Dean Emeritus Robert Cook passes away

The University of Lethbridge extends its most sincere condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the late Robert M. Cook, Dean Emeritus (Faculty of Fine Arts), who recently passed away.

Cook came to the University of Lethbridge in 1981 to assume the position of director of the newly-formed School of Fine Arts, comprising the departments of art, drama and music and their ancillary units, the University Art Gallery, theatre and music conservatory. He was promoted to the rank of professor during his first year as director.

A graduate of Ithaca College in Ithaca, N.Y., Cook also held an MMEd degree from Boston University. American born, he came to Canada in May 1971 as the supervisor of music in Alberta's Department of Culture, Youth and Recreation. Two years later he became director of Alberta College's Conservatory of Music. He returned to Alberta Culture in 1974 as director of performing arts, a position he held for seven years.

During this time period, Cook became a Canadian citizen and earned Canada's Jubilee Medal for his contribution to the arts. He also served as a director and honorary life member of the Canadian Choral Federation and the Alberta Band Association.

Before coming to Canada, Cook was an associate professor of music and Chair of the music department at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Was.

Since his retirement in 1989, Cook has been active in several provincial and community arts organizations. He was a founding member and Chair of Music Alberta. He was conductor and artistic director of the Lethbridge Community Band, which he founded in 1987. He was named conductor emeritus for the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra Association, served as a director of the Allied Arts Council of Lethbridge and received a Distinguished Band Director's Award from the Canadian Band Association in 1995.