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JOIN US OCTOBER 12-15 FOR A FUN-FILLED WEEKEND FOCUSING ON ALUMNI FROM BERMUDA AND THE CARIBBEAN. There is a full slate of activities planned, including a Friday evening reception, a Street March on Saturday and a backyard BBQ hosted by the Associated Alumni. The traditional football game goes at 2 p.m. and Saturday evening will include a Reunion Dinner and Dance in the Sheldon L. Fountain Learning Commons, so make plans to ‘take over’ the campus during Homecoming this year.

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Peter Bigelow (‘83)

IN EVERY ISSUE From the Acadia President . . . . . . . . 2 From the Alumni President . . . . . . . . 3 President’s Gala . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Alumni Profiles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Alumni Director Profiles . . . . . . . . . 23 Eye on Acadia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Athletics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Alumni Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Class Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Acadia Remembers . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Final Frame . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

ON THE COVER: Acadia’s 15th President and Vice-Chancellor Ray Ivany. Photo: Peter Oleskevich



Team approach Corey Evans (’97) says Acadia’s Recreation Management program gave him the tools to craft an award-winning Christmas Miracle marketing campaign at WestJet.

18Generous Gift A new endowed professorship in Acadia University’s F.C. Manning School of Business has been created through an extraordinary gift to the University from Truro businessman and philanthropist Stuart Rath.

25 Welcome! Acadia has named Dr. Peter J. Ricketts as its 16th President and Vice-Chancellor. Dr. Ricketts is a highly regarded environmental science scholar who brings coast-to-coast academic experience to Acadia. He will officially begin his six-year term in July.

28 Super second half Acadia’s varsity teams rose to the occasion to cap off the winter season with a series of triumphs and victories, including a bronze medal in hockey at the University Cup in Fredericton.





his is my 17th and final message as Acadia’s President to readers of the Bulletin and I want to express my deepest gratitude to you, our faithful alumni, for the support you’ve given me every day since I arrived on campus in April 2009. Over the past eight years, I have been warmly welcomed by countless alumni at events across Canada and abroad, where Acadia graduates are building careers, raising families, and contributing to their communities. During reunions, Homecomings and other special events, I’ve spent time with many more who return to campus regularly and thrive on the energy they absorb from fellow members of the wonderful Acadia family. To all of you, I offer my profound thanks for your counsel, your commitment, and your constant care for our University. I have said many times that I came to Acadia fully aware of the institution’s history and its extraordinary reputation within our nation’s post-secondary sector. What has surprised me most is that Acadia is far better than even the most wellinformed observers might think. Our faculty and staff are an outstanding group of people devoted to creating the unique Acadia experience. Our students, when you’re lucky enough to get to know them in the way I have, continually astound with their intellect, ability and passion. Our alumni are not only the most spirited of any university in Canada, they are so engaged with Acadia on every level that we are propelled forward by their energy and support. I was most fortunate that my tenure included the celebration of the 175th anniversary of Acadia’s founding. During those proceedings, as we honoured Chancellor Emeritus Arthur Irving (’52), former President Dr. Jim Perkin and our first female graduate Clara Belle Marshall Raymond, I recall how their stories served to remind everyone connected to Acadia – past or present – that they share a common experience drawn from this remarkable institution and community. The traditions and values of Acadia have served us well for almost two centuries and have resulted in a




THANK YOU, ACADIA unique academic model where students are challenged to do their very best in an environment where their professors – and the entire community – support them every step of the way. To some, this may seem old-fashioned, but I would suggest we need not apologize for this, as an education that touches both the head and the heart in equal measure is unlikely to go out of style. I find it remarkable that, despite the many changes to campus infrastructure and technology over the years, the essential aspects of an Acadia education have remained constant. The bonds and traditions that form the fabric of the Acadia community are built to last and they have informed every aspect of my presidency. I am also confident they will guide Acadia’s 16th President and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Peter Ricketts, in the same manner. I want to welcome Dr. Ricketts to the Acadia family and wish him every success as he experiences the magic of this gem of an institution. Finally, I am truly at a loss to adequately describe how much it has meant to me to be embraced by the Acadia and Wolfville communities. It has been an incredible honour and privilege to serve one of Canada’s finest universities. At a personal level, I feel as if I’ve lived a version of our students’ experience. I have been challenged to pursue the excellence that Acadia stands for, but I have never felt alone in that journey as I have consistently been encouraged and supported by staff, faculty and alumni. For our alumni in particular, I have always been conscious that you have given us a special gift because, as each of you crossed the stage and graduated, you left a part of yourself at Acadia and that energy strengthened the institution for those that followed. This makes Acadia ‘your university’ in a very meaningful way and I sincerely hope that, during my presidency, we have demonstrated our utmost respect for that unique contribution you have made to your alma mater. In Acadia spirit, now and in the years to come. Raymond E. Ivany


Spring 2017 Volume 100 / Issue 1 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) Production and Events Manager Sandra Symonds Associated Alumni Board of Directors Geoff Irvine (’87) Ryan Conrod (’06) Donalda MacBeath (’75) Rebecca Carr (’15) Paul MacIsaac (’88) Doug Jackson (’99) Matt Rios (’14) Michele Gerrard (’88) Kiersten Amos (’96) Tony Stewart (’72) Malcolm Smith (’76) Lisa Peck (’85) Barry Taylor (’80) Becca Webster (’13) Amanda Penrice (’09) David Davidson (’81) Fred Gilbert (’65) David Hovell (’91) Ted Upshaw (’80) Heather Hickman (’77) Leah McNally (’07) Kyle Power (’13) 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



here is nothing like spring in the Annapolis Valley: the latest grape vintage is budding on the steep slopes of the Gaspereau Valley and, like all Acadia alumni before them, the Class of 2017 has been launched to do its part in making this world a better place. I wish them well and hope they think of Acadia often. I hope also that they get involved in alumni events and return to Wolfville for Homecoming, special events and class reunions. It is for me a bittersweet time as we bid a fond farewell to retiring President Ray Ivany. I had the privilege of being the Director of Alumni Affairs when Ray began his tenure at Acadia in 2009 and the honour of introducing him to many of our alumni as he began his remarkable tenure with us. Ray has had a dramatic and lasting impact on our University, our province and our country. He led Acadia through an important rebuilding period, including a return to our ideal enrolment level and success in fundraising that allowed us to build the Wu Welcome Centre (the home of your alumni leadership team); to renovate the Athletics Complex and to renew Huggins Science Centre and Elliot Hall. Most importantly, Ray made us all fiercely proud to be part of the Acadia family. While we celebrate Ray’s time with us, we are excited also about what comes next and look forward to working with our new President, Dr. Peter Ricketts. I am proud to lead a fantastic board of directors who are tireless in their efforts to make your alumni association work for you in support of Acadia University. Active committees carry the bulk of the workload and include those focused on finance, governance, awards, communications, affinity, young alumni, nominations and the executive. Highlights from the current workplan include: revised bylaws and near completion of our working agreement with Acadia; the reinvigoration of the awards program, including recognition for alumni volunteers and outstanding faculty teaching; a new and exciting alumni branding program; and adjustments to our affinity partnerships. The association is also involved on a regular basis in supporting student recruitment through direct funding of special activities undertaken by the University recruitment team and encouraging Acadia alumni to be ambassadors in their communities. We are always looking for enthusiastic alumni to join the board, so please let us know if you are interested in contributing. I look forward to seeing many of you in July at the Summer Reunion (as we welcome back returning classes of 1942, 1947, 1952, 1957, 1962, 1967, 1972 and 1977) and at Homecoming in October, where, this year, we will have a special welcome mat laid out for our alumni from Bermuda, Barbados and the Bahamas during ‘The Takeover’. Geoff Irvine (’87)

President, Associated Alumni of Acadia University





By Fred Sgambati (’83)


aymond E. Ivany announced his retirement as President and Vice-Chancellor of Acadia University in February 2016, two years ahead of the prescribed conclusion of his second term. Citing health reasons in the wake of a heart attack in October 2015, Ivany said at the time, “leaving Acadia won’t be easy. However, my recent health issues have caused me to reflect deeply on how I need to shape my life in the years to come and I feel that accelerating my retirement date is an appropriate first step.” Since then, the University has undertaken a search for his successor, with the general consensus being that Ivany leaves some very large shoes to fill. Ray Ivany became the 15th president of Acadia in 2009. A native of Sydney, he had previously chaired the Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia and between 1998 and 2005 he was President of the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC). Prior to that, he served as Executive Vice-President at the University College of Cape Breton.






