Brandon University mourns passing of Professor Emeritus Dr. Bev Nicholson

January 12, 2023

The flag is being lowered to half-mast at Brandon University (BU) to mourn the passing of Dr. Beverley (Bev) A. Nicholson, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Anthropology. Dr. Nicholson passed away on Monday at the age of 86.

A man smiles

Dr. Bev Nicholson

Dr. Nicholson was not only a faculty member at BU, but also an alumnus. He graduated from BU with a Bachelor of Arts in 1978, majoring in Anthropology and minoring in Geology, before going on to earn Master of Arts and PhD degrees in Archaeology from Simon Fraser University.

Dr. Nicholson taught at BU in the Departments of Native Studies and Anthropology from 1981 until his retirement in 2013. He served as Chair of the Department of Native Studies, as well as a member of the BU Board of Governors. He also was the acting Dean of Arts in 2000.

Dr. Nicholson’s accomplishments at BU have been recognized with many awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award, the Senate Award for Excellence in Research, the President’s Medal, the Order of Felis rufus, the Lightspan Study Web – Academic Excellence Award, and the Alumni Association Award for Excellence in Teaching. A prolific researcher, Dr. Nicholson secured nearly $2.5 million from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) for a five-year study of Indigenous peoples’ past interaction with the environment in the Canadian Prairies Ecozone and nearly $1 million in funding for other projects.

“Dr. Nicholson left a tremendous legacy at Brandon University through his teaching, research and service,” said BU Professor of Anthropology and longtime colleague Dr. Mary Malainey. “In addition to editing and contributing to three books, Dr. Nicholson authored, or co-authored, dozens of papers published in archaeological journals and presented nearly 100 papers and posters at academic conferences.

“He was also an excellent mentor and guided many students who went on to successful careers in archaeology.”

Dr. Nicholson was Past President of the Canadian Archaeological Association and a board member of both the Plains Anthropological Society and SSHRC. He also served on the Brandon General Museum Development Committee and as a member of the Manitoba Heritage Council’s board and Archaeology/Native Heritage Committee.

Dr. Nicholson is survived by his wife Sylvia, children Daniel (Jan McMurray), Stephen (Bonita Garrett), Jennifer (Jeff Scott) and stepdaughter Giselle Fowler.

Service arrangements, being conducted through Memories Chapel, are pending.