Acadia Bulletin - Fall 2017

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FALL 2017







NOMINATIONS OPEN FOR DISTINGUISHED, YOUNG ALUMNI AWARDS Alumni are one of Acadia University’s greatest assets. The Acadia Alumni Association offers and supports awards and honours to recognize and showcase those who have earned distinction and achieved inspirational success in life and career. Their diverse contributions reflect favorably on Acadia and serve to represent and promote the University and its alumni both here at home and around the world. Nominations are now open for:

The Acadia Alumni Distinguished Alumni Award The Acadia University Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes the outstanding achievements of an Acadia alumnus whose endeavours in professional research, civic duty, business, athletics, the arts, the community, or other areas have made a significant contribution and inherently brought honour to Acadia University and its alumni. This Award honours alumni with greater than 10 years post-Acadia.

Acadia Alumni Outstanding Young Alumni Award The Acadia Alumni Outstanding Young Alumni Award recognizes an Acadia alumnus who has graduated within the past 10 years whose endeavours in professional research, athletics, the arts, the community or other areas worthy of recognition bring honour to Acadia University. Both awards are presented annually at the Alumni Gala Dinner. To nominate someone, please visit:

NOMINATIONS OPEN FOR ACADIA ALUMNI FACULTY AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING Nominations are now open for the Acadia Alumni Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching. This award recognizes a continued record of excellence in teaching students and future alumni of Acadia University with a focus on the faculty member’s professional and teaching accomplishments. Candidates must be current fulltime, part-time or contract members of the teaching faculty and have taught at Acadia University for at least three years. For more, please visit: Please send completed nomination forms to: . Deadline: November 30, 2017.

Peter Bigelow (‘83)

IN EVERY ISSUE From the Acadia President . . . . . . . . 2 From the Alumni President . . . . . . . . 3 Alumni Profiles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Eye on Acadia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Alumni Association . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Alumni Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Class Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Acadia Remembers . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Final Frame . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

ON THE COVER: Top left, Acadia alumnus and Nobel laureate Dr. Charles B. Huggins (’20); at right, Acadia professor Dr. Kirk Hillier gathers research specimens. (Hillier photo: Andrew Tolson, Maclean’s)



Warm welcome President Dr. Peter Ricketts has been overwhelmed by the warm welcome and enthusiastic alumni support he has received, and outlines priorities for his presidency.

10 Research success Dr. Jill Beveridge (’02), who recently obtained a US$1 million grant to study ACL injuries, says that Acadia’s small-school experience set the table for her success.

28 Dynamic duo Staunch supporters Gordon (’48) and Bobby (’50) MacNeill met at Acadia as students and have been in love with one another and the institution ever since.

30 Super Summer Reunion! Summer Reunion 2017 was a resounding success! Two hundred alumni and friends returned July 7-9 as the University welcomed back the Classes of 1942, 1947, 1952, 1957, 1962, 1967, 1972 and 1977.





he last few months at Acadia have been amazingly busy as I have settled into my new role, but I am enjoying the many challenges and rewards and having the time of my life! The University has incredible momentum right now and everywhere I turn, good things are happening. It was a great pleasure to welcome students back to campus on MoveIn Day and speak to them directly at Matriculation. At the Meet the President sessions, I had the opportunity to chat with many students as well as many proud and nervous parents as they readied themselves for “letting go” of their precious daughters and sons. As we welcomed our students back, the campus was changing and evolving around us. In particular, the $22.25 million Science Complex renewal project is on track for a spring 2018 completion, and the new classrooms and science labs were completed in time for use during the fall term. The new Clark Terrace has added a lovely outdoor space to our Wu Welcome Centre, and the beautiful Manning Memorial Chapel has a spanking new metal roof. We recently celebrated the grand opening of the Stevens Centre at our Athletics Complex, our varsity teams are competitive and make us proud every time they don Acadia’s distinctive colours, and the level of engagement in our alumni community is at an all-time high. Even before I began my tenure as Acadia’s 16th President and Vice-Chancellor on July 1st, I had the pleasure of attending several alumni events and experiencing first-hand the warmth and vibrancy of this tremendous community and its Alumni Association. From the Lobster Picnic in Ottawa to Summer Reunion to the Alumni Golf Tournament and more recently a Homecoming Weekend that featured alumni from the Caribbean, Acadia spirit is alive and well. These events are what I call part of my “Acadia Immersion”, and as I delve deeper into the history and culture of this University, I am continually inspired by the lifelong passion and commitment of our alumni. The alumni community has welcomed me with enthusiasm and offered valuable insights into what makes Acadia distinct in the post-secondary landscape and a destination of choice for so many prospective students. The regard you have for




REACHING HIGHER, DELVING DEEPER your alma mater and the passion with which you express it has been impressive and educational, offering both context and guidance that has been simultaneously helpful and informative. There were many takeaways from these wonderfully rich conversations, but I think the most important was the fact that Acadia produces graduates that are committed to making a difference in the world. Our reach truly does exceed our grasp, and Acadia alumni are ambassadors here at home and abroad, sharing the Acadia story far and wide with uncommon vigour, candour and good humour. This edition of the Bulletin certainly illustrates that as Acadia’s legacy comes to life with each tale of individual accomplishment. I am delighted to have an opportunity to continue this tradition and add even greater capacity to our story in the future, helping Acadia to reach even higher than it has in the past. My goal is to ensure that all of us – faculty, staff, senior administration, and alumni – make a commitment to put our students first and give them every opportunity to succeed. I am dedicated to providing a rich and personal learning experience for each of our students and delighted to return to Nova Scotia to work closely with University colleagues and the communities Acadia serves locally, regionally, nationally and globally. Alumni have a pivotal role in this process. I stated at the 2017 Alumni Reunion that as I seek to discover the recipe for the “secret sauce” that makes Acadia so special, I have already found out that the alumni are one of the primary ingredients. I encourage you to host information sessions, attend alumni events, support the University financially whenever possible, and always be proud ambassadors for your alma mater. You are vitally important to our success as an institution and I look forward to working with you. Together, I believe we can make a difference and achieve even greater heights for Acadia, its students, and our Alumni Association in the years ahead. In Acadia spirit, Dr. Peter Ricketts President and Vice-Chancellor


Fall 2017 Volume 100 / Issue 2 Publisher Office of Advancement, Acadia University PHOTO: OONAGH PROUDFOOT

Editor Fred Sgambati (’83) Vice President, Advancement Rod Morrison Executive Director, Alumni Affairs and Advancement Strategy Ian Murray (’88) Advertising Manager Sandra Symonds Associated Alumni Board of Directors Geoff Irvine (‘87) Ryan Conrod (’06) Donalda MacBeath (‘75) Paul MacIsaac (‘88) Rebecca Carr (’15) Doug Jackson (‘99) Tony Stewart (’72) Michele Gerrard (‘88) Kiersten Amos (‘96) Matt Rios (’14) David Hovell (‘91) Malcolm Smith (‘76) Fred Gilbert (’65) David Davidson (‘81) Amanda Penrice (‘09) Tammy Walker (’92) Becca Webster (’13) Lisa Peck (’85) Barry Taylor (’80) Ted Upshaw (’80) Kyle Power (’13) Heather Hickman (’77) Leah McNally (‘07) Greg Young (’93) Madison Cyr (’17, ex-officio) Regan Trask (’18, ex-officio) Graphic Designer Cathy Little Printing Advocate Printing Distributor Russell House Marketing The Bulletin is published twice a year, Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer, by the Office of Advancement, Acadia University. It is distributed on the Acadia campus and by mail to more than 28,000 alumni. All material is ©2017 Acadia University, and may be reprinted with written permission. Acadia Bulletin welcomes Letters to the Editor: Fred Sgambati Office of Advancement Acadia University Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6 902.585.1725 Advertising inquiries: Production and Events Manager Alumni Affairs Acadia University, Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6 902.585.1708


s summer turned to fall in the land of Evangeline, Acadia alumni remembered our past as we gathered at Homecoming to celebrate our time in Wolfville and planned for the bright future of our alma mater. In this issue, among many fantastic stories about our alumni around the world, we celebrate the significant role Acadia plays in the world of science. Our science alumni punch above their weight with peer-reviewed research carried out right here by undergraduates, many of whom go on to world-class careers in academia, research and government. We welcome to campus our 16th President and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Peter Ricketts, and wish him all the best as he leads Acadia into the next decade. Our new President takes over the University at an important time in history and I look forward to working with him to ensure that Acadia continues to be a leader in critical thought, free speech and a place where people prepare themselves for a lifetime of learning and discovery. Peter has already attended several alumni events and understands the special relationship that our alumni have with Acadia. Within the Acadia Alumni Board, there is much activity in governance, awards, reunions and events and we are excited to roll out the results of the branding exercise completed this year and hope that you will relate to the new “look and feel” of your Association. The Board is undergoing a major review of our constitution and bylaws to ensure that your Association is strong and ready to continue your work in the future. With an eye to the past, I was honoured to read a book published recently by John Grant entitled, As Ever, the wartime letters written by Cpl. Harold Fletcher Bishop,1915-1919. Bishop was a member of the Acadia Class of ’17. It was disrupted by the First World War with 29 of the 41 men from the class enlisting, with 10 making the supreme sacrifice, including Bishop, after fighting at Vimy Ridge. His letters home to his sister Jean, a student at Acadia living in the “Tavern” (Whitman House), his mother and others are remarkable in that almost every letter has a reference to Acadia. He runs into his classmates constantly, noting after one chance encounter in the dark in a trench with John McNeill, “Well Bish, here we are – fed up and far from home.” During training in England, Sergeant R. M. Millett noted, “No Acadia soldier is so busy or so wrapped up with all that goes on to make life pleasant that he doesn’t ‘fall in’ when the order calls Acadia’s sons together.” I felt a deep sense of pride that, despite the hardships and perhaps because of the loneliness experienced by between 600 and 700 Acadia men and women who served our country during the Great War, they would gather wherever they were, as we do today, to celebrate their alma mater. The past connects to the present in a very tangible way, and I am reminded of that every time Acadia alumni come together to honour the University’s remarkable history and embrace its tremendous potential moving forward. Geoff Irvine (’87) President, Acadia Alumni Association








By Fred Sgambati (’83)


r. Peter Ricketts began his six-year tenure as Acadia University’s 16th President and ViceChancellor on July 1 and was officially installed Oct. 13, 2017 at a ceremony in Manning Memorial Chapel on campus. A renowned scientist, Dr. Ricketts brings a wealth of experience at both large and small universities to his role at Acadia. Before coming to Wolfville, he was Provost and Vice-President (Academic) at Carleton University in Ottawa. Prior to that, he was Vice-President (Academic and Research) at Nipissing University, Vice-President (Academic) and then President of Okanagan University College, Dean of Graduate Studies, Dalhousie University, and University Research Officer at Saint Mary’s University. Born in Harrogate, Yorkshire and raised in Bournemouth on the south coast of England, Dr. Ricketts earned his BA (Honours) at the University of Nottingham in 1974 and a PhD from the University of Southampton in 1982. He is internationally recognized for his expertise in coastal zones and ocean management, and earned a reputation as a champion of undergraduate and graduate student research, faculty development, entrepreneurship, internationalization, and academic innovation. Dr. Ricketts and his wife, Maryann, have two children: Sean (20) and Danielle (19). Sean transferred from Carleton and is currently studying Computer Science at Acadia. Danielle attends Mount Saint Vincent University, pursuing a degree in Recreation and Hospitality Management. The family plans to live in Wolfville and expects to be in a newly constructed home by Christmas or early January. Dr. Ricketts’s hobbies include playing soccer (he’s a big Premier League fan!), exercising, golf (although he admits he’s not very good), playing guitar, and he looks forward to exploring many wonderful woodland and coastal locations up and down the Valley. Reflecting on his experiences so far, Dr. Ricketts discusses the warm reception he has received since being named President, the outpouring of support from Acadia’s alumni community, and his priorities going forward.



