Queen’s remembers Gerald Dyer

In Memoriam

Queen’s remembers Gerald Dyer

Long-time supporter and alumnus helped create connections for the university and established bursaries for students.

May 30, 2023


Gerald DyerThe Queen’s community is remembering Gerald (Gerry) Dyer, a long-time friend of the university, alumnus, and honorary degree recipient, who died April 19 in his 94th year of life.

Gerry grew up in Port Arthur, now Thunder Bay and his parents Gwyneth and Charles nurtured and supported his lifelong interest in learning and education. He started his post-secondary career at Lakehead University where his interests in math, sciences, and engineering were solidified.

Gerry first arrived at Queen’s to study chemical engineering, the beginning of a decades-long relationship, and, after graduating in 1952, built a successful career working for DuPont, retiring as Director of Research after 41 years with the company.

While at Queen’s, Gerry met his wife of 65 years, Margaret. After working for DuPont in the United States and other cities in Ontario, they settled in Kingston and raised their four children.

At Queen’s he participated in several committees including one for the development of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science’s Integrated Learning Centre (ILC), providing the invaluable perspective of a highly successful practicing engineer.

Another contribution, in collaboration with Jim McCowan, a professor in the Department of Chemistry, led to Queen’s and DuPont becoming strong participants in the field of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectroscopy. They recognized the power and potential of innovative technology developed in Germany by the Bruker company and to acquire and operate the equipment, devised a partnership to acquire and operate this state-of-the-art equipment. This initiative, which would not have been feasible for either DuPont or the university to do independently, proved to be a very successful partnership and provided additional learning and research opportunities.

In 1994 he received an honorary degree (DSc) from Queen’s for his contributions and commitment to learning.

Gerry contributed to the support of Queen’s students, creating two funds – the G&C Fund and Dyer Awards. Both are focused on removing barriers for undergraduate engineering students in financial need. The G&C Fund was created in remembrance of his parents Gwyneth and Charles. He never forgot the sacrifices his parents made for their children to have a post-secondary education and he created this fund to ensure that financial barriers did not limit opportunities for students. The Dyer Awards honor and recognize the education and opportunities that Queen’s University provided to three of his children, his two daughters-in-law, and his granddaughter.

He was also a loyal and generous supporter of the Ban Righ Centre, an on-campus organization that provides resources, support, and a community for mature women returning to post-secondary education. He was an ardent supporter of woman in engineering and sciences and felt strongly about removing barriers for their success.

In recognition of Gerry’s contribution to improving and advancing science education, DuPont established two scholarships, one to a male and one to a female, studying chemical engineering, engineering chemistry or chemistry.

Gerry served for years as the chair of the Research and Development Committee of the Canadian Manufacturers Association and was an active member of the Science Council of Canada. He was a strong believer in innovation and supporting Canadian solutions in the sciences.

Throughout his life Gerry was not only enthusiastic about education, but politics, and the environment. Gerry played a key role in the development of the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority.

After his retirement, he was part of the Queen’s 49ers club, and he was often seen debating politics with his friends at the University Club.

In Memoriam
Smith Engineering