Brad and Sara Dunkley discuss their motivations for creating The Dunkley Chair in War and the Canadian Experience.

Wilfrid Laurier University is pleased to announce the establishment of The Dunkley Chair in War and the Canadian Experience, made possible through a generous $1.5 million gift from the Dunkley Charitable Foundation. Two Laurier alumni, Brad Dunkley (BBA ’98), co-founder of Waratah Advisors, and Sara Dunkley (BBA ’99), president of Stellar Outdoor Advertising, are creators of the foundation. Both Brad and Sara have been active supporters of the Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies (LCMSDS) over the past several years.

“We believe that researching and teaching Canada’s military history is important,” said Brad Dunkley. “Nearly 115,000 Canadians have lost their lives while in service for our country. Telling our veterans’ stories, learning the lessons of war, and understanding how soldiers, their families and our society have been affected by war, is one way to honour those who have given us so much.”

To uphold the Dunkley’s vision, the Wilfrid Laurier University Department of History will be seeking a strong academic leader to fill the Chair. The successful candidate will be responsible for teaching and graduate supervision within Department of History and will also take over duties as the new Director of LCMSDS. Through research, teaching, and public outreach, the Chair holder will strengthen the WLU’s highly-regarded reputation as one of Canada’s leaders in the study of military history. The Chair will help facilitate research and teaching in a number of key specializations, including:

  • the experience of soldiers in combat and civilians on the home front;
  • the operational and tactical history of the Canadian Forces;
  • the role of war in defining the Canadian state;
  • the construction of memory and the policies of remembrance;
  • war as an agent in technological and organizational innovation;
  • the origins of and development of peacekeeping;
  • the impact of war on medicine and the human body.


    Terry Copp thanks the Dunkley’s for their commitment to research and teaching at WLU and LCMSDS.

Laurier Professor Emeritus and current Director of LCMSDS, Terry Copp, expressed his confidence that the  establishment of the Dunkley Chair will ensure the long-term success of LCMSDS while simultaneously promoting the study of some of the most important topics in Canadian history. “The presence of the chair,” he remarked, “will confirm Laurier’s role as a leading international centre for research and education in the fields of military history and war and memory studies.”

The Department will advertise the Chair as a tenure-track position at the Associate Professor level. The successful candidate will be an exemplary teacher who will bring innovative pedagogical ideas to the Department of History. The Chair holder’s research will reflect the evolving interests of Canada’s historical and contemporary experience at war, and he or she will work to cultivate interest in the study of military history at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

In addition to these qualities the selection process will also take into consideration the leadership needs of LCMSDS. Candidates will be assessed on their ability to provide dynamic administrative and strategic direction to the Centre.

Application details and a full job description will be posted online in the near future. The appointment will begin on 1 July 2014.

(Images courtesy of WLU Communications, Public Affairs, and Marketing / WLU Alumni Affairs)