YUFA mourns the passing of Professor Emerita Pat Rogers

Professor Pat Rogers (née Patricia Greenslade) had a remarkable and influential career that spanned across many different institutions, roles, activities, and relationships.

Born just after the end of the war in Woking, England, to a Scottish mother and a Welsh father, she spent her early years in Belfast, Northern Ireland and later in Cardiff, Wales. She was one of few women to study mathematics at the University of Oxford in the class of ’65. While pursuing her PhD at the University of London’s Bedford College, she taught at North London Polytechnic and Goldsmith’s College before becoming a faculty member in Mathematics and Education at York University.

She played a critical role in organising the union of part-time instructors at York University and in the fight to regularise sessional work at the university. After obtaining tenure, Professor Rogers was founding director of the Centre of the Support of Teaching, for which seminar room 3003 at Vari Hall is named after her – and where the plaque honouring her is the only thing bolted down, in keeping with her boisterous teaching style, in which chairs and tables should always be moveable to encourage discussion and collaboration. Professor Rogers also served as a grievance officer for YUFA which allowed her support for junior faculty members across the university.

She left York to pursue two instrumental terms as Dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of Windsor, where she helped develop many programs encouraging work in the community. She retired as Vice-President of Teaching and Learning at Wilfred Laurier University in Waterloo.

Professor Rogers was recipient of numerous teaching awards throughout her career, including the prestigious 3M National Teaching Award, and was the first Canadian and the first woman to be appointed as a Pólya Lecturer by the Mathematical Association of America.

After being diagnosed with cancer for the second time in 2021 she impressed her family, friends, and many health practitioners with the tenacious and spirited way in which she battled it. When she asked one of her doctors how long she could expect to live – the striking response which she proudly repeated was: “I can’t answer – you have already lived longer that I expected!”

Professor Rogers passed away on January 21st, 2024, at age 78.