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Dr. Patrick Cronin, a renowned cardiologist and dean of medicine at McGill from 1972 to 1977, died of pneumonia on January 17 in Montreux, Switzerland, at the age of 80.
At 16, Dr. Cronin began his studies in science at Princeton University but left the following year to join the Royal Canadian Air Force, training as a tail gunner. He enrolled in medicine at McGill in 1945, thinking he had the necessary credentials from Princeton. He later learned that, due to conditions imposed on non-Americans, he had never in fact been granted his Princeton degree. By then, he was already a cardiologist and clinician at the Montreal General Hospital. Determined to rectify the situation, he returned to Princeton in 1999, at age 72, and graduated the following year. That gap earned him the distinction in the 2005 Guinness Book of World Records as the student who spent the longest time in an undergraduate program (52 year and 111 days).
In the interim, Dr. Cronin had worked to make McGill one of the leading medical schools in North America and the world, and became widely recognized for his work in developing countries. In the early 60's, he initiated an exchange program between McGill and local doctors in Nairobi, Kenya. While still dean, he was recruited by the Aga Khan to oversee the construction and operation of hospitals in Pakistan, as well as to set their curriculum for educating medical personnel.
Dr. Cronin is survived by his wife, Sis Robinson, their son David and their daughters Di and Daphne.
A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, May 30, in the McGill University Chapel, 3520 University St.
Dr. J. Barry Bell, a professor who received his PhD in Architecture from the McGill School of Architecture in April 2007, died peacefully on May 8 after sustaining head injuries at his home on May 3. Mr. Bell was a professor, author, and architect who was regarded by friends and family as a humanitarian and a scholar.
Born in Ottawa November 15, 1959, Dr. Bell went on to earn a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Waterloo in 1983. He continued his studies in England before returning to teach at Waterloo and Carleton Universities.
He published a book, Bangkok: Angelic Visions in 2003, the product of his interest, travels and research into the physical, symbolic and perceptual order and understanding of cities. He was admired by students and colleagues for his ability to blur the distinctions between architectural theory and practice, as well as for his boundless intellectual energies. He was also an avid rower, hiker, traveler and photographer.
Dr. Bell is survived by his wife, Sulasa Bell, whom he married on March 11, 2005 at Phitsanulok, Thailand, his sisters Elaine and Karen, brother-in-law Mike Cochrane, brother Brian, sister-in-law Carla Flamer, nieces Rebecca and Katie, nephew Colin, his many relatives, friends, the architectural community in Canada and abroad, as well as the Thai community that has fondly embraced him.
An award in Dr. Bell's honour, recognizing his commitment to Canadian architectural students pursuing advanced architectural study, has been established through the University of Waterloo School of Architecture.