Ge­orge a great com­mu­nity leader

The Hamilton Spectator - - OPINION - RE: Re­mem­ber­ing Peter Ge­orge

In the early 1980s, I took a class at McMaster on the sta­ple the­ory of eco­nomic growth. The pro­fes­sor was Peter Ge­orge. I don’t re­mem­ber much about the con­tent, but I do re­mem­ber one par­tic­u­lar day.

We had a very loud stu­dent who would of­ten talk to his neigh­bour through­out the class. It was of­ten dif­fi­cult to hear what Pro­fes­sor Ge­orge was say­ing and after one or two classes, he’d had enough. Dur­ing one lec­ture, the stu­dent be­gan talk­ing and un­be­knownst to the stu­dent, he put down his chalk and qui­etly walked over to where the young man was sit­ting and sat down be­side him. After a few mo­ments, the stu­dent sensed the awk­ward­ness in the room and re­al­ized that the pro­fes­sor was sit­ting be­side him.

Once he stopped talk­ing, Pro­fes­sor Ge­orge leaned over and in a voice loud enough for all of us to hear said, “I’m try­ing to fig­ure out why you are talk­ing through my class. I’ve de­cided it’s one of two things: ei­ther you al­ready know ev­ery­thing or you are just ig­no­rant, which one is it?” The stu­dent said noth­ing, left at the end of the lec­ture and I don’t be­lieve ever re­turned.

That was my mem­ory of Pro­fes­sor Ge­orge, a man who took his lec­tures se­ri­ously, did not suf­fer fools and who when con­fronted with a prob­lem quickly re­solved it. I am sure that these same qual­i­ties served him well over his ca­reer as pro­fes­sor, pres­i­dent and vice-chan­cel­lor. He was a great leader for McMaster and a com­mu­nity builder for Hamil­ton. My con­do­lences to his fam­ily. Howard Wil­liamson, Class of 1982, Dun­das

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