Jean Laponce

Raised so far


Professor Emeritus Jean Laponce joined UBC in 1956 as the university’s first full-time political scientist. He directed the UBC political science honours program from the 1960s until his retirement in the early 1990s. Jean left an indelible mark not only on the university, but also on the broader political science community. He passed away on November 28, 2016.

UBC awarded Jean with an honorary degree in recognition of his long service. He is particularly remembered for his service within the International Political Science Association (IPSA)—he was the only Canadian to become its president—and his commitment to international dialogue. He was also notable for his leadership in the Canadian Political Science Association and the Royal Society of Canada.

Jean was interested in numerous areas of political science, and he established his expertise in linguistic politics, with remarkable works such as Languages and their Territory (1987) and Loi de Babel et autres régularités du rapport entre langue et politique (2006). His academic contributions were prolific and his service to the field was immense. The political science program Jean directed regularly produced a cohort of outstanding students many of whom went on to have distinguished academic careers.

Jean will be remembered for his warm personality, modesty, and tireless energy. We have all lost a remarkable political scientist, and he will be greatly missed by his wife Iza—a former political science librarian at UBC—his family, friends and colleagues.

The impact of your support

The Jean Laponce Prize will be created at UBC by friends and family, and will be awarded on an annual basis in Jean’s memory.

Your gift will pay tribute to Jean’s life and work, by helping to recognize an honours student for the best thesis presented by a senior student in the Department of Political Science 4th year program.

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