Eric Haldenby, recipient of the Distinguished Teacher Award, 1981


Eric Haldenby is an assistant professor in the School of Architecture, where he has been teaching in various capacities for the last six years. He teaches courses both in the cultural history stream and in the studio, but his best known contributions have been to the school's Rome programme. The nomination of professor Haldenby for the Distinguished Teacher Award came in a format which was uniquely appropriate to architecture and particularly to the Waterloo school. It began with testimonial letters from his students, his colleagues, and his external associates. I shall quote from some of these. According to a group of students: “His lectures possess a scholarly depth and sophistication that is made accessible to students through an immediacy and clarity of presentation.” In another letter, two students writing on behalf of a whole class, say “It is hard to know which we admire more - professor Haldenby's wealth of knowledge or his ability to share it.” But it is the Rome programme which dominates the testimonials. In that program, the 4A class spends the fall term in Rome. Professor Haldenby and one other colleague teach the bulk of the courses required by the students in that term, in a setting which enables them to gain an understanding of historic urban and civic values. To quote the signatories of his nomination, “The clearest indication of professor Haldenby's dedication to excellence in architectural education is the fourth year Rome programme that is largely dependent upon his efforts and organization for its creation and continued operation.” The programme has not only generated interest and enthusiasm within the University of Waterloo but has brought important external recognition to the school. The director of the school refers to Rick Haldenby's work in Rome in the following words: “As a good wine needs no bush, space will not, here, be spent upon the success of “Rome '79,” “Rome '80.” It remains my view that, unique in so many ways, the best man was chosen.” I now come back to the format of professor Haldenby's nomination document. It was a bound volume, of the sort architects use to display examples of their studio work. The testimonial letters occupied perhaps one third of it. The remainder contained the finest possible tribute from students to their teacher - superb examples of student work stimulated by his teaching.