Campus Life

Dr. Bhagwan Dua to be honoured at Arts & Science scholarship dinner

During his tenure as dean of the University of Lethbridge’s Faculty of Arts & Science, Professor Emeritus Bhagwan Dua always made students a top priority and, with his recent passing, the Faculty wants to ensure his legacy lives on.

The Wine & Dine: Arts & Science Scholarship Dinner on Oct. 18 will honour his memory and raise funds for the Dr. Bhagwan Dua Memorial Scholarship.

“I think he would be very honoured and humbled to be recognized by the University in such a way,” said Mini Dua, Bhagwan’s daughter, speaking on behalf of her mother, Swarn, and her sister, Manjula. “The University of Lethbridge has given my dad so much. He was so proud of the institution, so proud to work there and to be part of the U of L family. He definitely instilled that in us and always was very grateful to the University for all the opportunities it had offered him.”

“We are so pleased to honour Bhagwan with this scholarship,” says Dr. Craig Cooper, dean of the Faculty of Arts & Science. “He was an exemplary leader who always put people first. Bhagwan truly loved this University and it is only fitting that we affirm his legacy in this way.”

The scholarship will be awarded in two categories — a first-year student and a continuing student, both in the Faculty of Arts & Science, who have shown commitment to their community.

“My father had a passion for learning and knowledge. He was thirsty for it his entire life and we hope this scholarship will ignite the same passion in the students who will be beneficiaries of this scholarship, as well as help them with their financial needs,” says Mini. “We’re very grateful to the University for bestowing this honour on him. We’re happy that this will make him part of the institution forever. This is beyond what we ever expected and it’s just lovely.”

Bhagwan joined the U of L as a professor of political science in 1977, after finishing his doctoral degree at the University of Alberta. He became fast friends with Dr. Peter McCormick, who was Chair of the department at that time. When Bhagwan became dean in 1991, he frequently turned to McCormick to help gain traction for needed initiatives.

“He was a very good teacher, a good administrator and a genuinely nice guy. He was my closest friend on campus and I thought of myself as one of his staunchest allies,” says McCormick.

Bhagwan and Swarn were very much a team. She supported and encouraged him in his endeavours and was as much a part of the University community as Bhagwan. Together, they helped grow the University to what it has become today.

“She’s just so proud the University has thought to bestow such an honour on my dad,” says Mini.

The Wine & Dine event will be held on Thursday, Oct. 18 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Sandman Signature Lethbridge Lodge. The dinner features Italian food paired with Italian wines and a fun and informative presentation about the history of Italian wines. Tickets for the formal/semi-formal dinner are $150 each or $1,000 for a table of eight and are available online until Oct. 8 at Arts & Science Scholarship Dinner. Those who may not be able to attend the dinner but would still like to contribute to the scholarship can do so on the same webpage.