Published on Brock University (http://www.brocku.ca)
In Honor of Tom Jenkyns
Thank you all for being here to celebrate Tom’s 36 years of service to the Brock family, and say farewell to an esteemed friend and colleague. 36 years of a service, steady in its dedication, and constant in its good will and heartiness.
These are indeed the trademarks of Tom Jenkyns as a person and a colleague. A man of good nature and simplicity, a colleague of sound judgment, always generous with expert advice. Tom achieved significant contributions to the institution, as a pillar of the Mathematics Department cross-appointed to the Computer Science Department, and an active member of BUFA. The success of these units is a result of your work and dedication.
"... The credit for taking that bold step - a move well ahead of its time - goes to Eric Muller. Because of Eric's pioneering work in the integration of technology into our math curriculum, because of Eric's huge impact on the teaching of math, I learned over the years to respect what experts in Mathematics Education are doing, and to listen and take notice when they speak.
Why? Because the contributions of people like Eric directly impact the future of scores of pupils. They determine whether they go to sciences and math, they determine if they stay and succeed in sciences and math!
Eric showed me that our first commitment is the advancement of knowledge amongst our students, for the betterment of their lives. That's the premise to our trade. That's our primary duty.
... I also realize that the advancement of my own knowledge by engaging in scholarly activity is a privilege for working in higher education: it is a sweet cherry, and it sits on the Sunday of my responsibility as an educator. And as an educator, I realize that my commitment and success in teaching is what will determine the success of our programmes, our enrolments, and our retention rates.
Eric's engagement in mathematics education at all level has that holiness of proselytism: It is as if he is on a mission. Is it due to the fact that he is the son of a minister missionary in Lesotho, South Africa? Perhaps.
But think about the fantastic itinerary of this family: the father goes all the way to the bottom of Africa to preach the good word; Eric crosses continents and oceans to preach mathematics in the open spaces of Canada, his son has been living in the freezing toundras of Northern Canada for a long while now ...
... Eric is one of the pioneers of the department. He joined Brock in 1967 with a fresh PhD from Sheffield University. Through his long years of distinguished service - always joyous, always rejuvenated - he imposed himself as a pillar, a source of wisdom, and an inspiration. His impact and contribution to mathematics and his stature as a math educator goes well beyond the long list of prestigious awards he has received:
His vision and colossal invested effort in the BSc/BEd programs will remain in the annals of the Mathematics Department. The cohorts of carefully selected and trained students brought a quantitative and qualitative leap to our enrolments ...
Talk to any student of his, or to any colleague, you'll only hear praise. In so many years now, despite his tremendous experience and stature, I have never seen one iota of misplaced pride, or contempt, or impatience.
I am honoured to have been a colleague to Eric and to all the other pioneers of our department. Eric, Howard, Jim, John