Memories of the 60s 1966

Merv Daub, BCom'66 and Tom Kinnear BCom'67

The sixties were glory days for Queen’s on the football field. Passion for the game and all the fanfare associated with it permeated the campus, and for good reason. During that period, the Golden Gaels lost only five of the 25 league games they played. Merv Daub, BCom’66, a middle line-backer and later team captain, was well known on campus, even if practices kept him from socializing much. But he and his classmates flocked to the post-game “tea dances” at Grant Hall. The quaint, decades-old ritual didn’t survive much longer, however. “Things were changing,” shared Merv. “We were just in front of the more radical wave of the sixties. Guys were starting to grow their hair long. I wore a beard, which was unheard of in Commerce, and certainly unheard of on the football team.”

In first year, because they were still part of the Arts Faculty, the Commerce ’66 students came together as a group for only one course: accounting. Courses ran for the full academic year, an advantage for the crammers who might be inclined to “bugger around in the fall and then work hard from Christmas on,” as Merv recalled.

That was a strategy that worked for only a few. While as many as 80 students were registered in the four-year program in first year, by the time they graduated the Class of ’66 had dwindled to 24. “A lot of people washed out in first year,” said Merv. “This was at a time when almost no one got more than 80 per cent. If you got marks in the low-to-mid-70s, you were doing really well.”

Despite the heavy demands of the course work, a number of Commerce students took on roles in student governance. Merv and Tom Kinnear, BCom’67, were involved in the Arts and Science Undergraduate Society (ASUS). Paul Myles and Gary Lewis, both BCom’66, helped to run the Alma Mater Society (AMS), as well as organize formals and concerts. Gary, nicknamed Louie in honour of the Kingsmen’s “Louie, Louie” hit song of the era, succeeded in bringing jazz musician Woody Herman and other big bands to Queen’s.

By 1963, the School of Business (its new name) had officially become a separate faculty. Under Dean L.G. Macpherson, the core strengths of the program continued to be its accounting and finance courses. In second year, students took their first marketing course, taught by Professors Dan Monieson and Carl Lawrence, who were highly regarded for their ability to inspire and engage students. They were “the fresh air of the place,” according to Merv.

By fourth year, students were thinking hard about potential areas of specialization and what the future held. Somewhat surprisingly, graduate school turned out to be the choice of many.

“This was a very different proposition from anything that had come before,” Merv shared. “It was partly a result of the North America-wide push to elevate business education and partly our own professors’ awareness of the need for more business professors.” At the time, there were no Canadian business schools offering doctoral degrees in business.

Nonetheless, the Class of ‘66 was remarkable for the number of doctoral degrees it produced. No fewer than five of its 24 graduating students, including Merv and the only woman in the class, Kathryn Britney, would become PhDs. This select group would go on to join what was at the time an elite group of business scholars in North America.

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“Merv Daub, BCom'66: We were just in front of the more radical wave of the sixties. Guys were starting to grow their hair long. I wore a beard, which was unheard of in Commerce, and certainly unheard of on the football team.”