APPRECIATIVE AND GRATEFUL Ray was honoured as an Influential Atlantic Canadian in 2016 by Canada’s Public Policy Forum.


You have often told members of our graduating classes that they are different people today than when they arrived at Acadia. How are you a different person today than when you arrived in 2009?



Acadia has a way of calling on everyone – not just our students – to do their very best work. When I arrived in 2009, we were facing several daunting challenges that required us to make rapid progress on several fronts simultaneously. I am a self-confessed Type A personality so my natural predisposition is to pursue perfection on every dimension of my work. However, it didn’t take long to recognize that, in our circumstances, this approach was counterproductive and we were better served by trying to discern the best of a set of sub-optimal options and then quickly move onto the next item on our agenda. I still tend to drive very hard, but my Acadia experience has made me more patient when conditions simply won’t allow for the perfect solution.

Q. A.

What was your first priority coming in, and how have those priorities changed over the past seven years?

Since his appointment in 2009, Ivany’s contributions to Acadia and Canadian post-secondary education have been remarkable. Acadia’s full-time undergraduate enrolment has grown by 25 per cent after reaching a 20-year low in 2008. Philanthropic support for Acadia has increased by almost 200 per cent since 2012, reaching an all-time one-year high of more than $11 million in 2016. Ivany chaired the Council of Nova Scotia University Presidents between 2012 and 2014, Atlantic University Sport between 2011 and 2015, and the Nova Scotia Research and Innovation Trust between 2012 and 2014. He served as a Director of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada between 2010 and 2014 and has recently completed a term as a Council Member of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. In 2012, Ivany was asked by the Province of Nova Scotia to chair the Nova Scotia Commission on Building our New Economy. The Commission’s report, Now or Never: An Urgent Call to Action for Nova Scotians, has become the blueprint for the Province’s economic development plans and priorities. In June 2015, Ivany was named the Halifax Chamber of Commerce Person of the Year and Canada’s Public Policy Forum honoured Ivany at their Atlantic awards in March 2016. In December, he was named one of Canada’s Most Admired CEOs for 2016 by Waterstone Human Capital. In a candid and wide-ranging interview, Ivany reflects on his Acadia experience and what he’ll take away as he enters this new phase of his life. 6


There were two priorities that dominated our early agenda. Our enrolment had fallen to unsustainable levels and we had to prove that Acadia could still be seen as a university of choice. At the same time, it was also critical that we put our finances in order. Both of these things had to occur at a time when a tumultuous period in our history meant that we also had to heal as a community. It was a difficult period and I will be forever grateful to all members of the Acadia family – faculty, staff, students and alumni – who really responded and contributed to our turnaround. Their hard work and sacrifice allowed us to recover and I’m pleased to report today that our progress has been nothing short of remarkable. We are back to our historical enrolment levels and we are attracting students from 60 countries and every province in Canada. Our growth has also been accompanied by a higher grade point average in our incoming classes and an increase in our percentage of scholarship students. On the financial side, we have steadily improved the fiscal position of the University and I am confident we now have a framework in place that can sustain Acadia’s academic excellence well into the future. As our situation stabilized, we were able to turn our attention to other priorities, including improvements to campus infrastructure and services, expansion of research partnerships and establishment of the Maple League, but we never diverted our attention from maximizing the resources devoted to teaching and research.



Peter Armstrong (’95)

Ray congratulates University Medal in Politics recipient Emma Costain (’14) as she crosses the stage at Convocation.

Q. A.

How competitive is Acadia in a tight market?

Acadia represents an increasingly rare model in the Canadian university landscape with its small, highquality, high-engagement environment. There just aren’t that many universities like us left in the country. Looking ahead, our competitiveness will depend on whether our rarity remains an asset. We’ve had the highest enrolment growth in Atlantic Canada over the last eight years and we achieved this by letting students know the degree to which Acadia represents a different choice. We wanted them to see us clearly so they could make an informed decision as to what type of university would best meet their needs – and, increasingly, they have chosen Acadia. However, we also believe that there are many more students who, if they understand what we’re all about, will likewise choose to come here. The challenge will be communicating our uniqueness in an environment that is becoming increasingly homogenous and oriented toward a larger university model. I believe there is an important lesson to be taken from our enrolment rebound. If you think back to our enrolment low point, I believe our campus community displayed great courage in choosing to dig deeper roots in Acadia’s traditional ground rather than trying to appeal to shortterm trends. The resulting success affirms that Acadia can

compete because the same core values of Acadia that have resonated for 178 years remain powerful and transformative today.

Q. A.

What’s your proudest moment at Acadia, both personally and from an institutional perspective?

The first thing that comes to mind are eight versions of the same moment and these are the eight years in which I’ve participated in Convocation. We all know that Convocation is a powerful and emotional ceremony, and I’m close enough to our student body to understand the effort and sacrifice they’ve put in to earn a degree at Acadia. It all comes together at Convocation – the whole institution and everything it stands for are on display, and it’s the culmination of the work of faculty, staff, students, the alumni community and the Town of Wolfville that produces an overwhelming sense of pride. Given the intimate scale of our convocations, I am able to take a moment with each graduate onstage and I have felt privileged to share in their joy, laughter and tears. I’m also proud that we are successfully emerging from a difficult period without having sacrificed what lies at the heart of the Acadia experience. I came to Acadia with two lists in mind. The first was a typical ‘to-do’ list of issues that had to be addressed immediately given our daunting




reality. The second was a list of things that shouldn’t change in a University that had been one of Canada’s best for nearly two centuries. I felt strongly that those immutable values and traditions that rest at the core of the Acadia experience needed to be safeguarded for the future. It means a lot to me to look our alumni in the eye and say that we’ve done our best to hold on to those things about Acadia they hold most dear.


You’ve forged a very close and in many ways personal relationship with the surrounding community, particularly the Town of Wolfville and many of the University’s partners. How challenging has this been, and how important is it to maintain a strong relationship with the local community?


You can’t separate Acadia and the Town of Wolfville. You can’t ignore the geography that places our campus directly in the middle of the town. Let me share a story that speaks to our relationship with Wolfville and that also honours the memory of (former) Mayor Bob Stead (’63). Bob extended a very warm welcome when I arrived and we were in quick agreement about the importance of working together. Conceptually, we rejected the notion of ‘Town and Gown’ as an inappropriate model that cast us as disparate entities. Students didn’t differentiate between



campus and the town, so why couldn’t we transcend the “us-and-them” thinking in favour of a unity of purpose? Despite the complexities, we agreed that working together would benefit our students and the citizens of Wolfville, and make it a better home for everyone. Those conversations unlocked the potential of our partnership and resulted in multiple successes, including Acadia providing a longterm dollar-a-year lease for the DeWolfe Building thereby creating a year-round home for the Wolfville Farmers’ Market. Mayor Jeff Cantwell has been equally enthusiastic and he has integrated Acadia into many of the town’s planning processes. The current level of collaboration and joint programming sets a high standard for university towns across Canada – where else do incoming students receive a letter from the Mayor of the town where they will be studying?


You’ve had tremendous support from members of our alumni community. How important has this part of the Acadia family been to you? And how can alumni continue to serve Acadia in the future?


I was so fortunate to be introduced to Acadia through early conversations with Chancellor Emeritus Arthur Irving (’52). I heard about his family’s experience at Acadia and learned of his deep and abiding belief in the value of an

FEATURE Ray chats with Coltan Fagan (’14) at the Associated Alumni’s Annual Backyard Barbecue.

Acadia education. I also learned the oft-repeated story that the first thing Mr. Irving thinks of when he awakes is ‘how can I help Acadia today’ is absolutely true! Once I arrived on campus, one of my very first acts as Acadia’s President was to get on the road with (then) Executive Director of Alumni Affairs Geoff Irvine (’87). We met with alumni in the Maritimes and across Canada and it was extraordinary. I heard Acadia described by so many people in so many powerful ways, and what emerged early on was a strong orientation to Acadia’s “true north” – in many ways, their recollections and perspectives defined Acadia for me. I have always tried to serve that vision because I think alumni are the guardians, not just of the institution’s values and traditions, but also of its relevance for future generations. There is a view that history and tradition are like dragging an anchor behind you and serve to slow progress, but it has never felt that way for me at Acadia. It’s more like riding the crest of a wave that propels you forward and the energy of that wave comes from our alumni. The part of themselves that remains connected to the University acts as a sort of institutional conscience. Whenever the going has been tough, our alumni have rallied, helping to guide their alma mater to a more sustainable place. I feel very appreciative and grateful. Alumni welcomed me with open arms and I put my shoulder to the wheel on their behalf to help us get to where we are today. Our alumni also give to present-day Acadia in different ways, including the financial support that many provide. There is no question that for institutions like Acadia to succeed, the proportion of our revenue that comes from philanthropy will have to increase. If I can ask anything of our alumni in the future, it’s to remain engaged, passionate, and supportive. It’s remarkable how much they care about Acadia and that is a wellspring of energy for everyone on the campus today – and will continue to be so in the future.

