University of Washington

Founder of Canadian Studies - Professor W.A. Douglas Jackson

W.A. Douglas Jackson (1924 - 2009) was the founder of the Canadian Studies Center. In 1988, Jackson, along with colleagues Robert Monahan and Donald Alper from Western Washington University, received the first title VI grant for a National Resource Center - The Pacific Northwest National Resource Center on Canada. Following is a short history of Professor Jackson's career.

Memorial Announcement
Memorial Reception Information
Tributes
W.A. Douglas Jackson Undergraduate Scholarship Fund


W. A. Douglas Jackson 

W.A. Douglas Jackson, 25 November 1924 - 9 March 2009


Memorial Announcement

It is with great sadness that we inform you that the founder of Canadian Studies, Douglas Jackson, passed away on Monday, 9 March 2009 at 85 years of age. Doug was truly the “heart and soul” of Canadian Studies at the UW, dedicating decades of his life to building one of the finest Centers in the nation.

Doug was from Toronto where he long-dreamed of being a concert pianist. Instead, he pursued a doctorate at the University of Maryland where he studied both Canadian history and Soviet geography. In 1955 he was appointed to the UW Geography Department and the Far Eastern and Russian Institute.

In the mid-80s Doug began working with colleagues Bob Monahan and Don Alper at Western Washington University to develop a joint program in Canadian Studies. In 1988 the UW and WWU received the first Title VI grant from the US Department of Education, to form a National Resource Center on Canada. At the same time, he worked with Bryan Downes from Oregon to hold the first meeting of regional Canadianists in what would become the Pacific Northwest Canadian Studies Consortium.

Doug served as director of the Center for over 12 years, taught and inspired hundreds of students, and spoke at community functions at every opportunity. In fact, he was still lecturing for us this last fall. In October Doug gave four lectures as part of a series, The Canadian Push to the Pacific for Edmonds Community College.

In the next few months, the Center is going to create a new link on our website dedicated to the legacy and contributions of Douglas Jackson. We wish to build a complete history, to feature photographs, and to have a tribute section with quotes about Doug. If you would like to contribute to this website, we welcome your inclusions and thoughts.

This spring quarter the Geography Department, and the Center, will host a memorial for Doug at the University. We hope you can join us then

In addition, we are going to build our Douglas Jackson Scholarship Fund. Five years ago, on Doug’s 80th birthday, we held a party for him at the Burke Museum. At that time we started a Scholarship Fund, in his name and at his request, to support undergraduate research on Canada and study-in-Canada opportunities. Since that time two students have been awarded scholarships for their written work (nominated by Doug) and this quarter six students were able to travel to Ottawa for 8 days as part of the Task Force on Arctic Sovereignty thanks to Douglas Jackson Scholarships.

Dan Hart, Director
Nadine Fabbi, Associate Director
Canadian Studies Center

Doug Jackson and Howard Sheffelman


Memorial Reception Information

Dear Friends of Douglas Jackson,

Please join us to celebrate Doug's contributions to academic life at the University of Washington and to his founding of the Canadian Studies Center in 1986.

5:30 PM, April 27, 2009
Burke Room, Burke Museum
University of Washington, Seattle

Memorial Program
Please RSVP to canada@u.washington.edu


Tributes to W.A. Douglas Jackson

Doug packed many lives into a single lifetime. A scholar, teacher, colleague, administrator, musician, and a witty and charming person, he was still going strong when I arrived at the Jackson School in 2002, several years after he had already retired from UW. I knew him as a Canada Studies person; someone who was devoted and dedicated to advancing the study of Canada on campus and in the US. In his earlier incarnation - he first came to UW in the mid-1950s - he was acclaimed for his role as a geographer who specialized in Russian and East European Studies. In fact, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, he headed up that program and worked tirelessly on its behalf, just as he did later on for Canada Studies. May we all have lives as accomplished, rich, and varied as Doug's was.
- Anand Yang, Director, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies

W.A. Douglas Jackson was a moving force in obtaining the Title VI Consortium for the Study of Canada in 1986. He was a highly respected Geographer and an accomplished classical pianist and often entertained guests in his home by playing on his nine-foot Steinway grand piano. He was a Canadian by birth and maintained a professional interest in this important nation. His research and publications on the Soviet Union were widely recognized and acclaimed He was generous to a fault, a bit crusty at times and had a delightful sense of humor. His passion for teaching about Canada was still strong and he looked forward to offering courses this Fall. He leaves a rich legacy and many friends in diverse fields.
- Robert Monahan, Western Washington University, co-founder with Doug of the Pacific Northwest National Resources Center for Canada, former president of the Association for Canadian Studies in the US

