Francis Philip Galbraith (1964–1970)
Francis Philip Galbraith was born at Guelph, Ontario in 1896 and came to Lethbridge with his parents, Francis Wright Galbraith and Jessie Holmes Robson, in 1906. The family settled in Red Deer the following year, Galbraith's father having purchased the local newspaper, the Alberta Advocate, whose name he changed to the Red Deer Advocate.
Galbraith, whose mother and uncle, Dr W.S. Galbraith, both registered as members of Convocation at the University of Alberta in 1908, himself attended from 1913 to 1915, when he enlisted in the Third University Company, Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry and served in Belgium and France before being wounded in 1916.
Since 1920—aside from the eight years he spent in the United Kingdom between the two World Wars—Galbraith served on the staff of the Red Deer Advocate, a newspaper whose files go back almost to the turn of the century and hold the most complete history extant of central Alberta.
Upon his father's death on March 9, 1934, Dr Galbraith took over as the newspaper's editor and remained in that capacity until his retirement in the spring of 1970. During Dr Galbraith's years as editor, the Advocate grew from a prize-winning weekly to a bi-weekly, and finally, in March 1960, to the thriving daily newspaper it is today. In addition, Galbraith was a member of The Canadian Press for ten years and a president of the Canadian Weekly Newspapers Association.
Active in community service, Dr Galbraith served variously as secretary and president of the Red Deer Board of Trade, twice as an alderman, as chairman of the Red Deer District Planning Commission from its beginning in 1952 through 1958, and as president of the Canadian Weekly Newspapers Association. From 1948 through 1954, he served on the Senate of the University of Alberta, which, in 1959, conferred upon him an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.
The eighth Chancellor of the University of Alberta, Dr Galbraith was the first to reside outside Edmonton or Calgary. Elected by the alumni in 1964, Galbraith succeeded the late Judge Laurence Yeomans Cairns. According to University President Max Wyman, Galbraith, "as Chancellor, […] sought quality and excellence in its instructors, buildings, and facilities." Said John Dauphinee, general manager of The Canadian Press, "Dr Galbraith exemplified the finest qualities of the Prairie pioneer. His vigor, friendship, dedication to high principles." Galbraith is described by Justice E.W.S. Kane, a judge of the Alberta Supreme Court, Appellate Division, and a long-time friend, as "a magnificent character in every sense of the word. In the newspaper business, and anything else he put his mind to, he was steady, honest, fair, and had a fine sense of the fitness of things."
Dr Galbraith, whose term as eighth Chancellor was to have ended June 30, 1970, died of a heart attack May 16 in Red Deer. He was 73. He was survived by his wife Claretta, son Michael, and daughter Mary.
In posthumous recognition of his distinguished contribution to the University, the Alumni Association awarded Dr Galbraith its highest honour. The Alumni Golden Jubilee Award, which consists of a gold-plated tray and framed tribute, was conferred during fall Convocation in 1970 and accepted by Galbraith's widow, Claretta. In presenting the award, Mr N.A. Lawrence noted that as a journalist, publisher, businessman, and public servant, Dr Galbraith served not only the University "in many ways, but was also very prominent in the life of Alberta. He was admired by all and his service is an example to all."