Colleagues across the University of Toronto community, and well beyond, are saddened to learn of the death of Professor George Luste. Professor Luste was an accomplished scholar, specializing in charm physics, Fermilab tagged photon spectrometry, and physics education. He was also an outstanding citizen of the University, a famously staunch and effective advocate for our academic community and especially our faculty members, a kind and patient teacher, a dedicated family man – and a legend in the wilderness canoeing community, with a great love for Canada’s North.
Professor Luste was a leading figure in the University community for over four decades. He is known by all for his 10 years of stalwart service as President of the University of Toronto Faculty Association (UTFA), from 2002 to 2012. In that capacity he distinguished himself by his integrity and vigour. He earned the respect of those he represented and all those with whom he dealt. Serving as President of UTFA was only the capstone in Professor Luste’s prolific record of service to the University. He was elected UTFA President after 15 years of service on UTFA Council. He was Associate Chair for Graduate Studies in Physics and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies in Physical Sciences. He was a member of the Pension Committee from its inception in 2010, and served as its Chair from 2012 to 2014. He was also instrumental in the creation of RALUT (Retired Academics and Librarians of the University of Toronto), though he was not retired at the time.
In all of his many contributions, George Luste exemplified the power of principled advocacy and civil discourse especially in the academy, where these principles are held among our highest ideals. At the same time, everything he did was distinguished by his strength of character, his generosity, and his personal warmth. He will be remembered not least in the scholarship and prizes established in his name – and he will be missed. To Professor Luste’s wife, Linda, and their family, on behalf of the entire University of Toronto community, I offer my condolences at this difficult time.
Meric S. Gertler