The Trent community is saddened to learn of the passing of Richard (Dick) Sadleir – a renowned educator whose career spanned four decades and numerous accolades and highlights, including an integral role in the early planning and development of Trent alongside long-time friend Thomas H.B. Symons.
A friend of Professor Symons, Trent’s founding president, from their days at University of Toronto Schools, Professor Sadleir was invited by Symons to join an esteemed group to form Trent University’s Academic Planning Committee in the early 1960s. Leaving his position at the time as house master at Upper Canada College, Prof. Sadleir worked to bring the early vision of Trent to life alongside his colleagues. It was while travelling to universities across England and the United States with architect Ron Thom that the groundwork for Trent’s collegiate system and architectural foundations were laid. Tasked to determine the colours of Peterborough’s new institution as the head of the committee on University Colours, Prof. Sadleir was responsible for the selection of the green and white that continues to adorn the Trent identity to this day.
Through Trent’s early years, Prof. Sadleir continued to bring his insight and leadership to the University. An excerpt from his obituary reads: “Joining his dearest friend, Thomas H.B. Symons in 1963, Dick helped create Trent University in Peterborough where he served as dean of men, head of the English Department, vice president and acting president.”
At Trent, he also held the role of first master of Peter Robinson College from 1963 until 1969, before being appointed vice-president of the University in 1970, a position he held until 1976. Prof. Sadleir served as acting president and vice-chancellor of Trent in 1968 and 1971.
Born in Toronto, Prof. Sadleir studied at the University of Toronto before completing his M.A. at Cambridge University in England. He returned to Upper Canada College in the late 1970s and remained with the College until his retirement.
Granted an honorary doctorate from Trent in 1989 for his years of dedication and service to the University, he continued to hold an active interest in the operations of the University and Sadleir House, the original Peter Robinson College House, which was renamed in his honour.
Trent extends their heartfelt sympathies to the friends and family of Prof. Sadleir and to all who knew him at the University.
In honour of Prof. Sadleir, donations in his name can be made to Sadleir House or the PR Community and Student Association at Trent University.