UofT Mississauga mourns the loss of a beloved and influential staff member
In memory of the incomparable Rose Mary Craig
“Sweet,” “intelligent,” “kind,” and “compassionate:” these are all words on heavy rotation to describe Rose Mary Craig, an esteemed UTM staff member who passed away suddenly in early January.
Based at UTM since 2007, Rose Mary started out as the Marketing & Alumni Officer for the Master of Management & Professional Accounting Program at the Institute for Management and Innovation (IMI) for six years, before taking on the position in 2013 as Program Coordinator and becoming the “heart” of the Master of Science in Sustainability Management (MScSM) program. Over her time at the university, she participated in UofT's Rose Patten Mentoring Learning Partnership Program and was also a co-chair for UTM's Staff Experience Team.
Her family, which includes her children Julia and James, son-in-law Jeff, loving partner Andrew, and many siblings, nieces, and nephews, and colleagues from the UTM community and beyond are grieving the profound loss of a truly beautiful soul, a gifted artist, a mentor, and a friend.
“To state it simply, Rose Mary was instrumental in launching and establishing the MScSM program. Our students referred to her as 'one of the three pillars of the program,'” says Shashi Kant, MScSM program director at IMI.
“She attracted so many students to the program and transformed their vision and future," continues Kant. "She supported countless MScSM students with her incredible knowledge base and limitless passion for the program over the past nine years, and, beyond that, her wisdom, humour, and calming presence were her true superpowers for us all. I cannot imagine MScSM without Rose Mary, its most stalwart ambassador.”
But her influence on students extends beyond the MScSM program at UTM.
"My dear Aunt Rose is the primary reason why I chose to go to UTM for my studies, which is just one example of how she helped me find my path in life,” says niece Rachel Stubits (HBSc 2022), now a first-year student at the Mississauga Academy of Medicine at UTM.
“Some of my favourite memories with Rose are of the time we spent together at UTM – from when she first brought me to campus on 'Take Your Kid to Work Day' in Grade 9, to our many lunches in her office during my undergraduate studies. I saw how deeply she was cherished by the UTM community, and I know how beloved she is to our family. This has been a tremendously difficult time for us, but we take comfort in hearing about the positive impact she left on so many lives.”
Stubits, who garnered many accolades upon graduation last year, plans to dedicate the awards she won in Rose Mary’s honour.
And other local tributes extend beyond these awards: as a voracious reader and one of the original UTMost Book Club members years ago, Rose Mary’s love for books led to the creation of the IMI Book Club, which was recently renamed in her honour as “Rose Mary’s Bookshelf.” The club’s selections for January just happens to be one of her top-5 favourite books, Daughters of the Deer by Danielle Daniel; Rose Mary was particularly fond of Indigenous authors, including Richard Wagamese.
In addition, to commemorate her impact and UTM’s loss, the flag in front of the Davis Building will be lowered on January 16.
For the staff members at IMI, which is a very tight-knit unit, they are grieving the loss of an exceptional colleague, but more than that, they are missing their cherished friend.
“She played an incredibly significant role in making our world a better place,” says long-time IMI colleague and friend Claire Westgate, manager, external partnerships & communications. Rose Mary and Westgate were jointly recognized with the Karen Thiffault Staff Service Excellence Award in 2018.
“Rose Mary was a true friend, a listening ear, a shoulder to lean on, a walking encyclopedia of information on admissions, and so much more than that. She enriched the work environment in too many ways to list here and she taught us all so much – not only in the workplace, but about life. Rose Mary and I worked at the hip, in lockstep, for so many years, and I would never be the person I am today had it not been for her guidance, friendship and love.”
Opportunities to celebrate Rose Mary Craig
The Rose Mary Craig Sustainability Endowment has been created in Rose Mary’s name to support students with access to further education, and in lieu of flowers, Rose Mary’s family would appreciate donations to this award. Please read more here: https://rosemary.education/.
Book of Letters: To capture what Rose Mary meant to us all, IMI is creating a book of letters, memories, and notes. Please send written condolences, memories, letters, poems, song lyrics or any other piece of writing you’d like to share to Claire at email@example.com. We will compile these into a book for her children and her partner, so that they may know about her expansive impact across UTM.
Read more about Rose Mary and details of her celebration of life: https://turnerporter.permavita.com/site/RoseMaryCraig.html.
Please take the time to read the tributes (from faculty, staff, students, and alumni) that were collected when Claire and Rose Mary received the Karen Thiffault Staff Service Excellence Award.