1939 – 2019
Friends and admirers of Margaret-Ann Armour are joining together to commission a portrait of her by Tom Menczel to hang in the school named after her. Tom has been commissioned to do portraits for a number of namesakes on new schools in the Edmonton Public system and observers say he does a great job of capturing expression and personality in his portraits. Anyone interested in donating to the cause can contact Dave Hancock firstname.lastname@example.org
Dave Hancock says this:
It is a significant honour to have a school named in recognition of the individual, recognizing their contributions to public education and community – but it is more. It is an opportunity to inspire, to demonstrate vividly to each student that goes through the school (and their parents) that they two can be contributors! Getting to know the name, not just as a sign on the building, but as a person, someone who at one time was just like us, but who was inspired to learn and grow and ultimately give back and contribute to the opportunity for others to learn and grow – that is the inspiration of a named school. And that certainly is the story of our friend Dr Margaret-Ann Armour. If you know of anyone I could contact for modest, or not so modest contributions kindly advise.
View the Celebration of Life for Margaret-Ann Amour at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeYmbg67hzA
The university is setting up a website to be devoted to Margaret-Ann. It should be up and running by Monday, June 10th and the web address will be uab.ca/MAA
In the beginning it will include information on the service, such as parking, time of door opening, etc. We appreciate that the location of the Margaret-Ann Armour School in the SW of Edmonton, the lack of public transportation, and limited parking will make it difficult for some people to attend the service itself. Two other options will be available and described in the website. First, the service will be live-streamed, and second, there will be a satellite location on the U of A campus where guests will be able to watch the memorial in the company of other friends of Margaret-Ann. In the future an edited version of the service will also be available on the same website.
Dr. Margaret-Ann Armour died peacefully and gracefully at the Cross Cancer Institute at dawn
May 25, surrounded by a few of the many friends who have become family to her. Tributes
pouring in since testify to the legacy left by her inspirational mentorship and infectious passion
for “doing science as if people matter.”
Margaret-Ann loved stories. Her own story began in Scotland on September 6, 1939, amid the
outset of the Second World War. Born to Annie Dunlop and Robert Armour, she was raised by
her mother, a teacher who fostered her curiosity about the science of everything, beginning
with Scottish baking.
Holding a BSc and MSc from the University of Edinburgh, Margaret-Ann earned a PhD in organic
chemistry from the University of Alberta and then did post-doctoral studies at both universities.
Joining the U of A chemistry department in 1979, she persevered as a woman in a traditionally
male field and became the University’s first-ever Associate Dean of Science for Diversity in 2005.
Known worldwide for leading-edge research and teaching in hazardous chemical waste handling
and disposal, she is equally revered for championing women in the sciences through initiatives
such as WISEST and the WinSETT Centre. “Create an environment where women thrive, and
everyone thrives,” she would say.
In addition to her induction as a Member of the Order of Canada, Dr. Armour’s many awards
include the Governor General’s Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case, Canada 150
Ambassador and the prestigious 3M Teaching Fellowship. Her multiple honorary degrees include
degrees from her Alberta and Edinburgh alma maters, as well as a degree from Concordia
University of Edmonton presented just the day before her death.
Despite her passing, Dr. Armour’s story lives on in the many individuals, institutions and
networks shaped by her kindness, integrity and commitment to equity and inclusiveness. Her
dedication to wider community shone through in the leadership she nurtured within
organizations ranging from Beta Sigma Phi, to the Edmonton Glenora Rotary Club, to St.
Stephen’s College where she served with distinction as Board Chair. The students of Edmonton’s
Dr. Margaret-Ann Armour School will be among the many who dearly miss her perceptive
questions, playful scientific demonstrations and heartfelt hugs.
A memorial service in celebration of Dr. Armour’s life will be held at the Dr. Margaret-Ann
Armour School, 3815 Allan Drive in southwest Edmonton, on Wednesday June 12 at 7 p.m.
Donations in her memory may be made to St. Stephen’s College, WISEST, and SouthminsterSteinhauer United Church.