Wycliffe College mourns the death of former Principal, Reginald Francis Stackhouse

TORONTO, Ontario -- (CANADIAN CHRISTIAN NEWS SERVICE) -- Wycliffe College announces, with sadness, the death of its former principal, the Reverend Canon Doctor Reginald Francis Stackhouse.

Rev. Stackhouse died at Toronto Western Hospital yesterday, Wednesday, December 14, 2016. He was 91 years old.

"Reg" as he was affectionately known in the halls of Wycliffe, served as the College's sixth principal, during the years from 1975 to 1986. Reg's inaugural address highlighted his vision that Wycliffe should be a community of faith committed to scholarly analysis. But his association with the College predated his leadership role by several decades when he graduated from Wycliffe with a Licentiate of Theology in 1950.

Having earned his Ph.D. in historical theology from Yale University in 1962, he returned to Wycliffe that same year as Associate Professor of the Philosophy of Religion. In 1965 he was appointed Professor of Theology and Ethics. He served the administrative committee of the Toronto Graduate School of Theological Studies as secretary and was instrumental in the decision to broaden the ecumenical nature of that institution by inviting first St. Michael's (Roman Catholic) College -- and soon thereafter both Regis College and St. Augustine's Seminary -- to join the consortium.

Wycliffe College would play an important role in Reg's life for more than just professional reasons. He met his wife, Margaret Eleanor Allman here when they were both students, and delighted to tell the story of how they first caught a glimpse of one another on the steps of Wycliffe's chapel. The couple served jointly at Wycliffe (where Margaret was widely known for her warmth, hospitality, prayer support, and work in the development office) during Reg's time as principal.

"The spirit at Wycliffe today is a mix of both sadness and gratitude," says Wycliffe's current Principal, Stephen Andrews. "Sadness that we have lost the architect of the modern College and Wycliffe's most ardent supporter. And I am personally sad, as I have lost my former Principal and a valued mentor."

"But we are grateful for his legacy which lives on," Andrews added, "a legacy of a deep and reasoned faith anchored in the hope of the Risen One. We pray that the Stackhouse family would know the comfort of this hope in this time of grief."

Reg's life was devoted to living out his faith in God by serving people, and his list of accomplishments and record of public service is a long one. In addition to serving as a Public School Trustee, Rev. Stackhouse was the first ordained priest to sit as a Member of Parliament in Canada's House of Commons (elected in 1972).

Funeral details can be viewed at the Wycliffe College website.

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