University Mourns Loss of Philosophy Professor


Former SFU Professor of Philosophy Grant Julin kept checklists around his house, scraps of paper which detailed the various things for which he was most thankful. Among the items on his list were his family, his friends and—perhaps most surprising of all—his job.

“Grant loved teaching,” said Julin’s friend and colleague Art Remillard, a Professor of Religious Studies at the University.

Julin passed away on May 26, 2022, after suffering a seizure.

Julin and Remillard started teaching at SFU at the same time.

“He started while working on his dissertation,” recalled Remillard. “Writing a dissertation is never an easy thing. It requires lots of work and attention, work and attention that can be difficult to maintain while teaching.”

In order to help his friend with his heavy workload, Remillard formed a writers’ circle with other Saint Francis faculty members. This group established deadlines for Julin and provided feedback on his dissertation project.

With some help from this writer’s circle—which continues to this day—Julin successfully completed and defended his dissertation.

As a professor at Saint Francis, Julin inspired many students to delve more deeply into the field of philosophy.

SFU student Alex Antonelle said that Julin got him interested in pursuing philosophy as a hobby. After completing a course with Julin, Antonelle decided to work toward a degree in philosophy.

“I only had one class with Dr. Julin,” said Antonelle. “It was a virtual course last semester. I never even met him face to face, but the class, the material, his teaching—I never had any interest in philosophy (until that course).

“Now each morning, I spend two to three hours reading Aristotle and Plato.”

Antonelle also mentioned that even though he never formally met Julin, his professor curated a list of books he thought Antonelle would enjoy reading, so he could continue to learn more about the discipline.

“Dr. Julin wasn’t one of the best professors I had at SFU,” said Antonelle. “He was the best.”

Remillard described Julin as someone who could turn his classroom into one big discussion.

“The way he could engage students with learning is something I so envy,” he said. “Grant just had a talent for it.”

Julin leaves behind a wife, three sons and a legacy at Saint Francis as a caring educator, one committed to helping his students succeed and find joy in learning.

“I wish everyone at SFU had a chance to take a class with Dr. Julin,” said Antonelle.

“He changed my life.”