Mike Bennett

Michael Antony (Mike) Bennett (February 21, 1934 - November 17, 2016) was one of the longest serving actuarial science faculty members at Waterloo, having served from September 1968 until his retirement in July 1996.

Mike, who was born in West Yorkshire, graduated from the University of Nottingham in the UK in 1957. By his own admission, he arrived in Canada by ship later that year and began work as an Actuarial Student at Sun Life in Montreal.  While at Sun Life, he met Peter Ryall, and followed Peter to the University of Waterloo as its second full-time actuarial faculty member in 1968. He obtained his FSA (Fellow of the Society of Actuaries) and FCIA (Fellow of the Canadian Institute of

Actuaries) designations in 1970.

Liked and respected by all who knew him (faculty and students alike), Mike was a selfless contributor to actuarial science at Waterloo during his long tenure. Although there was no official position as Associate Chair for Actuarial Science in the early years, Mike served tirelessly in that role, and continued to provide valuable service thereafter. He was noteworthy for his considerable teaching load as well as for his countless hours performing administrative service, including in particular his role as undergraduate advisor for the actuarial students. One of the most impressive aspects of Mike's personality was the fact that he did not seek accolades for his substantial contributions to Waterloo Actuarial Science in particular, and Mathematics in general (he was Chair of the Mathematics Faculty Council from the mid 1980's until his retirement). To be more precise, he was instrumental in assisting in the considerable growth of actuarial science at Waterloo through a variety of avenues including course development.

Mike treated all with respect, including in particular younger faculty and the many students whom he advised and mentored. In addition to being an outstanding teacher, he took a special interest in all of his students. This was epitomized by the fact that he typically knew the names of all of the people enrolled in his classes by the end of his first or second lecture. More generally, he had a unique manner of making all feel that they were important. He enjoyed the interaction with his students in his role as undergraduate advisor.

Mike professional interests were primarily in the area of Pensions, and he was a Pension Consulting Actuary on the side. He also served the community in a variety of roles, and he enjoyed golf and soccer as well.

A devout family man, Mike had one sister (Enid Poprosky) and was married at the time of his death to June Whalen Piitz. He was predeceased by his first wife Gwenneth Bennett (Mercer). He had four children, namely Michael, Geoffrey, David, and Julie, as well as numerous stepsons, grandchildren, and step-great-grandchildren.

Mike was truly one of the founders of actuarial science at Waterloo, and the tremendous success of our program is due in no small part to the efforts and contributions of Mike. As an institution, we owe him a great deal.

Group(s): 
In Memoriam