Campus Life

University community saddened by passing of Dr. Van Christou

The University of Lethbridge is deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Dr. Van E. Christou (LLD ’84), one of the guiding influences on cultural and educational life in southern Alberta and an ardent supporter of the University of Lethbridge.

Christou was the third Chancellor of the U of L, serving from 1975-1979, a member of the first Board of Governors and an active part of the University community throughout the history of the U of L.

“Van was a treasured member of the University of Lethbridge community and someone I took great pleasure visiting with at his home, in the community and at many university functions,” says U of L President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Mike Mahon. “His influence on the first 50 years of our university is undeniable. Van was there in the beginning, advocating for the establishment of the U of L, and remained committed to furthering the ideals of the university in the many roles he would serve over the years. Our community has suffered a great loss and he will be sadly missed.”

U of L Chancellor Janice Varzari (BN ’90, MEd ’02) says that Christou leaves behind an indelible legacy of leadership and philanthropy.

“His contribution to the fabric of life in southern Alberta, through his commitment to the arts and education, is remarkable. Van not only helped to establish the University of Lethbridge, he was instrumental in its growth through his vision and perseverance. We are grateful for his influence in shaping the University as we know it today.”

A condolence notice is available here. Dr. Christou also participated in the University's 50-Voices project that interviewed 50 influential people from throughout the University's 50-year history. That interview is available here.