University President Dr. Peter Ricketts (left) with Granville Nickerson (’42) and Vice-President, Advancement Dr. Rod Morrison at Summer Reunion 2017


When you start these kinds of jobs, it’s a bit like drinking from the fire hose. You’re inundated with massive amounts of information. My first priority coming in was to listen and learn about Acadia. I wanted to talk to people, listen to their stories and try to get under the skin of the institution – what makes it tick, how it works, what makes it such a special place. I also wanted to let everybody on campus feel that they can approach me and talk to me, that I’m interested and concerned about what they’re doing. In listening, one also takes stock. Slowly, as I become more immersed in the institution – and complete what I consider my Acadia Immersion Program – I’ll tie what I’ve learned into priorities that are important for the University and determine what we need to do together to make this a better place. If it’s good for Acadia and the students, then it’s my job to make it happen.

competing for those students, so you have to promote what makes your university special in a powerful way. Today’s students are paying more for their education and are more discerning, so we need to articulate the value of a university education to a student in a modern world and how important it is for a successful career and life. There is also the challenge of resources. In Atlantic Canada, universities have been under severe financial restraint for a very long time, and sustainable funding for universities remains a real challenge for the provincial government. Our region also has particular challenges related to the population demographic issue, and we need to be more successful in attracting new Canadians to settle and keeping them here. I was very pleased to see at one of my first events in Halifax – the Atlantic Leaders Summit – that governments are focused on international students and talking very positively about the role of universities in attracting these students to the Atlantic provinces. Of course, not all international students will stay here as many have important work to do in their own countries, but some will stay and contribute to the long term economic and social development of Nova Scotia.



You’ve been on the job for several months now. What was your first priority when you were hired, and has the priority changed now that you’ve had a chance to experience Acadia?

In your opinion, where does Acadia fit in the Canadian post-secondary landscape?

It’s the jewel in the crown. Acadia holds a very important and special place in the Canadian university system. Because of its location, size, history and culture, our students get an educational learning experience that isn’t found anywhere else. Twenty or thirty years ago, Canadians had greater choice for a small, residential liberal arts and science educational experience, but it has become much less accessible as institutions across the country have expanded and adopted a ‘bigger is better’ model. Acadia has a really important niche because it preserves what we view as best about a university education, while also it is outward-looking, modern, innovative and provides all the advantages of a 21st century education. At the same time, we have preserved the richness of the small campus experience and that’s part of the magic of the place.


What challenges do you anticipate Acadia facing in the future to secure our unique market niche?

There are significant challenges. In Canada, we know that, with the exception of a few areas, we are facing a declining domestic pool of 18-25-year-olds. Every institution is



You’ve had tremendous support from members of our alumni community. Can you describe the reception you’ve received and what it means to you? I’ve been overwhelmed by the response of everybody: on campus, in the region, and particularly members of the alumni community. There has been tremendous interest with a new president coming in and on the heels of a very successful outgoing president, who did a fantastic job. I can understand that people might have been cautious, but I didn’t experience that. Alumni I talked with said they want me to succeed, they want Acadia to succeed, and it has been wonderful. What really overwhelmed me was the Summer Reunion! I felt very welcome and was privileged to meet alumni in attendance going all the way back to 1942. I felt very much a part of the alumni extended family and I had never experienced anything quite like the level of passion, dedication and commitment people have to this institution. Even 40 or 50 years later, graduates look back at their experience and say it was the best time of their lives. People leave here truly transformed, and one of my goals is to give our students a similar kind of experience. I’ve learned also that people really love this place! I said to the alumni at Summer Reunion that people talk about the magic of Acadia and I wanted to know the ‘secret sauce’ that makes Acadia so successful. One of the key ingredients is



the passion of our alumni. It makes Acadia very distinctive. There’s a sense of belonging that goes way beyond being a student and it touches everybody. The commitment and passion is not just skin deep; it goes right down through the breadth and depth of the institution.


How can alumni serve the Acadia community?

There are many ways. Financially, of course. But while we are seeking as much financial support as individuals feel they can provide, people can also contribute with time and knowledge. Alumni can be enormously helpful in speaking about Acadia, edging up the volume a few notches and spreading the net beyond those who have actually been at the institution. They can also provide opportunities for our students in their respective workplaces, either as a summer or co-op placement. Just imagine the opportunities our students would have! I’m a strong believer in global education and if I had my way, every student would have some kind of internationalized education. One of the ways to make it a reality is to work with the Acadia diaspora – all the alumni around the world who can help provide opportunities and international experiences for our students. It offers a huge advantage when looking for that all-important first job because it differentiates yourself in the market.


How important are relationships between the University, the Town of Wolfville and Province of Nova Scotia?

Hugely important. There was a day once when universities were ivory towers, but that has completely broken down. While universities remain as intellectual and scholarly environments, the boundaries are dissolving fast and I’m extremely impressed by our relationship with the Town of Wolfville. I’m very grateful for the approach the Town takes with Acadia, starting with Mayor Jeff Cantwell and everyone else he works with. We have an excellent relationship and I want to build on that and increase our partnerships.

Our relationship with the province is important, too, but it’s not just about funding. The government is talking now about how important universities and colleges are if we are to secure a sustainable and prosperous future in Nova Scotia. I see us as one of the cylinders that drive the economy and quality of life in Nova Scotia because we provide access to a highly educated workforce. An important aspect of the 21st century university is experiential learning that involves opportunities for students to receive work-integrated experiences. It’s a huge attraction for small and mediumsized businesses looking to start up that they have access to young, enthusiastic talent, and today’s more innovative spirit suggests that the relationship is mutually beneficial. It’s building an entire mechanism where the student and community experience become intertwined.


Any other thoughts?

I am very interested in developing relationships with Indigenous communities and determining what our response to the Truth and Reconciliation committee will be. I’m very much looking forward to working with Mi’kmaq and Metis in Nova Scotia to develop an appropriate response for Acadia. I think it’s very important that we determine the correct role for our University so as to provide more educational opportunities and address some of the issues these communities have. I feel incredibly privileged to be Acadia’s President and I have a great sense of responsibility to the institution, our faculty, staff, students and alumni. As President, I have a duty to make sure that I build upon the institution I have inherited and pass it on to the next generation of leaders stronger than when I started. What has been extremely satisfying to me is that I’m not alone in carrying out this daunting role. I have the support of the Board of Governors, my executive team, the Acadia Alumni Board and everyone else at the University. I’m delighted to contribute to the history and development of this University and I plan to be very respectful in how I approach this. It’s a tremendous honour, and I look forward with great anticipation to the future.




By Clancy Waite (’15)


icture it: a plaque sitting on the wall in an office at the University of Chicago that reads, “Discovery is our Business.” Of course, this is no ordinary office, and its occupant no ordinary person. This is where Acadia alumnus Dr. Charles B Huggins (’20) worked, and the plaque provided daily inspiration that characterized his research. An internationally renowned cancer researcher, Huggins won numerous awards and distinctions throughout his career, including the 1966 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (shared with colleague Dr. Peyton Rous). He was awarded an Honorary Degree (DSC) from Acadia in 1946 and also served as Acadia’s Chancellor from 1972-79. Huggins earned a BA from Acadia in 1920 at just 18 years of age. Completing a four-year program in three years, it was apparent that Huggins had a bright career ahead of him. Small wonder that his scientific prowess would eventually become the stuff of legend. For instance, when Huggins was appointed Chancellor, Dr. Marion Grant (’21), former classmate and then head of the Psychology department, lauded him by recalling a joke from a 1919 edition of The Athenaeum. It went: “The only two men



who thoroughly understand Einstein’s theory are Einstein himself and C. B. Huggins, Acadia ’20. Joking or not,” she added, “[it was] an indication that someone had an inkling even then of the potential of this budding scientist.”

EXTOLLED ACADIA’S VIRTUES An undergraduate degree from a small liberal arts institution in rural Nova Scotia may seem like an odd start to an illustrious career, but the interdisciplinary foundation it provided for Huggins was critical to his success. In a sit-down interview with the CBC in July 1967, he said, “I believe that any boy who can handle his Latin verbs and Greek syntax can handle his character, and if he can handle his character he can do good cancer research.” Huggins extolled the virtues of the Acadia experience in the February 1967 edition of the Bulletin, noting, “the advantages of an Acadia education are the contacts with the many brilliant professors and fellow students. I went to Acadia for that reason. The students have contact with the professors.” Huggins enjoyed mentoring relationships and friendships with many professors at Acadia and credits one in particular for sparking his interest in medicine. Dr. Avery DeWitt, a


local physician, taught a course in human anatomy that inspired Huggins to pursue a career in medicine and later apply to Harvard Medical School. Some of his most cherished relationships were with Dr. DeWitt, Dr. D. U. Hill of the Chemistry department, and Dr. W. H. Thompson in Classics, with the relationships lasting over 30 years. Hill and DeWitt were also present when Huggins was installed as Chancellor.

PROUD ALUMNUS No matter the number of accolades afforded him or wherever he went, Huggins remained a proud Acadia alumnus. “The lessons that I learned at Acadia have returned again and again to my mind. I have been imprinted with the excellence of Acadia,” he said. As Chancellor, he spoke often of repaying the University for the lessons he had learned. “It is a privilege to attempt to repay Acadia in some measure for a splendid education,”

he said, and that’s exactly what he did. Learning from those who had taught him, Huggins valued the relationships he formed with students during his time as Chancellor. Bill Parker (’56), then Director of Alumni Affairs, became a close family friend and describes Huggins as a humble man and more than just a scientist. He remembers Huggins always referring to the University as ‘Acadia the beautiful’ and how he would return to Wolfville as often as possible. “He loved visiting the Farmers’ Market, walking through town and along the dykes with his wife,” Parker recalls. The experiences Huggins had during his time at Acadia reflect those that current students encounter today. Using a cooperative educational model, students and professors engage in a learning process that is as wide-ranging as it is rigorous, with the goal of developing each person’s potential to the fullest. This was the Acadia that Huggins encountered in his formative years and upon which he built an extraordinary life and career. Combining humanism with scientific intellect, he left an indelible mark as a researcher and a human being, and we are proud to celebrate his many accomplishments and contributions to Acadia.





henever Dr. Jillian Beveridge (’02) returns to Acadia, she makes no bones about it: it’s like coming home. Small wonder. Her family has very strong ties to the University. Her father, Halifax lawyer Sandy Beveridge, is a 1970 grad and former director on the Acadia Alumni Association Board. Her grandfather, the late Dr. James M. R. Beveridge (’37), was University President from 1964-78. The Beveridge Arts Centre was named in his honour. Dr. Beveridge’s family connections run deep as well: his wife, five sons and daughter are all Acadia alumni. Although Jill grew up in Halifax, she visited her grandparents regularly and experienced the Acadia campus first-hand during her formative years. Despite the family connections, Acadia wasn’t necessarily a foregone conclusion – she had applied to Dalhousie, McGill, Queen’s and Mt. Allison. However, Acadia was always near the top of her list and appealing in three critical ways. First, Jill wanted a small-school, intimate campus experience. The University had just rolled out its Acadia Advantage program then too and she says, “here was this campus that promoted small classes and intimate learning, but was also leading with technology and online learning.” Finally, and not surprisingly, the family history component ultimately played a role in her decision to attend.

RECRUITED AS VARSITY ATHLETE She was recruited as a varsity athlete and played three seasons for the volleyball Axettes before graduating with a Bachelor of Kinesiology with a specialization in Sport Rehabilitation. She earned a PhD from the University of Calgary in 2012 and is currently a post-doctoral research fellow at Brown University in Providence, RI, with clinical and scientific training in orthopedic biomechanics and osteoarthritis. She is in the second year of a five-year US $1 million National Institute of Health research project that uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to predict how strong a healing ACL ligament or ACL graft is after surgery. Using MRI technology, Jill and her team are exploring the impact of ACL injuries 10 years after initial incident and remedy, trying to determine if the grafts retain their original properties or remodel over time in the body. It’s ground-breaking stuff that has real-world, lifechanging applications. Oddly enough, an ACL injury in her third year at Acadia may have spurred an interest in this avenue of research. She



remembers the moment like it was yesterday. “I was going up to spike a ball and landed on one leg,” she says. “It just kind of collapsed. You could hear the pop and the crunch.” At the time, she had started her specialization in Sport Rehabilitation doing hands-on research with professor and head athletic therapist Dr. Jim MacLeod. “The Acadia kinesiology program was structured in terms of finding your passion,” Jill says, “and there was a broad emphasis on skill development. You learned how to learn in so many different aspects and the small classes and working groups changed the quality of the educational experience. “Acadia is so valuable in that respect. The camaraderie is second to none and the professors really want to see students succeed.” After her injury, Jill says MacLeod came to visit her with flowers and a get-well card from the Kinesiology faculty. He said they had heard about the injury and hoped she was doing well. She was deeply touched, and notes, “I would be hardpressed to name another institution where that would ever happen.” It meant a lot, and she and MacLeod have remained friends ever since. She considers MacLeod, Dr. Rene Murphy, Director of Acadia’s Kinesiology Department, and Darren Booth, Director of the Acadia Sports Therapy Clinic to be mentors, and that her current research has in many ways brought her full circle. “Acadia really set the table,” she says. “I started off in sport injury and sport rehabilitation and over the past 14-15 years have developed all the tools to determine how to manage our surgical techniques or rehabilitative protocols to optimize graft healing over time. It’s a bench-to-bedside approach that can be very valuable. “Acadia may not offer things that you would expect in a bigger city, but it does offer a broad learning experience as a human being, not just academically. Instead of having to learn by yourself, you’re working in smaller groups which, when you transition to a career path, is what you really end up doing. You’ve already developed those people and soft skills that puts you ahead. When you reflect back, those are the skills and experiences you come to appreciate.” Was it all work and no play? Not by a long shot. “Parents say university is the best of time of your life and you brush it off, saying, ‘Yeah, yeah.’ But when you think about it, though, you think, ‘Oh, yeah. That was a lot of fun!’ and a real jumping off point for my life and career.”


