University of Toronto Magazine University of Toronto Magazine
Robert Madden. Courtesy of St. Michael's College
Robert Madden. Courtesy of St. Michael's College

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.

Recent Posts

Photo of front campus field and Convocation Hall with flower emoji illustrations floating above

Clearing the Air

U of T wants to drastically cut carbon emissions by 2050. It’s enlisting on-campus ingenuity for help

Abstract illustration showing a red-coloured body and face, with small black and white pieces flowing from inside body out of the mouth, and the U.S. Capitol Building dangling on puppet strings from one hand

The Extremism Machine

Online disinformation poses a danger to society. Researchers at U of T’s Citizen Lab are tracking it – and trying to figure out how to stop it

Prof. Mark V. Campbell with a beige background and red lighting

Charting Hip Hop’s Course

Professor Mark V. Campbell grew up during the early years of rap music. Now, he is helping preserve Canadian hip-hop culture for future generations

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *