Keith Ronald, a founding dean of the University of Guelph, died July 6.

Ronald joined U of G in 1958 as a zoology professor, becoming department chair in 1964. He was named the first dean of the College of Biological Science (CBS) in 1971, serving until 1983.

“Dean Keith Ronald was, in every sense, a giant and a visionary,” said Michael Emes, who served as CBS dean from 2002 to 2015.

“He laid down the road map that has guided the College to this present day, and took great pride in the achievements of students, faculty and staff alike. Keith was both a mentor and a friend…his legacy will continue through the lives of all those who pass through the corridors of CBS and the University.”

Jonathan Newman, CBS dean, added: “Although subsequent deans have made changes over the years, the College is still essentially as Keith envisaged it in 1971. He gave generously of his time and insight to all the deans who came after him, and I personally was grateful for his mentorship.”

The Keith Ronald Undergraduate Scholarship, open to students studying marine and freshwater biology, is named in his honour.

Ronald later served as the director of U of G’s Arboretum and is credited for expanding its educational programming. He established “The Five Thousand Days,” a popular environmental responsibility course that was open to both students and the greater Guelph community.

A memorial service for Ronald is planned for Aug. 24 at 1 p.m. in the Arboretum.

A tree will be planted in his memory in the Wall-Custance Memorial Forest in the Arboretum; dedication service Sept. 17, 2:30 p.m.