By Fred Sgambati (’83)



Dr. Jillian Beveridge (’02)

Acadia Reminiscence “I think my favourite memory is when Jim came over with that card signed by all the faculty. Everybody had signed it, and it was great. Later on, I had been in Calgary for a while and came back to Wolfville for a visit. I remember reconnecting with Jim. He comes up to me, gives me a big hug and says, ‘Welcome home!’ And I thought, ‘It really is!’ Even now, I’m getting emotional. It’s fresh, and things do change, but the essence is still there. It’s still like home to me.”



By Rachel Cooper (’89)

Science is one of the great areas of intellectual activity,” says Kelvin Ogilvie (’63), former President and Vice-Chancellor of Acadia (1993–2003) and a member of the Canadian Senate (see sidebar). “A university must have it at a level where the professors are motivated by both the excitement and the historical impact of their discipline. They must not only imbue students with the tools to learn and the essential infrastructure of the language of their discipline, they must also motivate them by relating the significance and importance of discoveries in their field of science.” Ogilvie believes that’s what occurs in a small university such as Acadia. Students learn about the scientific method,



about great developments in science, and about their impact. “Science doesn’t just impact technology, it impacts culture,” he adds. “Even students who do not major in science are exposed to science at a small university, and they get some sense of the role of science in society.” Ogilvie sees Acadia’s strong foundation in science as a large part of its reputation for excellence. “When we look at environmental science at Acadia today, the biological science that covers the wildlife spectrum, plant genetics in agriculture, the wine laboratories – these things have a tremendous impact on society,” he says. “People hear that Acadia is doing leading-edge work. Scientific research that impacts society in a positive way helps the University




ALUMNI PROFILES Senator Dr. Kelvin Ogilvie (’63) with Acadia’s Dean of Research and Graduate Studies Dr. Anna Redden (’79).

maintain its importance in society. That’s one way that young people learn of the University and want to come here.”

PUNCHING ABOVE THEIR WEIGHT Even as a young scientist, Ogilvie believed that small, liberal arts universities were punching above their weight in motivating young people to pursue scientific and technological endeavours, and the evidence confirms it. Eugene Garfield, founder of the Institute for Scientific Information, was editor of a science abstracting service in the 1970s and ‘80s that, every week, provided the contents lists of scientific journals from around the world. When Garfield analyzed his huge database of publications, he found that liberal arts institutions played a disproportionate role in motivating young people to get science degrees and to become professionals in the field. “Garfield had the evidence that backed up the intuition many of us had in science; that these institutions were tremendously important in motivating young people to go on to careers in science and engineering,” Ogilvie says. Today, however, not as many young Canadians are pursuing post-graduate work in science and engineering. As a result, Ogilvie points out, graduate studies in most large research universities in Canada are heavily populated by international students. While he hastens to add that nothing is wrong with that, it means we’re investing in a resource that is not necessarily going to become a Canadian resource. “We should be going out of our way to encourage and motivate young Canadians to go on in science,” he asserts. However, such efforts are complicated by the increasing difficulty smaller universities face in attracting research funding on a competitive basis. According to Ogilvie, the criteria for awarding grants are biased toward larger institutions, and committees determining how grants are awarded tend to be populated by professors from those large institutions.

IMPORTANCE OF SMALL UNIVERSITIES Smaller universities therefore need to become better at making their case and seizing opportunities for funding, he says. “Because of how important I believe these liberal arts institutions are, I’ve spent a fair amount of time behind the scenes trying to motivate the smaller institutions at their organizational level and the granting councils at their administrative levels to recognize this critical issue.” Universities that he believes are important – and he rates Acadia at the top – should be taking this issue forward, Ogilvie says. He has always championed the smaller institutions because students learn in small groups, and they get individual attention in a safe, strongly motivational

environment. “They get to do their honours degree with a great deal of personal attention on projects that are true research projects,” he says. “I remember reviews of Acadia’s honours program, and the reviewers saying, ‘These would be Master’s theses at most universities.’ The quality and research experience in an honours program at Acadia is the very highest, and it is enormously important to our society.”

A LIFE OF SCIENCE AND SERVICE The Honourable Kelvin K. Ogilvie (’63) was President and Vice-Chancellor of Acadia from 1993 to 2003. During that time, Acadia became one of the most high-tech and innovative campuses in North America, to such an extent that the Smithsonian Institution acknowledged its pioneering role for the Acadia Advantage program. Once nominated for the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Dr. Ogilvie is a leading expert on biotechnology, bio-organic chemistry and genetic engineering. His scientific accomplishments include developing the “Gene Machine,” an automated process for manufacturing DNA. He is the inventor of Ganciclovir, a drug used worldwide to fight infections that occur when one’s immune system is weakened. Named a Steacie Fellow in 1982, he was admitted to the Order of Canada in 1991, and in 1992 received the Manning Principal Award as Canada’s outstanding contributor to innovation. He has written and spoken extensively on the challenges facing Canada as a nation and the role of the knowledge economy, postsecondary education and entrepreneurship. Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed Ogilvie to the Canadian Senate in 2009. Dr. Ogilvie is the Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, was co-Chair of the Special Joint Committee on Physician-Assisted Dying in 2016, and from 2009 to 2015 served as Chair of the Health Research Caucus. His term on the Senate finishes in November 2017. Throughout his professional life, Dr. Ogilvie has served on numerous national and international bodies including the Atomic Energy Control Board, the National Biotechnology Advisory Committee, and the National Advisory Board for Science and Technology. In 2011, he was inducted into the Canadian Science and Engineering Hall of Fame.





PAUL CORKUM (‘65), professor and holder of the Canada Research Chair in Attosecond Photonics at the University of Ottawa, has been awarded the Royal Medal, an honour conferred annually by the UK’s Royal Society. The medal, which dates back to 1826, recognizes “the most important contributions to the advancement of natural knowledge” by scientists in Britain and Commonwealth nations, and comes with a $16,000 CAD prize. Corkum said in a media release that the award was a very high honour and it was amazing “to be in this long line of people who stretch back over almost two decades.” He obtained his undergraduate degree in physics at Acadia and PhD from Lehigh University. He also holds honorary degrees from Acadia (DSC ’06), Université Laval, Université Sherbrooke, and the University of Western Ontario. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada and a member of the Royal Society of Canada, the British Royal Society, and the American Academy of Sciences. In 2015, he was identified by Thomson Reuters as a potential Nobel winner. The Royal Medal will be presented at a ceremony later this fall.



DR. KATHERINE BICK (’51) has had an illustrious career as an academic, renowned Alzheimer researcher and policy writer. She graduated from Prince of Wales College in 1949, received her Bachelor of Science (Honours) in biology from Acadia in 1951, Master’s in 1952, and earned her PhD from Brown University in 1957. She has held research positions at the University of Western Ontario and UCLA School of Medicine, and academic positions at California State University (Northridge) and Georgetown University. In 1976, she joined the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in Washington, DC and later served as Deputy Director for Extramural Research at the National Institutes of Health until 1990. Dr. Bick later worked on epidemiological studies of dementia in Italy and the United States on behalf of the World Health Organization, and then became a consultant to several foundations. She received an honorary degree in science from Acadia in 1990 and a Doctor of Laws from the University of Prince Edward Island in 2016. She is now mostly retired, living in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, enjoying international travel, her grandchildren and greatgrandchildren.




n Acadia landmark, the K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre is a remarkable combination of the scientific and aesthetic. Named for distinguished alumnus and successful businessman Kenneth Colin Irving, a member of the Class of 1921, and a renewable gift to the University from his family, the Centre, says Director of Research Dr. David Kristie, “links learning to research, community and the environment.” Walking through the Centre – most of which is open to the public – it’s easy to see that mandate in action. The laboratories, greenhouses and conservatory provide a rich educational and sensory experience.



STATE-OF-THE-ART RESEARCH Browse the Centre’s research wing on the lower level and you’ll find three main centres: CARE (The Centre for Analytical Research on the Environment), the E.C. Smith Herbarium, and the laboratories of the Seed and Tissue Bank programs. An interdisciplinary laboratory space, CARE brings together state-of-the-art analytical facilities to study contaminants in the environment at trace levels. Faculty from Chemistry, Earth and Environmental Science and Engineering constitute the CARE team. Dr. Nelson O’Driscoll, from Earth and Environmental Science, studies mercury and other toxic chemicals in ecosystems. His work attracts graduate students from around the world and his laboratory is one of the few on campus that hosts PhD students. Many undergraduate students also participate in the projects through research assistantships. Another portion of the K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre’s research wing houses the E.C. Smith Herbarium. Part of the Irving Biodiversity Collection, it contains the largest collection of dried plant specimens east of Montreal. Its 200,000 samples are used for taxonomy and the study of plants’ geographic distribution. A recent study by Biology Honours student Alex Young (‘16) aims to develop a DNA bar-coding protocol for fungal specimens contained in the Herbarium. This will allow Young and the research team to reconstruct the fungal biodiversity of the Minas Basin as it was in 1975, when many of the

specimens were collected, and compare it to current coastal fungal communities. Dr. Allison Walker, who is working on the project, notes that facilities like the Herbarium provide a showcase for student environmental research. “They help us attract top students to Acadia,” she says. A short stroll down the corridor from the Herbarium and you’ll come to the tissue culture laboratories and cold storage facility that houses the Centre’s Seed and Tissue Bank programs. Here, samples of native flora – including endangered species of the Acadian Forest Region – are stored, propagated and preserved. The tissue culture laboratories are used for Honours and Master’s research, as well as in various undergraduate classes. “The opportunity for undergraduate students to conduct hands-on research with state-of-the-art equipment is rare,” Walker notes. “It’s often not possible at larger universities.”

ARTHUR IRVING SCHOLARS The vibrant research environment of the K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre is driven in large part by the continued generosity of Arthur Irving, Acadia’s Chancellor Emeritus, and his family through the Arthur Irving Academy grants and scholarships. The funding supports outstanding Acadia students and faculty carrying out environmental projects at the Centre.


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Left: Students engaged in research in Acadia’s CARE water lab. Below: Acadia’s Director of Research Dr. David Kristie

Biology student Kayoung Heo received an Arthur Irving Scholarship in Environmental Science in her third year, ahead of commencing her Honours research. Heo is studying the effects of BPA and folic acid on plant growth and flower development. “The level of BPA in the environment has been rising significantly,” Heo says, “so it will be interesting to see what BPA does to the development of organisms.” Heo says the funding she received is a great source of motivation and encouragement. “I now have not just myself or my parents taking an interest in my journey, but also the trustees of the Arthur Irving Academy,” she says. Baillie Holmes, another recipient, agrees. “The Irvings as a family have been supportive of and involved with me and the other scholars from day one,” she says. Holmes is entering her fourth year of Environmental Science. Her research is based at Boat Harbour in Pictou County, a former estuary transformed in 1970 into a wastewater treatment site for a pulp and paper mill. Holmes is investigating metal levels at the site and comparing them to natural background levels in the region. This information will eventually aid remediation managers in restoring Boat Harbour to its pre-development estuarine state. Inspired by her experience at the K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre, Holmes plans to continue in the field of remediation research after she completes her degree. The Arthur Irving Academy supports also faculty members. Dr. Walker, a four-time recipient, says the awards were pivotal in securing a prestigious five-year grant from NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada) earlier this year. “The Arthur Irving Academy funding is transformative for staff and faculty,” Walker says, “nurturing passion for environmental research.”

