The perpetual learner
William Curran (MEd ’77) definitely has more than one alma mater. That’s what happens when you spend your life teaching and learning. Nevertheless, this lover of knowledge admits to a soft spot for the University of Ottawa, from the time he was completing his master’s in education.
“I had done a diploma in education at McGill and a certificate in teaching English as a second language at Concordia, but here, I really felt part of a knowledge community,” he says. “It had a real impact on me.”
He formed strong friendships at uOttawa and developed a satisfying career in teaching and then — after getting a master’s in library science from McGill — in library management. He is currently an adjunct professor at the University of Ottawa’s School of Information Studies.
Professor Curran is also one of the University’s most loyal donors. This philanthropic relationship, started over 35 years ago through donations to the annual campaign, deepened last year through a major donation for a scholarship fund in support of Teacher Education and Formation à l’enseignement students. More recently, he has pledged to make a future gift to ensure the fund’s future.
“I do feel that I owe it to the University,” he says, to explain the evolution in his giving. “I really feel that the MEd program opened doors for me. It is also my wish that the students who come here will have a good experience.”
Thus the idea of the scholarship, which will help many budding teachers continue in their studies and increase their own knowledge. If there is a recurring theme in Professor Curran’s thinking, it is the importance of learning — at any age.
“Learning is a lifelong adventure,” he says. “If we stop learning, we atrophy. So learning means trying new things, and learning how to do new things. As long as we keep an open mind about what we need to learn, that ensures that we’re going to have some fulfillment in our life.”
“I do feel that I owe it to the University. It is also my wish that the students who come here will have a good experience.”