Celebrating the Inspirational Paul Burns

After many years as an integral part of the community, Dr. Paul Burns, our valued Dean of Arts, will be stepping down from his position. Paul’s leadership within the school helped build numerous connections with UBC and his talent for teaching continually engaged students in the synthesis of faith and reason.

Paul Burns has been involved in the St. Mark’s College community for over 45 years, including serving as principal starting in the fall of 1974. He continued in this role until 1980 and had two return engagements from 1984 to 1990 and 2013- 14 (also served as President of Corpus Christi College from 2013 to 2014.)

For 15 years, Paul was responsible for teaching World Religions and the History of Christian Thought at UBC. In 1995, he won UBC’s University Teaching Prize for these two courses. He honoured the College’s charter by his teaching of courses in historical theology including courses in Theology and Spirituality of major figures such as Origen, Athanasius, Hilary of Poitiers, Augustine of Hippo, Basil the Great and Gregory of Nyssa. With the encouragement of colleagues in Religious Studies and in other departments, he started a new BA Majors program at UBC devoted to Religion, Literature and the Arts.

As the head of the Liberal Arts program at Corpus Christi College, Paul is responsible for developing and integrating the curriculum around a contemporary version of the liberal arts grounded in the Catholic intellectual tradition.

With his 80th birthday on the horizon, Paul says it’s time to hand over these roles to younger people. He hopes to remain in touch as a mentor for a graduate students and to return to his writing.

On behalf of alumni, students, members of the Board, faculty and staff we extend a sincere thank you to all of Paul’s many contributions to both Colleges and UBC over the years. He has had a positive impact on many over the years. Students will remember him fondly as a great teacher.

Paul, an academic leader whose commitment to his students and to the lifelong pursuit of learning has made him an inspiration to all, was honoured for his 45 years of teaching excellence by being named Professor Emeritus at this year’s Convocation.