University of Calgary

Faces of Philanthropy

April 15, 2009

Alumnus’ passion creates lasting legacy at the U of C

A graduate scholarship in geology has been created in memory of alumnus Grant Mossop.

A graduate scholarship in geology has been created in memory of alumnus Grant Mossop.
Grant Mossop, BSc’70, MSc’71, PhD’73, had many passions in his life. From hiking to hockey, geology to music, he lived life to the fullest, always enlivening and encouraging everyone around him.

“Grant was respected by all who knew him,” says close friend Russ McKinnon. “He demonstrated by example qualities we treasure. He was kind and thoughtful, wise and fair. Serious about serious things, he was not serious about everything. People delighted in his sense of humour, his playfulness, his readiness to initiate or join in a game.”

A sedimentary geologist and the recipient of the 1998 Distinguished Alumni Award, Grant also taught a course at the university based on his Geological Atlas of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin. This mammoth volume was recognized, in colleague and mentor Ward Neale’s words, as “the most comprehensive geological atlas project ever undertaken anywhere.”

“His enquiring mind was the source of lively and stimulating encounters. Whether at the table or on a walk in the mountains, Grant was the consummate teacher, illuminating with economy and precision subjects, which until then, might have seemed obscure or beyond our understanding,” says McKinnon. “He was a person of diverse elements—artist and scientist, leader and server—whose contributions to Alberta and beyond were stellar.” 

When Grant passed away suddenly at the age of 57, many were searching for a way to acknowledge and express their gratitude for the impact, both personal and professional, that Grant had had on their lives. In response, his family created The Grant Mossop Graduate Scholarship in Geology, an endowed scholarship to which many colleagues, friends and extended family members have contributed.

This $5,000 annual scholarship will be awarded for the first time in fall 2009 and will be given to a graduate student enrolled in a thesis-based program in sedimentary geology in the Department of Geology and Geophysics. Also named in Grant’s honour is the pre-existing Grant Mossop 1998 Distinguished Alumni Bursary, which is also awarded annually.

“Our family felt that the University of Calgary would be a fitting place to receive contributions honouring Grant’s life,” says his wife Ruth. “Because of the generosity of many, the ripple effect of his passion for knowledge and education will not cease.”

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