A reception was held on Friday, May 12 to celebrate the accomplishments of Barbara Crow, dean and associate vice-president, graduate, at the Schulich Executive Dining Room. Close to 120 colleagues, friends and family joined to send good wishes as she begins her next journey as the dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science at Queen’s University beginning July 1.
“What is remarkable is Barbara’s leadership style which is anchored in the principles of mutual respect, humility, and collectivity,” said Fahim Quadir, incoming interim dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS). “A core element of Barbara’s persona is to respect, value and recognize the duties of every single individual working in FGS — regardless of their position.”
Since Crow’s arrival at York University in 2001, she has driven numerous initiatives. Some of these initiatives include enhanced student supports and services, better planning and administrative coordination at the University, and the introduction of many innovative graduate program opportunities, all to fulfill the goal of improving the experience and success of all graduate students at York.
She also obtained all of her degrees (BA ’84, MA ’86, PhD ’94) at York University, and in 2015 left a legacy gift along with her husband Michael Longford (BFA ’88), an associate professor in digital media at the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design, to provide financial support to future York students.
Graduate Studies staff, faculty colleagues and current graduate students shared kind words on the impact her efforts have had on the graduate landscape at York, and the innovations that are now in place to further support research and intellectual development. In recognition of the culmination of this work, the Office of the Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies was awarded the 2016 Harriet Lewis Award for Service Excellence at York University.
From President-designate Rhonda Lenton describing Crow’s ability to connect and collaborate with colleagues, to Vice-Provost Academic Alice Pitt remarking on her willingness to help others, the event served as both a celebration and to mark a sense of loss for the York community.
Also highlighted were Crow’s contributions to gender equity as a leading feminist scholar in Canada. Last year, she served on the Bank of Canada’s expert panel announcing that Viola Desmond will be featured on a new $10 bank note, expected in late 2018. (This will mark the first time that a portrait of a Canadian woman will be featured on a regularly circulating Bank of Canada note.)
“As collaborators, we have done much to enhance and facilitate graduate education — and I am very proud of our significant accomplishments,” said Crow in her remarks to the audience. “Thank you, everyone, for being here today — it means a lot to me.”
To close the event, it was announced that The Barbara Crow Graduate Student Leadership Award has been created to impact a current York University graduate student who demonstrates exceptional leadership qualities.