SUPPORTING THE LOCAL COMMUNITY The environmental work of the K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre extends beyond Acadia staff and faculty, providing a research resource for community groups and businesses as well. The Friends of the Acadian Forest Society is a volunteer group engaged in long-term education, research and plant

propagation projects. Their work benefits the Centre’s Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens, as well as the wider Annapolis Valley community of gardeners and native plant enthusiasts. In the Centre’s greenhouses, local businesses collaborate with faculty members to conduct innovative industry research. Dr. Robin Browne, a Propagation Specialist at the Centre, works with Port Williams-based TapRoot farms to cultivate flax for linen production. Meanwhile, Biology professor Dr. Russell Easy supervises Finleaf Technology’s use of the Irving Centre’s aquaponics tank. Aquaponics – a combination of aquaculture (raising fish) and hydroponics (the soil-less growing of plants) – capitalizes on the benefits of both to grow fish and plants in a single, integrated system. Reflecting on the role of the K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre in the community, Kristie believes it’s a vital part of the Centre’s mandate. “It’s extremely useful to provide services to the local area,” he says. “We’re proud to be a research resource for the Valley and beyond.”

CHAMPIONING DIVERSE ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH The range of research housed at the Centre could be overwhelming, but informational posters throughout the facility offer a helpful guide. A flick through the binder of these posters, available in the Garden Room, conveys the breadth of environmental work taking place. Students and faculty from Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Math, Engineering and Physics all participate in projects. Kristie says there is a strong sense of partnership, bolstered by a weekly Centre-wide coffee and cake gathering. “I’m not aware of any other location on campus that brings people from such diverse disciplines together for research,” he says, to Acadia’s benefit and that of the surrounding community. Acadia President Dr. Peter Ricketts adds, “we owe an enormous and ongoing debt to Arthur, Sandra and Sarah Irving for encouraging and enabling the research enterprise at Acadia.”





new science complex will transform science and innovation at Acadia while dramatically reducing the University’s environmental footprint. Major renovations to Elliott Hall and Huggins Hall will modernize their facilities and improve energy efficiency, while the new Huestis Innovation Pavilion – named in honour of lead donors Faye and David Huestis of Saint John, New Brunswick – will link the two existing buildings and provide space and laboratories for research and commercialization. “The renewal of our science facilities has been one of Acadia’s main institutional priorities for many years,” says Rod Morrison, Vice-President, Advancement. “The scale of the project was such that last year’s Strategic Investment Fund announcement by the federal government was very welcome news, and we were extremely grateful to receive a total of $15.98 million toward the science complex: $10.48 million from the federal government and $5.5 million from the Province of Nova Scotia. Without this support, we simply would not have been able to tackle this critical infrastructure project.” Acadia University and private donors are contributing an additional $6.27 million for a total of $22.25 million. “We



were delighted that alumni and friends of the University rallied so strongly behind this ambitious goal,” Morrison says. “We received very generous gifts from Faye and David (’63) Huestis, The McCain Foundation, Stephen McCain (’81), Margaret McCain Roy (’77), Gordon (’48) and Bobby (’50) MacNeill, David Davidson (’71), Cynthia Trudel (’74), our former President, Dr. Kelvin Ogilvie (’63), and many others. Their support made it possible for us to pursue this transformational project and to do so without incurring any long-term debt.”

BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER Elliott Hall was built in 1960 and Huggins opened in 1969. “Elliott’s exterior is in good shape, and it fits well with the aesthetic of campus, but the interior needed a complete redo,” says Marcel Falkenham, Director of Facilities Management at Acadia. “For Huggins, it’s the opposite. Its architecture doesn’t fit with the neo-classical theme of Acadia’s architecture. This is a chance to address that while making significant energy efficiency improvements, and tie them all together so that there’s truly barrier-free access between the facilities. The Innovation Pavilion gives us four labs for industry liaison and commercialization opportunities,

New Science Complex under construction. Left, members of Acadia’s Board of Governors and senior administration tour the renewed Science Complex.


Dr. Peter Williams

but more importantly it gives us the central hub for the whole science complex, where people from different disciplines can gather and collaborate.” Falkenham is working within an aggressive timeline. “As mandated by our federal and provincial partners, everything has to be completed by April 30, 2018,” he says, but classes needed to be held in Elliott in September. To meet the deadlines, local contractors such as Harvey Architecture, Dumac Energy (Consulting Engineers) and Bird Construction really stepped up, Falkenham says. As one example, Bird Construction had nearly 100 tradespeople in Elliott Hall every day for some weeks, besides the work they were doing at Huggins Hall and the Innovation Pavilion.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY A major feature of the project will be its positive impact on Acadia’s energy efficiency. “We’re pursuing a number of different initiatives,” Falkenham says. “We’re adding geothermal cooling. We’re retrofitting everything to LED lighting throughout. We’re also hoping to add some solar photovoltaic in small arrays for some onsite power generation. This will be a 150,000-squarefoot facility, which means that close to 10 per cent of our campus is in this science complex.” All those initiatives, combined with improvements to the efficiency of the Huggins building envelope, should reduce the University’s output of greenhouse gases by over 1,000 tonnes every year, Falkenham says.

FOSTERING ENTREPRENEURSHIP Although curiosity-driven research is a large part of science at Acadia, the University has a strong track record in entrepreneurship, says Peter Williams, Professor of Physics and former Dean of Pure and Applied Science. “We’ve had a provincially funded entrepreneurship centre on campus for a long time. It has been one of the more successful ones in the province, and we’re proud of that,” he says. “We also have an Office of Industry and Community Engagement for liaising with external companies who are interested in engaging with Acadia faculty to do research.” Examples of successful collaborations include the Atlantic

Wine Institute on campus and the new wine analysis lab. “We’re also doing pesticide research into natural compounds – environmentallyfriendly sprays – to deter pests in our local agriculture,” Williams adds. “And our computer science department has been heavily involved in applying artificial intelligence models to local agricultural problems. Our nutrition people do a lot of work with product testing for companies that have developed new food products. We have sensory evaluation labs, where people can come in and, for example, do taste testing. Tidal energy is another big element in our research programs.” These are only examples, he points out. “The Faculty of Science is interacting significantly with multiple industries: some that are established and some that are developing. All of this will gain added traction and momentum as a direct result of the renewal project.”

A GAME-CHANGER FOR ACADIA Williams acknowledges the fundraising efforts and donor generosity that have made such a major project possible. “All of this money has been gathered through fundraising, so we’re very, very grateful for the people in our Advancement Office,” he says. “But most importantly, we’re incredibly grateful for all the alumni who have participated in this fundraising.” For Morrison, the importance of the project can’t be overstated. “The complete overhaul of our chemistry facilities, combined with a bold renewal of the look and feel of Huggins Hall, will transform the work and research environment for our students and faculty,” he says, “and the new Huestis Innovation Pavilion will dramatically enhance our ability to partner with industry on innovative new ventures. We believe this project is a game-changer for Acadia, and we are deeply thankful to the federal and provincial governments and to the alumni and friends whose support made it a reality.”





an an apple a day help keep cancer away? What are the cancer-fighting effects of green leafy vegetables? These are some of the questions that Acadia’s Dr. Melanie Coombs, an immunologist who investigates how the immune system responds to microbes and cancer, confronts daily. Coombs began her career at Acadia four years ago. Searching for a position teaching microbiology full-time, she found that Acadia “had a unique opening that was the right fit for me,” and its picturesque campus offered a huge incentive. “I am thankful to be part of such a beautiful place every time I walk across campus,” she says. As for the Biology department, Coombs describes its faculty and staff as “kind, and fun to work with.” Moreover, she believes Acadia’s Biology program sets students up well for research and graduate school. “The undergraduate labs have a rare hands-on focus and small class sizes,” Coombs says.



CUTTING-EDGE CANCER RESEARCH Coombs examines phytochemicals – biologically active compounds found in plants and natural foods – that are used in most drugs approved by the FDA for cancer therapy. She wants to understand how these chemicals function at the cellular level so they can be administered to cancer patients at the best time and in the best way. Over the last few months, Coombs has been working with faculty at Dalhousie University to determine how the phytochemical phloridzin, found in apples, kills cancer cells. Combining phloridzin with the Omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic makes PZ-DHA, a potential new cancer drug. Along with her collaborators, Coombs has examined the effects of PZ-DHA on breast cancer, with promising results. Her current research tests PZ-DHA on gastrointestinal cancer. She will expand the research this fall and recruit Acadia students to help.


Dr. Melanie Coombs

STUDENT-LED TEACHING PHILOSOPHY This year will be Coombs’s first supervising undergraduate students in research. She believes it is important to train students in experimental techniques and then to allow them to explore concepts using this foundation. “The students will be encouraged to read primary literature about cancer and microbiology,” she says. “I’ll teach them Coombs believes that when students see the relevance of the information they’re studying, they learn to think critically on important questions regarding their health and the world around them. “Having a science education can help students understand news reports about science,” she explains. “It also shows them the importance of citing peer-reviewed published data.” Current debates in the news on the relevance of vaccines and the reality of climate change are two good examples. “These topics are clear in the literature and in discussions between scientists, but the public have many opinions often

not based on scientific data,” Coombs says. “If more students are educated in science, this will increase the number of individuals in the public with a sound understanding of hot topics. Well-informed students can share scientific knowledge and findings with others,” she says.

SCIENCE AND LIBERAL ARTS: A SYMBIOTIC RELATIONSHIP While science is invaluable in developing critical thinking skills, a liberal arts education also contributes significantly to well-rounded scientific study, Coombs says. “A broad understanding is essential in seeing the bigger picture in science.” As a liberal arts institution, Acadia is an ideal setting for students and faculty to draw on the respective approaches of arts and science in understanding the natural world and our relationship to it. “It helps science move forward when different perspectives combine to tackle a problem together,” Coombs says.

Jason Landry, Civil Engineering Technician


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hen it comes to research at Acadia, Dr. Kirk Hillier uses a multi-faceted, integrated approach that incorporates ecology, physiology and genetics to make ground-breaking discoveries. Hillier holds a BSc and PhD from Memorial University, where he studied the use of semiochemicals for pest monitoring with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. After graduating in 2002, he undertook a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Utah. Initially, he studied courtship in moths, but became trained in insect neurophysiology. He arrived at Acadia in 2007, but has been a visiting scientist at the University of Arizona (2006), the University of Hawaii (2014) and the Theodor Boveri Institut (2006) and Max Planck Institut für Chemische Ökologie (2007, 2012), both in Germany. His lab’s research is focused on a fundamental understanding of olfactory processing, and the relationship between odours and an animal’s behaviour. More importantly, Hillier and his team look at the very basis of insect pheromone processing, developmental control of pheromone perception and related



neuroanatomy, and the bases of physiological coding of odour blends within the insect brain. This includes investigations of learning and memory, and the effects of pharmacological agents on the insect nervous system. Insights from these studies are ultimately applied to the management of insect pests of forestry and agriculture.

