The Honoree - Fall 2021

Page 1




A newsletter for Acadia’s Distinguished Alumni and Honorary Degree Community

Message from Dr. Peter Ricketts

Resilience and Ingenuity A great deal has happened since the last edition of the Honoree,

Virtual Convocation 2020:

with equal measure of challenging and inspirational events that

have both tested us and lifted our spirits to new heights. The global coronavirus pandemic has, of course, been a major influence on circumstances at Acadia and elsewhere around the

Virtual Convocation 2021:

world, but as a community we have demonstrated remarkable

Acadia Alumni Awards Celebration 2021:

resilience and ingenuity to address and overcome myriad

obstacles along the way and continue to deliver an educational

I am also pleased to share that the next edition of the Honoree

experience that is second to none.

will be rendered digitally, reflecting a primary mandate contained

Along with our Maple League colleagues, we were one of the

in our Acadia 2025 Strategic Plan to reduce our carbon footprint

very few Canadian universities that continued to offer on-campus

on campus. Environmental stewardship and sustainability are

education during the pandemic, and we did so safely and

signature institutional features of Acadia, and I’m delighted that

successfully. We are now looking forward to welcoming all

we have chosen to embrace this direction and take a leadership

students and staff back to campus for the 2021-22 academic year.

role to ensure that Acadia will flourish well into the future.

During this time, we also concluded the most successful

During the course of this pandemic, our community has

fundraising initiative in Acadia’s history, Campaign for Acadia,

demonstrated the kind of resilience and strength of character

amassing a total of $86.8 million to support and enhance

that has symbolized Acadia’s long history. Back in March of

Acadia’s faculty, staff, students and campus infrastructure. This

2020, I stated that we would get through this challenge together,

exceeded our target of $75 million, despite the final year of the

and that is exactly what we did. Together we will now forge new

Campaign coinciding with a global pandemic.

historic achievements for Acadia, and I thank you for being part

We learned to adapt and deliver in new and creative ways, showcasing our 2020 and 2021 Honorary Degree recipients

of this great tradition. Yours sincerely,

during a wonderful virtual Convocation celebration, then applauding outstanding members of the Acadia family with a virtual Alumni Awards Ceremony. Both events featured video messages from honorees that were inspirational and instructive, and I encourage you to visit the following links to experience the incredible power, energy and optimism contained in their stories and video presentations.



Dr. Peter J. Ricketts President and Vice-Chancellor

Honorary Degree Profiles Connie Eaves, PhD Doctor of Science, ’20

Kyle Lowry Doctor of Humanities, ’21

Dr. Connie Eaves obtained a

Kyle Lowry is a champion on

BA and MSc from Queen’s

and off the basketball court.

University and a PhD from the University of Manchester,

As Captain and starting

UK followed by post-doctoral

Point Guard for the

training at the Ontario Cancer

Toronto Raptors, Canada’s

Institute under Drs. Till and

only National Basketball

McCulloch. She joined the

Association (NBA) team, Mr. Lowry led the team to

faculty of the BC Cancer Agency and UBC in 1973 and, in 1981, co-founded the Terry

championship status. During eight years with the Raptors, the

Fox Laboratory at the BC Cancer Agency with her husband.

team has been a playoff contender in each of the last seven

Over the last five decades, she has led a research program that addresses fundamental questions about how human leukemias and breast cancers are produced. Her methods to detect,

seasons. In 2019, they won the NBA Championship. Mr. Lowry is widely recognized as the greatest player in the Toronto Raptors’ history.

quantify and purify the normal cells in which these diseases

He has been a six-time NBA All-Star, George Gross Sportsman

originate are now gold standards used worldwide. More recently,

of the Year (2014), and an Olympic Gold Medallist – US Men’s

her group has pioneered the creation of several models of de

Basketball (2016).

novo leukemia and breast cancer. She has published more than

Off the court, Mr. Lowry is a champion for the disadvantaged. He

500 papers and has a long track record as a scientific leader and devoted mentor of 100 postgraduate trainees from all over the world.

and his wife, Ayahna Cornish-Lowry, co-founded the Lowry Love Foundation in 2013. The foundation’s mission is to improve the lives of the underprivileged and disadvantaged of Philadelphia

She has also been a lifelong contributor to the development

and Toronto to help them attain a better quality of life. One

of science policy and evaluation of research in Canada and

example of the foundation’s work is that it has provided more

abroad, and maintains an active role in editing and reviewing

than 200 well-stocked Thanksgiving food hampers to Toronto

scientific publications. Her many awards include election as a

families in need for the fifth straight year.