Q. A.

What has Acadia taught you during your time here?

Interestingly, my learning starts with the University motto, In Pulvere Vinces, ‘In Dust You Conquer’, or more practically, ‘through hard work you succeed.’ I’ve always believed that hard work is highly underrated and my Acadia experience provided a profound exclamation point to that belief – quite simply, the entire University community worked incredibly hard when the institution needed it most and the results speak for themselves.

I also learned that necessity is indeed the mother of invention. Like all universities with older buildings, Acadia had an ongoing need to make improvements to campus infrastructure. However, in our circumstances, we could only undertake these capital projects on a ‘pay as you go’ basis. Yet again, alumni and friends stepped forward with financial support for much-needed projects like the Patterson Hall renovation, Wu Welcome Centre, the Andrew H. McCain Arena, the Stevens Centre, and the Fitness Centre/Gymnasium renewal. And, in September 2016, we were finally able to address our most pressing infrastructure need – the rebuilding of our chemistry laboratories in Elliott Hall along with an energy retrofit of Huggins Hall and a new Innovation Pavilion. This transformative project was funded by the Government of Canada ($10.48M), Province of Nova Scotia ($5.5M) and $6.27M from alumni and friends. I will be forever grateful to all those who supported these campus improvements and I want them to know that their generosity will contribute to Acadia’s success for many decades to come. My Acadia experience also served to confirm my longheld view that excellence comes from people. It is only possible to have a top-tier university if you have an outstanding professoriate and Acadia is most fortunate in that regard. We have attracted talented scholars from around the world and they are as deeply committed to making the same kind of positive difference in the lives of their students as those professors that many alumni will recall from their time at Acadia. I would be remiss if I did not also cite the contribution of staff from every part of our operations to creating the unique Acadia experience. I believe that part of the Acadia magic is that we touch the head and heart in equal measure and that is only possible when faculty and staff are willing to go the extra mile for their students. Our excellence comes from our people and it has always been thus. Finally, it is rare for a university president today to have the opportunity to get to know their students in the way that I have at Acadia. Thankfully, Acadia is still at a scale where you have the privilege of directly interacting with a broad cross-section of the student body. As you know, I have made it a practice on move-in weekend to meet with all the first-year students in small groups. This has enabled me to gain some real insight into our students’ dreams and aspirations. You see the institution really come alive for them and it has been deeply gratifying to watch their progress. The ability to have such a close connection with our students has absolutely been a gift that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.



PRESIDENT’S GALA Alumni and friends of Acadia University came together on Friday, May 26, 2017 in Halifax at the World Trade and Convention Centre for the President’s Gala to celebrate and honour the many contributions to the University and community of retiring President Raymond E. Ivany. The evening featured dinner, a silent auction, special guests and entertainment, including a musical presentation by Juno award winner Heather Rankin (‘89, ’96 DMU), and stand-up Ron James (’79, ’15 DH), star of nine comedy specials. Hosted by C100 radio host and Acadia alumnus Peter Harrison (’84), the Gala provided an opportunity for a capacity crowd of more than 800 guests to applaud Ivany’s accomplishments as the 15th President and Vice-Chancellor at Acadia and his many contributions to the Province of Nova Scotia and its people. Special thanks also to our Presenting Sponsor TD Insurance Meloche Monnex, Executive Sponsor McInnes Cooper and Chancellor’s Sponsor Irving Oil for their support. For more, please visit our photo gallery:


2 5 1. Gala co-chairs Bruce Phinney (left, ’81) and Hugh Bray (’75) helped to kick things off at a pre-dinner reception hosted by McInnes Cooper.

2. The annual silent auction featured an array of items that attracted a large crowd and brisk bidding throughout the evening.

3. Chancellor Libby Burnham (’60, ’00 DCL) and alumna (and current president of Wilfrid Laurier University) Dr. Deborah MacLatchy (‘85, ‘16 DSC) share a moment.

4. Once again, alumnus Peter Harrison (’84) was excellent as dinner emcee. 5. Heather Rankin (‘89, ’96 DMU) captivated the Gala audience with a three3




song set as part of Ray’s retirement celebration.


6. More than 800 guests gathered to

celebrate Ray’s many contributions to Acadia and the province of Nova Scotia.


7. Associated Alumni President

Geoff Irvine (’87) thanked Ray and declared him an Honorary Alumnus of Acadia University.

8. Ray with wife Laurie Graham at

the end of a great evening full of laughter, song and praise for ‘no ordinary leader’ as he enters retirement.

9. Ray with (from left to right) 8

Sarah Irving, Sandra Irving (’74, ’17 DH) and Chancellor Emeritus Arthur Irving (’52, ’03 DCL).


10. Comedian Ron James (’79, ’15 DH)

slayed the crowd and had Ray in stitches with his remarkably funny performance.

11. Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil was on hand to thank Ray for his contributions to Nova Scotia.

Photos: Peter Oleskevich







undreds of tiny parachutes floated down at a gala Christmas party last December in Fort McMurray, the northern Alberta community devastated by wildfires in May 2016. The party guests, invited by WestJet, had lost their homes to the fires, and those parachutes brought personalized gift boxes, each containing a Christmas ornament with the recipient family’s photo and free WestJet flights. This initiative was the latest in the airline’s annual Christmas Miracle events whose videos have gone viral (see sidebar for links). They wouldn’t have happened, however, without Corey Evans (’97) and his team. Evans is WestJet’s Manager of Sponsorship, Community lnvestment, Experiential Marketing and Promotions. More than 47 million people have seen the 2013 Christmas Miracle video that features WestJet’s Blue Santa (blue being a company colour).

SPORTS MANAGEMENT AND BEYOND Originally from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Evans moved to Calgary soon after graduating from Acadia’s Recreation Management program with a specialty in sports management. His wife, Carrie Smith Evans (’97), was in the same program. “We met at Acadia,” Evans says. “We started dating in our third year and we’ve been together ever since.” He worked for six years with Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, primarily as the Special Events Coordinator. “In Recreation, you need to know a lot about planning and



execution, and I was able to apply those skills right away to my career.” As a way of generating revenue, he facilitated corporate team-building events. “I would design packages, and we would sell them,” he says. After he worked on the finale of season 5 of The Amazing Race at Canada Olympic Park, he and his team started doing Amazing Race-themed team builders. A friend with WestJet asked Evans to do a team-building event on Vancouver Island for their People Department. The day before the event, he drove around and created an Amazing Race course. A few weeks later, when an opportunity arose to join the events team at WestJet, Evans jumped at it. “When I showed up for the interview,” he says, “I already knew the recruiter.” He worked for a year on the WestJet internal events team. Then the sponsorship team on the marketing side, who had started doing World Cup events for skiing, called Evans about his experience with sponsors at Canada Olympic Park. Soon he was working on the marketing team. “I was the Coordinator, Sports Sponsorship, which was great given my Acadia specialty in sports management,” he says. After several career advancements within the company, he was appointed to his present position.


SEE THE VIDEOS WestJet Christmas Miracle: Fort McMurray strong (2016) [3:55]: WestJet Christmas Miracle: 12,000 mini miracles (2015) [4:49]: WestJet Christmas Miracle: spirit of giving (2014) [5:33]: WestJet Christmas Miracle: real-time giving (2013) video [5:25]: WestJet Christmas Flash Mob (2012) [3:04]:

WestJet’s Blue Santa, the spokesperson for the Christmas Miracle initiative

“The Christmas piece in 2013 won a couple of Cannes Lions, and that’s sort of the Olympics of marketing for us,” he says. “To be part of that and feel like you were representing where you came from was a unique experience.” The WestJet Christmas videos have run every year since 2012, having evolved from smaller marketing projects that Evans initiated. “Experiential marketing is the industry term for one-onone experiences, creating a moment that makes people stop and take notice,” he says. “Our goal every year is to create a once-in-a-lifetime experience for a group of people, and then wrap it up in a Christmas story that people will like to share. I love being part of that. Hopefully people like it, create some conversation, and want to go and do nice things over the holidays.”


