University community mourns passing of Lou Hyndman

(Edmonton) The University of Alberta has lost an alumnus, a chancellor emeritus and a stalwart supporter.

Louis Davies Hyndman, QC, OC, ‘56 BA, ‘59 LLB, ‘00 LLD(Honorary), died November 24, 2013, at the age of 78.

Hyndman, born in Edmonton July 1, 1935, is survived by his wife Mary, daughter Jennifer and sons Bruce and Peter, all of whom are graduates of the U of A. His lifetime of achievements include serving for four years as the university’s chancellor.

“I am deeply saddened by Lou’s passing,” said U of A President Indira Samarasekera. “Over the decades, he was a visionary advocate for education and post-secondary education in Alberta, and helped lay the foundation for the prosperity that we enjoy today. Lou and Mary were very good friends of the university, and we will miss him dearly.”

A member of the University Naval Training Division, Students’ Union president and member of the Zeta Psi fraternity during his time on campus, Hyndman followed his father (who graduated from the U of A’s law school in 1929) and grandfather into the practice of law until embarking on a political career that would span nearly 20 years.

Public life

Hyndman served five terms as the MLA for Edmonton West (and later Edmonton Glenora), and was named minister of education and minister of intergovernmental affairs. He was appointed house leader in 1971, a position he would hold until 1979. Hyndman served as provincial treasurer from 1979 until retiring from politics in 1986.

He returned to his law practice and served on a number of boards of directors, including Canada Trust and TransAlta Corporation. He chaired a number of provincial and federal commissions, notably the Canadian Safety and Accident Review Board Commission and the Premier's Commission on Future Health Care for Albertans.

He was named as Queen’s Counsel in 1975 and appointed an officer of the Order of Canada in 1993.

Return to the University of Alberta

Hyndman was installed as the 15th chancellor of the University of Alberta in June 1994. During his tenure, he strove to build the institution’s reputation on a local, national and international scale. Hyndman was also instrumental in establishing the chancellor’s and president’s scholarships at the institution.

As he prepared to step down as chancellor in 1998, Hyndman touted his alma mater as “the single most important reason for any success I might have had."

Philanthropy and community service

Throughout his life, Hyndman devoted his time and energies to a number of charitable and community and public organizations. He was a director of the both the C.D. Howe Institute and the Asia Pacific Foundation. His charitable works included serving on the board of the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation, and with the Alberta Association of Children and Adults With Learning Disabilities and Goodwill Rehabilitation Institute of Alberta. Hyndman served as honorary captain of 4 Destroyer Squadron of the Royal Canadian Navy from 1993 to 1996; he remained a member of the Visiting Committee for the Faculty of Arts from 1994 until his passing.

Hyndman’s legacy of leadership and service lives on in the Lou Hyndman Edmonton Glenora Award, valued at $20,000 over two years. The award was established in 1986 to recognize students who have shown leadership through involvement in university or community organizations, sports activities, and cultural or political activities.

Recognition of a life of service

In recognition of his years of leadership as a politician and in the U of A community, Hyndman received an honorary doctor of laws degree during the spring convocation in June 2000. During his address, he urged graduates to embrace lifelong learning and accept the expanding and changing dynamics of their careers—including influences from the social and physical sciences, humanities and performing arts.

“The university taught you how to learn, how to educate yourself—perhaps its greatest gift,” said Hyndman. “To handle these inevitable career variations you will use the skills learned here of synthesizing, objectively researching and knowing the right questions to ask.

“Welcome these career changes. Invite them. They ensure a constant lifetime of renewal that is as energizing as it is fun.”

Bursary pays tribute to a U of A champion

Lou Hyndman was deeply committed to helping students and continued to champion their success beyond his tenure as chancellor. As a tribute to his impact on the university, in 1999 the University of Alberta Senate endowed the Chancellor-Emeritus Lou Hyndman Service Bursary. This award recognizes a graduate student who has contributed to improving the quality of life on campus through exemplary service in student government, student organizations, student services, community service or volunteer activities. Since 2000, 23 bursaries totalling $11,500 have been granted. Hyndman was extremely proud of this bursary, and both he and Mrs. Hyndman always enjoyed learning about the students who received the award. The Hyndman family has requested that donations in his memory be made to the Chancellor-Emeritus Lou Hyndman Service Bursary.

Donate to the Lou Hyndman Service Bursary