York community invited to participate in the Atkinson Heritage Project

As York University moves closer to the launch of the new Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, which will succeed the Faculty of Arts and the Atkinson Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies on July 1, Atkinson people are looking back at their Faculty’s storied legacy. Members of the York community are invited to become a part of the Atkinson Faculty’s Heritage Project – which aims to celebrate the life of Atkinson and all of those who have made it such a vital part of York’s rich history.

“It is especially important as we move towards the new Faculty to pause and celebrate the many contributions Atkinson has made to the University and to the larger community,” says Professor Brenda Spotton Visano, chair of the Atkinson Heritage Committee. “This project is a wonderful opportunity to relive special memories and to profile the outstanding achievements of Atkinson students, staff and faculty; it will commemorate the many unique and lasting ways in which Atkinson has helped to make York what it is today.”

The Heritage Committee has organized a number of initiatives that York faculty and staff can participate in:

Commemorative Book: The Faculty will profile its vibrant history in a collection of images and stories. Sponsored by York’s U50 Office and the Dean’s Office, the book will highlight the scholarly achievements of Atkinson researchers, the curricular innovations of Atkinson staff, the interaction with and accomplishments of its graduates and the institutional and extracurricular contributions of non-academic staff. Vignettes, anecdotes, poems, photographs, short personal reminiscences, historical or fascinating facts – all are welcome contributions and may be submitted to aklegacy@yorku.ca.

Web site: A Heritage Web site has been created that outlines the ways in which faculty and staff can contribute. There are also opportunities for individuals to share their stories and memories directly on the site.

BBC Film: Atkinson has a long and important history within York University. In the mid-1970s, the British Broadcasting Corporation prepared a documentary examining the decision-making process used by Dean Harry Crowe and his executive board members during a time of budget cuts. This short film examines the relationship between Atkinson and the rest of the University. Several prominent Atkinson figures are profiled, including Harry Crowe himself, Ron Bordessa, Luigi Bianchi and Margaret Knittl. The Atkinson Heritage Committee invites community members to join with the Faculty on March 16 from 4 to 5:30pm in the Harry Crowe Room, 109 Atkinson Building, for a showing of the film followed by a wine and cheese reception. RSVP by the end of today to STARS@atkinson.yorku.ca or call ext. 33572. Featured at the event will be samples of contributions already made for the Atkinson Commemorative Book.

Heritage Moments Series: Atkinson has organized a series aimed at capturing the spirit of its faculty, staff, students and alumni. All sessions take place in the Harry Crowe Room, 109 Atkinson Building at 2:30pm, immediately following Faculty Council. Upcoming sessions include: April 1: Students Past & Present; and May 6: We Couldn’t Do it Without You – Atkinson Staff. Hear about the early days of Atkinson and its history since.

Visit Atkinson’s Heritage Web site to watch a video on the project.