Doug and I go back many years. We worked as colleagues in a UW-WWU Canadian Studies consortium for many years. He was also a regular guest speaker in classes at WWU. His knowledge of Canada was extensive and deep. Although a geographer, Doug was completely comfortable expounding on virtually any subject related to Canada. He gave lectures on subjects ranging from the monarchy in Canada’s political system (one of his favorite topics) to the history of Canadian art. Doug had a passion for teaching and could always relate to students, even years after he retired. His lectures always included wonderful stories, most often centered on fascinating and often eccentric characters, which were told in his charming, witty and very soothing narrative style. When I think of Doug, I can hear his mellow voice and I can see the twinkle in his eyes. Doug was, in the true meaning of the phrase, a gentleman and a scholar, and an exceedingly generous person.
- Don Alper, Director, Center for Canadian-American Studies and Professor, Political Science, Western Washington University

Doug Jackson was a valued colleague in the Geography Department, who was a pioneer in research on the Soviet Union, and trained many leading scholars specializing this region. He had a sunny personality that brought humor to his classes and to his relations with his colleagues. He loved the arts, especially his beloved piano. In his later years he came back to his Canadian roots, and enjoyed his work with the Jackson School program on Canadian Studies. He will be dearly missed.
- William B. Beyers, UW Department of Geography

Doug was the embodiment of the finest qualities: passionate, dedicated, energetic, and imbued with a set of values and a sense of judgment, a well-grounded optimist; these are but some of the adjectives and phrases that comfortably attach to him. Doug lead by example. Doug balanced the present and the future but was very interested in the lessons of history and how it applied to the issues of the day. Doug was committed to his university and to the Canadian Studies Program. My wife, Adele and I were so fortunate to have considered him our close friend. We will remember the evenings spent at his home, having a brandy after dinner, sitting before the fireplace, and as always, the sounds of Chopin in the background.
- The Honourable Howard R. Pawley and Adele Pawley, former premier of Manitoba and former Visiting Professor, UW Canadian Studies

Doug Jackson was vital to the creation of the Pacific Northwest Canadian Studies Consortium and the development of Canadian Studies in the Pacific Northwest. As holder of the Canada Chair in the Jackson School at UW, it was Doug who provided the location and the logistics for Bryan Downes to hold the initial meeting at UW that gathered together people interested in Canada in the Pacific Northwest. Doug, an expatriate Torontonian, was amongst the first in the Pacific Northwest to formally implement Canadian Studies into the university curriculum. Although it was Geography of Canada that he taught in the classroom, with his colleagues he instilled in us all the value of the diversity of Canadian society and with his love of opera brought a touch of the Humanities to the work of Social Scientists.
- Diddy R.M. Hitchins, Professor Emerita, Political Science/International Studies, University of Alaska Anchorage and former president of the Association for Canadian Studies in the US

I'll always remember Doug Jackson as an inspiring and most supportive advisor. I will always treasure our relationship during those years in residence in Seattle from 1958 to 1961. Although a Soviet Union expert, he bravely took me on in his secondary interest - political geography. He forced me into a most productive exposure to International Law and Mass Media Sociology. And, as a non-quantitative geographer in a department eading the quantitative revolution, he was delighted with my use of quantitative survey data in measuring the impact of human behavior and opinion on the 49th parallel boundary. Most critically, he turned out to be positively magnificent in rapid turnoround of draft chapters winging their ranscontinental snail-mail way in the pre-electronic era between Seattle and UConn so that I could successfully graduate with the PhD degree on time in 1962.
- Julian Minghi, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of South Carolina

Doug Jackson was a gentleman and a generous soul who loved and lived life to the fullest. He was a Renaissance man without a doubt whose zest for life and learning were contagious. He touched the life of students, faculty, staff and members of the community in ways that will speak volumes for generations to come. Of all the Canadians I have known, Doug was the most Canadian of all. His legacy will live on in all of those who he came into contact with, where he left the most important of impressions - follow your passion and be yourself.
- Michael S. Bittner, former Associate Director of Canadian Studies, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies

Canadian Studies Center
University of Washington
Box 353650
Thomson Hall, Room 503
Seattle, WA 98195-3650
T (206) 221-6374
F (206) 685-0668
canada@uw.edu