I was saddened to learn that Tom Barnes, one of the founding members of MLI’s Research Advisory Board, has just passed away. I had the pleasure of knowing Tom for many years and of having visited his summer home in Nova Scotia on many occasions. He will be much missed. Below you will find a fine tribute to Tom by one of the Research Advisory Board’s other members, Chris Sands.
Brian Lee Crowley, Managing Director
The United States has lost one of its finest Canadianists with the passing yesterday of Professor Thomas Garden Barnes, from complications related to a recent stroke.
Tom Barnes was born in Nova Scotia of proud United Empire Loyalist ancestry, and regularly visited the family home there. But it was a professor of Law and History at the University of California Berkeley where he gained renown. After graduating from Harvard Magna Cum Laude in 1952 he earned his doctorate in history at Oxford in 1955. Tom began teaching history and law at UC Berkeley in 1960 and in 1982 co-founded the UC Berkeley Canadian Studies Program. His enthusiasm for Canada and U.S.-Canadian relations led to a rich body of writing on military history, comparative law, and politics.
In the year 2000 the Government of Canada offered a generous seed grant to inaugurate a Campaign for an endowed Chair in Canadian Studies. With the help of many small and several large gifts from individuals, foundations, and corporations the drive was successfully completed in the Fall of 2005, and the Thomas Garden Barnes Chair in Canadian Studies was inaugurated in what would be Tom’s last semester teaching at Berkeley (though he remained active in the Canadian Studies Program).
In lieu of flowers, the Barnes family has reqested that contributions in memory of Tom be made to the Thomas Garden Barnes Chair in Canadian Studies at UC Berkeley, and sent to Rita Ross, Vice-Chair of the Canadian Studies Program, 2223 Fulton Street, Room 338, Campus, MC 2324, Berkeley, CA, USA 94720-2324.
Like everyone associated with the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, I held Tom in high esteem. From my first days as a student of Canada, I was a devoted reader of his work, and when I met him for the first time he gave me a hearty welcome into the family of Canada-watchers in the United States. I never saw him without a smile, and never left him without his giving me a generous dollop of encouragement and a few new ideas to ponder.
It was an honor to be asked to serve alongside Tom as a member of MLI’s Research Advisory Board. His legacy will be a great one, and includes more than a dollop of encouragement and a few new ideas for MLI to ponder onward in his memory.