Citation

On Being Awarded the Title of Professor Emeritus in June 1991

Robert McDaniel joined the Department of Geography at the University of Western Ontario in July 1961 and retires this year after three decades of service to the discipline, the Department and the University. He undertook both his undergraduate and Master degrees in Geography at Western, achieving the rare distinction of completing his Master's degree within one year of entry into the program. He was promoted to Assistant Professor in 1964 and to the career rank of Associate Professor in 1967.

His academic honors include two McIntosh Scholarships, a McIntosh Junior Fellowship, and the University Gold Medal for the outstanding Geography graduate of his year in 1953. He was also awarded a Canadian Officer Training Corps Memorial Fellowship and a scholarship at the University of Pennsylvania where he also undertook further graduate work.

After his graduation from Western he served in the Canadian Army, becoming Assistant Adjutant of the 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, in Calgary before being seconded to the Joint Intelligence Bureau in Ottawa. He was awarded the Canadian Forces Decoration (CD), and won his Parachute Badge during this period. He has maintained links to the Canadian Forces by his roles as Administration Officer and Area Supply Officer for the Middlesex Area of the War Supplies Agency until 1979 and his work with the Militia in London.

Professor McDaniel's academic interests have always lain in the major field of economic geography, and over the years at Western he developed several new courses which have become principal, mandatory courses at the undergraduate level for honors students. As well, he developed a strong interest in Futures Studies and added two new courses in the 1970s, one dealing with Spatial Futures and an advanced course in Futures Studies. These courses have remained a unique feature of Geography at Western. As an academic with interests in the economic realm, Professor McDaniel has been actively involved in teaching and supervising research in the Urban Development Program in Geography, and has given a number of invited presentations to groups on urban futures, city planning, and growth and land values.

In research he was active with the Provincial government Department of Highways in the 1960s conducting studies related to recreation and travel, and was a major participant in the Erie Project, a provincially funded research project conducted by the Department on the local region over a three-year period. He has supervised a large number of undergraduate and graduate theses on topics ranging from The Fine Clothing Industry to Natural Hazard Emergencies. He has also been active as a consultant to both public and private sectors, and as a referee for academic journals and granting agencies.

In the administrative field Professor McDaniel has contributed very significantly to both the Department and the University. He has served as Acting Chair, as both Graduate and Undergraduate Program Coordinator, and has been on all major Departmental committees for almost all of his three decades at Western, a true reflection of the respect in which his colleagues held his judgment and integrity. At the University level he has served on Senate, and on major Senate Committees such as Budget and Finance, and Promotion and Tenure, on the University Community Centre Directorate, and on the Executive of the Faculty Association, including a term as President.

His has been a very active and respected career at Western He has contributed immensely to the Department especially in the development and furtherance of the undergraduate honors program to its status as one of the premier programs in Geography in Canada. A man of many talents, his latest achievement is less geographical but likely to capture the attention of a large audience; he has become an accomplished player of the bagpipes and a member of the London Police Pipe Band. His retirement is well-earned and his regular presence will be missed by his colleagues and friends in the Department and the University at large.


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