Brandon University mourns passing of Dr. Peter Letkeman

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The Brandon University community is saddened to learn of the recent passing of Dr. Peter Letkeman, a distinguished chemist and professor who was also a longtime Dean of Science.

“As a member of the Western Manitoba Science Fair Executive, and as a scientist, I can say that his contribution to science in the community has been immense. In my opinion, Dr. Letkeman was the most significant and influential Dean of Science that Brandon University has ever had,” said BU’s current Dean of Science Dr. Bernadette Ardelli. “I aspire to make even half the contribution.”

Dr. Letkeman’s career at BU spanned 1963 to 2003 during which time he taught Analytical and Inorganic Chemistry. From 1972 to 1980 he served as the Chair of the Department of Chemistry, and in 1982 he was appointed Dean of Science, a position he held until 1993. He was awarded 16 research grants, was made a Fellow of the Chemical Institute of Canada, served on the Manitoba Research Council, and chaired the pension committee in its early years. During his tenure at BU, he published 17 peer-reviewed papers, the last three of which were published following the loss of his sight. In 2003, in recognition of 40 years of distinguished service, Dr. Letkeman was presented with the President’s Medal for excellence in teaching, research, and service.

Dr. Letkeman encouraged science in the community through his involvement as Founding Member, Chairman, and Awards Chairman for the Western Manitoba Science Fair. As a committee member he was instrumental in bringing the Canada-Wide Science Fair to Brandon in 1976 and served as its Judge- in-Chief. In 1986, he was made a Fellow of the Chemical Institute of Canada in recognition of his service to the chemistry community in Manitoba. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of the Mennonite Foundation of Canada (1984-1990), served on the Manitoba Research Council and numerous University committees, and was Chair of the Client Services Committee of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind.

A strong advocate for post-secondary education, Letkeman has been instrumental in the establishment of two scholarships, the Dr. H.V. Kidd & Dr. Peter Letkeman Scholarship in General Chemistry, and the Dr. Peter Letkeman Scholarship. In 2015, the Dr. Peter Letkeman Laboratory for Analytical & Inorganic Chemistry was dedicated in recognition of his distinguished career and their generosity to Brandon University.

The flag at Brandon University will be lowered to half-mast in his honour.


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