Life on Campus / Summer 2013
In Memoriam: Robert Madden

Robert Madden believed that teaching was the art of sharing knowledge


At St. Michael’s College, Father Robert J. Madden (CSB) was nicknamed the Pied Piper by students because of his popularity. For half a century, he was a much beloved figure at the college: Madden, who died in February, taught English and served as chaplain at the Newman Centre for decades. His joy of teaching stemmed from his belief that teaching was the art of sharing knowledge, and that he had as much to learn from his students as they did from him. In a 1999 interview he said, “I wanted to create an atmosphere in the classroom where the students would know they were respected. As I would tell them…many of them were more intellectually gifted than I was, but at that particular moment in our relationship I knew more than they did.”

After leaving formal teaching in 1984, Madden (BA 1952, MA 1955 St. Mike’s) served as director of alumni affairs at St. Michael’s until 2001. As director emeritus, his daily trips into the office extended into his 80s. In the days before his hospitalization, he was busy answering alumni mail, writing for St. Michael’s magazine and counselling followers.

In honour of his 80th birthday, St. Michael’s College established the Father Robert J. Madden Scholarship to support students in need.


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