ISSUE 6 | SUMMER 2021
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: https://convocation.acadiau.ca
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.
ISSUE 6 | SUMMER 2021
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
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.
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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.”
ISSUE 6 | SUMMER 2021
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
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: https://alumni.acadiau.ca/AwardsListing
ISSUE 6 | SUMMER 2021
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.
ISSUE 6 | SUMMER 2021
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
how I was so well informed.”
Peter’s Acadia connection began in the mid-1990s with an
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
ISSUE 6 | SUMMER 2021
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: acadiau.ca/vaccination
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: acadiau.ca/JuliaBaak
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
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
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: alumni.acadiau.ca/AlumniGolf
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
ISSUE 6 | SUMMER 2021