In Memoriam: Shaw Gynan

On Oct. 28, Western lost an important member of our campus community, Professor Emeritus of Spanish and Linguistics Shaw Gynan. Shaw came to Western in 1986 as a professor of Hispanic Linguistics. He was a sociolinguist and his work on bilingualism and language policy is widely recognized, and he became the preeminent scholar of Guaraní, a language of Paraguay. 

After 30 years of teaching Spanish and linguistics, he retired at the end of the 2017-2018 academic year, but he maintained an active scholarly agenda in retirement, summarizing his 20 years of research on Paraguayan Guaraní-Spanish bilingual education. Shaw was an engaging and beloved teacher of Spanish, a stalwart supporter of Linguistics at Western since its inception, and a model of a teacher-scholar that Western is known for. His good humor, his knowledge of linguistics and of languages, and his kindness and generosity will be sorely missed.  

Read his obituary here There is also a place for you to share your memories of Shaw. 

Gifts in Shaw’s honor may be made to the Shaw Gynan Memorial Scholarship here:


Shaw Gynan poses with Dr. Ernesto Luis López Almada of the Universidad Nacional de Itapúa and the Universidad Católica de Encarnación after a talk they gave at Western, January 2019.