Dr. Paul Antrobus (2020-2021)
Dr. Paul Antrobus (2020-2021)
Arriving in 1973, Dr. Paul Antrobus joined two other faculty members and a small band of staff at the newly-established University campus of Luther College, and together they set out to build a welcoming, community-focused institution dedicated to the development of the whole student – mind, body, and spirit. Paul’s 33 years as a faculty member, and indeed, his entire life, was devoted to that vision.
Paul’s first passion was teaching and was the most unconventional professor one could encounter. His classes (always full with long waitlists) were sprinkled with humour, crazy costumes, and strange tales that challenged accepted concepts and social norms. He wanted students to interact with the course material independently of the instructor, to collaborate with each other, and to make connections with their own lived experience. He did not use exams as he felt they discouraged true learning, and his assignments, called “Quests,” were designed to draw students into deeper engagement with the issues raised in their own lives and in the communities they inhabited.
Having experienced the transformation of living internationally himself, he always incorporated global content into his courses. He took students to Mexico and China to learn in diverse cultural contexts. Study abroad programs later became significant at the University of Regina (U of R) but Paul was one of the pioneers.
Paul brought a light-hearted presence and infectious hilarity to both formal and casual College activities. Everyone has stories about his annual Halloween pumpkin head costume, watching him coast around the college in roller-skates and his academic gown, or interrupting other Luther classes with silly antics.
Outside the classroom, Paul was equally focused on the whole person. He spent countless hours counselling students and others in the university community; many credit Paul with guiding them through significant personal crises. Paul offered highly popular community workshops on stress management and self-awareness, long before concepts such as work-life balance and emotional intelligence went mainstream. He and his spouse Kay were always active in student events; dances, variety nights, fundraisers - often welcoming students’ home for meals and conversation.
Shortly after Paul’s retirement in 2005, an unfortunate fall left him as a quadriplegic. But Paul had so much more to share. For the next 10 years he continued to teach, first through Luther, and then through the U of R’s Lifelong Learning Centre, concluding a course only a few weeks before his death at 80 years of age.
Paul was a larger-than-life personality who cared so deeply for his family, for the College, for his discipline of psychology, and always for his students. Dr. Antrobus, who passed away in 2015, will be remembered for his faith, his devotion to his fellow human being, his courage, his great love of life, his ability to connect the spiritual and the academic, and his commitment to transformational learning that helped fundamentally shape the College’s identity.