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Their Last Class at Glendon


Wednesday, March 30th – a historic moment in the 4th-year American Foreign Policy course taught by Professor Edelgard Mahant. It’s the last class of the semester and the very last class that Prof. Mahant is teaching at Glendon before retiring.

It is also the last Political Science class at Glendon for 4th-year Poli. Sci. majors Aaron Willschick and Lawrence “Renzo” Alvarez Conmigo, the latter about to graduate, the former having a couple of courses to finish next year.

Left to right: Aaron Willschick, Professor Edelgard Mahant, Lawrence "Renzo"Alvarez Conmigo at the last class

Willschick and Alvarez Conmigo embarked on their studies at Glendon taking a first-year political science course, the Introduction to Political Studies taught by Mahant, but without any thought of majoring in that subject. “I have taken three courses now with Prof. Mahant”, says Willschick, “and they have been some of the most informative, useful and best-taught among all the subjects I have been studying. She is very clear and gets straight to the point in her lecturing, but also very entertaining in the classroom. She is always accessible for extra information and plans extracurricular events which galvanize the class into a cohesive group.”

Alvarez Conmigo spent his third year of studies in Amsterdam. “Professor Mahant supplied valuable research information to me even overseas. She helped me define what I wanted to study and specialize in”, he added.

Currently the Chair of the Glendon Political Science Department and fluently trilingual (in English, French and German), Edelgard Mahant holds a BA from the University of British Columbia, an MA from the University of Toronto and a PhD from the London School of Economics. Her research has focussed on the European Union, the politics of Western Europe, North American free trade and American foreign policy. She is the author of several books, among them Invisible and Inaudible in Washington American Policies Toward Canada (1999), Free Trade in American-Canadian Relations (1993), and An Introduction to Canadian-American Relations (1989), as well as numerous articles.

Mahant came to Glendon in 1991, after teaching at Laurentian University (in Sudbury) for 22 years. She has been the Chair of the Glendon Political Science Department since 1994 and has served over the years on numerous committees and the Glendon Senate, currently as a member of the Senate Executive, among other community involvements.

“I love teaching and the Glendon students are great”, says Mahant. “And I love this time of year especially, when so many of them are admitted to graduate school, law school or internships, and they come with their good news. I am very proud of my former students and regularly keep in touch with many of them. They include at least two diplomats, one Member of Parliament and several PhDs; and among others, one is a professor at Mount Allison University, another one takes federal government cases to the Supreme Court, and a third one is co-chair of the Liberal Party’s central campaign for the next federal election. Over the years, I have learned so much from my students from all over the world.”

When asked how she feels about retiring, Mahant confides that she hates the thought. “I am finally at a stage, where I know my subjects so well that I can lecture with nary a note”, she says with a twinkle in her eye. Is she planning to return as a professor emeritus? Most likely, after her sabbatical leave next year, because she can’t imagine giving up teaching and the contact with the students. Mahant proudly adds that in 36 years of teaching, she has never missed a class for being ill.

As she concludes her last class, Professor Mahant is surrounded by her students, as always, deep in conversation and offering all the help within her power. Political Science at Glendon will not be the same without her.

Article submitted by Glendon communications officer Marika Kemeny

Published on April 1, 2005