Oral History Project

The Oral History project offers an alternate perspective on Carleton University, outside of its habitual academic and administrative output. 

Many lives are bound together due to their experience at the University. The customary sources of information available to the public from Carleton are academic publications or news releases, reflecting the interests of either faculty or administration. Such statements can only tell part of the story. Oral history allows a glance into the memories of those whose lives ran parallel to Carleton University, reaching back to its inception as Carleton College.

From 1999 to 2003, sixty-four interviews of current and former staff, students, and employees were conducted. Through researching employee files and with the assistance of Professors Blair Neatby and Don McEown, questions were carefully written and tailored to what was known about each interviewee’s life and experiences. The interviewers found many common themes addressed during the interviews, the most prevalent being the loss of intimacy of the College’s early years after Carleton became a University of greater size and prestige. Other common subjects included the recruitment of staff, unionization, employment of American professors, changes in the University’s governance, issues of gender, student “rebellions”, and other social phenomena of the 1960’s and 70’s.

Summary Photo
Elizabeth Buckley

Elizabeth Buckley joined Carleton College in 1946 on a part-time basis as Assistant Registrar.  She became full-time staff in 1947 and continued to serve as Carleton's Assistant Registrar until 1964, when she became Carleton University's Acting Registrar. 

Elizabeth Buckley
Ruth Dunning

Ruth Dunning came to Carleton College as secretary to President MacOdrum in June 1953 and remained for seventeen years.

Carleton College, Glebe Avenue, 1948
Robin Farquhar

Born in Victoria, British Columbia, Robin Farquhar was granted a B.A. (Honours 1960) and M.A. (1964) in English from the University of British Columbia.

Robin Farquhar
David M. Farr

Professor Emeritus of History, Dean of the Faculty of Arts David M.Farr joined Carleton College as a Lecturer of History in 1947.

David M. Farr
Norm Fenn

In 1952, Norman Fenn joined Carleton as the Director of Athletics and contributed greatly to University development until his retirement in 1980.

Norm Fenn
Michael Gnarowski

Professor, poet, editor and critic, Michael Gnarowski was was involved in the Canadian modern poetry and small press movement, and worked with figures such as Louis Dudek, Irving Layton and Raymond Souster to publish Canadian poetry. He taught at Carleton University in the English Department from 1972-1993, and was also the General-Editor of the Carleton Library Series and Carleton University Press.

Michael Gnarowski
Margaret Wade Labarge

Since 1950, Dr. Margaret Wade Labarge has taught medieval history, at several universities throughout Canada, not only at Carleton University. In 1976, Labarge received an honorary doctorate from Carleton University for this work.

Margaret Wade Labarge
Ginette Leroux

Ginette Leroux was a stenographer working in the Central Processing Office for the Department of Manpower and Immigration in the early 1970’s.

W. McAllister Johnson

Dr. W. McAllister Johnson is an American-born art historian of international repute who studied under Erwin Panofsky, one of the 20th century’s leading art historians, before coming to Canada in the 1960s to teach.

Image of books in the W. McAllister Johnson Collection
Robert McDougall

Professor of English. Professor McDougall taught at Carleton University from 1957 to 1983.

Robert McDougall
Don McEown

Donald C. McEown came to Carleton in 1963, as Administrative Assistant to the Bursar. In 1967, he was promoted to Assistant Controller Capital and was elected to Secretary of the Board of Governors that same year.

Don McEown
Dean Mellway

Former Acting Director of Alumni Services, and Acting Coordinator of the Alumni Association Dean Mellway became a member of Carleton's staff in 1990 as the Coordinator of the Physical Disability Programs within the Department of Counseling and Student Life Services.

Dean Mellway
Mike Molloy

Mike Molloy was one of the Canadian immigration officials who assisted in the 1972 Asian expulsion from Uganda. Working under the direction of Roger St. Vincent, Molloy was second in command at the Kampala office during the time of the expulsion.

Richard Van Loon

Richard Van Loon came to the university in 1958 and graduated with a B.Sc. (Chemistry and Geology) in 1961. He went on to a masters program in 1962 and graduated with an M.A. in Political Science in 1965.

Richard Van Loon
Sydney Wise

Professor of History Professor Sydney Francis Wise became a Professor of History at Carleton University in 1973.

Sydney Wise