Bachelor, University Toronto, 1920. Master of Arts, University Toronto, 1921. Doctor of Philosophy, University Toronto, 1923.
Doctor of Science, University British Columbia, 1961.
Their company commander was Vincent Massey. On April 1, 1916, he enlisted in the army. He was a gunner and fought at the Battle of Vimy Ridge.
After the war, he continued his education and received a Bachelor of Arts in 1919, a Master of Arts in 1921.
As a doctoral student in February 1923 he was the first to replicate Kamerlingh Onnes"s 1908 Nobel Prize–winning feat of liquefying helium. Later that year he was awarded his Doctorate in physics for studies of the hydrogen spectrum.
As a post-doctoral fellow he was the first to identify the prominent green line in the Aurora Borealis as due to oxygen. In 1925, he joined the faculty at the University of British Columbia (University of British Columbia) where he taught physics.
In 1935 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
From 1938 to 1961, he was the head of the Physics Department. From 1957 to 1961, he was the Dean of Graduate Studies and served on the Senate of the University. He retired at the compulsory age of 65.
During World World War II, he was the head and Colonel of the COTC at University of British Columbia and was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.
In 1944, he was appointed a director of the British Columbia Research Council. In 1958, he was chairman of a royal commission investigating the British Columbia Power Commission.
After retiring from University of British Columbia, he was appointed head of British Columbia Electric by Premier West.A.C. Bennett and was involved with the Peace River hydro project This project comprised the construction of the West.A.C. Bennett Dam, which impounds Williston Lake Reservoir, and the construction of a 2730 MW powerhouse (at that time the largest in the world) named after him: the G.M. Shrum Generating Station.
He stayed at British Columbia Hydro until 1972.
He was also involved in establishing Simon Fraser University and was its first chancellor from 1963 to 1968. In 1975, he was appointed Director of the Vancouver Museum and Planetarium Association. In 1986, he wrote his autobiography with Peter Stursberg, called Gordon Shrum: An Autobiography.
He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from U.B.C. in 1961.
He died in Vancouver, British Columbia, just six months before his 90th birthday. Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia – sometimes considered to be cross-town rivals, as they are the two major universities based in Vancouver – hold a popular annual football match between the Simon Fraser University Clan and the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds, affectionately named Shrum Bowl.
Chairman British Columbia Energy Board, Royal Commission on British Columbia Power Commission. Chairman advisory committee research and development Glassco Royal Commission. Head Canada delegate 7th PAcific Science Congress, New Zealand, 1949, 8th Pacific Science Congress, Manila, 1953.
With Canada Field Artillery, 1916-1919, as lieutenant colonel British Columbia contingent Canada Officer Training Corps, 1938-1946. Fellow Royal Society of Canada, American Physical Society. Member British Columbia Research Council, Canada Association Physicists (president 1952-1953), Beta Theta Pi, University Club.
Married Oenone Ballie, May 30, 1929. Children: Gordon Ballie, Laura Jane. Married Meda KEator, June 15, 1941.