Acadia researcher receives nearly



IN INNOVATION FUNDING Green research funding worth nearly $3 million was announced July 7 for Acadia University in response to global concerns about pesticides. If potentially harmful effects of traditional pesticides are on the rise, then alternative green solutions to pest management

EYE ON ACADIA Dr. Kirk Hillier (right) collects specimens for his lab’s insect pheromone research.

in the agriculture and forestry sectors are of great interest around the world. That is why Catherine McKenna, federal minister of environment and climate change, was in Wolfville to announce the investment that will help Acadia research, develop and transition new technologies into the marketplace. “The research being done here at Acadia has the potential to create effective and environmentally-responsible pheromone-based products that will be marketed in Canada and internationally,” McKenna said. “The government of Canada is pleased to support projects such as this, which will bring clean, innovative technologies to the marketplace for use in the forestry and agriculture sectors.” Researchers at Acadia are developing a commercial line of innovative, clean technology products that will protect the environment and decrease damage to Canada’s crops and forests caused by native and foreign insects. “Every year, insects damage millions of hectares of Canadian forests and destroy a large percentage of our agricultural crops,” said Kings-Hants MP Scott Brison. “Acadia University is developing natural pest management solutions that will potentially reduce the billions of dollars of damage caused by native and foreign insects while protecting the environment and potentially decreasing the use of traditional pesticides.” This collaborative work is being driven by public and private sector investments and led by a specialized team of scientists and technicians. Lead researcher Dr. Kirk Hillier said the “development of effective, affordable tools for pest management using pheromones and other naturally-derived products ensures sustainable solutions for the future of Canada’s agriculture and forest industries. Research and innovation supported under this initiative will lead to significant advances,” Hillier noted, “improve the long-term health of our environment, and enable novel solutions to challenges in food and forest production.” Acadia’s new President, Dr. Peter Ricketts, noted the funding will help test what happens when universities, government and industry work together to solve real world problems. He asked and received a standing ovation for the Acadia researcher, who helps prove that small universities can carry out world-class research with leading scientists. The investment monies come from ACOA’s Atlantic Innovation Fund. The Acadia project is Pan-Atlantic in scope with the participation of a number of federal labs including Natural Resources Canada’s Atlantic Forestry Centre in Fredericton, NB and Corner Brook, NL, universities and private companies, including Forest Protection Ltd. (FPL) and Sylvar Technologies of New Brunswick. Story courtesy of, a member of the Saltwire Network, originally published at wn7G7z .

Inter-University Doctoral Programin Educational Studies The Inter-University Doctoral Program in Educational Studies (a collaborative partnership between Acadia, Mount Saint Vincent, and St. Francis Xavier universities) is continuing to accept applications. The program can support students in preparation for assuming the role of educational researcher in one or more of six themes: curriculum studies, educational foundation and leadership, inclusive education, lifelong learning (adult education), literacies, and psychological aspects of education. Any enquiries about the program can be directed to: Dr. Jennifer Mitton-Kükner PhD Program Director (IDAC Chair) and StFX Coordinator St. Francis Xavier University Email: 902-867-3649 Ruth Ann d'Entremont Doctoral Program Assistant Mount Saint Vincent University Email: 902-457-6564

Apply for the July, 2018 intake by November 15, 2017. ACADIA BULLETIN Fall 2017


ACADIA ALUMNI ASSOCIATION DIRECTOR PROFILES LEAH MCNALLY (‘07) Leah is a native of Wolfville, Nova Scotia and although she grew up in Ontario and has spent the last decade living in different parts of the world, she will always consider Wolfville home. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, and is an Assistant Director of Graduate Advising and Student Services at New York University. She graduated from Acadia in 2007 with a Bachelor of Recreation Management. She was a varsity soccer player during her Acadia days and served as a representative to the Acadia Players’ Association. After her studies at Acadia, she spent some years travelling. Eventually, her travels took her to the Kurdistan region of Iraq to pursue a position teaching English at the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS). She spent four years working at AUIS and, through her work with university students, discovered a passion for higher education. This led her to New York City, where she completed a Master’s in Higher Education and Student Affairs from New York University in 2015. As a proud fourth generation member of our alumni community, Leah enjoys remaining connected to Acadia from NYC and hopes to strengthen her connection through service on the Acadia Alumni Board.

TED UPSHAW (’80) Ted was born in Windsor, Nova Scotia, obtaining his formal education at Windsor Regional High School and his BA at Acadia. While attending Acadia, Ted had the privilege of playing basketball for the Axemen, winning the CIAU (U-Sports) Nationals in 1976-77. Ted received numerous individual honours that included the MVP award in conference play, first team All-Star and MVP selection in the AUAA, Acadia basketball’s MVP, the school’s top male athlete, and All-Star and CIAU AllCanadian awards. He went on to be inducted into the Acadia Hall of Fame as an individual athlete and a member of the 1980-81 basketball team. The 1980-81 team Ted was a part of has also been inducted in the Nova Scotia Hall of Fame and he was the proud recipient of the Acadia Distinguished Alumni award in 2004. Ted has spent most of his substantial and successful career in public safety. It began with the RCMP and progressed over a period of 28 years. Ted was promoted often and became a senior officer, attaining the rank of Superintendent. His career put him in touch with a broad array of communities and challenges. Notably, Ted served as the Officer-in-charge for Cole Harbour, N.S., Mission B.C., and District Policing Officer Northeast Nova (NS), as well as assignments at the RCMP Depot and headquarters. Ted was honored by community leaders and other groups for his work and achievements, receiving the Queen’s Jubilee Medal and other awards. He also has the distinction of being the first African Nova Scotian to become a Commissioned Officer in the RCMP. Ted rounded out a successful career as the Chief Security Officer at Canada Post Corporation, where he designed and led the implementation of a new corporate security strategy. Ted served the corporation for four years. In his current role as Public Safety Advisor for Halifax, Ted works closely with all business units of Halifax Regional Municipality as well as federal and provincial governments, local communities and non-government organizations with a vision of making Halifax a place where its citizens and visitors feel safe to live, work and play. Ted is married to Karen and they have four children: Graham, Sean, Kirsty and Desiree.






he Associated Alumni of Acadia University has a new look and new name that reflects its ongoing commitment to more than 40,000 Acadia graduates worldwide. The culmination of a year-long consultative process between the Associated Alumni, Acadia’s Office of Alumni Affairs and Revolve Branding and Marketing in Halifax, the Associated Alumni will now be known as the Acadia Alumni Association. Its mission is to encourage and facilitate connections and growth among the global network of Acadia graduates, staff, family and friends to optimize their lives and attract people who believe they can change the world. “We exist to enhance the lives of Acadia alumni, students, friends and family,” says Acadia Alumni Association President Geoff Irvine (’87). “There’s an immense sense of community on-campus that extends around the world because of our organization’s outreach. As a result of our support – through programs, initiatives, services and connections – we endeavour to lift alumni up and provide experiences for them that support the University community.” The Association embraces excellence, leadership, innovation and engagement as pillars upon which to mobilize

connections, cultivate Acadia’s transformative educational experience and champion growth globally by creating opportunities for others to shine. “Acadia has allowed us to become responsible, contributing citizens of the world,” says Executive Director of Alumni Affairs Ian Murray (’88). “The Acadia Alumni Association is a continuation of the scholarly, social and professional opportunities our graduates experienced at Acadia to grow and make a sustainable difference at a meaningful level. Acadia attracts people who believe in change, and we want to do our best to support that commitment through alumni events, donor opportunities, student recruitment or research.” Irvine adds that the rebranding initiative is a tremendous and positive step forward that reinforces the Association’s intent to bring about the unity of graduates and former students of Acadia and to afford Association members the opportunity to promote the University’s best interests. For more information, please contact Senior Alumni Officer Oonagh Proudfoot at 902-585-1445 or e-mail oonagh. To learn more about the Acadia Alumni Association, please visit:

DODGE ACKNOWLEDGED FOR TEACHING EXCELLENCE Professor Ann Dodge (’91) is the 2017 recipient of the Acadia Alumni Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching. A former member of the Canadian National Canoe Team, she competed in many national and international events, including four World Championships as well as the 1976 Montreal Olympics. Ann’s other sport focus is volleyball, which she played provincially and at the varsity level at Dalhousie University. She is a former head coach of the Acadia University women’s varsity team. For the past 22 years, Ann has served as a lecturer in the kinesiology program at Acadia University. Her teaching and research focuses on coaching, health and well-being, with an underlying interest in issues of gender equity and ethics. Ann has a Bachelor of Physical Education from Acadia and a Master’s from the University of New Brunswick. A member of the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame, she provides leadership in the Advanced Coaching Diploma for the National Coaching Institute, Atlantic. She continues to coach and participate in her sport of canoe/kayak during the summer. She is pictured here with her husband Mark Smith and daughter Jasmine Smith (’16). The Acadia Alumni Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching recognizes a continued record of excellence in teaching students and future alumni of Acadia University with a focus on a faculty member’s professional and teaching accomplishments.



SAVE THE DATE! Summer Reunion 2018 July 6-8 at Acadia! Classes invited back include: 1978 – 40th Reunion 1973 – 45th Reunion 1968 – 50th Reunion 1963 – 55th Reunion 1958 – 60th Reunion 1953 – 65th Reunion 1948 – 70th Reunion 1943 – 75th Reunion For more information, please contact Sandra Symonds at 902-585-1708 or e-mail

MARK YOUR CALENDAR Upcoming Acadia Alumni Events January, February and March, 2018: stay tuned for alumni events in Asia, the Caribbean and the United States. Specific locations, dates and time to follow. MARCH 8-11, 2018 U SPORTS Final 8 basketball championship, Halifax MARCH 20, 2018 Florida Luncheon APRIL 12, 2018 Alumni Gala, Halifax MAY 12, 2018 Acadia Alumni Annual General Meeting MAY 13-14, 2018 Convocation JULY 6-8, 2018 Summer Reunion JULY 27, 2018 Alumni Golf Tournament OCTOBER 11-14, 2018 Homecoming Weekend 26



Assets AAAU/Acadia Joint Account $ 172,393 $ 224,578 Affinity Fund 575,686 446,940 Allan Fulton Fund 13,266 13,147 Constance Hayward Fund 279,581 277,081 Carr Fund 43,413 43,024 General Fund (Alumni Hall) 59,864 59,329 Graham Fund 16,622 16,474 Toronto Fund 14,794 14,662 Vesta Magee Fund 29,882 29,614 Total Assets $ 1,205,501 $ 1,124,849

Committed Funds Athletics Proposal All Canadian Awards Banquets $ Axeman Celebrity Hockey Dinner Female Athlete Awards ‐ Hockey Honour Roll Signage Women in Sport / Sport Hall of Fame‐ Varsity Sport Special Initiatives‐ $ 175th Anniversary Proposal (2014-2016) Branch Events

$ $

Other Acadia Students’ Union $ Awards (Alumni/Student/Faculty) Branding Project President’s Fund $ Total Committed Funds Uncommitted Funds

4,000 $ 2,000 20,000 4,000 5,000 7,000 14,000 56,000 $ – –

– 1,000 – – – – – 1,000

$ $

11,750 11,750

9,450 $ 10,000 6,079 10,000 35,529 $

– – – 10,000 10,000

$ 91,529 $ 1,113,972

$ 22,750 $ 1,102,099





cadia University announced in June 2017 that the Huestis Innovation Pavilion will form part of its $22.25 million Science Complex renewal project. Named in honour of lead donors Faye and David Huestis of Saint John, New Brunswick, the Pavilion will be a key connection between Elliott and Huggins Halls, providing research and commercialization space that is well beyond Acadia’s current capacity. “Our gratitude to Faye and David Huestis is difficult to put into words,” said Ray Ivany, announcing the gift in the closing days of his presidency. “This project is the largest in Acadia’s recent history and the impact will be felt by generations of students. The Huestis Innovation Pavilion will contain four new teaching labs, enhancing Acadia’s scientific infrastructure and will facilitate academic program growth. We simply could not have accomplished this project without the tremendous support of Faye and David.” The new Agri-Technology Access Centre in the Innovation Pavilion will provide companies and industry organizations with better access to specialized technology, lab space, subject-matter expertise and commercialization support services, strengthening their ability to become more productive and innovative. It will also enable Acadia to advance its applied research strength in a key priority sector – agriculture – and expand its successful technology transfer and commercialization activities. The Science Complex renewal project is supported by an investment of $15.98 million by the Federal and Provincial governments. “Acadia students, about 1,200 in my day, had a great esprit de corps, a positive attitude combined with a quiet tenacity, which enabled Acadia to be among the best universities in Canada – for academics and sports,” said David Huestis. “While the first-class professors and small classes were

very beneficial, the true magic of Acadia for me was the friendships I made, the principles and values I learned, and the inspirations I gained from chapel services – for me and so many of my classmates, these helped establish a foundation for life which hopefully enabled each of us to make the world a better place. As an alumnus of Acadia University, I am pleased to have an opportunity to show my appreciation for the education I received and to invest in our outstanding university. The Science Complex Renewal and creation of the Innovation Pavilion inspired us to make a significant investment in an institution that has stayed true to its mission of promoting academic excellence and transforming young lives. Life is a trusteeship. I am honoured to help assist future Acadia students become tomorrow’s leaders.” Graduating from Acadia in 1963 with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, David Huestis is President and CEO of The Huestis Insurance Group, operating over 40 insurance agencies in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. As a volunteer and philanthropist, David is heavily engaged with commitments to his church, hospitals and healthcare organizations, and world scouting. He has served as Chair of several organizations, providing leadership and support at the highest level. “Through the renewal of our science facilities at Acadia, we will intensify our applied research activities and engagement with rural-based small and mediumsized enterprises,” said Dr. Rod Morrison, Acadia’s VicePresident, Advancement. “Increased research intensity will encourage innovation and entrepreneurship, and produce regional economic spin-offs. David has spoken fondly of his time at Acadia and the people who made a lasting impact on him. His deep interest in Acadia’s future is evident in his and Faye’s investment in this project and we are humbled by this gift.”




