The English Department mourns the passing away of Dr. Marc Hewson on December 31, 2018. Professor Hewson was a deeply respected and beloved teacher, colleague, and scholar. He is sorely, sorely missed. Our thoughts are with the family and friends he leaves behind.
The department and family are working with University Advancement to establish the Dr. Marc Andrew Hewson Memorial Scholarship, and we would welcome donations at futurefunder.ca or by calling 613-520-3636.
Students, colleagues, and all those who knew Dr. Hewson are warmly invited to pay their respects to his memory in the Comments box below. These will be shared with Dr. Hewson’s family and will serve as a living testament to what he meant to us all.
June 28th, 2019
Today I knew that dr Mark passing away . I was one of his students .. he was more then excellent in behaviour and dealing with people ….
May 29th, 2019
Such a solid teacher–I found this link while trying to send him an e-mail to thank him for how much he’s influenced how I now try to teach similar texts myself, in Montreal. The passion stuck with me. Sparked an interest in lit that has me now engulfed. All the best to the family.
Liam, class of 2007
February 4th, 2019
Marc, how you seemed to effortlessly blend humor, meticulous organization and care with your lessons, kindness towards your students and a fashion sense that inspired trust and respect, I don’t know. But you did that.
You were an unusual human being and I recognized that from the start of my first class with you. I was continually impressed by (and took inspiration from) your balance of form and play – ensuring you held the learning container impeccably while making plenty of room on the margins for playing spontaneously and lovingly with the class. You loved and respected the work tremendously (it was obvious to me) and your commitment to presenting the material fairly and passionately was a starlight beacon to behold. I will miss you.
My one consolation is that I had the courage to say, directly to you, after our final class how much your instruction meant to me and how much I admired the discipline with which you held yourself and the material. That and the deep knowing I feel that you’re now dancing with Walt Whitman from blade of grass to blade of grass, through the space of love that holds us all.
Jesse Thom, American Lit, 2005
January 31st, 2019
I was only taught by Marc Hewson for one academic year but his effect on my studies and my passion for English Literature was much more long-lasting. His reputation as a professor was incredible: everyone had a huge amount of respect for him and clamoured to be in his classes. His enthusiasm, his humour and his sheer intellect came through in every lecture, and he genuinely cared about each and every student.
A fantastic professor who will not be forgotten, and who will be thanked by the vast numbers of students he taught for many years to come.
CP Hunter, class of 2013
January 30th, 2019
I will remember Marc as someone who was always generous with his time around the office in DT even when he was juggling family obligations and teaching on multiple campuses. With his easy kindness, his trenchant sense of humor, and his willingness to provide really helpful and timely teaching and life advice…he kept me working and studying and putting one foot in front of the other, and reminded me of our shared passion for the vocation when I occasionally felt overwhelmed, frustrated, or doubtful.
Marc made me laugh constantly and I looked up to him very, very much.
In my minds’ eye, it’s not a dapper suit he’s wearing, though – it’s the proud lavender hue of the Wildecats softball team, ball glove in hand. His love for ball and his companionship on the field and afterward at Mike’s were infectious. He helped make the summer months especially feel less lonely.
I seem to remember going to play catch with him one time when there was actually snow on the ground, either way late in the fall or super early in the spring, so eager were we to get outside and chuck a ball around.
I’m heartbroken to hear this news and send my condolences to his family and to everyone in the Department who are feeling this terrible loss together.
David Cannon, former grad student 2006-2012
January 30th, 2019
I only had Marc for one class but it’s forever a favourite class of mine. American Literature. He was kind, accomodating, and always ensured that if someone felt lost, they could be found.
Other professors would just tell you the philosophy of an author, but not the everyday life and context, so when I got Marc as a professor, I was unbelievably grateful for the time he spent helping us understand what life was like for the authors we studied. He was funny, intelligent, eloquent, and spoke very highly of his wife and daughter.
I remember on one occasion during a lecture
I was making faces at my friend (trying to get their attention) and had momentarily forgotten that I was sitting at the front – in full view of Marc – and I must have made a truly ridiculous face because he stopped and asked if I was okay. I nodded, mortified at having been caught in the midst of my shenanigans, but he merely smiled and carried on. It’s been a few years since that moment but it’s brought up frequently amongst friends when talking about uni life.
Like so many others, I was devastated when I heard of his passing. He was a fantastic professor and I’ll miss him greatly. My condolences go out to his family, and the massive brood of students/teachers who were lucky enough to call him a colleague, professor, or a friend.
