected leader for Trent, he will be missed by many."

Dr. Theall was born in Mount Vernon, New York. He earned his B.A. at 
Yale University in 1950, and his M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of 
Toronto in 1951 and 1954. It was at the University of Toronto where 
he began his long and distinguished career in the university sector, 
rising through the ranks from lecturer to professor from 1953 to 1965.

During his final year at U of T, Dr. Theall was also chair of the 
combined Departments of English. In 1962, he edited and annotated 
selected poems of Pope for the last print edition of Representative Poetry.

After becoming chairman and Molson professor with the Department of 
English at McGill University from 1966 to 1973, and then founding 
director and Molson professor with the graduate program in 
communications, from 1974 to 1980, Dr. Theall joined Trent University 
as president and vice-chancellor from 1980 to 1987. He stayed on at 
Trent as a professor until his retirement in 1994, when he was 
granted the title of professor emeritus.

During his academic career, Dr. Theall also served on the Board of 
Directors with the International Communication Association (1979-81), 
was founding president of the Canadian Communication Association 
(1978-80), acted as first cultural exchange professor for Canada to 
the People's Republic of China (1974), and served as co-director of 
the National Film Board of Canada/McGill University Summer School on 
Media (1967-71).

Dr. Theall was also well-known for his published works, which focused 
on a wide variety of topics, including: communication theory; 
Marshall McLuhan; poetic theory; science fiction; film theory; 
virtual reality; cyberspace; and the works of James Joyce, T. S. 
Eliot, Wyndham Lewis, Alexander Pope, and Harold Innis. He was also 
the author of several books, including: The Virtual Marshall McLuhan, 
James Joyce's Techno-Poetics, and Beyond the Word: Reconstructing 
Sense in the Joyce Era of Technology, Culture, and Communication. In 
1975, he guest-edited a special McLuhan issue of the Canadian Journal 
of Communications with G. J. Robinson and published The Medium is the 
Rear View Mirror: Understanding McLuhan in 1971.

Dr. Theall was also often described as a "pioneer in computing in the 
humanities", and made an extraordinary contribution to literature 
on-line with his web version of James Joyce's Finnegans Wake and 
Ulysses. As a tribute to his contributions to education over the 
years, Dr. Theall was presented with a Doctor of Sacred Letters, 
honoris causa from the University of St. Michael's College in 2006.

Dr. Theall is survived by his wife Joan Ada Benedict and their six 
children: Thomas, Margaret Rose, John, Harold, Lawrence, and Michael.

To celebrate the life of Dr. Theall, the following services have been= planned:

--          Tuesday, May 20  -  private graveyard service
--          Thursday, May 22 at 2 p.m.  - Celebratory mass at St. 
Basil's Church at the University of St. Michael's College (50 St 
Joseph Street, Toronto, Ontario), to be followed be a reception at Brennan Hall
--          Friday, May 23 at 10 a.m.  -  Memorial service at Trent 
University, Senior Common Room, Champlain College, Symons Campus, 
open to the public

In honour of Dr. Theall's service and leadership to Trent University, 
the flag atop the Bata Library has been lowered to the half-staff position.

To access a selection of photos of Dr. Theall visit

For more information contact: Brittany Cadence, communications 
officer, Trent University, (705) 748-1011, x6185

Programme in InterCultural Studies
Philosophy Faculty, Charles University, Prague


Humanist Main Page


Display software: ArchTracker © Malgosia Askanas, 2000-2005