TEAMWORK AT ACADIA “I love and cherish my time at Acadia and the people I met there,” Evans continues. “When we graduated, Professor Brenda Robertson (’75) said, ‘This is not the best class we’ve ever had academically, but it might be the best class at working together to get results done.’ “In my world, especially with the Christmas Miracle, people always say, ‘Whose idea was it?’ It’s really a hundred small decisions that make a project successful, not one big idea. I always appreciate that it’s a team and everyone contributes in his or her own way. When I think back to that time, I realize that even then it was a group of students with a willingness to work together that got us through.”

Acadia Reminiscence Two specific Acadia memories have stayed with Corey Evans. “My roommate, Liam Blanchard (’97), and I would eat Lipton Sidekicks – noodles you microwave – watch Head of the Class every night, and we’d talk about our day at school. I think we had one TV channel. We went to high school together and then we were roommates at Acadia, just talking about school. As you move through every year, you do it differently: you spend more time by yourself, or you’re with a different group of friends. It was unique to go through that with someone. I’m sorry to say that Liam has since passed away, but those were great times. “The second memory is when my class was doing a project on demographics at the beginning of third year, and the professor said, ‘You guys all have something in common. You’ll all be graduating in Recreation.’ And for the first time, I thought, ‘I might actually pass.’ And it’s weird, because most of my family hadn’t gone to university, and I was eager, but I’m not sure I ever thought I would graduate. At that moment, I thought, ‘Yeah. We’re over halfway there. I’m going to actually graduate and do this.’”



Kevin Rimmer (’98, inset and below), with Kinduct representatives Kevin Forbes and Ali Oxner in Acadia’s mLab with Dr. Scott Landry (’96), Dr. Danny Silver (’79), women’s basketball coach Len Harvey (’03), Nick DeAdder (’13), and Physimax CEO Ram Shaleve.






hortly after graduating from Acadia, Kevin Rimmer (’98) was working for his father’s company in Ottawa and searching for a new adventure. Rimmer had fallen in love with Nova Scotia during his time at Acadia, so when some of his family moved to the province, Rimmer and his wife Stacie (’99) decided to follow. Halifax turned out to be an ideal place for new opportunity. Rimmer ran into an old friend from Acadia, Dave Anderson (‘08), who put him in touch with Travis McDonough. McDonough had an idea for a cutting-edge web product and was looking for others to help him launch it. “A 15-minute meeting turned into three hours,” Rimmer says, “and I said, ‘I’m in! Let’s do it!’” Rimmer, Anderson and McDonough teamed up, and Kinduct was born.


LEADING TECHNOLOGY Kinduct is a data analytics company that gathers information on health, wellness and movement and converts it into actionable insights for their clients. Using their industryleading software-as-a-service platform, Kinduct works with major league sports organizations like the NFL, NBA and NHL, as well as the Canadian military and others to give them an edge in performance. “Much of the information we gather simply wasn’t available before,” Rimmer says, “and if it was, it was siloed such that you couldn’t put it all together to figure out what data points mattered. We provide the computer power and algorithm development to be able to take big data and find the needles in the haystack.” The insights Kinduct delivers allow teams and coaches to make better decisions about everything from the ideal length of training sessions to the correlation between injuries and number of minutes played.


LESSONS FROM ACADIA For Rimmer, Kinduct is the fulfillment of a long-held dream to build and launch a product. It’s a dream Acadia prepared him well for, he says. While studying sports management and playing football, he also took several business courses that laid the foundation for this entrepreneurial venture. One of the most important life lessons he learned at Acadia was the necessity for teamwork to be successful. “The community was the driving motivator for me,” he says. “Acadia is a small school and you learn that if you don’t treat people well, you don’t last very long.” This mentality worked its way into the core of Kinduct’s culture. “You can be the smartest person in the world, but if you don’t fit in with the way we work, the values we hold, then you’re just going to be an individual,” Rimmer says.

WINNING PARTNERSHIPS Along with the values he learned, many of the relationships Rimmer formed in his Acadia years have been integral to Kinduct’s success. The company works with Acadia’s John MacIntyre mLAB (motion Laboratory of Applied Biomechanics), led by kinesiology professor Dr. Scott Landry (’96), an old classmate of Rimmer’s. The mLAB uses state-of-the-art motion capture technology to analyze athletes’ movements and help with injury prevention. Kinduct partners with the lab and with Acadia’s Strength and Conditioning Coach Elliot Richardson (’10) to test and improve its platforms. With nearly 300 varsity athletes under his supervision, Richardson is ideally positioned to test Kinduct’s platforms across a range of sports and give feedback on problems or suggest changes and additions.

The partnership is mutually beneficial, providing Acadia’s varsity teams access to cutting-edge data analysis that transforms the way Richardson tracks performance and advises coaches. The platforms are especially useful for varsity athletes since they frequently have to balance athletics and academics. If students are overwhelmed at a particular time in the term, Kinduct can send an alert to a coach so they can recognize stress or fatigue and adapt their training schedule accordingly.

COLLABORATIVE SPIRIT Kinduct collaborates on several other projects at Acadia, too. Through a grant from Innovacorp, a Nova Scotia start-up investor, kinesiology professor Dr. Jonathon Fowles partners with Kinduct to provide physiology expertise. Computer science professor Dr. Danny Silver (’79), meanwhile, provides input on big data and artificial intelligence to guide Kinduct’s future product development. The collaborative spirit at Acadia and Kinduct makes for a winning partnership, Landry says. “At Acadia, you can pull in people from several different departments and suddenly you have everyone at the table. You have all the pieces, but it’s not territorial. There are no egos involved and there are no egos at Kinduct.” Rimmer agrees. “Naturally, we work well together,” he says. “I’m eternally grateful to Acadia for helping us get where we are.” For more, please visit:

Acadia Reminiscence “I remember seeing the most beautiful girl standing in line at McConnell dining hall in my third year. She was wearing a yellow raincoat at the cafeteria – probably waiting to be served the same chicken, pineapple and rice we used to get from Beaver back in the day. Her name then was Stacie Drew – now that we’re married, it’s Stacie Rimmer (’99).”




Kimlee Wong



rotecting wild spaces and the Indigenous people who live there has become the life work of biologist and social activist Kimlee Wong (’91). Wong, who grew up in the Sagkeeng First Nation in rural Manitoba, has experienced environmental hazards and racism first-hand. “In the summer we used to swim in the river,” she says. “But there’s a pulp and paper mill just upstream. Every so often there’d be effluent plumes, and you could see them. Most of us would jump out, but some of my friends would play games where they’d try to swim under, not realizing they were swimming through them.” Her first experience with racism was at school in a nearby town. “I was nine,” she says, “and when my cousin and I



walked into the classroom, it was like the Red Sea parting, where the kids actually moved away from us. In grade seven I quit school for part of the year because of the bullying – from teachers as well as the students.” However, she is proud to be from Sagkeeng. “Here I was from this beautiful family, welcoming and loving people, and I had tons of cousins, and we played outside,” she says. “I remember thinking, ‘Why don’t they want to get to know us?’” Even the nearby hospital had segregated waiting rooms. This was in the 1970s, less than two hours from Winnipeg.

A LOVE FOR WILDLIFE BIOLOGY At 18, Wong moved to Antigonish, Nova Scotia, her


mother’s hometown, and attended St. Francis Xavier University. Two years later she transferred to Acadia to study wildlife biology. “I loved Acadia,” she says. “It was one of the best times of my life. Even though I didn’t know anyone, it felt like family. Professors were on a first-name basis with students. You were encouraged to have your own mind and ask your own questions.” Her thesis advisor and mentor was Soren BondrupNielsen. If not for him, she believes, she would not be where she is today (see Acadia Reminiscence). “Sherman Boates (’77) was another person who was a great mentor. And Michael O’Brien (’75) was a biology alumnus who supported so many students. At the time, he worked for the government as a wildlife biologist, but if he had space in the helicopter when he was doing aerial surveys, he would invite some of us up. It was incredible.” Wong completed a BSc in biology with honours in wildlife biology. “I loved working outdoors with the animals,” she says. However, university changed her thinking about wildlife biology. She came to understand that working without considering the political and social climate could result in no wild lands left. “I realized then that I wanted to do something that would help protect these spaces,” she says.

universities and health-related training in three countries. Late last year, Wong joined the editorial board of Intercontinental Cry, a respected online publication whose mandate includes supporting Indigenous peoples and protecting the diversity of nature through digital storytelling.

