Remembering Laird F. Rankin, alumnus, author, and arts advocate
Former president of Alumni Association founded Canada’s National History Society
Winnipeg’s arts community lost a dear friend with the death of author, freelance journalist, and arts advocate Laird Rankin on June 19, 2017.
Rankin is perhaps best known as the founding executive director of Canada’s History Society, and publisher of its popular history magazine, The Beaver. In 1996, he helped launch the Governor General’s Award for Excellence in Teaching Canadian History, a feat that won him a national Meritorious Service Decoration.
Rankin was also closely associated with the University of Manitoba. A graduate of both arts [BA/62] and business [BComm/64], Rankin was the executive director of the Alumni Association of Manitoba from 1975 to 1994, served as editor of the Alumni Journal (now UM Today Magazine), and wrote two histories of the University’s I.H. Asper School of Business.
The author/co-author of five books, he was a keen defender of the arts, being a Chair Emeritus for the Winnipeg Arts Council and holding leadership positions on the Manitoba Magazine Publishers’ Association, among other organizations.