June 28, 2023Print | PDF
Wilfrid Laurier University is saddened by the passing of renowned Canadian journalist Geoffrey Stevens, a former instructor at the university and honorary degree recipient. Geoffrey passed away on June 18 at the age of 83.
Geoffrey taught within Laurier's Political Science department from 2004 to 2017, including courses focused on political communication, and served as a guest speaker in many other courses. Laurier awarded Geoffrey an honorary Doctor of Letters degree in 2007 for his “unique and outstanding lifelong contribution to political reporting and public discourse across Canada.”
Geoffrey launched his journalism career as a reporter with the Globe and Mail newspaper during the 1960s and his reputation as a skilled reporter grew during his time with the Globe and Mail’s parliamentary bureau, where he began working in 1965. He later served as chief of the Globe and Mail’s Queen’s Park bureau before moving on to write for the Canadian edition of Time Magazine.
In 1973, Geoffrey returned to the Globe and Mail to write the national column on its editorial page, which he continued to write until 1981. He later held positions at the Globe and Mail including sports editor, national news editor and managing editor. In 1996, he accepted the position of managing editor at Maclean’s magazine, which he continued in until 2001.
Geoffrey later moved to Cambridge, Ont. and in the early 2000s began teaching politics and media courses at Laurier and the University of Guelph. The courses he taught at Laurier filled quickly each year, with long waiting lists of students hoping to register.
Sherry Palmer, now-retired senior administrative assistant in the Department of Political Science, says Geoffrey possessed a wealth of political knowledge he shared with those he met, including his students and colleagues at Laurier.
“Geoff was consulted widely by students working on assignments – even in courses other than his own – and was always very happy to provide whatever assistance he could,” says Palmer. “For those with an interest in Canadian or Ontario politics, Geoff was an endless provider of great stories that would be remembered from any gathering.”
Geoffrey is the author of books including Stanfield, a biography of former Progressive Conservative Party leader Robert Stanfield; No Holds Barred, a biography of Newfoundland politician John Crosbie; and The Player – The Life and Times of Dalton Camp. He also co-authored the books Leaders and Lesser Mortals and Campaign Confessions – Tales from the War Rooms of Politics with John Laschinger, and worked with Canadian politician Flora MacDonald to create her memoir, Flora – A Woman in a Man’s World.
Most recently, Geoffrey had been writing a political column published in Torstar publications including the Waterloo Region Record and Hamilton Spectator.