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Mourning the passing of retired faculty member Dana Wasson-FR and SJ

Author: myUNB News

Posted on Sep 13, 2018

Category: News and Notices

Please join me in offering condolences to family and friends of retired faculty member Dr. W. Dana Wasson, who passed away on Sept. 6. He was 84.

It is hard to overstate the impact Dana has had on our university and students.

It began in 1951, when Dana first joined UNB as a student. He received his bachelor of electrical engineering, and then obtained his master’s in electrical engineering from the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In July 1958, Dana returned to UNB as an electrical engineering professor in the faculty of engineering. He was the driving force behind the establishment of UNB’s computer centre in 1964, as well as its first director. Ten years later, Dana founded and became director of the school of computer science. In 1990, UNB established Canada’s first faculty of computer science, of which Dana became dean and remained so for eight years. He retired in 1999, and continued to teach at UNB on a part-time basis until 2004.

At a time when computing was a niche area, Dana foresaw that it would become an important element of society. A true visionary, he broke new ground and made UNB a world-class centre for computing by expanding degree offerings and introducing the first co-op program and first PhD in computer science in Atlantic Canada. While he was director of the school of computer science, Dana brought the largest mainframe east of Montreal to UNB and advanced the field of computer science when provincial resources were limited.

Recognized as the father of computing and computer science at UNB, Dana put in place strong technological and educational processes that are still in use today.

Dana cared deeply about his students. He took their interests and concerns to heart. If someone was having trouble, he always did what he could to help. Among faculty, staff and students, Dana was widely regarded as an excellent teacher and a brilliant scholar. He will be deeply missed.

Visitation will be held at McAdam’s Funeral Home on Oct. 5, from 6 to 9 p.m. A memorial service will be held in the McAdam’s Funeral Home Memorial Chapel on Oct. 6, at 2 p.m. Condolences can be made online.

Donations in Dana’s memory can be made to the Dr. W. Dana Wasson Prize in Computer Science by contacting the office of donor relations.

Flags on both campuses have been lowered today in Dana’s honour.

 

Sincerely,

Eddy Campbell

President and Vice-Chancellor

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