Fonds MSS 58 - Leonard H. Shebeski fonds

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Leonard H. Shebeski fonds

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  • Textual record
  • Graphic material

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  • 1946-1988 (Creation)
    Shebeski, Leonard H.

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Physical description

0.65 m of textual records and 30 photographs.

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Name of creator

(1914- 2010)

Biographical history

Leonard Hylary Shebeski was born in Aubigny, Manitoba, August 5th, 1914. Shebeski, the son of Polish emigrants, grew up in the rural environment of the Canadian prairies. His family farm life was both a positive and permanent influence. In his early twenties, Shebeski entered into the University of Manitoba where he received his Bachelor of Science Agriculture (1941) and Master of Science (1946) degrees. Shebeski was an outstanding student who excelled in his studies. He received numerous scholarships and awards, including the prestigious Lieutenant Governor's Gold Medal in Agriculture.

Shebeski's academic career was disturbed, as were so many others of his era, by the Second World War. Shebeski enrolled in the Royal Canadian Air Force in March 1941 and in his typical manner excelled in training, first as an Observer and later as a Pilot. He was Mentioned in Despatches in 1944. Shebeski was discharged (Honorable) in October, 1945.

Shebeski immediately returned to his academic work, studying for his Doctorate at the University of Minnesota in 1946-47. His reputation as a skilled scholar preceded him and he was sought out by the University of Saskatchewan for its Department of Field Husbandry. In 1947, Shebeski accepted the University of Saskatchewan's offer of an Assistant Professorship. Within the year he was promoted to Associate Professor.

Shebeski's long and distinguished association with the University of Manitoba began in 1953, when he left the University of Saskatchewan to take up full Professorship and to become Head of the Plant Sciences Department. In 1965, Shebeski became the Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture, a position he held until his retirement in 1979. During his tenure, Dean Shebeski personally guided the development and direction of the faculty which resulted in a growth rate of unprecedented proportions.

Dean Shebeski has received honorary degrees from the University of Warsaw (Russian is his second language), Queen's University and the University of Saskatchewan. Dr. Shebeski was brought out of retirement to take the seat as Dean Emeritus at the University of Manitoba. In addition to these academic honours, Dr. Shebeski was invested into the Order of Canada (Officer) in 1977.

Dr. Shebeski is a renowned leader in the Canadian agricultural development field as witnessed by his participation in agencies such as the National Research Council; the Canadian Agricultural Research Council; and the Association of the Scientific, Engineering and Technological Community of Canada. However, Dr. Shebeski's sights were not restricted to only Canadian issues. He actively sought out and participated in numerous international committees and agencies. Notable amongst these was his work on the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture; the World Bank Rural Development Committee; and the Commonwealth Advisory Group on Food Production and Rural Development.

Dr. Shebeski's research activities have been of international consequence. His research efforts have been greatest in the area of wheat breeding. His initial work was undertaken at the University of Saskatchewan where he focused on barley, oat and rye improvement techniques. One year following his move to the University of Manitoba he initiated what became his single most significant contribution to agriculture -- the triticale breeding program. Under Dean Shebeski and others, notably Doctors Jenkins, Welsh and Larter, the triticale program flourished and received international acclaim as the 'superseed' of the future.

Dr. Shebeski married his wife Laura on May 26th, 1945. They have four children: Janice, Elaine, Peggy and Kathy. Dr. and Mrs. Shebeski resided in Victoria, British Columbia until his death in 2010.

Chronology of Events

1914 -- Born, Aubigny, Manitoba

1941 -- B.A., University of Manitoba

1941-45 -- Observer and Pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force

1946 -- M.Sc., University of Manitoba

1947 -- Assistant Professor, University of Saskatchewan

1953 -- Professor, Department Head, University of Manitoba

1954 -- Initiates Research on Triticale Project

1965 -- Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Manitoba

1967 -- Received Centennial Medal

1972 -- Received Honorary Doctorate from University of Warsaw

1974 -- Received Honorary Doctorate of Science from Queen's University

1976 -- Received Honorary LL.D. from University of Saskatchewan

1977 -- Invested Order of Canada (Officer)

1979 -- Retired from University of Manitoba

1981 -- Appointed as Dean Emeritus University of Manitoba

Custodial history

Donated by Professor Shebeski in 1988.

Scope and content

The papers contained within this collection cover, in part, the years from 1946 to 1988. Included are such items as minutes of various committees, correspondence, research proposals, annual reports, and research reports.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


This collection is organized into 8 series:

General Education, 1946-1947
Academic Career, 1947-1969
Research Projects, 1954-1979
Provincial Interests, 1979-1982
National Interests, 1960-1987
International Interests, 1975-1988
Papers and Publications 1948-1981
Photograph Collection (PC 77)

The organization of the collection follows, as closely as possible, the original order of Dean Shebeski's personal filing system. On the rare occasion when complete disarray was encountered, the chronological method of arrangement was utilized. On occasion Dean Shebeski employed an alphabetical system of filing and this also has been maintained when required. The portion of this collection entitled Papers and Publications, follows the exact filing system of Dean Shebeski.

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A finding aid can be downloaded from the fonds-level description by clicking on the “Download’ link under “Finding Aid” on the right hand side of the screen.

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Associated materials

Shebeski's work as dean of the University of Manitoba's Faculty of Agriculture is documented in UA 21, the Faculty of Agriculture fonds.

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Finding aid created by Bruce N. Pennington (April 1990). Encoded by Julianna Trivers (May 2003). Revision History: July 26, 2005 - MSS 58, PC 77 converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
Revised by N. Courrier (September 2019).

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