Staunch supporters Gordon (’48) and Bobby MacNeill (’50) met at Acadia and have been in love with one another and the institution ever since.

By Jim Prime (’69)


hen kids ask their parents how they first met, the result is usually some romantic tale wherein the two lovers locked eyes across a crowded dance floor. The nervous suitor-father then made his way to their mother’s side and swept her off her feet. Dr. Gordon MacNeill (’48) used a more practical approach. He recruited his wife. At the start of his second year at Acadia, MacNeill was asked to become a member of the cheerleading squad. He agreed and almost immediately regretted the decision. The group was made up mostly of dusty old senior students, more concerned with graduating than having fun. MacNeill took it upon himself to conscript some fresh new faces into the dour assembly. “I was looking for a vivacious girl to stir things up,” he says. “I went downtown each day and met every train and bus that came into Wolfville. I’d watch as the passengers got off and then pick up every pretty young blond I could see. One of those girls was my future wife, Bobby (Barbara MacLennan MacNeill, ’50). She was an American girl who wanted something different so she went to the



Encyclopedia Britannica and the first listing she saw was Acadia so she decided to go.”

FONDEST MEMORIES Given his background in cheerleading and obvious penchant for recruitment, it’s not surprising that seven decades later the Sydney native remains one of Acadia’s most dedicated boosters. MacNeill lost his beloved Bobby in June of this year after a short illness. The two had been married for 67 years. “But we were in love for 69,” he says, recalling their courtship at Acadia. “She was my greatest friend.” Most, if not all, of Gordon’s fondest memories of Acadia revolve around his soulmate. While working as a waiter in the dining hall, MacNeill occasionally pilfered a piece of pie, smuggled it down to the biology building and presented it to the pretty young science major from New England. The gym was another regular rendezvous site. In addition to leading cheers, the two also played varsity basketball and Bobby was good enough to gain entry into the Acadia Sports Hall of Fame.

“Acadia really inspired me to do something with my life,” Gordon says. “I loved economics and did well. I became ambitious and excited about the prospects ahead of me. Of course, a big part of that was meeting Bobby.” Gordon and Bobby embraced the Acadia experience and immersed themselves in campus activities. They also regularly attended dances at the old gym. “I was head of the social committee,” he says. “We had to put up a cloth ceiling. It didn’t add anything to the atmosphere. Dean Grant (Alice Maud Fitch Grant, Class of 1885 and Dean of Women) required that there be five different activities during the intermissions. They consisted of such things as piano played badly, trumpet played badly or singing done badly. People hated it and after a while no one wanted to perform. Jack Bone (‘48) from Sydney soon became my go-to person. He was a good musician, but did it reluctantly.” Bobby even accompanied Gordon on his trips to the barbershop downtown. “That wasn’t done in those days,” he says. “People in the shop were puzzled by that. They’d smile knowingly. “Every two or three weeks, on a Sunday night, I’d take Bobby down to the dining room of the Paramount Hotel at the west end of Wolfville (present site of Landmark East School). It was owned by Mr. Roy Jodrey (’63, DCL). We’d enjoy a nice meal for 35 cents each. Bobby would get all dressed up and I tried to look as decent as possible.”

ACADIA NEVER FAR FROM HEART OR MIND Following his graduation, Gordon traveled to Toronto in search of a job. Bobby was still at Acadia so they were forced to communicate by mail. “I’m not sure if we burned the letters later or if they spontaneously combusted,” he smiles. “They were pretty hot.” Gordon and Bobby were married following her graduation in 1950. His Acadia degree opened many doors and Gordon received several job offers in the Ontario capital, finally choosing Goodyear. He started as a trainee on the plant floor and eventually became company president. After 23 years with the tire giant, he sought a new challenge and took over as President and CEO of Jannock, a conglomerate that had

fallen on hard times. Before long the company was thriving. Despite his success, Acadia was never far from his mind or heart. “When Bobby and I started accumulating money and the kids were educated and out of the house, we decided we should be doing something for Acadia, and philanthropy in general. We met there and had a wonderful life. We established the MacNeill Scholar Bursary for students who graduate high school with an 80 per cent average but can’t afford university.” Bobby and Gordon’s latest contribution to their alma mater comes in the form of a generous donation to the renewed science complex on campus. When completed, the project will combine Huggins Hall, Elliott Hall and a new Innovation Pavilion, and the main lecture theatre in Elliott Hall will be named MacNeill Auditorium in honour of Gordon and Bobby. The federal government is funding 50 per cent of the cost, the Province of Nova Scotia 25 per cent, and Acadia 25 per cent, exclusively from donors. “It’s fitting because Charles Huggins (’20) was Chancellor of Acadia while I was on the Board of Governors,” MacNeill says of the 1966 Nobel Prize winner for Physiology or Medicine. “We became friends and, of course, I always had an affinity for the science department. Charles once flew to Toronto to promote the presidency of James Perkin (’95, DLT). He charmed all the girls in our office. Barbara thought that Huggins was a wonderful person. Acadia keeps me informed of their needs, so when this opportunity came along, it seemed like a natural fit for us.” Acadia has always meant different things to different people. To some it means a great education, to others a sense of community. For Bobby and Gordon MacNeill it was all that and more; it was the place where they met. Little wonder that his passion for the school remains undiminished. “Acadia was the right atmosphere for us. There was enough seriousness as far as studies were concerned, but there was a great camaraderie with friends and people you’ve never met before from all over the country. It made us realize that, hey, there’s something big and exciting out there just waiting for us.”

Acadia Reminiscence “Acadia wasn’t very big when I got there in the 1940s. I stayed in Barrax (War Memorial Residence). It was a new residence and not yet completed, just a basement with a temporary roof on it, but that’s where I lived. They built the frame later. There were a lot of returning servicemen on campus and they were great. We all melded together well. That’s what was great about Acadia – the friendships were long lasting. Earlier this year, I met a guy from my graduating class, Dr. Don Morris (’48). We had some wonderful talks. He asked how I learned to start a company. He said, ‘I studied for 10 years to become a surgeon, how did you do it?’ I told him I did everything, starting with sweeping the floors.”



CANADIAN HERALDIC AUTHORITY APPROVES THE ACADIA SHIELD In 2015, alumnus Dr. George Nye (’60) of Calgary approached Chancellor Libby Burnham (’60) about a discrepancy revealed by his research on Acadia’s Coat of Arms between the armorial shield originally granted to Acadia by the College of Arms in the UK and the version actually in use by the University. Dr. Nye, a member of the Royal Heraldry Society of Canada, suggested that Acadia petition the Canadian Heraldic Authority for a new shield, a process initiated with the approval of the Board of Governors in the opening months of 2016. This process was completed earlier this year with a new grant from the Chief Herald, and Acadia wishes to acknowledge Dr. Nye for bringing this matter forward and for his advice on correcting the discrepancy.



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The 36th Annual Acadia Alumni Golf Tournament took place on Friday, July 28 at Ken-Wo Golf Club in New Minas, Nova Scotia. Twenty-six teams and more than 120 players took to the course on a slightly overcast day to celebrate good old-fashioned Acadia spirit and raise funds to support awards for incoming students from local high schools. Special guests included University President Dr. Peter Ricketts, Wolfville Mayor Jeff Cantwell and Acadia Alumni Association President Geoff Irvine (’87). Participants enjoyed 18 holes of golf, dinner and awards afterward. The overall Red Division champs were Branden Mosher (’08), Jon Chisholm (‘02), Mike Juurlink (’00) and Troy Dort (’02). Blue Division winners were Jeff Cummins, Matt Durant (’99), Kevin Duffie (’09), Scott Landry (’96) and Len Harvey (’03). Bill Rafuse (’72) was this year’s Chip in the Canoe winner and Verne Meister took the putting contest. Chris Prescott (’84), Tom Prescott (’58), Ward Carlson (’90), Tim Prescott (’88) and Bill Parker (’56) represented their alma mater in style once again with their unique, Acadiabranded attire and earned the Best-Dressed Award. A great time was had by all, and we look forward to seeing everyone next year! (Photos: Fred Sgambati, Clancy Waite)




It was a grand time on Saturday afternoon, June 10, 2017 at the Ottawa Tennis and Lawn Bowling Club, where more than 60 Acadia alumni and friends came together for the Annual Maritime Lobster Picnic in the City. Guests were treated to a seaside-cooked lobster with Caesar salad, summer greens, potato salad, soft buns, melted butter and dessert. There was also a rib eye steak option and a kids’ menu to boot. Attendees were delighted to meet and welcome incoming President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Peter Ricketts, who attended the event with his wife Maryann and son Sean. Other special guests included Alumni Association representatives Tammy Walker (’92) and David Davidson (’81); Executive Director of Alumni Affairs Ian Murray (’88); Executive Director of Philanthropy Nancy Handrigan (’92); and Marketing and Development Officer, Athletics, Len Hawley. Thanks and appreciation go out to Suzanne Seaman (’97) and all of the tireless volunteers who make this gathering in the nation’s capital a much-anticipated event. Pictured (left to right) are: Jay Thomson (’80), Deborah (Jackson) Thomson (’81), Suzanne Seaman (’97), and Matthew (’91) and Elsa Lucas. Photo: Nancy Handrigan


It was a classic in Cowtown on Thursday, April 27, 2017 when more than 70 Acadia alumni and friends gathered for a reception at Teatro Ristorante in Calgary. Acadia spirit was very much in evidence as guests and representatives from the University enjoyed light refreshments, shared stories and reminisced about their time at Acadia. Executive Director of Alumni Affairs Ian Murray (’88) said, “it’s always a pleasure to reconnect with our Calgary alumni and we certainly appreciate the warm welcome we received.” Pictured (left to right) are: Jeff Wright (’95), Craig Stenhouse (’99), Lea Storry (’95) and Susan Roberts (’70). Photo: Nancy Handrigan




It was a great time out West on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 when approximately 20 Acadia alumni and friends gathered for Wing Night at Hudsons on Whyte Avenue in Edmonton. Guests enjoyed some fun, great food and fellowship while they cheered on the Oilers, who stole home ice advantage from the Anaheim Ducks with a 5-3 win at the Honda Center. A good time was had by all, and it was a pleasure to return to Canada’s Festival City! Pictured holding an Acadia plate is Katelyn Schofield (’16). Photo: Nancy Handrigan



More than 35 Acadia alumni and friends gathered at the Quidi Vidi Brewing Company Limited in Quidi Vidi Village, St. John’s, Newfoundland on June 27, 2017 for a reception and get-together that celebrated good times and Acadia spirit. Nestled near a harbour just five minutes from downtown St. John’s, the brewery was a perfect location to sit back, relax, enjoy delicious craft beer and hear updates about the University from Chancellor Libby Burnham (’60), Executive Director of Alumni Affairs Ian Murray (’88) and Alumni Association Representative Heather Hickman (’77). Other Acadia representatives in attendance included Executive Director of Philanthropy Nancy Handrigan (’92) and Marketing and Development Officer, Athletics, Len Hawley. Pictured are (left to right): Susan Barry (’17), Brianna Kerr (’17) and Jennifer Forward (’98). Photo: Nancy Handrigan


There was plenty of conversation and good cheer on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 when Acadia alumni and friends came together for a reception at The Vancouver Club in Vancouver, BC. About 40 guests, representing seven decades of graduates, met Executive Director of Alumni Affairs, Ian Murray (’88); Executive Director of Philanthropy, Nancy Handrigan (’92); and Marketing and Development Officer, Athletics, Len Hawley, who shared updates and information about Acadia during a very enjoyable evening. Pictured (left to right) are: Charlie MacLeod, Beth Anne Dolan (‘09), Natasha Mandryk (’09), Megan McCorquodale (’09), and Seelochan Beharry (’79). Photo: Nancy Handrigan


