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Obituary: Tim Beaglehole

Obituary: Tim Beaglehole

It’s with sadness that the Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association (VUWSA) acknowledges the passing of Emeritus Professor Tim Beaglehole last weekend. Throughout his life and many different roles, Tim made significant contributions to Victoria University and the lives of students.

Tim studied at Victoria University in the 1950s and served on the Executive of VUWSA from mid-1952 until mid-1954, during which in which he was fondly remembered for sticking to his liberal values. He was also an active sportsperson, earning Blues awards for Harriers and Fencing during his studies.

While his academic career took him around the world, studying at the University of Cambridge and Harvard University, and teaching at the University of London, he remained closely connected to Victoria and showed a deep caring for the lives of its students.

His working life at Victoria started in 1960 when he joined the History Department and soon after also became the Warden of Weir House, where he was remembered for making the student hostel a more intellectually and culturally stimulating place for its residents.

He went on to become a Professor of History, Dean of Arts and Deputy Vice Chancellor of Victoria and served on University Council before being elected as Chancellor in 2004.

Throughout his service to Victoria he has been acknowledged as being a key contributor to greater participation by staff and students in university decision making, and was involved in developing the School of Architecture and Institute of Criminology, laying the groundwork for disciplines which remain today as distinctive strengths of Victoria’s academic offering.
Notably, he continued his father’s (J. C. Beaglehole) work with the development of Victoria’s extensive art collection which is still enjoyed by students today.

To acknowledge his dedication to students at Victoria he was awarded a life membership of VUWSA in 1995.

He is remembered fondly by staff and students alike, earned deep respect from many past VUWSA Presidents and will be sadly missed.

Tim is survived by his wife Helen, his three children and seven grandchildren. His funeral service will be held at Old St Paul’s in Mulgrave Street on 12.30 pm this Friday, 24 July.


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