June 19, 2005 - 5:00pm

For the Lane family of Nanaimo, a love of learning must be genetic.

Three generations - grandfather, father and son - participated in Malaspina University-College’s graduation ceremony at The Port Theatre recently.

The youngest Lane, 24-year-old Erik, received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. His father, Steve Lane, an English and Media Studies professor, and grandfather, Bob Lane, a retired Philosophy professor, watched proudly from on stage.

"Malaspina has been an important and central part of our family life for years," said Bob Lane, who retired from Malaspina in 2000 after 31 years of teaching.

Bob was hired by Malaspina College as an English professor in 1969. During his career, he served as the coordinator of Malaspina’s English department and area chair in Arts and Humanities. He also founded the Philosophy department, where he taught for several years.

Bob’s son, Steve Lane, graduated from Nanaimo District Secondary School and studied at Malaspina in 1976. He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English at Simon Fraser University and a Masters at the University of California in Santa Barbara, and returned to Malaspina in 1982 as an English and Media Studies professor. As of July 1st, he becomes Malaspina's new Dean of Arts and Humanities.

The Lane family ties to Malaspina run even deeper. Bob’s wife Karen worked in the Library circulation department for 17 years until her retirement in 1997. Bob and Karen’s two other children, Jim and Margaret, also attended Malaspina for some part of their education.

Erik’s mother, Linda, received a diploma at Malaspina as a Licenced Practical Nurse and now works at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. His stepmother, Deborah, received a Bachelor's degree in Liberal Studies at Malaspina in 1994 and works for the Federal government.

Bob and Steve agree that watching Erik receive his Bachelor of Science degree was one of their proudest moments.

"It generated a complex number of feelings and emotions," said Bob. "First and foremost, I felt overwhelming pride and a sense of satisfaction in seeing my grandson find something he passionately cares about."

As for Erik’s future? He hopes to continue the family tradition and become a third generation professor at Malaspina.


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