Memorial for Professor Emeritus George Doxey to be held at McLaughlin

A memorial for economics Professor Emeritus George Victor Doxey, emeritus master of McLaughlin College (1978-1988), will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 28 from 3:30 to 5:30pm in the McLaughlin College Senior Common Room, Room 140 McLaughlin College. Professor Doxey passed away suddenly on June 5 at his residence in Toronto. The memorial is co-sponsored by McLaughlin College and York’s Faculty of Arts. 

Left: George Victor Doxey

Professor Doxey, a barrister of Lincoln’s Inn and barrister of law, was the founding chair of the Department of Economics at York University and one of the luminaries behind the social science general education courses pioneered by York. His lectures, delivered in tandem with George Tatham, have been described as legendary. A strong supporter of York’s college system, Doxey became the second master of McLaughlin College, serving after George Tatham from 1978 to 1986. During his time as master, Doxey ensured that public policy would become the theme of McLaughlin College. 

"As a legal partner, George was a truly gifted orator who contributed to the practice by raising the playing field of any legal matter," said  York alumna Julia Ranieri-Doxey (BA ‘90), a lawyer practicing in Toronto, a barrister of Lincoln’s Inn and Prof. Doxey’s spouse.

"George and I would discuss at length the distinguishing elements of a matter and just as I proceeded to sum up the case, George then argued the case for the other side. Justice and principled challenge is the foundation of the law practice and George Doxey remains a part of that," said Ranieri-Doxey.

A funeral and memorial service for Prof. Doxey was held on June 8 at the Jerrett Funeral Home in Toronto. In lieu of flowers, contributions were directed to the George Doxey Bursary at York University’s McLaughlin College. 

Professor Emeritus Roger Kuin was Doxey’s senior tutor in the first years of his mastership. Kuin, in remembering Doxey, wrote that “there are few colleagues whose company I have enjoyed more. He always thought outside the box; he had a caustic sense of humour that was never unkind, he had an iconoclastic bonhomie utterly infectious, and he managed difficult situations with confidence and a curious grace. George was knowledgeable on a surprising range of subjects, and many is the afternoon we spent discussing such things as the psychology of tourism, which he had studied, together with its economics, while he advising the government of Barbados."

Described as being very accessible to students and Fellows alike,  Doxey brought to the then-new public-policy orientation of the college a wide-ranging and informal civilization that appreciated musicologists and literary historians alike.  

Ian Greene, the current master of McLaughlin College, says he was privileged to interview Doxey in April in preparation for the McLaughlin College 40th anniversary celebration in May. “George told me a number of funny and serious stories about the college that demonstrated his deep regard for students and Fellows during his time as master. He had a riotous sense of humour and an engaging personality. He could tell story after story about the early days of York University and that would keep you on the edge of your seat, craving more.” 

Prof. Doxey is survived by his wife and his children from his first marriage, Michael and Lea Doxey, and two granddaughters. The family has requested that to honour his memory, donations should be made to the George Doxey Bursary Fund at McLaughlin College, care of the York University Foundation, West Office Building, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, ON M3J 1P3. 

All donations will be matched by the Ontario government.