The 5th Annual Acadia Alumni Butler Memorial Golf Tournament was held on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017 at Eagle Ridge Golf Club in Georgetown, ON. Presented by alumnus Craig Butler (’91) and family, the tournament supports the Ron and Cyndi Butler Award, given annually to a varsity student-athlete pursuing a Bachelor of Science. The award was established in 2008 in memory of Ron Butler (’62) and Cyndi Butler by their son Craig. While at Acadia, Ron studied geology and was a member of the varsity football team. Alumni and corporate participants at this year’s event enjoyed a great afternoon of golf followed by a plated dinner featuring steak and potatoes and dessert. Acadia’s Vice-President, Advancement Dr. Rod Morrison and Executive Director of Philanthropy Nancy Handrigan (’92) were also on hand to provide news and updates about the University. Photo: Nancy Handrigan

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SUMMER REUNION! Summer Reunion 2017 on the beautiful Acadia campus was a resounding success! About 200 alumni and friends returned July 7-9 as the University welcomed back the Classes of 1942, 1947, 1952, 1957, 1962, 1967, 1972 and 1977. Special guests included new University President Dr. Peter Ricketts and Dr. John Clark (’52), who also participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open Clark Terrace, a generous gift from the Clark Family Foundation that is a prominent part of the Wu Welcome Centre at Acadia. Guests enjoyed a full slate of activities that included campus tours, a meet-and-greet reception at the Sheldon L. Fountain Learning Commons, alumni banquet, class meetings, a special Class of 1967 50th Anniversary Pinning Ceremony, a concert in the Garden Room at the K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre, Sunday Service in the Manning Memorial Chapel and a farewell luncheon to wrap things up. Class Cup winner was the Class of 1952. Dr. Granville Nickerson proudly represented the Class of 1942 while the Class of ’67 celebrated its 50th anniversary. Ellie Redden (’72) was recognized for being the first person to register and the comefrom-furthest-away award went to Sue and Art Martell from Courtenay, B.C., both of whom are members of the Class of 1967. A great time was had by all, and we look forward to next year’s Summer Reunion Weekend! Photos: Peter Oleskevich, Nancy Handrigan, Clancy Waite

Class of ‘47

Class of ‘52

Class of ‘67

Class of ‘72

Class of ’67 50th Anniversary Pinning

Class of ’42, Granville Nickerson




Class of ‘57

Class of ‘77

Class of ‘62

Left to right: Chancellor Libby Burnham (’60) with Vice-President, Advancement Dr. Rod Morrison, Dr. John Clark (’52) and President Dr. Peter Ricketts.

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What a Homecoming Weekend at Acadia University Oct. 12-15, 2017! There was a full slate of activities, including the Installation of Acadia’s 16th President and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Peter J. Ricketts; the running of the 105th Annual Alumni Bulmer Race; raising of a banner to honour the contributions of Major Fred Kelly to athletics; dedication of the Jackson Circle memorial at the Beveridge Arts Centre; and a street march down Main Street featuring Bermudian and Caribbean alumni who returned to ‘Takeover’ Homecoming. Seven outstanding athletes were inducted into the Acadia Sports Hall of Fame; 600 people packed the annual Backyard Barbecue hosted by the Acadia Alumni Association on Clark Terrace at Alumni Hall; Acadia walloped StFX 35-17 in football; Stevens Centre donors were recognized at a reception and tour; and our Caribbean and Bermudian alumni enjoyed a lovely reception in the Wu Welcome Centre. It was a grand time, and we can’t wait to see you next year, October 1114, 2018!

1. A total of nine teams, in various costumes, participated in this year’s Bulmer. (Photo: Clancy Waite) 2. Jeff Wright (’95, left) offers a few words on behalf of his family at the Jackson Circle memorial dedication ceremony. (Photo: Fred Sgambati)


3. Wolfville Mayor Jeff Cantwell, Dr. Peter Ricketts and Chief Sidney Peters representing the Glooscap First Nation at the Installation Ceremony. (Photo: Peter Oleskevich) 4. From left to right, Axeman Liam Maaskant, Fred Kelly’s grandson Brad Hopgood, Kelly’s granddaughter Jane Miller (’89), and Axeman Boston Leier help to raise a banner to commemorate Athletics Director and coach Fred Kelly at the Andrew H. McCain Arena. (Photo: Peter Oleskevich) 5. New inductees to Acadia’s Sports Hall of Fame included: Donnie Ehler (’83), John DeCoste (’77), Don MacVicar (’57), Lori-Beth MacEwen Dwyer (’04), Alvin Jessamy (’79, represented by his brother Michael and sister Beverly), Bob Ferguson (’59), and Jeff Farquhar (’94). (Photo: Peter Oleskevich) 6. Caribbean and Bermudian alumni who returned for the ‘Takeover’ gathered for a group photo at their Welcome Reception. (Photo: Peter Oleskevich) 7. Main Street came alive during the ‘Takeover’ of Homecoming by Bermudian and Caribbean alumni during their Street March Saturday. (Photo: Fred Sgambati)


8. There was a huge crowd on hand for the annual Acadia Alumni Association Backyard Barbecue. (Photo: Fred Sgambati) 9. University President Dr. Peter Ricketts at the Backyard Barbecue with ‘Mr. Acadia’ Bill Parker (’56), Margie Parker (’57) and Chancellor Dr. Libby Burnham (’60). (Photo: Peter Oleskevich) 10. Members of The Stevens Family Foundation, including Wendy Himmelman (’79), Samantha Krauch (’09), Tracey Tulloch (’91), Marilyn Stevens (’55), Janette Fiander (’82) – Chair, and Scott Stevens (’86) joined University President Dr. Peter Ricketts, Vice-President, Advancement Dr. Rod Morrison, Executive Director of Athletics and Community Events Kevin Dickie, and Executive Director of Philanthropy Nancy Handrigan (’92) at the Grand Opening of the Stevens Centre at the Athletic Complex. (Photo: Peter Oleskevich)






1950s JOHN VACHAL (‘51) is enjoying retirement from Boeing (airplane design) in Seattle, WA. Classmates may reach him at . THOMAS (TOM) DENTON (’55) has received an honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) from the University of Manitoba at its spring convocation. His investiture into the Order of Manitoba, the province’s highest award, was in 2014, in the presence of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. Both honours were in recognition of his work in the sponsoring or resettling of 40,000 refugees. He is not retired and at age 83 continues as Executive Director of Hospitality House Refugee Ministry in Winnipeg. JUNE (SMITH) DENTON (’55) and Tom celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on September 3, 2017.

1960s DR. CLARA JEFFERSON (’48), President of the Class of 1948, retired Acadia faculty member and honorary degree recipient (DCL ’10), gives a welcome basket annually to new students living in the suite in Tully named by the Class of 1948 to commemorate its 60th anniversary in 2008. Ayana Madeline accepted the gift this year on behalf of the suite’s occupants. (Photo: Oonagh Proudfoot)



anniversary during Summer Reunion July 7-9, 2017, where old memories were shared and new memories were created. Although DIANNE ELLIOTT FERGUSON (’62) couldn’t attend, we sat down with her to talk about what it meant to be Acadia’s first female Students’ Union President and how her time at Acadia influenced her future. “I look back at it now and at the time I wasn’t as impressed about it as I am today,” she says. In fact, the thought never really crossed her mind. “I wasn’t particularly motivated by the feminist movement. My father was involved in politics and I had a knack for what campaigning meant. I wondered what would happen if I did campaign, so I tried and I won,” she says. A variety of factors influenced Elliott Ferguson’s decision to come to Acadia, including scholarships, Baptist connections and family ties. Her mother graduated in 1935 and her brother in 1962. She describes campus life back then as small and quaint. “You knew everybody,” she says. “If you wanted to see somebody you’d just go to the dining room. Tully and Seminary were the two women’s residences when I was here. For the guys, it was Barrax, Willet and Horton. There weren’t that many buildings on campus.” After graduation, Elliott Ferguson became a teacher, moving to Yellowknife for a year. “I was the French teacher and taught practical math,” she says. After a year, she returned to Montreal and then moved to Halifax, where she worked as a guidance counsellor until she retired. She now returns to Wolfville to visit friends often, which gives her a chance to reminisce about her time on campus. —

Members of the class of 1962 were on campus to celebrate their 55th

Friendships made at Acadia can last a lifetime. Another summer reunion


MCDOUGALL (’79), ANNE MOOI (’80), DARLA PLISKOW (’79), LINDA HUNTER (’80), WENDY JOHNSTON (’79), and ANN SCOVIL. The picture we are holding was 1st floor Dennis taken in our first year.”

occurred for old Acadia friends from 1968 and 1969 at White Point Resort in Nova Scotia this past August. JANETTE (SMITH) BENT (‘69) could not attend this year, but MARG (MOODY) MCCOUBREY (‘68), Life Class Secretary, JANET (HOPPER) MOULTON (‘69), DIANNA (NEWTON) LIM (‘69) and PAM (WILLIAMS) LOUGHEAD (‘69) all attended the 10th annual gathering. Thanks so much to the Acadia Alumni Office for the Acadia T-shirts for our most recent get-together.

1980s JANET MARGESON (’80) says that in September 1976, “we all lived together on 1st floor Dennis House. We gathered together on the weekend of August 25-26, 2017, some of us not having seen each other since we graduated in 1979-80. We enjoyed our visit to Dennis House and reminisced with many of the RAs that were in training. Pictured are: Janet Margeson, JANET

AB, “I am the President of one of the largest Chambers of Commerce in Canada. We operate the world’s largest dinosaur attraction as well as provide most of the summer staff to the Royal Tyrell Museum and also operate a very busy Visitor Information Centre. Our small town gets over 450,000 visitors a year.” Awesome! Thanks, Brock! Seven Acadia graduates from the 1980s had some fun and got together for a Canada Day trip. From left to right, they are: (guys in the back row): BERNIE LEBLANC (’82), JAMES ROY (’86) and RON MACDONALD (’83); (girls in the front row): MARGARET (MACINTOSH) GILLIS (’83), DENA (BOYD) MACDONALD (’82), and TINA (JOBE) O’TOOLE (’82). BROCK HARRINGTON (’86) tells us that over and above his regular job as general manager of Big Country Community Futures in Drumheller,

Alumna KIM HICKMAN (‘88) certainly has been busy! Her GiveGetGo operation is a going concern that allows people to immerse themselves in a new culture while lending their heart and hands. GiveGetGo adventures pair volunteer building and travel, making for unforgettable, life-changing vacations. Participants can be a part of build projects that are uplifting communities from within and connecting travelers to the people and organizations that are making a difference in their country. Business Portals is a full-service business




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and professionals in Montreal from June 19-22. David says the main topics of the conference were sustainable development, mobility and urban planning, economic development, leadership and governance, sharing ideas on how to make different cities more vibrant and eco-friendly, and how citizens can live and work together in a more harmonious way. Now he looks forward to returning to the Seychelles to share these experiences and bring about positive and meaningful changes in his capital city of Victoria. “It was also an opportunity to come and visit Acadia after 30 years,” he adds. “I was accompanied on this trip by my daughter Michele, who was born in Kentville, and coming back to Wolfville after all this time to meet with old friends and professors was a really exciting and emotional moment for us both. Thanks to these friends for the love and generosity showed to us while here.” Pictured are VINCENT LEUNG (’64), MARK MASON (’88, TRURO), FORREST BENT (’52), SANDY SHELLEY, PETER RIDDLE, ERICA BENT (’84), DAVID ANDRE (’88), GAY RIDDLE, JEAN LEUNG (’68), MICHELE ANDRE, KATHY SURAJDEEN LINCOLN (’84) and her husband WAYNE (Lower Sackville). (Photo courtesy of Jeff DeEll)

MARION ARETHA BORDEN-DAVIS (’89) placed second highest in math scores for Northwest Evaluation Association™ (NWEA™) interim assessment, Measures of Academic Progress® (MAP®) with her first graders. She teaches at George Washington Carver Academy in Highland Park, MI, a K-8 school.