Fellow of the Royal Societies of Canada, Edinburgh, and UK,

Mr. Lowry was born and raised in North Philadelphia. He studied

induction into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, and receipt of the Canadian Robert Noble and Chew-Wei Memorial Prizes for Cancer Research, the International CML Foundation Rowley Award, the Stratton Lifetime Achievement Award of the American Society of Hematology, and the 2019 Gairdner Wightman award.

and played basketball at Villanova University until, after his second year, he was drafted in 2006 by the Memphis Grizzlies. In 2009, he was traded to the Houston Rockets. He was traded to the Toronto Raptors before the start of the 2012–13 season, where he has remained, by choice, through contract renewals. Although not a Canadian, he refers to Canada as his adoptive country. The Lowrys divide their time between Toronto and Philadelphia. They have two young sons.



2021 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient Dr. Blye Frank (’77, ’81) Dr. Blye Frank has enjoyed an outstanding 50-year career as a teacher, mentor, researcher, educator, trailblazer and administrator.

for Research, the Mount Saint Vincent University Alumnae Award for Teaching, the Association of Atlantic Universities Distinguished Teacher Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the prestigious May Cohen Gender Equity Award from the Association of Faculties of Medicine in Canada in recognition of outstanding effort for achievement in improving the gender equity environment in academic medicine in Canada.

He has three degrees from

Dr. Frank has noted that there are three foci to his work: diversity,

Acadia – BA (’77); BEd (’77);

sociology of masculinity, and boys’ and men’s health, with

MEd (’81) – and a PhD from

a particular interest in the examination of medical education

Dalhousie University (’90). He

through multiple lenses in order to better understand the political,

also holds a Diploma in Education, a Teaching Certificate in the Province of Nova Scotia, and is a Certified Canadian Counselor.

economic and social inquiry surrounding medical practice. As a teacher and mentor, he says he has “always encouraged

Donalda MacBeath (’75), President of the Acadia Alumni

and facilitated an environment of mutual respect and critical re-

Association, says Dr. Frank’s selection as the 2021 Distinguished

flection for diverse learners through the application of new peda-

Alumni Award recipient “is richly deserved. His considerable

gogical theories and practices based on research excellence.”

achievements exemplify the Acadia experience, and his personal and professional commitment to helping others is a testament to all that Acadia inspires in its students. The solid foundation he built while obtaining graduate and undergraduate degrees at Acadia has formed the infrastructure for an incredible career as an educator, advocate, instructor and administrator. He is someone to whom we can all aspire, and we are proud to celebrate him as a member of our alumni family.” Dr. Frank grew up in a farming community in the Annapolis Valley and his local roots run deep. He taught at Horton District High School in Greenwich, Nova Scotia for 20 years and was a parttime instructor in Acadia’s Sociology Department and School of Education while pursuing his PhD at Dalhousie. He was also a faculty member in the Department of Education at Mount Saint Vincent University for a decade, where he co-chaired the department during the rationalization of schools, departments and faculties of education in Nova Scotia. Throughout his academic career, Dr. Frank has been a lecturer, Assistant and Adjunct Professor, Professor, and head of the Division of Medical Education and also Department of Bioethics in Dalhousie’s Faculty of Medicine. He is currently in his second term as Dean of the Faculty of Education at UBC in British Columbia.

Dr. Frank has published and presented extensively throughout his career. He is also a highly regarded guest speaker and lecturer, having hosted dozens of faculty development workshops provincially, nationally and internationally to foster a sustainable community of scholars in the areas of gender, health, and medical education. Fellow educator Nancy Pynch Worthylake has been associated professionally with Dr. Frank for more than 30 years and said in support of his nomination, “I can think of no one who has contributed more to educational and social research, civic duty, an agent of change for equity and social justice, transformational leadership in the administration and business of university faculties, and systemic change at the community level. Quite simply, there are few leaders like Dr. Frank who have the strength of will to serve as an ongoing champion for those most at risk and the talent to influence others to join the quest for deep systemic change.” Similarly, Dr. Ann Vibert (’74), former Dean, Faculty of Professional Studies, and Professor in the School of Education at Acadia, noted that “many colleagues in the Faculty of Education at UBC … praise his support for students and faculty, his fair-mindedness, his openness and presence, his imagination and energy, his

His pedagogical and leadership work in equity, diversity and

enormous success at attracting top-rate faculty and increasing

inclusion in teacher and health care education is grounded in

the University’s international research record, his insightfulness

extensive and ongoing scholarship, and his tireless efforts have

and lived commitment to supporting equity and diversity. Working

earned considerable accolades and attention. In addition to

across his career very much in Acadia’s proud tradition of

being named this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award recipient,

furthering equitable education and engaging with communities,

Dr. Frank has received the Mount Saint Vincent University Award

Dr. Blye Frank is indeed a distinguished Acadia alumnus.”