CIVILIZED TO DEATH In 2012, Kimlee Wong created a documentary for the Aboriginal People’s Television Network. Called “Civilized to Death,” it looked at the social determinants of health and the devastating effects of efforts to “civilize” Indigenous people who had, before European contact, been healthy physically and culturally. [13:08]

FOUND HER CALLING After university, she travelled to southeast Asia, making her way eventually to Malaysia. There she met the founder and executive director of a small Non-Governmental Organization that sought to improve social justice. While working for the NGO, Wong pushed to address the rights of Indigenous people. “It was mostly the Penan, in Borneo,” she says. “They lived in the jungle in their traditional ways, and the government and corporations wanted their land for timber and hydroelectrical projects for mining operations. The Indigenous people were resisting, but even within mainstream Malaysian culture, their situation wasn’t fully understood. It was like that of Indigenous people in Canada – people considered them primitive and that their lives would be better if they were brought into mainstream culture.”

THE POWER OF STORIES When she worked for APTN, the Aboriginal People’s Television Network, she produced a documentary called “Civilized to Death”. “It started off with the social determinants of health,” she says. “In the medical community, it’s more widely accepted now that health is not just what you eat and how you exercise – there’s also the social conditioning in which you grew up. I did the story to break apart some of the myths.” The documentary was well received and has been used in [10:33]

Acadia Reminiscence “Soren Bondrup-Nielsen pushed me to do things I thought I couldn’t do. He had me present at a master’s conference. The guy before me was working on his PhD, and I was shaking so much – I thought, ‘I can’t do this. I’m going to go hide in the washroom. How can I get up and just present an honours thesis?’ But Soren had done so much for me, supported me, and was such a kind and generous person, I couldn’t do that to him. So I did the presentation. The earth didn’t swallow me up. My thesis was well accepted, and I made it through.”




Entrepreneur and philanthropist Stuart Rath.



new endowed professorship in Acadia University’s F.C. Manning School of Business has been created through an extraordinary gift to the University from Truro businessman and philanthropist Stuart Rath. The endowment will provide substantial direct support to the incumbent as well as an annual research stipend. The professorship will benefit Acadia students through the sharing of knowledge from expert faculty, research opportunities, and support for direct engagement with the business community. “We are deeply grateful to Mr. Rath for this wonderful gift,” says Ray Ivany, President and Vice-Chancellor of Acadia. “Stu is one of Nova Scotia’s most successful entrepreneurs, and we are honoured to have his name



attached to Acadia through the Rath Professorship in Entrepreneurship. We are excited to know that students in Acadia’s Fred C. Manning School of Business will benefit from exposure to the latest theory and practice of entrepreneurship. Furthermore, Stu’s incredible legacy of giving back to his community will also inspire our students to reflect deeply on the relationship between business success and the well-being of our society. We are humbled by Stu’s gift and his belief in the value of an Acadia education.” Having started his business career in banking, Rath has had several business interests, including a successful cable television business, airport environmental services, a wholesale and office supply company, an ice company,



University President Ray Ivany, Executive Director of Philanthropy Nancy Handrigan (’92), Stuart Rath, his son Duane (’89), and Vice-President, Advancement, Dr. Rod Morrison after the gift announcement.

and a range of commercial and residential property developments. A true entrepreneur, he has also been involved in standardbred horse racing and breeding and owns the Truro Jr. A Bearcats hockey team. “While I did not have the benefit of a university education myself, I believe strongly in what Acadia offers its students,” says Rath. “I know the University through my son, daughter-in-law, grand-daughter and step-daughter; all graduates of this fine institution. I have witnessed the strong leadership of Ray Ivany over the past several years

formerly Kings Physiotherapy Clinic

and felt that the time was right to show my appreciation.” “The Rath Professor will bring added prestige to a critical aspect of business education at Acadia,” says Acting Vice-President Academic, Dr. Heather Hemming (’78). “This gift will enable us to recognize an outstanding professor and to provide annual funds to support innovative research. The establishment of the Rath Professorship in Entrepreneurship marks a new chapter in the development of business studies at Acadia.” “We are tremendously fortunate that Mr. Rath chose to make this extraordinary gift to Acadia,” says Dr. Rod Morrison, Acadia’s Vice-President, Advancement. “It enables the Manning School of Business to support a faculty position dedicated to a field close to Mr. Rath’s heart. Our profound thanks to Stuart Rath for his vision and leadership in creating this prestigious faculty appointment.”

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Yearbook photo of Wilfred Giffin, Class of 1948.



t age 13, Wilfred Giffin had his sights set firmly on Acadia. One of eight siblings growing up on a farm in Victoria Vale, a tiny community in the Annapolis Valley, Giffin admits his dream was ambitious. The summer after graduating high school he worked 60 hours a week at 35 cents an hour and saved what he could. He wrote to Acadia to express his interest and, on paying a nominal entrance fee, received a bursary to cover his tuition. In September 1945, Giffin became the first in his family to attend university. Seventy-two years later, his great-niece becomes the 16th Acadia graduate from the same extended family.

SETTING OUT Hard work, humour and a deeply caring community dominate Gifffin’s memories of his Acadia years. Alongside studying for his Certificate in Applied Science, he worked selling hot dogs in the canteen on Saturday nights and as a towel room attendant through the week.





Wilfred Giffin and his siblings have established the Lester and Evangeline Giffin Endowment, named after his parents (pictured here).

Somewhere between studying and working, Giffin also found time for drama. He performed in four plays one winter and earned a Silver A. “Oh, I was busy about 24 hours a day,” he says with a smile. A few times a year, Giffin hitchhiked back to his parents’ home in Middleton. His friends were always eager for his return. Under no false impressions about his own popularity, Giffin says it was the home-cooked food his mother used to send back with him that they anticipated.

STAYING LOCAL After graduating, Giffin went to Nova Scotia Technical College and took Civil Engineering and then started working for Fundy Construction. “The company called me two days before I wrote my last exam to offer me a job,” he recalls. “It was a Wednesday and they said, ‘you start on Saturday!’” Giffin had considered joining the military, but he’s glad he took his father’s advice to stay in Nova Scotia. Gradually, he worked his way up in Fundy Construction and began to buy out his partners one by one. Twenty-five years later, he owned the company outright. “The last big job I did was Halifax’s $25-million World Trade and Convention Centre,” he says. Giffin is quick to credit his Acadia experience as blazing a trail for his success. Perhaps more remarkable still is the number of family members who have since followed him down that path. Four of Giffin’s younger siblings attended Acadia: three brothers, Ron S. Giffin (’54), Jim M. Giffin (‘60) and Fred S. Giffin (‘63), and sister Audrey E. Bateman (‘50). “My going ahead there was an encouragement for them,” Giffin says. “They thought, if he can do it, there’s no reason why we can’t.” Three of Giffin’s sons are Acadia graduates, as well: John M. Giffin (‘80), Robert R. Giffin (‘80) and David M. Giffin (‘82), as well as his daughter-in-law, Donna L. Giffin (‘89). Like Wilfred, most of his family has remained in Nova Scotia since graduating. Retaining local talent is a topic Wilfred is passionate about. “As Ray Ivany wrote in his report (Now or Never: An Urgent Call to Action for Nova Scotians), Nova Scotia has to look after itself,” Wilfred urges. “It has to produce people, it has to keep them, and have them pass

on to the next generation so that we grow as a community within ourselves.”

PAYING IT FORWARD Keen to pave the way for others in the Annapolis Valley to attend Acadia, Wilfred and his siblings established the Lester and Evangeline Giffin Endowment, named after their parents. “Our parents couldn’t help us out financially,” Wilfred says, “but their hard work and generosity were an example we followed. They gave us encouragement, love and wisdom and taught us integrity and honesty.” Wilfred remembers his mother’s insistence that there always be an empty chair at the dinner table. “It was the ’30s and often a homeless person would come by,” he recalls. His mother always invited them in to eat with the family. “She was a person – and my dad was too – who had very little. But they were always looking out for people who had less.” Driven in part by a desire to continue their parents’ legacy of altruism, Wilfred says he and his siblings also recognize the difference the bursaries they received made to their lives. “We wanted our bursary to go to a high school student in Nova Scotia who is needy and deserving,” Wilfred says, “not necessarily to the highest achiever.” As for his own family, Wilfred has high hopes for the next generation – his growing number of great-grandchildren. “This isn’t going to be the end of the Giffins going to Acadia,” he says.