January 30th, 2019
Professor Hewson taught me a year of American literature. Now that I am in law school in the US, the foundational understanding of the States that I gained from that course profoundly effects the way that I learn and respond to my current studies. But moreover, he was one of my favourite professors, and his classes are some of the fondest memories I have of classes at Carleton. He was funny and encouraging and an amazing teacher. I will never forget the plaid suit he picked out for the day we discussed F. Scott Fitzgerald (I have never encountered another suit collection as impressive as Professor Hewson’s.) He played an important role in the process of me developing the confidence to speak up in my life, and I will forever be grateful to him for that.
Erin Shields, BA ’16
January 30th, 2019
Marc was an extraordinary professor. Here’s a great memory of him from 2004: he was in the middle of one of his epic American Lit lessons when the topic of rock music came up. He couldn’t resist interrupting his own lecture to tell us that nobody could play guitar better than Jimmy Page and that Led Zeppelin was the best. In other words, Marc was the coolest. His letter of recommendation helped me get into graduate school and have the confidence to become a writer. Knowing that Dr. Hewson believed in me still makes me feel proud today. When he spoke of his wife it was with such warmth and affection, you could feel his respect for her. I will think of him often and am inspired to help others the way he did. Sending my deepest sympathies and warmest thoughts to Kirsten, Olivia, and his family, friends and colleagues.
January 30th, 2019
It has been 10 years since I had the pleasure of taking your classes. It’s with great sadness that I hear of your passing sir.
You were so greatly respected by your students! If you only knew how much your classes made learning interesting.
My sympathies and condolences to your Family.
January 30th, 2019My heart goes out to Dr. Hewson’s loved ones. I took a second-year American Literature course with Dr. Hewson over the summer of 2009. I was initially annoyed that I had to take a course over the summer, but it was so worth it and I’m thankful that I did. I will always remember him as a charismatic professor, and a lovely person.
January 30th, 2019
I will always remember Prof. Hewson. He taught me American Literature while I was doing my Honours English degree. I have memories of visiting him during his office hours to discuss the papers and writing pieces I was writing for his class.
Years and year later as a current Carleton employee, I remember seeing him frequently at the old Tim Horton’s in the University Center, fully dressed in his sharp suits, shoes and brief case in hand, as he always was. He always seemed eager and ready to discuss the great American novels and stories that shaped history.
My thoughts and prayers are with Prof. Hewson’s family and friends.
Dan Premachuk, Registrar Assistant, Registrar’s Office
January 30th, 2019
I’ve tried to put some thoughts down a number of times, but nothing really captures the effect Marc had on those who knew him. He was one of the funniest humans I’ve ever had the pleasure to know. We shared the CI office for 15 years until we both got full-time teaching positions. There was so much laughter in that office. As many others have observed, he was also a very natty dresser. Sense of humour, sense of decency, and sense of humanity; I’ve never had a better colleague. I miss him.
January 21st, 2019
Marc Hewson was a deciding factor for me to pursue my Masters in English and to focus on American Literature. His course in second year challenged me and also opened me up to a wealth of new authors to study. I’m so thankful for everything Marc Hewson did for me when I was an undergraduate student. I was also fortunate enough to be his Teaching Assistant for American Literature in 2015. I will always be grateful for his mentorship and guidance during my undergraduate and my Masters. He changed my life for the better. His humour was infectious, and I’ll miss his insights. Marc Hewson was an incredible Professor, and I think the students who learned from him are better for it.
Danielle McKeirnan, MA ’16
January 20th, 2019
Professor Hewson was an incredibly interesting, articulate, and honest speaker that guided us with good humour through even the trickiest aspects of American literature. I still have all six or so of the pricey Norton anthology books on American lit because I loved his classes so much. I’ll treasure everything he taught me because I know it made me a better writer today. Kind thoughts and best wishes for his family.
January 19th, 2019
I never had the good fortune to be a student of Marc’s, but I knew him through casual conversation, and certainly by reputation. To me, Marc was the pinnacle of professorship in that he understood the need to assess and reassess how we disseminate knowledge to our students. He was a strong advocate for teaching the “whole” student–not just feeding them information, but urging them to respond with careful criticism, logic, and persuasiveness. A couple of chats with him in the halls of Dunton Tower were enough to impress upon me–then a very green graduate student–his kindness, humour, and passion for his work and his students. Above all, he was a really, really nice guy. I was inspired by him, and am grateful for his influence.
Jeremy Greenway, MA ’09
King’s University College at Western University
January 18th, 2019
Whenever Marc and I chatted in the hallways, we tended to talk about our kids. He asked about my kids and I asked about his daughter. As a doting father, Marc loved to talk about his daughter, so I learned about her likes and dislikes, her habits and inclinations, and the many funny things she said to him and his wife. But though Marc was reluctant to talk about himself, I learned a lot about him from his students. Marc’s students loved to talk about him: some were awed by his intellectually stimulating lectures, others mentioned his great sense of humour, others still mentioned that he helped them improve their writing skills. And there were even some who said that he had changed their lives. Though Marc is gone, he will continue to shine brightly in the hearts and memories of his colleagues and students.