2021 Outstanding Young Alumni Award Recipient Kayla Mansfield-Brown (’14, ’19) The Acadia Alumni Association is pleased to announce that two-time graduate Kayla MansfieldBrown (‘Dancing Deer’

Kayla has served as an Aboriginal Client Service Representative for RBC, is an Indigenous Knowledge Keeper and Facilitator, was an Indigenous Youth Representative for a provincial political party, and an Indigenous Community Engagement Coordinator at houdinidesign Architects. Kayla is currently working with the Aboriginal Peoples Training and Employment Commission as a Support Worker for the Native Council of Nova Scotia.

– 2014, 2019) is the 2021

She notes that ‘Dancing Deer’ is her Mi’kmaq name, shared

recipient of the Acadia

with her in a sacred ceremony by Mi’kmaw Elder, Nancy

Alumni Outstanding Young

Whynot. Dancing, she says, “illustrates the way I carry myself

Alumni Award.

through life’s adversities, and in honouring the traditional dances

Her impact as a woman, mother of four, Mi’kmaw leader and proud Acadia graduate who completed a Master’s of Education in Leadership at Acadia last year is difficult to overstate. A strong

of our nation. Lentuk (deer) signifies my small legs, but the strength they endure. Deer also have the ability to recognize energy, and willingness to protect their young.”

and outspoken advocate for social and environmental justice,

In the winter of 2020, Kayla lectured CODE 1963 - Decolonizing

gender equity and Indigenous rights, Kayla received in 2018

Community Development, under the Department of Community

the ‘Fearless Leader’ Award from One Woman, an international

Development. This course was the first of its kind to be

organization dedicated to female empowerment, and earned

offered in the department and explored Indigenous ways of

the Graduate Student of the Year award at Acadia in 2019 for

knowing in contrast to colonial ways of knowing, to understand

her commitment to academics and community involvement.

decolonizing practices for working with Canadian communities.

More recently, Kayla was the recipient of the Dwight Dorey Youth Advocacy Award, presented to an Indigenous youth by the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, which works to bring awareness to Indigenous rights, culture, education and language. In making the announcement, Acadia Alumni Association President Donalda MacBeath (’75) says, “Kayla MansfieldBrown’s commitment to sharing important and valuable information about her culture, Indigenous rights and promoting social justice for marginalized communities is a powerful and poignant example for all of us. She is a fearless and determined advocate who enhances our level of education, encourages us to be more mindful, and communicates her passion for communities and change. She also represents our Acadia alumni constituency honourably and well, and I am thrilled to acknowledge and applaud her as this year’s Outstanding Young

Kayla has been a First Nations speaker at numerous conferences and seminars, a guest lecturer at Acadia, served on the planning committee and presented at Acadia’s Arts and Literature Mawiomi to name a few of her many community engagement credits. Her supervisor at houdinidesign, Lisa Tondino, says, “as a Mi’kmaw woman, Kayla has embraced the opportunity through her community work to facilitate important dialogues, sharing and peace circles, has influenced the way my firm approaches architectural projects with the community – through ‘two-eyed seeing’ whereby projects are viewed from multiple perspectives from both Western and Indigenous ways of seeing and interpreting information. We have taken the goals of Reconciliation into the scope of our work with the help of Kayla’s knowledge and education.”

Alumni Award recipient.”

For a full list of Acadia’s Honorary Degree and other distinguished award recipients please visit our Advancement website:



Honorary Alumnus 2021 Ian Morrison

full-time staff, negotiation of contracts, and support for the ASU

The Acadia Alumni

Executive Board, comprised of five student leaders.

Association has designated

Additionally, he was a constant resource for students: as

former General Manager of

counsellor, institutional historian, and cheerleader. He was a

the Acadia Students’ Union

strong and solid advocate, moving the needle personally and

Ian Morrison as an Honorary

professionally at every turn.