Acadia Reminiscence “Each year,” Wilfred recalls, “the Engineering Department put on a musical written and composed by one of the students. I remember performing one year, and the show being voted the best one yet!”








cadia University’s ambitious plans to rejuvenate Acadia’s science facilities reached an important milestone in February 2017. Thanks to generous donors, Acadia achieved its fundraising goal securing the $6.3 million in private support needed to make this project a reality. The entire $22.25 million project – comprising a comprehensive renovation of Elliott Hall, a new exterior for Huggins Hall, and a new Innovation Pavilion between them – will be funded by a $15.98 million investment from the federal and provincial governments combined with your private donations. The response of Acadia’s alumni and friends has been so positive that the University will be extending our efforts in hopes of tackling some interior improvements in Huggins Hall which fell beyond the scope of the original plan. Work is now underway in Elliott Hall and the University’s target is to have the renewed science complex fully



operational by April 2018. Critical teaching areas in Elliott Hall will be ready at the beginning of this September and the balance of the work completed by January 2018. Renovations to the exterior of Huggins Hall will begin in April and be finished by March 2018. Construction of the Innovation Pavilion will commence next month and wrap up by April 2018. This is an extraordinarily aggressive renovation and construction schedule driven by the funding requirements of the Strategic Investment Fund. Acadia is extremely grateful to our donors and excited by the transformative scale of this project. To make your online donation, please use the donate button on this page, or for further options, contact the Office of Advancement at 1-866-222-3428. To discuss recognition opportunities for larger gifts, please contact Nancy Handrigan, Executive Director, Philanthropy (902-585-1042) or Rod Morison, Vice-President, Advancement (902-585-1818).


TAMMY WALKER (’92) Tammy grew up in the Annapolis Valley and still calls it home even though she has lived in Ottawa for the past eight years. She graduated from Acadia in 1992 with a Bachelor of Business Administration. After several years working in marketing in Nova Scotia’s agriculture industry, she moved on to a career in wealth management, starting at BMO Nesbitt Burns in 1997. She is currently an Investment Executive at Scotia Wealth Management in Ottawa and enjoys helping clients meet their personal and financial goals. She and her husband have two very active teenagers who are involved in numerous activities that keep everyone busy. Her oldest daughter just completed her first semester at Acadia, and is enjoying her Acadia experience immensely.

FRED GILBERT (’65) Fred had a distinguished academic career, beginning with his Hons BSc Biology (1965 - Acadia), his MSc Zoology (1966 - Guelph), and a PhD in Zoology (1968 - Guelph). He went on to hold academic and administrative positions at U. Maine (Orono), U. Guelph, Washington State U., U. Northern British Columbia, Colorado State U., and Lakehead U, where he was President from 1998-2010. Fred was a member of the Advisory Council of the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (2002-2015) and has served on many government and private boards and as inaugural Chair of the Board of Directors of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (2005-12), as well as standards committees in both the United States and Canada. Now retired from academia, Fred operates a certified organic farm in the Bridgewater area and is a member of the Grape Growers’ Association of Nova Scotia (GGANS) and the South Shore Wine Growers’ Association.




ACADIA CELEBRATES ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE, HUMANITARIAN ACHIEVEMENTS Five Honorary Degrees conferred during Convocation ceremonies May 14 and 15, 2017 Doctor of Science Dr. Conville Brown, Nassau, Bahamas has devoted his life to the good health, welfare and service of others. He is a noted philanthropist and a man of many firsts in his profession and sphere of influence. He is considered a pioneer in the field of cardiology in the Bahamas and the Caribbean and was the first Bahamian and third Caribbean cardiologist inducted into the American College and European Society. He has developed many medical enterprises that practice his signature partnered care model, which assures access to all for advanced services, irrespective of the ability to pay, be they public or private, insured or not, rich or poor. Special awards include Bahamas’ Legend in the Field of Medicine, Jones Communications Network’s Civil Society Person of The Year, The Bahamas’ Icon Award for Health, and he has been honored by The Caribbean Cardiac Society for his contributions to medicine. Doctor of Humanities Sandra Irving, Saint John, New Brunswick a steadfast and hard-working advocate for students, scholarly excellence and building a better world. Sandra most likes to help students in the realization of their dreams. Together with her husband Arthur Irving, they support scholarships at Acadia University and other Canadian and US universities. She is a strong supporter of research. In



her work with the President’s Advisory Council of the Royal Society of Canada she upheld research and teaching by our country’s leading scholars as the important foundation on which our country is built and as the knowledge base for finding answers to important questions. She is committed to medical education and helps support research in cardiology, neurology and cancer care. She also worked closely with Arthur in the establishment of the K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre and the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens at Acadia University. Over Arthur Irving’s fourteenyear term as Chancellor of Acadia University, together, they supported many student initiatives. This work continues today at Acadia with student scholarship support in Environmental Science. Sandra likes to encourage students to do their best and inspire them to give back in helping others someday. Sandra earned a Bachelor of Arts with distinction from the University of New Brunswick in Saint John and a Master of Arts from the University of Toronto. Sandra and Arthur were instrumental in establishing RSC: The Academies of Arts, Humanities, and Sciences of Canada (Atlantic) to foster stronger connections between outstanding scholars and universities in our region and to bring greater recognition of our Atlantic Canada University’s scholars. In recognition of her public service in the fields of education and health, she has been awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, was made Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, named a Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Club of Saint John, and in 2015 was named a member of the Order of Canada. Doctor of Civil Laws Maureen McTeer, Ottawa is a distinguished Canadian lawyer and author who is currently

an adjunct professor of law at the University of Ottawa and a member of the Global Commission on Pollution, Health and Development. For four decades, Ms. McTeer has been a leading advocate for, and symbol of, gender equality in Canada, and has been an influential role model for other women in Canada and abroad. Her interests and engagement span a wide range of challenging social, legal and ethical issues, and her goal is to bring citizens into the discussion and debate on all the major issues that will shape our future. Ms. McTeer has received several honours including: The Governor General’s Award in Commemoration of the Persons case; the Queen’s Gold and Diamond Jubilee Medals; honorary degrees from the University of Sheffield, Carleton University, and the University of Athabasca; and the DIVA Award for Outstanding Contributions to Women’s Health and Well-Being. Doctor of Divinity Rick Tobias, Toronto has been a strong advocate and supporter of low-income and marginalized people for more than 35 years. He has encouraged and inspired people living in poverty to recognize their worth and to realize their potential while challenging church communities, business and professional leaders, and elected officials to understand their roles in responding to human need. Rick has been in ministry since 1973

EYE ON ACADIA and provided leadership to churches and organizations in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Chicago, and Toronto. In 1983, he became the Director of the Evergreen branch of Toronto’s Yonge Street Mission (YSM) to work with streetinvolved youth, demonstrating love, peace and justice to people living with economic, social and spiritual poverty. Rick was later appointed Executive Director of YSM. He completed his role as CEO in 2012 and since then has served as the Community Advocate for the Mission. He holds honorary doctorates from McMaster University and York University. Doctor of Science Dr. Robert Walker, Ottawa has had a distinguished career in public service in various leadership roles, both domestic and international. Prior to his retirement, he was with Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, first as Senior Vice-President Nuclear Laboratories and as President and Chief Executive Officer. Before that, he was for 33 years a scientist, manager and executive with the research and development arm of the Department of National Defence. Dr. Walker also served as Chair of the NATO Research and Technology Board, the senior oversight body for cooperative research within NATO. He is presently Chair of the Board for the Network of Centres of Excellence in Marine Environmental Observation, Prediction and Response hosted by Dalhousie University, a member of the Council of Advisors of the Conference of Defence Associations Institute, and a director and past Chair of the Pembroke Boys and Girls Club. He has honorary doctorates from McMaster University and the Royal Military College of Canada. Associated Alumni of Acadia University Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching Professor Ann Dodge Faculty of Professional Studies



ohn Rogers (’79), Chair of Acadia University’s Board of Governors, announced on April 3, 2017 the appointment of Dr. Peter J. Ricketts as Acadia’s 16th President and Vice-Chancellor. The enthusiastic endorsement of Ricketts by the Board followed an international search and campus consultation process that began in June 2016. Ricketts is the current Provost and Vice-President (Academic) at Carleton University in Ottawa, a post he has held since 2009. Before joining Carleton, 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 his PhD from the University of Southampton in 1982. He is internationally recognized for his expertise in coastal zones and ocean management.

