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In Prof Lawrence Mysak's Burnside Hall office, amid books and papers, photographs of his children and of get-togethers with what he calls his extended family — his graduate students — there is another photo. It is the photo he enthusiastically shows visitors; the photo he looks at every time he enters or leaves his office — a photo of his dad. Lawrence Mysak, Order of Canada member, Canada Steamship Lines Professor of Meteorology, director of the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences' Earth System Modelling Group and recipient of many a prize, including the Prix Michel-Jurdant of Acfas, the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal, the European Alfred Wegener Medal and, this month, the Prix du Québec, is honouring his father, Stephen Mysak, who turns 100 next month by endowing a fellowship in his name and in the name of his late mother, Anastasia Mysak.
Stephen Mysak was born in Ukraine, raised on a farm in Saskatchewan and taught at country schools. He married Anastasia Trojan, the daughter of Ukrainian immigrants who settled and farmed in Saskatchewan. Both parents instilled a love of learning and teaching in Lawrence, who has long been internationally regarded for his innovative use of mathematics in oceanography and for his research on natural climate variability and paleoclimates.
"I love teaching, I love explaining things and that's something I've obviously inherited from my parents," he said.
Beginning in the 2007-2008 academic year, the Stephen and Anastasia Mysak Graduate Fellowship in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences will be awarded annually at $15,000, to a full-time graduate student in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences on merit.
On Nov. 23, there will be a small celebration at the Redpath Museum. A short video message by Stephen Mysak will be shown.
I Medici di McGill quintet will play, minus their accomplished flutist, one Lawrence Mysak.