Alumnus for his outstanding contributions to the Acadia community over the past 25 years.

Former ASU President Matt Rios (’14) describes Morrison in a letter of recommendation that states, Ian “has been a stalwart defender of students and has been a steward in addressing important student issues like mental health, sexual violence,

The distinction recognizes an individual who is not an Acadia

alcohol harm and youth employment. Ian came to work every

graduate, but who, through volunteerism, support and/or

day in the service of a single constituency: students.”

outstanding contributions to the University, alumni and broader Acadia network has become an important member of the Acadia community.

Grace Hamilton Burge (’18), says, “in my time as President of the Students’ Union, I worked alongside Ian. I believe that only the Students’ Union Executive has had the distinct pleasure of

Acadia Alumni Association President Donalda MacBeath (’75)

getting to know the depth of what Ian contributed to Acadia

made the announcement, saying, “students are the lifeblood

because he did not ask for, nor expect, any credit. Ian worked for

of the University and the basis of our alumni community upon

the Acadia Students’ Union for so many years and is the reason

graduation. Their experiences on campus shape what comes

that the Students’ Union is the respected organization it is today.

afterward, and we are pleased to celebrate people like Ian

“Ian contributed to the Acadia community by enriching the

Morrison, whose unfailingly kind, caring and faithful commitment

experience of all the students. He championed the renovations

to Acadia’s students defines their experiences here and all that

of the Axe Bar and Grill and created an atmosphere for students

they bring to our alumni family. I’m delighted to welcome him

and alumni to come together and celebrate. The Christmas Craft

to our community as an Honorary Alumnus and extend sincere

Expo has been a long-time tradition at Acadia that was made

congratulations to him and his family.”

possible by Ian’s leadership. Ian has managed and overseen the

When it comes to service leadership and student impact at

employment of nearly 100 student staff every year. Under his

Acadia, few can boast credentials as impressive as Morrison’s. He came to Acadia in 1993 as a St. Mary’s University graduate and settled in quickly and comfortably as Student Centre Manager. In 1999, he became General Manager of the Acadia Students’

guidance, not only did students have more money to support their education, they became involved with the Union and Acadia community. He has demonstrated what quiet and thoughtful leadership can produce.”

Union (ASU), responsible for the operation of a $3-million not-

Morrison’s selection places him in distinguished company.

for-profit that included oversight of six businesses and three

Previous Honorary Alumni of Acadia University include Peter W.

publications. He was also responsible for the administration and

Webster, former Acadia President and Vice-Chancellor Ray Ivany

design of the student health plan, supervision of the ASU’s six

and legendary football coach John Huard.



Alumni Profile Peter Webster at the Blomidon Inn in September 2017 with recipients of the Webster Summer Undergraduate Research Awards (L-R): Rachel McNally, Cooper Coats, Alexandra Brown, and Kailey Evans. Rachel graduated from Acadia in 2018 with an Honours BA in Politics and is now a PhD Student in Political Science at Carleton University. Cooper earned an Honours Bachelor of Science in 2018 and is now pursuing his Master of Science in Kinesiology at the University of Victoria while playing for Team Canada in Men’s Rugby. Alexandra earned her Honours Bachelor of Science in Biology in 2018 and is presently pursuing a Masters in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Dalhousie University.

Peter Webster As an active alumnus of the Canadian National Ski Team, a

For Peter, this pre-meeting preparation was perfectly in line with

director on corporate boards, Chancellor of Quest University, and

a credo his father espoused about looking at the bottom of a

chair of a foundation that has contributed more than $170 million

tree to determine what makes it grow. “I would go to places like

to Canadian society, Peter Webster has many demands on his

the Anvil, where students hung out, and I would sit there for a

time. With so many irons in the fire, his commitment to Acadia,

while and strike up conversations about what was going on,” he

and long-time support for our students and programs is all the

remembers. “My fellow board members could never figure out

more remarkable.

how I was so well informed.”

