25 May 2022
The life of one of the University of Dundee’s most beloved staff members will be celebrated by colleagues in a special tribute on 26 May.
Eddie Small, a Public Engagement Officer in the University’s School of Humanities, died in September 2020. As well as being one of the most popular faces on campus, he was also known throughout the city for his work as a playwright, creative writing tutor and historian.
In tribute to his contribution to Dundee and university life, a tree is to be planted in Eddie’s honour at the University of Dundee Botanic Garden on 26 May.
Mayra Crowe, a Senior Lecturer in Dundee’s School of Humanities, said “Eddie was known throughout the University and local literary circles as a kind, dedicated and optimistic person. He was hugely talented and an authority on Dundee and its history.
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“Through his campaign work he championed the rights of disabled people in the local area. It was an enthusiasm he also brought to his work here at the University. While he will forever be associated for his work with the School of Humanities, he was able to work with staff across several disciplines.
“He is greatly missed on campus, and it is only fitting that we are able to afford him this tribute at our Botanic Garden.”
A respected historian, Eddie was also an advocate for awareness around disability, participating in the Hands of X project that brought together design and disability advocacy in an innovative way. It was a personal project for Eddie as he himself wore a prosthetic hand.
Prior to his death, Eddie and Mayra had worked together with Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief charitable initiative, which promotes greater discussion around death and bereavement.
“Eddie and I used to talk about grief a lot,” continued Mayra.
“We often said that when we die, those we leave behind will mourn us, but it is important to talk about and remember the good times in life as well.
“Eddie had a great enjoyment of life and the tree that we are planting is very representative of that. Like grief, sometimes it will bloom and be prominent in our life, but at other times it will be less so, like a tree in winter. I’m sure he would approve of our tribute.”
Report and image courtesy University of Dundee.