I lost my Dad while waiting for the examiners reports of my thesis. In my final copy I would like to include a dedication page to him (in addition to the general acknowledgements page), but I'm not really sure what to say. I know I would like something really short, but more than "I dedicate this thesis to my Dad."

I was thinking including something about how I know how proud he was even though he won't be around to see me graduate. Or perhaps referencing how I hope my dedication to my field in science stays as strong as his dedication to his own field (engineering).

I would appreciate any suggestions or examples of dedications as I haven't managed to find too much online and I'm lost for words.

  • 2
    Your own suggestion is fine. Commented Jun 16, 2020 at 0:35
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    If a friend asked for me advice about this situation, I would advise them to write their honest feelings as best they could express them in their own words, without worrying about whether it is exactly the right thing to say as a dedication.
    – d_b
    Commented Jun 16, 2020 at 0:40
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    OP - thanks everyone, I'll try to come up with something in my own words to use.
    – user125368
    Commented Jun 16, 2020 at 2:01
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    @user125368 Perhaps ask close friends to comment on the words you find.
    – user2768
    Commented Jun 16, 2020 at 6:51
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    My condolences! Just do what you think is right! Your suggestion seems fine since it is coming from your heart. Commented Jun 16, 2020 at 18:11

2 Answers 2


I had a dedication page in my PhD thesis, to my recently deceased grandparents. I kept it short, with a line that basically translates to:

"To my grandparents, in loving memory."

The things you suggest to include and to reference will make it more personal, and more appropriate for you. And that is all that matters: write it such that it represents well how you feel.


I started my Ph.D. a few years after my father passed away. I dedicated the thesis to him. I wrote, "To my father who never saw this adventure" (something like this when translated).

Like all who commented, I would say keep it short, keep it personal. Grief makes it difficult to find words. Actually, looking back at my thesis and this dedication bring back memories of him. I guess that's what this dedication page is for: yourself.

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