In memory of Harro Van Brummelen, Ed.D.

Harro Van Brummelen, Ed.D., former Dean and Professor Emeritus of TWU’s School of Education, passed away Wednesday, January 15, 2014, after a courageous battle with a rare, incurable cancer.

Van Brummelen, a long-time Langley resident, began his career at TWU in 1986 as an Associate Professor of Education in what was then the Teacher Education Department. He is best known for his work to establish TWU’s independent Bachelor of Education degree (B.Ed.), and served as the main witness in the 2001 Supreme Court challenge that saw TWU win its case against the British Columbia College of Teachers. “The positive outcome of the BCCT case allowed Harro to move forward with the goal of seeing the launch of the professional program that he had tirelessly pursued since coming to TWU,” said Provost W. Robert Wood, Ph.D.

Known internationally for his scholarly work in Christian pedagogy and curriculum development, Van Brummelen guided TWU’s Education program from its roots as a cooperative degree with Simon Fraser University to an independent B.Ed. under TWU’s own School of Education. More recently, Van Brummelen was instrumental in the design of the University’s Master of Arts in Educational Leadership degree.

He was also a founding member of Association of British Columbia Deans of Education in 2003, and its first Chair. Since 1977, Van Brummelen was a significant figure in education in British Columbia; he diligently served for several years on the BC Ministry of Advanced Education's Degree Quality Assessment Board. He authored two textbooks, published in several languages, and was a frequent international speaker.

In October, the Education Curriculum Resource Centre in Trinity Western University’s Norma Marion Alloway Library was renamed in Van Brummelen’s honour. Over 200 people were on hand to honour the contributions he made to the field of Education, and to the University and its students, faculty, and staff.

“Students and alumni remember Harro as a dedicated, thought-provoking, and transformative professor,” said School of Education Dean Kimberly Franklin, Ed.D. “They were particularly impacted by his concern for social justice in education and curriculum planning that pointed learners toward beauty, truth, and goodness.” 

Franklin credits Van Brummelen, who invited her to teach at TWU in 1998, with encouraging her to pursue her own doctoral studies. “Harro was a beloved colleague and mentor to me and to many within the TWU community,” she said. “He won the respect of everyone he met through his kind, gracious, and humble manner. Without his guidance, example, and support I would not be who I am today.” 

Until his passing, Van Brummelen served as Adjunct Professor for TWU’s Master of Arts in Leadership program, and as a Board Member for the International Advancement of Christian Higher Education.

He is mourned by his beloved wife Wilma; children Glen, Tim, and Yolanda; his grandchildren; as well as many friends and colleagues. A celebration of Van Brummelen’s life will be held Saturday, January 18, 2014.

Date: Saturday, January 18

Time: 12:30 p.m.

Place: Willoughby Christian Reformed Church, 20525 72nd Ave, Langley, BC V2Y 1T2

Webcast: If you are unable to attend the memorial service, a webcast is being made available and can be found here. The service will be stored online and available for viewing for three years. Please note that it won’t be available for viewing until approximately 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. 

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations to the Harro and Wilma Van Brummelen Education Award at TWU. Donations can be made at TWU Impact or at twu.ca/donate.

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