Professor Robert Young exemplified what it means to be a professor and one of Canada’s most prominent public intellectuals. The Western University political science professor passed away on Aug. 15 from complications of lymphoma and his memorial celebration, last Friday, drew dozens of professors from across Canada and even New York City to honour his lasting and innovative legacy. Many of us had the privilege of counting ourselves as one of his closest friends, and at the Nov. 10 memorial gathering, we learned “Bob,” as he was widely known, had dozens of close friends who benefited from his wisdom, never-failing attention, and big and caring personality. Bob exemplified what it meant to be a professor in Canada, during an age when so many people wonder what professors accomplish and what they do all day, and over the summer holiday. Bob worked hard six days per week, 12 months per year, in his campus office and even after official retirement, he kept working on his scholarship and dropped by almost every day to see his colleagues in the Social Science Building at Western University. Bob eschewed modern technology—he wasn’t one to take a quick look at Google on an iPhone for answers. Prof. Young carried file cards and if he wanted to remember something important, he took them out of his worn blazer pocket and wrote concepts down. He tended to keep all his correspondence short and, sometimes, cryptic because he never wasted words. When others wrote pages upon pages, he wrote a paragraph, or replied with one sentence, not a screen full. Bob completed his doctorate at Oxford University, which means that after a master’s at McGill University and the Institut d’Études Politiques (Paris), he married Louise Gadbois and they moved to England. And like other doctoral students from Canada at Oxford before and after him, he was brilliant. He wrote so many papers and books that his official curriculum vitae was more than a 100 pages long. Accordingly between 2003 and 2017, he was awarded with a Canada Research Chair in Multilevel Governance, and he also served as President of the Canadian Political Science Association between 2003 and 2004. He tackled important topics that required considerable background reading so he was renowned for his books and papers on federalism and secession, such as The Secession of Quebec and the Future of Canada. He was knowledgeable about separatism (recently the British government asked for his advice on Scottish separatism) and he edited and contributed to so many books on federal-municipal relations when that topic was newly emerging that his longtime publisher, McGill-Queen’s University Press could fill an entire bookshelf with his co-edited tomes, most recently Image-Building in Canadian Municipalities; Sites of Governance: Multilevel Governance and Policy Making in Canada’s Big Cities; and Immigrant Settlement Policy in Canadian Municipalities. He also turned his fine intellect to public policy topics, using esoteric game theory or dwelling upon the practical implications of positivist research methods. Writing about La Gouvernance Multiniveau et les Politiques Publiques au Sein des Municipalités du Canada or the Foundations of Governance: Municipal Governments in Canada’s Provinces, co-edited with Andrew Sancton, another professor at Western and former Rhodes Scholar, he remained fascinated by the implications of multilevel governance for public policy. Due to his time in England, he adopted a professorial garb, which meant bare feet and sandals in summer, mismatched ties with blazers and often patches on his elbows in winter, and he carried hard copies of The Globe and Mail or The New Yorker in his suit jacket pockets, along with dog-eared file cards. Prof. Young was also totally fluent in what it meant to be a professor and all which it involves. For that reason he was admired as a mentor among many young faculty and middle-aged scholars because he knew how to reason, how to write and how to be succinct as well as credible. Having been an oft-recipient of scholarships and fellowships himself, he knew about the intricacies and frustrations of writing research proposals for grants, like from Canada’s Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), and most recently, he was part of an expert review panel in the United Kingdom that determined the recipients of large research grants on Scottish independence offered by the British equivalent of SSHRC. Often asked to critique important written work, Bob was very generous with his time and attention. He often returned work with his handwritten comments, usually in red, and every word he wrote was well advised and well taken. He knew how to write well and how to construct research proposals and get ahead in academe without losing integrity, becoming bitter, cynical or jaded. He was self-effacing about his own accomplishments, like the Ontario Distinguished Researcher Award. Economists thought he was good at economics (he won the Douglas Purvis Memorial Prize in 1995-96 for the Best Work in Canadian Economic Policy) while historians thought he knew a great deal about history (he received the Canadian Historical Review Prize in 1988 for best article). In our department of political science, he was known for his large-scale comparative research, his breadth of knowledge about the changing Canada-Quebec environment, his strong background in public policy about Canadian municipalities, his understanding of the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement and the political economy of New Brunswick, as well as his knowledge about the university’s governance, gleaned in part from having served as the chair of our department. His students, as well as professionals and public servants deeply admired him and although his PowerPoint skills were by no means cutting edge, he mainly relied on his spoken words to persuade, illuminate and explain. Often he would lecture for about six hours straight, yet another long day standing before professionals in municipal government, who took notes from his spoken words and based upon chalkboard diagrams he drew during packed classes. Bob received Western University’s highest award for achievement in research scholarship, the 2015 Hellmuth Prize. His lecture at the awards ceremony, which was also attended by many luminaries and leading lights, highlighted the importance of social science research at universities, at a time when science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) research is vaunted. But as was typical of Bob, his Hellmuth Prize lecture on “Nurturing Research” did not cajole but appealed to our higher sense of reason, as to what our society values and holds important. For Bob, money, movie stars and climbing the corporate ladder held no meaning. His purpose was intellectual and academic but he did not see his position in the lofty tower of academe as removed from public service, but rather as part of a life of meaningful service to the ideals of the university. Life at the university was not a 9-to-5 job for him but the best way to live a full and meaningful life. We will miss him greatly. Associate professor Erika Simpson, in the political science department at Western University, was a colleague and friend of Robert Young since 1996. The Hill Times Correction: This piece has been updated to reflect that Bob Young was not a Rhodes Scholar, though he did study at Oxford University.