Ricketts has considerable professional experience in his discipline and higher education advancement. Among his many appointments, he served a record five terms as President of the Coastal Zone Canada Association, where he was presented in 2016 with the H.B. Nicholls Award for Coastal Zone Management Achievement. He has chaired the Internationalization Leaders Network for the Canadian Bureau for International Education and has served as Director of Ontario Universities International since 2012. He has been a member of the Quality Network for Universities for the Conference Board of Canada since 2009 and the Academic Affairs Forum of the Educational Advisory Board in Washington, D.C., since 2010. Ricketts has earned a reputation as a champion of undergraduate and graduate student research, faculty development, entrepreneurship, internationalization, and academic innovation. “I am excited and honoured to have been selected to serve as the 16th President and Vice-Chancellor of Acadia University,” said Ricketts. “Acadia holds a very special place among Canada’s universities, and it is a truly outstanding scholarly community that is dedicated to providing a rich and personal learning experience for each of its students. I am deeply attracted by Acadia’s dedication to community engagement and the environment, and I look forward to returning to Nova Scotia and working closely with university colleagues and the communities Acadia serves, locally, regionally, nationally and globally.” Ricketts will officially begin his sixyear term in July 2017. He succeeds Acadia’s 15th President and ViceChancellor, Ray Ivany, who retires from Acadia on June 30, 2017.




know that the Centre was available for everyone at Acadia. When the biology department moved into its own building, Romkey invited engineering, chemistry and earth and environmental science to take up the newly available space at the Irving Centre. “I’m a huge fan of interdisciplinary studies,” he says. In their shared location, the departments evolved into CARE, the Centre for Analytic Research on the Environment. Romkey also helped several student organizations develop programs based at the Centre, such as Water Watch Acadia. As word of the Centre spread around campus, it became a popular spot for students to work, especially at exam time. “Every room, nook and cranny would be full from 8 a.m. until 2 a.m.,” Romkey recalls. The heavy traffic brought its challenges and required some creative problem-solving. For instance, “some students got in the habit of ordering pizza and leaving the mess,” he says. “I discovered, however, that the pizza boxes had the cell phone number of the students on them, and calling them at five in the morning to remind them to clean up their mess quickly fixed the issue.” Overall, Romkey says he enjoyed great interactions with students, staff and faculty. “Meeting students and watching them go from curious undergraduates to fully engaged graduate and doctoral students was a wonderful experience,” he says.


By Charlotte Rogers (’13)


hen Peter Romkey took on the role of Director at Acadia’s K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre, the facility was considered initially by many students and faculty as a highly sophisticated research building. Now, upon his retirement, Romkey says it has become a cornerstone of campus and community life. Looking back on his 13-year career at the Centre, Romkey admits the role was sometimes intimidating. “It is such a beautiful and commanding facility,” he says, “and its mandate was so broad.” He accepted the challenge with zeal, however, leading several significant changes during his time there. The focus of Romkey’s first five years was to let the campus



The Centre also became increasingly connected with the broader community during Romkey’s time. Under his directorship, the Centre’s not-for-profit cafe opened. “After the first big storm we connected it to the back-up generator, making it the only working coffee shop in Wolfville during power outages,” he says. “Very important!” Other community initiatives Romkey oversaw included Sunday Music in the Garden Room, a free concert series for the public sponsored by the Associated Alumni of Acadia University, and the development of the Acadia Woodland Trails. Romkey found inspiration and encouragement in his role from Arthur Irving (’52) and his wife, Sandra (’74). “They are incredibly dedicated to Acadia and the institution would not be the same without their sincere involvement,” Romkey says. “There’s nothing normal about having an installation like the Irving Centre at any university: the Harriet Irving Botanical Garden, the fireplace in the Garden Room, the fact it is open 365 days a year and available to the public. The Irvings set the bar high in everything they are involved with and compel those around them to do the same. It’s very challenging and very rewarding,” he says. As for what’s next, Romkey quashes the idea of a quiet retirement. His long list of projects includes helping with his six grandchildren, growing all his own vegetables, making additions to his house, and building recycled furniture. “We were never meant to stop working or stop contributing to life on this planet in trouble,” he says.



LIFE OFFICERS 2017 Life Officers for the Graduating Class of 2017 are (left to right): Stephanie Hutt – Treasurer; Abigail Hornell-Kennedy - Vice-President; Madison Cyr - President; and Carolyn Woolridge - Secretary.



Taylor Maclellan Cochr ane L A W Y E R S

Making Service A Matter of Practice Since 1835

Tel: (902) 678-6156 | ACADIA BULLETIN Spring 2017


& The 2016-17 Acadia hockey Axemen after earning a bronze medal in Fredericton.





cadia’s winter season varsity squads had their work cut out for them after a successful fall campaign that included every team placing third or higher in the AUS final standings and three teams attending their respective U SPORTS championships. Here’s a look at how things turned out.

BASKETBALL AXEMEN With a 4-3 record at the Christmas break, the basketball Axemen opened 2017 with an 84-81 overtime loss to firstplace Dalhousie in early January. They finished the season with a fifth place 10-10 record and then eliminated fourthplace Memorial in quarter-final playoff action before a nail-



biter of a semi-final loss to the eventual AUS champions, Dalhousie Tigers. “Acadia basketball is trending in the right direction as we finish up the 2016-17 season,” said head coach Kevin Duffie. “We thought we played our best basketball down the stretch and into the playoffs, and we have a solid core returning in the fall. I believe we will be competitive in our conference and across the country next season.” Junior guard Ben Miller and senior forward Erik Nissen were named AUS All-Stars.


Posting a 2-5 record in the opening month of the regular


Left: First-team All-Canadian Paloma Anderson. Below: Gold medalist Brett Liem.

season, the basketball Axewomen finished the season with one loss in their last seven games. With a fifth place 11-9 record in the AUS final standings, the Axewomen eliminated UPEI in quarter-final play and handed the reigning AUS champions Saint Mary’s a semi-final loss before being stopped by Cape Breton in the AUS final. Last year’s AUS women basketball’s MVP, Paloma Anderson, and Chanel Smith were honoured as AUS AllStars. Graduating senior Katie Ross was named the AUS and U SPORTS Community Service Award recipient. Anderson, who was the top scorer in the AUS and U SPORTS, was named a first-team U SPORTS All-Canadian.

WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL The Axewomen volleyball team fell short in qualifying for post-season play this season, but the team ended the regular season on a positive note, handing the second-place Saint Mary’s Huskies a 3-1 loss and finishing the regular season with a five-sets eventual loss to first-place Dalhousie. “Because of our experiences from the 2016-17 season, I feel very confident in how prepared we will be moving forward. With the addition of some top-level talent from across the country, we will look to create a cohesive unit that is hungry to compete,” said head coach Michelle Wood. Second-year outside hitter Lauryn Renzella was honoured as an AUS second team All-Star.

IN THE POOL After a recovery last season, the 2016-17 season was a building year for the Acadia swim team. Recruiting was a priority and 10 new swimmers joined the team in the fall. Top recruit Brett Liem, from Bedford, N.S., led the way, being recognized as the AUS Rookie of the Year. Brett’s specialty carried him to the U SPORTS championships with a top place in the 50m freestyle by winning the consolation final and setting a new

Acadia record. The Axemen showed remarkable improvement with a solid second place at the AUS championships in PEI. The Axewomen weren’t too far behind and narrowly missed second spot behind Mount Allison. It was a banner year with an unprecedented 21 medals captured at the AUS Championships and three gold medalists emerged: Alison MacEachern, Brett Liem and Adam Deutsch. “The 2016-17 season showed the true grit of becoming a team that wants a championship. With over 10 recruits in the works for next season, the team’s goal will be to challenge for the top. It will be the first time that the team will have a full complement of both men and women and it should be very exciting,” said head coach Gary MacDonald.

ICE AXEMEN The Axemen hockey team finished the regular season with an impressive 20-8-2 record in the highly competitive AUS hockey conference. The Axemen were ranked in 13 of 18 weeks on the U SPORTS Top 10 list and climbed as high as fourth prior to and following the Christmas break. Finishing second in the AUS standings, Acadia lost to StFX in a best-of-five semi-final series. In a consolation match-up against Saint Mary’s to determine a third AUS team to attend the U SPORTS championship, the Axemen swept the Huskies in a best-of-three series. Pitted against the number-one seed Alberta Golden Bears at the U SPORTS Championship in Fredericton, NB, the Axemen produced a 4-1 win, but fell to UNB in semi-final play. Acadia rebounded, however, to capture bronze with a convincing 7-3 win over StFX. Senior defensemen Matthew Pufahl and Geoff Schemitsch were selected as AUS All-Stars this past season, while firstyear forward Stephen Harper was named to the AUS AllRookie Team. Schemitsch was named a U SPORTS secondteam All-Canadian and the AUS Most Sportsmanlike Player.




