John Fordyce Myers (1931-2023)

The members of the Canadian Studies Program at Bridgewater State University join members of ACSUS in mourning the loss of John F. Myers (1931-2023), professor of history and founder of the Canadian Studies Program at BSU. Born in Mansfield, MA, John was educated at Bates College (A.B.) and Boston University (A.M.) before starting his career as a teacher of history and social sciences in the Abington, MA public schools in the 1950s and 1960s.

He began teaching at Bridgewater State as a night-school adjunct professor in the 1960s and by 1969 had been hired as full-time faculty member in the department of history. John chaired the History Department from 1976 to 1980. In 1973, inspired by a curiosity about Canada and its peoples, John founded the Canadian Studies Program and remained its director until 1990. In the late 1970s, he undertook two years of doctoral studies in Canadian History at the University of Maine at Orono. John was a regular presence at ACSUS conferences during its boom years of the 1970s and 80s and was one of the field's many first-generation “missionaries” who carried the message of Canadian Studies back to his home institution and its region.

He loved to travel to Canada (especially to Ottawa and the Maritimes) to visit friends and colleagues in those places. He crafted a collegial environment at Bridgewater where faculty and students could explore Canada from a wide range of disciplinary perspectives. Members of the Program remember John’s warmth and enthusiasm for Canadian Studies, an impression that was left indelibly on countless students. Alongside his wife, Mary Myers, a Bridgewater State Librarian, John retired to Brewster, on Cape Cod, in 1995 where he remained an active speaker at local events. We remember John Myers fondly as an energetic and insightful instructor and a talented, collegial, and respected presence in the field of Canadian Studies. We will miss him greatly. 


Andrew Holman & Brian Payne

Bridgewater State Canadian Studies