In Memoriam: Professor Emeritus Dr. Jonathan Mohr, 1952-2020

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of professor emeritus, Dr. Jonathan Mohr.

Craig Wentland - 3 December 2020

The promise of a liberal arts and science institution is to provide a whole person education. Dr. Jonathan Mohr, professor emeritus, understood that in order to fulfill this promise, faculty needed to model to students and to one another what it meant to aspire to wholeness. For most of his adult life, Jonathan saw his work at Augustana not just as a career, but as a calling.

Jonathan attended Camrose Lutheran College (the predecessor institution of the Augustana Faculty) as an undergraduate student from 1971-1973, a time when the upper floors of Founders’ Hall still functioned as a student residence. Jonathan began teaching music at CLC in 1976 and would continue to pursue graduate studies. Jonathan went on to be the choral conductor between 1978-1988. A generation of choristers remembers fondly the sense of musicality and camaraderie he fostered and also how he feigned ignorance of the good-natured mischief being perpetrated barely out of the view of choral performance audiences.

Responding to a need within the institution, Jonathan went on to pursue a PhD in computing science. His mind was well suited to the pattern-seeking nature of the discipline and he became a rigorous and respected teacher of computing science. Jonathan often shared with colleagues his mantra which he repeated himself as he walked to each class, “Be brilliant.”

Before the merger with the University of Alberta, the motto of Augustana University College was ducere et servire, “to lead and to serve”. Over the past 50 years, Augustana has faced many challenges and transitions. Jonathan’s servant leadership took the form of taking on sometimes contentious tasks. As a leader, Jonathan was wise, steady and principled. He accumulated a depth of institutional and community knowledge. Colleagues, administrators and deans sought his counsel. Jonathan served as Chair of the Science Department, advising many in their research and teaching careers. His colleagues felt that when Jonathan took on a task, the outcomes would be fair, transparent and in the best interests of the community. 

But most of all, Jonathan found in a liberal education a source of joy. He was a respectful listener, curious about wide-ranging topics, an observer of life and a passionate learner. He demonstrated genuine care and compassion. It seemed as if Jonathan was present at every musical or theatrical program, chaplaincy event, lecture or banquet. And he often stayed to help clean up afterward. The twinkle in his eye, his witty jokes and his ability to put a humorous spin on life will be greatly missed.

Professor emeritus Dr. Jonathan Mohr died November 29, 2020, at the age of 68. 

Blessed be his memory.

From Friday, December 4 to Monday, December 7, the University of Alberta Augustana Campus and North Campus flags will be lowered in honour of professor Mohr. Augustana's virtual holiday concert, A Light of Song, which will be hosted live this Sunday, December 6 at 4 pm, will also be dedicated to professor Mohr's memory. If you would like to live-stream the concert, please visit Augustana's YouTube channel or

A private family service will be held for professor Mohr. You may view his obituary and share a memory of professor Mohr on the Burgar Funeral Home website. If interested, please contact the Augustana Advancement Office for more information on how you can make a gift in memory of professor Mohr: 780-679-1558,