Peter’s Acadia connection began in the mid-1990s with an

Fond memories

invitation from Harvey Gilmour (’66) – at that time Director of

Alumna Kailey Evans (BKinH ’18) has fond memories of a

Development – to get involved with the University at a leadership

September 2017 luncheon to present Peter with a framed


certificate in recognition of his ground-breaking status as

“I acted quickly,” Peter recalls. “Acadia was pioneering the use of mobile computing technology in the undergraduate curriculum. It sparked my interest to see the entire University embracing this challenge.” A firm believer in the importance of supporting youth and education, Peter soon became an Acadia champion, promoting the University’s achievements, making personal gifts, and advocating for support in his role as Chairperson of the R. Howard Webster Foundation. It did not take long for Acadia to realize that Peter Webster’s friendship was more than a passing fancy. A remarkable man with a lifetime commitment to philanthropy, he demonstrated exceptional service during his term as a member of Acadia’s Board of Governors – never balking at the long commute from

Acadia’s first honorary alumnus. She and three other students in attendance that afternoon at the Blomidon Inn were connected to Peter as recipients of summer research awards established in 2006 by the R. Howard Webster Foundation. “It was an incredible thrill to attend that lunch and meet Peter Webster,” says Kailey, who is now completing her Masters in Physical Therapy at University of Manitoba and has recently co-authored several scholarly papers on exercise physiology and cognition in older adults. “The Webster Summer Undergraduate Research Award allowed me to focus on my thesis research and guided me toward where I am today.” “That lunch was a great honour,” recalls Peter. “I really enjoyed meeting the students and seeing their enthusiasm for the future. For me, that’s what it’s all about.”

his home in Vancouver. Not only would he arrive in Wolfville a few

For the time being, Peter isn’t able to travel to Atlantic Canada,

days early for board meetings, he would also walk around town

so he has not yet had the pleasure of touring Acadia’s

and talk to students and faculty to understand the issues.

Steamspace, a modern facility equipped with 3-D printers, laser Story continued on next page



Acadia News

Alumni Profile (cont’d.) Acadia strives for complete vaccination

cutters, and specialty software. The first university makerspace in

The University has recently approved

staff to entrepreneurs, alumni, and school groups, Steamspace

a vaccination policy for students

was made possible by a generous gift to the Campaign for

and employees. While vaccination

Acadia from the R. Howard Webster Foundation.

is not mandatory, it is strongly recommended, and the University is striving to achieve a fully vaccinated campus community.

Atlantic Canada to welcome everyone from students, faculty, and

“The R. Howard Webster Foundation has always been there to support students at Acadia in a very meaningful way,” says Acadia Chancellor Bruce Galloway (’68, ’03).

“Our goal is that our campus remains a safe place to work and study,” says University President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Peter Ricketts. “We are striving to exceed the provincial levels of vaccination participation in hopes of being able to further reduce restrictions on campus.”

Bruce sat on the Board of Governors with Peter and describes him as “a great friend of Acadia.” It’s an apt description of a man who has made Acadia a priority for the past 25 years – a man who, in his own words, “feels like part of the family.” Prior to meeting Peter that day at the Blomidon Inn, Kailey Evans

Learn more:

had heard enough about him to quell her nervousness at dining

Julia Baak (’21) awarded Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship Julia Baak, Acadia MSc Biology graduate (’21), is a recipient of the highly prestigious Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship in

with the Chair of one of Canada’s pre-eminent foundations. “It’s funny, “ she says. “I knew how much that lunch meant to the award recipients, but I hadn’t considered what it might mean to him. The wonderful thing was that he seemed to enjoy it as much as we did, if not more!”

support of her PhD research at McGill University. These federal scholarships support doctoral students and recognize them as part of Canada’s next generation of research leaders. Learn more:

2020 Honorary Degree Recipients Hon. Scott Brison Raymond E. Ivany Terry W. Hennigar (’65) R. Diane Campbell (’64)

Celebratory mood sets tone at 39th Annual Alumni Golf Tournament

Rev. Dr. Gary V. Nelson

Acadia’s Alumni Office

Hon. Justice Murray Sinclair

held its first in-person

Dr. Robert Strang

event since the pandemic

Dr. Gaynor Watson-Creed

prohibited gatherings.

Nancy McCain (’82)

Connie J. Eaves, PhD 2021 Honorary Degree Recipients Rt. Hon. Paul Martin

More than 120 golfers took to the KenWo golf course in New

Kyle Lowry

Minas, N.S. to celebrate the alumni community and provide

Rev. Dr. Malcolm Card

financial support to incoming Acadia students by contributing to the Alumni Bursary – Valley Branch. Learn more:

Distinguished Alumni Award Dr. Catharine Farrow (’89) – 2020 Dr. Blye Frank (’77, ’81) – 2021 Outstanding Young Alumni Award Paul McFarland (’10) – 2020 Kayla Mansfield-Brown (’14, ’19) – 2021



Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.