In memory of Gene

Linda Assad-Butcher is seen holding a picture of her late brother Gene, a uOttawa alum and much appreciated part-time professor.

“Death may be final, but this scholarship keeps Gene’s memory alive. Especially at the University of Ottawa, where we know that he loved to teach.”

Linda Assad-Butcher (BScN ’70, MEd ’86) thinks of her brother Gene every day. "He died very suddenly," she said. "He was fine, and then out of the blue, we got a call on a Friday afternoon ..."

The Assad family is very close-knit and the loss of Gene was a hard blow. His death was also keenly felt at the Faculty of Law of the University of Ottawa, where he had taught part-time for years while pursuing a brilliant legal career in the federal public service.

Gene Assad (LLB ’79) loved to teach, and he often brought a dry subject to life by drawing on amazing stories and anecdotes from his extensive legal career. He had a gift for reassuring students, and for making them laugh, sometimes even during exams!

He shared that passion for teaching with his sister Linda, one of the forces behind Cité collégiale, in Ottawa. So when the Faculty approached the family with the idea of creating a scholarship in memory of Gene, she was delighted. Since then, Linda has donated every month to the Gene Assad Memorial Scholarship in Criminal Law through the University of Ottawa’s Annual Campaign. And each time, she remembers her brother.

"It’s something tangible we can do,” she said. “Death may be final, but this scholarship keeps his memory alive. Especially at the University of Ottawa, where we know that Gene loved to teach."

The scholarship supports academic achievement, and in doing so, it reflects the importance that the Assad family places on education. The family’s five children went on to achieve success, a path that Linda expects will be followed by the scholarship’s recipients, who she hopes will also spare a thought for her brother, Gene.

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