UPEI was saddened to hear of the passing of Dr. Clair Callaghan, UPEI honorary degree recipient and former professor at St. Dunstan’s University, in Halifax, on September 26, 2013. His burial took place in Rollo Bay, PEI on October 2, 2013.
“On behalf of the entire University community, I’d like to extend sincere condolences to Clair’s family and friends,” said UPEI President and Vice-Chancellor Alaa Abd-El-Aziz. “UPEI was fortunate to count this remarkable man—who furthered post-secondary education in the field of engineering—as a member of our family, and during this time, we, too, feel a tremendous loss.”
Born in Ebbsfleet, PEI in 1933, Dr. Callaghan began his education in his home community, but attended SDU for the completion of his Grade 12. He earned a BA from St. Dunstan's, Pre-engineering from St. FX, a Bachelor of Engineering from the Nova Scotia Technical College (later the Technical University of Nova Scotia (TUNS), and a Master of Science from MIT. During this time, he was also an assistant teacher. From 1956 to 1958, “Copie”, as he was known by, began his academic career by heading up the Engineering Program at SDU.
Dr. Callaghan went on to serve as Assistant Professor at the Nova Scotia Technical College. In 1966, he and his family transferred to Montreal where he taught, and also served as Dean of Engineering and Computer Science, at Sir George Williams University (later Concordia). “Copie” returned to Halifax in 1977 to become President of TUNS, a position he held until his retirement in 1989. During his tenure, all phases of the university flourished.
As was noted in the SDU Class of 1953 anniversary booklet, Clair Callaghan served on many boards and presented numerous papers, “the most exciting of which was a special lecture to the First World Congress on Engineering Education Training in 1988.” He holds patents for the Haul-Down System for the Canadian Navy and was president of Cabletec Ltd. and Allac Consultants Ltd.
In 1987, the University of Prince Edward Island paid tribute to Dr. Callaghan by awarding him with an honorary degree. He also received an honorary degree from Concordia University.