1990s ROBIN FOWLER (’94) was appointed a Provincial Court Judge in Newfoundland and Labrador this summer. Previously, Fowler was the Assistant Deputy Minister responsible for Courts and Corporate Services with the Department of Justice and Public

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Acadia alumnus DAVID ANDRE graduated with a Bachelor of Music Education in 1988. He was elected Mayor of Victoria, Mahe, Seychelles in January 2017 and was back in Canada for the first time in many years to attend the 12th Metropolis World Congress of mayors, political leaders



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Safety since October 2016. He received a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Saskatchewan in 1999 and a Bachelor of Arts from Acadia University in 1994. Fowler was called to the bar in 2000 and worked with the provincial Crown Attorney’s Office, including the Special Prosecutions Office, for 13 years. In 2013, he joined the Public Prosecution Service of Canada. He has extensive experience prosecuting complex files at all levels of court across Newfoundland and Labrador, including acting as lead counsel in numerous jury trials. He is a bencher, a trained mediator and member of the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) who has served as the CBA Criminal Section Chair for Newfoundland and Labrador. In September 2016, he trained prosecutors in Nairobi, Kenya, as part of the CBA’s Supporting Access to Justice for Children in East Africa project.

(‘94); LAUCHIE MACLEAN (‘97); JOHN MEAGHER (‘95); JAMIE KEATING (‘94); NIKKI (HAMBLY) KEATING (‘94); PAT BRANNON (‘93); HEIDI (JENKINS) LUSBY (‘95); NATHAN KROLL; CHRISTINE WHITE (‘97); ROB CARRUTHERS (‘93); KATHY (HUBLEY) CARRUTHERS (‘94); and several from the future classes of 2027-2030. Stand Up and Cheer! ALISON SMITH (’96), spoke at Power of the Purse on June 20, 2017 at Mount St. Vincent University in Halifax. Power of the Purse was a one-day women’s conference that aimed to bring women together to build community, educate and inspire. In her speech, ‘When a Woman Believes’, Alison talked about her journey from professional teaching to motherhood to becoming a highly specialized parenting coach. Alison is helping families all around the world to have happier homes and stronger families with her unique approach to positive parenting. Find out more about Alison here: http://www.

accomplishments!” We are, Kelly! Thanks for sharing!


LINDSAY (SMOCKUM) FORREST (’99) and her husband Sean are pleased to announce the birth of their daughter Logan, born March 29, 2017 at Mississauga Hospital, weighing seven pounds, 14 ounces. She is such a little miracle. Here’s hoping she will attend Acadia someday!


JEFF WRIGHT (’95) says there was an impromptu gathering of several mid-1990s classmates in Halifax this summer. Those attending included: Jeff Wright (‘95); TRACY LIGHTFOOT (‘96); GLENN THOMPSON (‘94); SANDRA (MACAULAY) THOMPSON

Here’s a neat update on JASON PRICE (’96), provided by his wife, Kelly Hinkley-Price. “Jason found a love for music five years ago and bought a guitar on Kijiji. He practiced (a lot!) and is self-taught. Long story short – in 2015 he recorded his debut album in Nashville and this past year received an ECMA nomination for country album of the year. He has a website, which you can visit here: We are pretty proud of him and his

ALICE WALSH (’01) has written a mystery novel. Set in the fictional town of Paddy’s Arm, Newfoundland, Last Lullaby is at once harrowing and homey, equal parts police procedural and dinner gossip. When Claire and Bram’s only child dies suddenly, it appears at first to be a case of crib death. But when the real cause of death indicates homicide and Claire is arrested as the number-one suspect, her friend, lawyer Lauren LaVallee, promises to do everything she can to prove Claire’s innocence. As Lauren combs Paddy’s Arm for suspects, leads abound. Meanwhile, Lauren’s own secret and sudden return of an ex-lover who wants her back threatens to overwhelm the investigation altogether.




Acadia Axewomen basketball head coach LEN HARVEY (’03) tells us that “16 of us got together at the end of May for a weekend of stories and fun. We got in some golf, played an old man version of the ‘Barrax Bowl’ on Raymond Field (thanks to Jeff Cummins for the loan of the jerseys!) and stayed in Barrax for the weekend! It had been 17 years since we all met on the front lawn of Barrax for Frosh Week, so it was a great reunion to catch up with everyone and it was such a great weekend! The boys felt a real connection to the school after coming back and I think they’ll be tickled to see this in the Bulletin. Front row (left to right): ALLAN MACDONALD (‘04), BRAD ADAMS (’03), LEN HARVEY (’03), CRAIG CARMICHAEL (’03), NICK COSMAN (’03), MARK BERRIGAN (’04), JOE CROSSLAND (’05), TROY READ (’06); back row (left to right): BRENNAN CAVERHILL (’03), PAUL

O’CONNELL (’03), JOEY MCGRATH (’03), RANDY CROUSE (’03), OLLIE JUPP (’03), and CHRIS CARMICHAEL (’03). Missing from photo: MIKE EARLE (’03) and MITCH PRICE (’03). In summer 2017, AIMEE C L E A R Y (’04) studied the forces of evolutionary, geologic and social change and contributed to sustainable solutions for an archipelago in the Galapagos. Aimee, a science teacher at Jakarta Intercultural School in Jakarta Selatan, Jakarta, took the graduate course in pursuit of her Master’s degree from Miami University’s Global Field Program.

LINDSAY SNAIR (now LINDSAY DELL’ERGO, ’04), married Brian Dell’Ergo on May 20, 2016 in Los Gatos, California, where we currently reside. My maid of honour was fellow Acadia grad Francine Goulard (‘05). Brian and I are also expecting our first child this year.

JILLIAN (BAMBRICK) BANKS (‘04) graduated with a PhD in geology from Louisiana State University in December 2016. She has recently returned to Nova Scotia with her husband BARRY BANKS (‘04) and their twin toddlers, Baylor and Elizabeth.

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HOLLY STEWART (‘06) and BRODY MOSSMAN (‘07) would like to announce the birth of their daughter, Marlena Hope, who arrived in June 2016. Thank you!

My wife, Edith Maria Del Carmen Torres-Ballester and I (BOBBY HILTZ, ‘06) are very happy to announce the arrival of our son, Joseph Antonio Hiltz-Torres, born April 9, 2017.

SUZANNE (KIANI, ‘07) and Bradley Knight, along with big brother Miles, are proud to introduce the newest member of their family, Jacob George Kiani Knight. Jacob arrived in June 2017, and since that time Miles has been thrilled to have a new friend and playmate. Big news! #AcadiaU alumna CARMEN BRADEN (’09) was nominated for a Western Canadian Music Award. Magnetic North, a work for violin and piano from her debut album Ravens,

was nominated for the Western C a n a d i a n Music Awards C l a s s i c a l Composition of the Year. Braden says she was honoured to have the piece stand alongside works by other great Canadian composers, including Stephen Chatman, Marcus Goddard, Jordan Nobles and Edward Top. The award was announced at BreakOut West in Edmonton, AB September 13-17, 2017. Stand Up and Cheer! For more, please visit:


Congratulations to ROB RAMSAY (’10) and LINDSAY JOSEPH (’10), who were happily married at Acadia’s Festival Theatre on August 12, 2017 surrounded by their friends and family. Two Acadia alumni have been accepted into the National Screen Institute’s prestigious “Totally Television” TV development program. JON MANN (’11) and ROB RAMSAY (’10) have been selected to join the program, which looks to help develop their TV pilot “Wolfville,” into a TV series. “Wolfville” is, believe it or not, set in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. The plot focuses on the past and present of two old

friends who end up on opposing sides of the law. For more, please see NSI’s full release: http://www.nsi-canada. ca/2017/08/2017-nsi-totally-televisionteams-announced/ CHRISTOPHER EAGLES (‘13) writes to tell us that he recently got a job as percussionist faculty at Colorado Christian University. Congrats, Christopher! Since graduating, JON BLADES (’16) has found employment with Densitas Inc. in Halifax, Nova Scotia and taken on the position of Projects and Operations Coordinator. Densitas’s vision is to transform the mammography enterprise with products that aid in improving clinical outcomes, quality and appropriateness of care. These solutions are aimed at strengthening compliance with clinical guidelines and legislation while facilitating the delivery of personalized care to women. DANIELLE MOORE (’17) sends this update: As a recent alum who just graduated with a BBA (Employment Relations major) in May 2017, I thought it fitting to pass along the following information to be included in the fall Bulletin. I just recently started a new job at Morneau Shepell (a human resources consulting company) as a Pension Analyst at the Halifax office. Very excited to share this news with the University and fellow alumni!



Acadia Remembers We are saddened to report the following deaths in the Acadia community:

Elizabeth C. Logan (’34) Halifax, NS — Lindsay E. Brannen (’42) Orting, WA — Dorothy P. (Dunford) Long (’46) Halifax, NS — Frances Lockhart (’47) Springhill, NS — Donald E. Morris (’48) Glen Haven, NS — J. Robert Fleming (’48) Peterborough, ON — Ernest H. Gilliatt (’50) Guelph, ON — Barbara (McLellan) MacNeill (’50) Halifax, NS — George E. Roper (’50) Ottawa, ON — William E. O’Grady (’51) Saint John, NB — John Howard Feindel (’52) Bedford, NS — Sheila G. (Mills) Pipes (’55) Amherst, NS — Gerald R. Spencer (’57) Saint John, NB

Merlyn R. Bacon (’59) Barrie, ON — Ronald B. Gould (’59) Riverview, NB — Willard A. Garron (’60) Dartmouth, NS — Earl L. McCurdy (’60) Lantz, NS — Macha (Delap) MacKay (’60) Wolfville, NS — Diana E. Moore (’62) Westmount, QC — Robert L. H. Brown (’63) Wolfville, NS — Raymond Caldwell West (’63) Middleton, NS — John Johnson Henderson (’65) River John, NS — John Thomas Horton (’66) Wolfville, NS — Gary Edwin Tonks (’67) Gloucester, ON — Leslie L. Brannen (’68) Windsor, NS — James Charles Aulenbach (’68) Lunenburg, NS

Robert A. Ring (’70) Bluffton, SC — Janet Mabel (Height) Duffett (’72) Kentville, NS — Pamela Vail Lowes (’74) Costa Mesa, CA — Barbara Ann Legay (’75) Halifax, NS — Robert Arnold Corey (’76) Wolfville, NS — Marlene Susan (Van Buskirk) Boynton (’77) Surrey, BC — Norman Edward Leblanc (’78) Meteghan, NS — Eleanor Chin-Hwa Lee Chu (’80) Guelph, ON — Mary Jean (Fraser) Verrall (’83) Porter’s Lake, NS — Joseph Camille Leblanc (’84) Bedford, NS — Inez Rita (Vroom) Crosby (’85) Estevan, SK — James William Stegen (’87) Kentville, NS — Stephen Roger Savoy (’90) Hantsport, NS

Aaron Cleveland Kinsman (’94) Mississauga, ON — Jeffrey Murray Spicer (’97) Coldbrook, NS — Eric James Kilfoil (’98) Johnville, NB — Matthew Leigh Holder (’01) Kentville, NS — Mark Cornelius Bouter (’02) Wolfville, NS — George S. Mosher (HOR) Middleton, NS — Morley Everett Howatt (HOR) Hamilton, ON — Rodger Forsman (ASSO) Wolfville, NS — William Grant (HOR) Advocate Harbour, NS — Hereward Senior (ASSO) Montreal, QC — Gertrud Waseem (ASSO) Wolfville, NS — Eric Cleveland (ASSO, Centreville, NS — Gordon Sedgwick Toronto, ON — Carl K. Miller Kentville, NS

We produce this list to the best of our ability with the information provided. If there is a discrepancy or error, please contact the Office of Alumni Affairs at 902.585.1459.



In each edition of the Bulletin, we reserve space on our final pages for a fond look back at the way we were. Do you know the people in this photo? If so, send me an e-mail at First person to identify them will win an Acadia sweatshirt (valued at $70.00). Please include your name, address and phone number in your response. We will reveal the answer, the winner and have another image for you in the spring edition. Look forward to hearing from you.

Have fun!


In our last edition, Cheryl (Woodworth) McKillop (’67) was the first to identify the photo of Leslie Bond crowning Sue Conacher (’71).

Congratulations, Cheryl!



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