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Dr. Douglas Cole was a Professor of History at Simon Fraser University from 1966 to 1997. His teaching and research interests centred on Canada: specifically, on the history of Canadian art, anthropology, and Indian-White relations. He was an active member of the university community, serving on a number of committees and as president of the Faculty Association from 1986 to 1988.
Douglas Lowell Cole was born in Mason City, Washington on December 9, 1938. In 1960, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington.
Cole went on to complete his masters degree at George Washington University in Washington, DC in 1962 and then completed his Ph.D. at the University of Washington in 1968. Both his post-graduate degree theses focused on topics relevant to Canadian history. His MA thesis, "The United States and Canadian Diplomatic Independence, 1918-1926," and his Ph.D. thesis "John S. Ewart and the Canadian Nation," prepared him to accept a position teaching topics in Canadian history at Simon Fraser University.
During his career, Dr. Cole wrote numerous scholarly articles and books. In 1977, he co-wrote From Desolation to Splendour, a history of the changing perceptions of BC's landscape. Other books include Phillips in Print : The Selected Writing of Walter Phillips on Canadian Nature and Art (co-authored with M. Tippett), Captured Heritage, and An Iron Hand Upon the People (co-authored with Ira Chaikin). He has also contributed to BC Studies, Journal of Canadian Studies, Canadian Review of Nationalism, Canadian Historical Review, and others.
Dr. Cole was also the recipient of a number of awards, citations and honours. He was a finalist for the Harold Adams Innis Prize for best work in English in Social Sciences for An Iron Hand Upon the People. He was also awarded a Regional History Award from the Canadian Historical Association in 1987, the Molson Research Prize in 1986, and the Eaton Award for the best British Columbia book in 1978. Dr. Cole was also granted a University Research Professorship in 1990.
Dr. Cole passed away August 18, 1997.