Reginald B. Alcock, executive-in-residence at the University of Manitoba’s I.H. Asper school of business, died of a heart attack on Oct. 14 at age 63.
Alcock, who was known to most as “Reg,” dedicated his life to public service on a local, provincial and federal level.
An active defender of social causes, Alcock served as the director of Manitoba Child and Family Services from 1983-85.
Alcock’s political career started at the provincial level in the early 1980s while he worked as an organizer for the Manitoba Liberty party. In 1988 he became the Liberal MLA for Osborne, a position he held until 1993 when he stepped down to run for federal office.
Alcock was elected as the Liberal MP for Winnipeg South in 1993 and served until 2006. Toward the end of his career as a Member of Parliament he became president of the treasury board under former prime minister Paul Martin in 2003, as well as the minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board.
After a political defeat in 2006, Alcock was appointed as executive-in-residence at the U of M’s school of business in 2007, a position that he was re-appointed to last year. He also served as associate dean of the Asper school of business from 2008-09.
Aside from his role as executive-in-residence, Alcock was also a lecturer in the MBA and Executive Development programs at the university.
U of M president David Barnard said he was “greatly saddened” by the news of Alcock’s passing.
“In addition to his outstanding work for our university, he dedicated much of his life to public service for this city, province and country,” Barnard told university press.
Marci Elliot, executive director of Asper’s MBA program, said Alcock was an amazing teacher.
“He used his background to teach his lectures,” she said. “He also had a great sense of humour.”
Both staff and students said Alcock’s passing is a great loss to the university community.
“We are all still hurt by Reg’s death” said Scott McCulloch, community and alumni relations advisor for the Asper school of business.
“He gave a lot to staff and students at Asper,” said Eric Seniuk, a fourth-year business student at U of M. “We all appreciated his high level of expertise and his availability. He took time to help students even when he was busy.”
Charles Mossman, acting dean of the Asper school of business, said the school has yet to decide how to commemorate Alcock but that “something will happen.”
“He is going to be missed; he influenced the school spirit in a very positive way,” said Mossman. “He was really appreciated by university staff and students.”
Alcock’s memorial service, which took place Oct. 21 at the Immanuel Pentecostal Church, was attended by hundreds of people, including friends, family and political figures from all levels of government.
Former prime minister Paul Martin bestowed the highest tribute to mark Alcock’s death: the Canadian flag.
Bob Rae, interim leader of the federal Liberal party, presented Alcock’s widow Karen with the flag that flew over Parliament Hill the day of his death.
Among those in attendance were Premier Greg Selinger, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews and Manitoba PC leader Hugh McFadyen.
Alcock is survived by his wife Karen and his three children Sarah, Matthew and Christina.