Obituaries


(April 3, 1997, Gazette)

Dr. Frederick Murray Fraser

Dr. Murray Fraser, honorary graduate of Memorial (LL.D., 1993) and former president of the University of Calgary, died of heart failure on March 12 at age 59.

Dr. Fraser earned distinction and respect throughout his life and varied career. He was born in Liverpool, England, and raised in Nova Scotia, where he attended law school at Dalhousie University. He eventually taught at Dalhousie, and was dean of law. Today many of his former stu-dents are Newfoundland lawyers, including Wayne Thistle, Memorial's vice-president (administration and finance), and legal counsel.

"I first met Murray when he taught me in first year of Law School at Dalhousie University," Mr. Thistle recalled. "He earned a great deal of respect and admiration from his students, and I was fortunate enough to have maintained contact with him over the years through our professional and university associations."

As a scholar, Dr. Fraser was recognized for his expertise in the field of family law. He was consultant to the Law Reform Commission of Canada, and the Federation of Law Societies of Canada, and was founding dean of the University of Victoria's law school from 1974-83. In 1983 he became the University of Victoria's vice-president (academic). In 1988 he was made president of the University of Calgary, where he quickly became recognized for his grey suits, his good humor, his ability to remember students' names, and his love of university sports.

Under his leadership, the University of Calgary held a major fund-raising campaign, and coped with devastating budget cuts. Dr. Fraser also helped improve the university's working and learning environment by implementing an employee equity program, appointing a sexual harassment adviser and a president's adviser on women's issues, and helping to develop the Quality Learning Environment Program. He resigned from the university in the summer of 1996.

Dr. Fraser is survived by his wife, Anne, and by sons Scott, Andrew and Hugh, and many other family members and friends. Nearly 4,000 people from across Canada -- politicians, students and professors, business leaders, members of the media, colleagues -- joined his family to celebrate his life at a memorial service held at the University of Calgary last month.

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Brenda (Russell) Sceviour

Brenda (Russell) Sceviour, a student in the Faculty of Science, passed away suddenly on March 11.

Ms. Sceviour, who lived in Mount Pearl, was born July 28, 1964. She graduated with honors from Holy Heart of Mary High School in 1981; from there she went on to Cabot College to pursue a diploma in secretarial science. She spent many years in the business community before deciding to attend university as a mature student in the bachelor of science program, with plans to pursue a medical degree after graduation.

Ms. Sceviour's sister-in-law, Heather O'Brien, works in the Office of the Vice-President (Academic). She said Ms. Sceviour was a dedicated student who studied hard, worked part-time and was always a full-time mom to her son, Scott. "She was a person who always wore a smile, or was singing a song -- something she just loved to do," said Ms. O'Brien. "She had a great sense of humor and was an exceptional writer of poetry. She was well-respected in the community as a Beaver leader and hockey mom. Brenda was a very special person and had many friends, all of whom will miss her dearly."

Ms. Sceviour is survived by her husband John, and her son Scott; parents Cyril and Geraldine Russell; sisters Jackie, Kim (and husband Dave Batchelor), and Sharon; brother Cyril; parents-in-law John and Geraldine Sceviour; brother-in-law Ron Sceviour, his wife Susan and their two children; sister-in-law Heather O'Brien, her husband George and their two children; grandmother Trixie Russell; and by many other relatives and friends.