Seventy years had passed since Bruce Jameson attended Queen’s when he returned to campus this fall. He arrived for his convocation ceremony, where he was officially granted his degree in engineering chemistry alongside the Class of 2017.
In the summer of 1946, Jameson completed a research internship in Sarnia for Imperial Oil. His efforts here impressed his managers and Jameson was offered a full-time position beginning the following summer.
In addition to the job offer, Jameson met the woman who would one day become his wife in a bible study group that same summer.
According to Jameson, times were different when he went to Queen’s, when a formal degree wasn’t necessarily required to secure full-time work. Graduating with the rest of the Class of 1947 would’ve meant completing a required German course. With a full-time job already lined up, Jameson decided to not complete the course. As a result, he didn’t receive his undergraduate degree.
Jameson married his wife Annabelle soon after he left school, whereupon family became his primary focus.
Jameson’s grandson David Currie, whose mother attended Queen’s, delved intohis grandfather’s history and reached out to the Queen’s administrators in hopes of getting his grandfather his degree, despite the missing German credit.
“My grandson overheard his grandmother say that I hadn’t gotten my degree. And he decided that he was going to see what he could do about it,” Jameson told The Journal on Thursday.
According to a Nov. 14 article from the Queen’s Gazette, Currie contacted individuals familiar with his grandfather’s lengthy career, which culminated in his retirement in 1986. With the help of an executive at Imperial Oil named Doug MacLaren, they were able to puzzle together Jameson’s work history, whereupon MacLaren wrote a letter in support of Jameson getting his degree.
Dean of Engineering Kevin Deluzio and Associate Dean (Academic) Lyann Clapham decided to grant Jameson his degree.
“It was four days before the announcement came out that I was going to get my degree that he told me what was going on. I didn’t know anything about what he was doing,” he recalled.
Amidst a sea of students on Nov. 14, Jameson and his family attended fall convocation. After 39 years of work in oil and 31 years of retirement, Jameson received his degree.
With six kids and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Jameson, now 93, can add one more thing to his list of accomplishments: an officially completed engineering degree.
“I was nervous […] it just hit me all of a sudden that everybody was standing up and clapping,” Jameson said. “It felt good, and it was strange. I was the old man among all the kids.”
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