Professor Kenneth James McBey passed away on June 22 at the age of 65.
McBey was a faculty member at York University since 1989, first in the School of Administrative Studies, and later cross-appointed as a founding member of the School of Human Resource Management.
He taught courses in human resources management, organizational behaviour, pedagogy and emergency management. McBey was also a founding professor in the Disaster and Emergency Management program at the University. He authored multiple academic journal articles, some of which were used for HRM (human resources management) accreditation in Canada.
“Professor McBey was a wonderful colleague with a strong commitment to York and to the broader community. He will be deeply missed by his colleagues in the School of Human Resource Management,” said Marie-Hélène Budworth, director, School of Human Resource Management.
Born on Sept. 1, 1956, to parents June Catherine (nee Tuner) and Robert James McBey, he spent the early part of his life with his siblings Donald and Roderick, living in Winnipeg, Man. He was married to his wife Betty-Anne for 35 years.
His academic career started at the University of Toronto, where he earned a BA in political economy and a BEd. He later received his MBA and PhD from the Schulich School of Business.
McBey was a commissioned officer in the Canadian Army reserve. He began in the Governor’s General Horse Guards, an armoured regiment, then transferring to the 48th Highlanders of Canada in Toronto to became an infantry officer. He held a wide variety of command and staff appointments and rose through the ranks to command the Regiment (from 1992-95). Two of his most memorable military events were his honoured duty as guard commander for the G7 Economic Summit, Toronto (1988) and as royal guard commander for Queen Elizabeth II in Toronto (1984). He has been a member of the Royal Canadian Legion since 1987.
He served on a number of community and voluntary associations including: the Ennotville Historical Library; the Fergus Scottish Festival and Highland Games; St John Ambulance (both the Fergus-Elora branch and the Ontario council); and the Canadian Infantry Association.
He was a recipient of many awards including: the J. Reginald Adams Gold Medal in Political Science and Economics from the University of Toronto; the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal, Canada 125th Anniversary Medal; and the Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee medal. He was also appointed to the Order of St. John and the Canadian Forces Decoration (CD).
True to his giving nature, McBey left a donation that will be earmarked for York University graduate programs to establish an annual award for a graduate student who best demonstrates outstanding voluntary service to Canada and community. Contributions to this award in his memory can be made on the Ken McBey tribute page.