Throughout his creative life, John “Kip” Kippen (picture here circa 1970's) was passionate about photography, teaching and his students. As an early photography teacher at Fanshawe College in the 1970s, Kip set an unwavering example of dedication and thoughtfulness.
Dressed in jacket and tie at all times even on class trips to nature parks - Kip devoted his time and talent to mentoring young photographers on the nuances of his artistic craft.
According to former student and longtime friend, Dave Homer, genuine caring was his hallmark. “Kip was a friend and advisor to his students, quick to share stories and experiences with them. He went far beyond the call of duty, often staying until the darkrooms and studios closed at 10 p.m. and even working weekends to help educate the next generation of professional photographers.”
Long before the digital age, Kip’s specialty was guiding students through challenging technological changes in darkroom procedures, such as new colour processes and camera advancements. Everyone was motivated in his class, but sadly a debilitating stroke at 55 ended Kip’s Fanshawe career.
Yet, his legacy of teaching excellence remains intact through “The John Kippen Photography Award” created by colleagues as a tribute to Kip, and presented annually to the program’s top student. Today, thanks to Kip’s ongoing donations to the award fund, Fanshawe is now able to present three annual awards in his name.
As a renowned photographer, and brave veteran with the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery, Kip passed away at the age of 94 at Parkwood Hospital last December. It was important to him to inspire future generations of photographers by also leaving a legacy gift to Fanshawe College. Thank you, Kip!
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