Claire Gates Remembered

It was with deep regret that Vanier College announced the passing of Claire Gates, on Sunday, July 21, 2002, after a long battle with cancer. Claire was an original staff member of Vanier College, and spent 32 years with the department of Mathematics. Her dedication was such that, while she struggled against her illness, she still continued during most of it to teach on a part-time basis. In May 2002 she was named the recipient of the Vanier College Teaching Excellence Award. She is greatly missed by her colleagues, friends and students. We offer our heartfelt condolences to Claire's husband David and the family.

In honour of her memory, donations can be mailed to Saint Mary's Hospital Foundation, Oncology Fund,
3830 Lacombe Avenue, Montreal H3T 1M5, or you can search their website for online donations. Thank you.

Below, we see Claire at a reception held in her honour after the announcement
of her winning the Vanier College Teaching Excellence Award for 2002.

Claire is seen sitting next to her daughter, Caroline. Above Claire, and to the left
are Helena Dedic, Sue Harrison (the 2001 Teaching Excellence Award winner),
Claire's husband David Gates and Vanier College Academic Dean Peter Ross.

Here is the text of the speech made by Director General Michael Macchiagodena for the presentation of the Vanier College Teaching Excellence Award at this year's Graduation Ceremony.

The Vanier College Mission Statement dedicates the college to "maintaining the highest possible standards of teaching..." and also to "promoting the dedication, mutual co-operation and continuous professional growth of our faculty.... in order to enrich the learning environment....". It is within this framework that the College established that one faculty member will be honoured annually by receiving the Vanier College Teaching Excellence Award. The criteria in selecting the winner of this award are:
- emphasis on exemplary teaching practices, including working with students, creativity in teaching and in its organization;
- contributions to teaching within the discipline and the program, and
- consideration of the individual's contribution to their profession, both in teaching and to discipline

This year's Vanier College Teaching Excellence Award is presented to Claire Gates.

Claire Gates has been awarded this award for her devotion and dedication to the fulfilment of the Vanier College Mission of maintaining the highest possible standards in teaching and learning. We recognize:

- Her involvement in the Mathematics Department, both as an efficient curriculum coordinator and as a creative teacher;

- Her devotion to creating and maintaining the highest professional standards;

- Her innovation in developing effective pedagogical materials to help students in learning mathematics;

- Her ability to inspire students' confidence in her that has them flocking to her door seeking her help or advice;

- The enthusiasm that she pours into projects such as the development of numerous programs or her work on many   committees;

- Her ability to stimulate students' interest in mathematics and to promote students' desire to excel in mathematics;

- Her willingness to share with her colleagues the fruits of her work.

As some of her students and colleagues have written:

"She does not only wish her students to succeed, but also finds the way to bring up their interest to the course."

"She had the talent to see the hidden potentials of her students."

"But the hard part is having them (students) communicate their questions to you. And this, I believe, is one of the things you do superbly."

Accepting the award on behalf of Claire Gates, is her husband and faculty member of our Mathematics Department, David Gates. David, would you please come up and accept this award on behalf of Claire.


Note: If you have either info or photos of Claire or anyone else listed on our Memorial home page, we'd appreciate you sharing them with us. Send photos by internal mail to Denis Lafontaine, in the N215 I.T. Centre. They will be treated with care and quickly and safely returned.You can email written memories to his email address. Thank you.