Begg, Robert William (1914–82)

Robert Begg, March 1962.
Regina Leader-Post

Born at Florenceville, NB, on December 27, 1914, Bob Begg obtained his MD from Dalhousie in 1942 and his DPhil from Oxford in 1946. His lifelong military career began with Cadets in 1929, continued with service in the First Canadian Parachute Battalion during World War II, and ended as Commander of 21 Militia Group in the northern half of Saskatchewan in 1963. Begg held an appointment as Honorary Physician to the Queen; he taught and conducted research at Dalhousie University from 1946 to 1950, and at the University of Western Ontario from 1950 to 1957. He was the first Head of the Department of Cancer Research at the University of Saskatchewan in 1957, Dean of Medicine in 1962, Principal of the Saskatoon Campus in 1967, and President of the University of Saskatchewan in 1975, retiring in 1980. A cheerful and practical man, he kept the College of Medicine out of the Medicare crisis in 1962 and steered the Saskatoon campus through seven years of a one-university, two-campus system. During his presidency the University acquired two research farms; as well, the University Studies Group, the Meewasin Valley Authority, the POS Pilot Plant, Innovation Place, and the exchange program with Chernivtsi University in Ukraine came into being. Begg became an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1976, and died in Saskatoon on March 2, 1982.

Merle Bocking