“Vic Montaldi”

It was my first math 100 class and I was surrounded by at least 200 students. If I had been from Vancouver, I might have expected as much. But I was from Burns Lake, population 1,500. I knew that “Dean Gage” was the name of my math professor but other than that, I had no expectations.

Just before Dean Gage asked the class a math question that definitely separated the 5 students in the front row from the rest of us, he asked if anyone was from outside of the Lower Mainland. I put up my hand already assuming that I would have to explain that Burns Lake was 2 ½ hours north of Prince George. As soon as he acknowledged me and I replied “Burns Lake”, all he said was “Vic Montaldi”. It was all I needed, however, as Mr. Montaldi had been my high school principal for 5 years and my Math 11 and 12 teacher. I was then to learn that Mr. Montaldi spent many summers at UBC honing his math skills under Walter Gage.

Dean Gage was a people person and had the most incredible memory for names. He knew the names of half the class by the end of the year. His people skills and incredible mind also made him the most amazing math teachers. He could take complex concepts and easily explain them at our level.

I didn’t know anything about him on that first day, but his is one of the fondest and most vivid memories I have of UBC.

Rita (Hamp) Chu
Dip. Dental Hygiene ’75
BDSc. Dental Hygiene ’97