Dana Dragunoiu, Associate Professor, Department of English
January 17th, 2019
To the family of Dr. Hewson,
I only had Professor Hewson for one class, but the impression he left on me was profound. I want to share it with you.
Though I only knew him for a brief time, Professor Hewson struck me as an incredibly genuine person. His love of teaching came through in the classroom and I occasionally went to his office hours for the pleasure of chatting as much as for academic reasons. He was very kind to me in the brief time we spent together and it was apparent how much he cared for his students. His witticisms, good humour, and anecdotes about his family were, for me, highlights of each lecture. Perhaps the highest compliment that I can pay Dr. Hewson is that he made a class on the fundamentals of English grammar engaging, interesting, and thoroughly enjoyable.
I was devastated to hear of his passing. My sincerest condolences for your loss.
January 16th, 2019
Like so many of Marc’s colleagues, I am deeply saddened by his passing and extend my profound condolences to Kirsten and Olivia and his extended family and circle of friends and students. I wanted to share a small memory that has always stayed with me. Not long after Olivia was born, Marc came into the office to show off his new baby girl. I will never forget how he was beaming with delight and pride and love for her. The office staff and all his colleagues who were lucky enough to be in that day were oohing and aahing and cooing as you do with a new baby. But It was Marc’s delight that stays with me.
January 16th, 2019
Marc was my first Professor when I arrived at Carleton, scared and unsure what a woman my age was doing returning university. Professor Hewson, as I knew him for only for a few short weeks (before he demanded that I call him Marc) recounted his thoughts about me on the first day we met, years later. He said: “Sharon, I have never seen someone so scared, and you had this deer in the headlights look” to which he imitated that look. Always the comedian, and I’m sure it looked nothing like me.
However, Marc took me under his wing, encouraged me, told me I had to relearn how to learn and to keep at it, not to quit. I thought he knew nothing about this at the time and would be gone by Christmas but I wasn’t. He listened when I was upset with a grade and when I was excited about something I just learned. He supported me through my undergrad in a combined major of Art History and English (we called it the Dark Side). And was happy to hear when I returned to do my MA in Art History.
What I remember the most was his pride when his daughter was born, and those coffee runs where we would talk about our kids and lives. How she grew and changed. He wrote my letter of reference for my MA in English and how proud he was of me when I was accepted, telling me, see I was right wasn’t I? I said “Yes Dad”. Over twelve years, we grew to be friends and as he called himself my personal cheerleader, which I have never forgotten. No matter what I did in academia, he was there to cheer me on and asked to read every bloody paper I wrote. The many times, sitting in his office discussing a lecture, or him teasing me about this or that, and me teasing him back. Him walking into class with the Mark Twain suit and watching the confusion on the faces of the students. He loved his job.
What I remember the most is the shared laughter. Marc, twelve years of friendship was not enough. However, in your memory I keep your lessons that you taught me academically close to my heart, but I will keep the laughter closer, always the laughter. My Love to your family.
Sharon Newton Second Year Art History MA
January 15th, 2019
I really, really envied Marc for his impeccable tailoring, his unrelenting good humour, his unflagging work ethic, his cheeky wit, his pedagogical skill and experience, his devoted student-following, and his ease and flare in being in the world. He really was “all that,” and more—a warm, supportive colleague, who shared his joie de vivre unreservedly with us all. How grateful we are for his devotion to our department and all of its members.
Jodie Medd, Associate Professor, Department of English
January 15th, 2019
Marc spent a good deal of his time in his office, which was a few doors down from mine. We would often chat about improvements to the undergraduate program, particularly where writing was concerned. Indeed, his passionate and expert advice on composition assignments in the first-year course prompted me as chair to consult with him when the department launched the new writing courses a few years ago. Often when I passed his door he was designing improved assignments or wrestling with new texts books for helping students get a handle on the intricacies of grammar, logic, and style. He cared so much about empowering his students. For me, he will always be a model of professorial commitment and selflessness.
Grant Williams, Associate Professor and former Chair of the English Department
January 15th, 2019
I will always remember the time I dropped by the general office and caught sight of Marc wearing a very old sweatsuit. For those of us who had grown used to being able to count on Marc to maintain the sartorial standards of the department, it was a shocking sight. I admonished him and Marc, without cracking a smile, gravely promised never to repeat this sort of lapse. Other than that one unfortunate incident, the department has never had a more tirelessly devoted colleague. In my six years as Chair, there was no one who worked harder or cared more about his students and about his vocation as a literature professor, or who did it with more passion, style, and good humour. Marc was the very best of who we are as a department and as a university.
Paul Keen, Professor and former Chair of the English Department
Linden Seeds photograph by Dr. Susan Birkwood