Geography Department grateful for Glen Frankfurter’s bequest

Glen Frankfurter (left), who taught at York’s Glendon and Keele campuses for 22 years, left a generous legacy to the Department of Geography, Faculty of Arts. Frankfurter died on Aug. 9, 2002, willing a bequest of $100,000 for promising scholars in Canadian historical-cultural and economic geography.

“We in the Geography Department and the Geography Graduate Program are grateful for the generous bequest,” said Professor Don Freeman, department Chair. “It is our intention to establish as soon as possible the Glen Frankfurter Scholarship, to be awarded annually, with the aim of attracting the very best possible graduates to our program and supporting their research and publication efforts.”

Geography Professor Emeritus John Warkentin said, “Glen’s intention in making the bequest, I am confident in saying, was that the scholarship would help students investigate the world in the same exploratory, joyful spirit he did. A convivial man, he was never without a fund of ideas, a broad smile and a mischievous twinkle in his eyes.

“We are greatly honoured to have received such a substantial donation from a distinguished, cultured man of numerous interests, who cared deeply for his country, and in this endowment recognized the value and joy of our discipline.

“In the last few conversations I had with Glen, he never failed to mention, by name, and with great pleasure, the best students he had taught, and what their accomplishments were after graduation…. Through this gift, Glen wanted to ensure that stellar scholarly achievement in geography would be supported long into the future.”

Warkentin pointed out that, as well as being a “stimulating, passionate teacher”, Frankfurter was a businessman, scriptwriter for CBC radio, drama producer and author.  “A serious and thoughtful scholar of Canadian and European economic history, he taught for many years in the Social Science Division and Canadian Studies Program in the Faculty of Arts and in the Department of Economics at Glendon. Prof. Sally Zerker,Social Sciences Division, Faculty of Arts, believes teaching was the highlight of his life in many ways, and that is why he wanted to leave a gift to the University.”