FIVE INDUCTED TO HOCKEY HONOUR ROLL Five outstanding ice Axemen were welcomed to the Acadia Hockey Honour Roll during a luncheon in the Sheldon L. Fountain Learning Commons on Friday, October 14, 2016. Mike Dawson (’97), Jason Weaver (’97), Kevin Tucker (’98), Trevor Amundrud (’99), and Neil Fewster (’99) were added to the list of Acadia hockey luminaries. Approximately 80 people, including University President Ray Ivany, Senator Kelvin Ogilvie (’63) and his wife Roleen (’63), past inductees, the 2016-17 men’s hockey team, coaches and staff, alumni, parents, family and friends supported the event.

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The Acadia hockey Axemen faced off against St. Mary’s in AUS pre-season action in Bridgewater, NS in September and alumni were on hand to lend their support. Approximately 25 people attended a pre-game gathering that featured news and information from head hockey coach Darren Burns (’95) and several team members, Executive Director of Alumni Affairs Ian Murray (’88), Executive Director of Philanthropy Nancy Handrigan (’92), Development Officer Len Hawley, and Associated Alumni Director Fred Gilbert (’65). Seen here, from left to right: Cam Seamone (’75), Ruth (Himmelman) Seamone (’72), Eva Silver (’00), and Andrew Button (’99). Photo: Nancy Handrigan

Approximately 30 Acadia alumni and friends, representing eight decades – from the 1940s to present day – came together on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 at the Next Door Lounge in Charlottetown, PEI for a reception and to bid a fond farewell to outgoing President Ray Ivany. Executive Director of Alumni Affairs Ian Murray (’88) and Acadia Board of Governors member Charles Coll (’84) brought greetings. Ivany spoke about his Acadia experience and, among other things, the importance of alumni supporting the University now and in the future. Pictured enjoying the event are Jennifer Perry (’83) and Tracy Lightfoot (’96). Photo: Nancy Handrigan

Twenty-five Acadia alumni turned out for a reception on Thursday, September 22 at Rudder’s Seafood Restaurant and Brew Pub in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Guests included Yarmouth mayor Pam Mood (’82), sharing a moment with Executive Director of Alumni Affairs Ian Murray (’88). Photo: Nancy Handrigan. Photo: Nancy Handrigan

Acadia alumni enjoyed a lovely reception at Home House in London, UK on Thursday, October 20, 2016. Acadia’s Vice-President, Advancement Dr. Rod Morrison (right, with alumnus Derek Smith ’05) brought greetings from Wolfville and offered news and updates about the University at the gathering.



FOUNDERS’ DAY Chancellor Libby Burnham (‘60) and President Ray Ivany helped Acadia students celebrate Founders’ Day on November 15, 2016. They invited students to celebrate Acadia’s 178th anniversary with a piece of birthday cake at a reception in Huggins Science Hall, which included a tribute to alumnus Dr. Charles B. Huggins (’20) on the 50th anniversary of his receiving the Nobel Prize (Medicine or Physiology). Jessica Fahey (’17), Acadia’s 12th President Dr. J. R. C. Perkin, President Ivany, retired professor Dr. Tom Herman and Chancellor Burnham participated in the cakecutting ceremony. Photo: Fred Sgambati


A small but enthusiastic group of alumni gathered in Singapore in November 2016 with Dr. Rod Morrison, Acadia’s Vice-President, Advancement (front row, left) to catch up on the latest news from Acadia and reminiscence about their own Acadia experiences.


A group of Acadia alumni and friends came together on November 24, 2016 at The Bar at The Hong Kong Bankers Club for a Wine Buffet. Guests enjoyed a wide range of wines with a selection of savory canapes and had an opportunity to meet and speak with Dr. Rod Morrison, Acadia’s Vice-President, Advancement. 32




Approximately 100 Acadia alumni and friends gathered in Ottawa on November 28, 2016 for the sixth Annual Alumni Social on the Hill. A number of special guests attended, including Chancellor Libby Burnham (’60), Senator Kelvin Ogilvie (’63), VicePresident of Advancement Dr. Rod Morrison, Acadia parent and Speaker of the House of Commons Geoff Regan, MP for Halifax West, and Kings-Hants MP and President of the Treasury Board Scott Brison. The Associated Alumni of Acadia University also presented its 2017 Young Alumni Award to Leslie Lewis (’10), who was honoured for her outstanding contributions to the investment community and strong commitment to volunteerism, hunger and mental health issues. Pictured with Leslie are Chancellor Burnham (’60, centre) and Leslie’s grandmother, Florence Lewis. Photo: Nancy Handrigan


Close to 30 Acadia alumni and friends shared fun and fellowship on Tuesday, November 29, 2016 at a special Holiday Gathering in Montreal. In addition to sampling whiskies and canapés specially prepared and paired with them, guests had the opportunity to meet Acadia’s Chancellor, Libby Burnham (’60), as well as Executive Director of Alumni Affairs Ian Murray (’88) and Executive Director of Philanthropy Nancy Handrigan (‘92). Pictured enjoying the evening are Julie D’Eon (left, ’97) and Kristin Landry (’00). Photo: Nancy Handrigan



On Thursday, February 23, 2017 a small but enthusiastic group of Acadia alumni and friends – hosted by Alumni Association Directors Rebecca Carr (’15), Doug Jackson (’99) and Malcolm Smith (’76) – gathered at the Timber Lounge in Halifax to try their hand at axe-throwing. Although it was a new experience for some, it goes without saying that all involved were certainly on the cutting edge of a really great time and WOODn’t have had it any other way!

Acadia alumni and friends gathered for an afternoon of coffee, conversation and caroling on Monday, December 5, 2016 at St. Andrew’s Church in Dartmouth. Guests were treated to an exclusive performance of Christmas music by the Acadia Chapel Choir, under the direction of University Organist John Scott (’06). University Chaplain the Rev. Timothy McFarland (‘92) gave a short, engaging presentation featuring highlights of Acadia’s history, blending the theme of his remarks with the traditions of the Christmas season. Photo: Nancy Handrigan




Approximately 40 Acadia alumni and friends enjoyed a friendly get-together at the British Colonial Hilton in Nassau, Bahamas on Tuesday, February 7, 2017. Guests were treated to light refreshments and received updates about the University from Executive Director for Enrolment Services Jim Darnbrough and Executive Director of Alumni Affairs Ian Murray (’88). Information was shared on ‘The Takeover 2017’, planned for Acadia’s Homecoming Weekend October 12-15 on the Acadia campus. For more on ‘The Takeover’, please visit and check it out.


More than 45 alumni and friends came together on Thursday, February 9, 2017 at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute in Pembroke to share Acadia stories and reminiscences about their alma mater. Updates about the University were provided by Director of Alumni Affairs Ian Murray (’88), Executive Director of Philanthropy Nancy Handrigan (’92) and Manager of Enrolment Services, Leigh-Ann Murphy. Photo: Nancy Handrigan



Acadia University President Ray Ivany was the keynote speaker at the fifth annual Acadia Alumni Business Breakfast on Friday, March 3, 2017. Fifty-five Acadia alumni and friends gathered at The Albany Club of Toronto to hear President Ivany’s remarks, meet Chancellor Dr. Libby Burnham (’60) and Vice-President, Advancement, Dr. Rod Morrison. Photo: Nancy Handrigan



An enthusiastic and engaged group of approximately 25 Acadia alumni and friends attended a reception at Needham’s Point, St. Michael in Barbados on Thursday, February 23, 2017. Guests enjoyed light refreshments and Executive Director of Alumni Affairs Ian Murray (’88) hosted this landmark event. Acadia’s Vice-President, Academic, Dr. Heather Hemming (’78) shared news and information about the University and Murray invited attendees to Homecoming and ‘The Takeover 2017’ October 12-15 in Wolfville, when alumni from Bermuda and the Caribbean are invited back to ‘take over’ the Acadia campus during this memorable weekend. Photos: Ian Murray, Marrianne Burnham



Acadia’s Chancellor, Libby Burnham (’60), partnered with Class of 1968 alumni Tony and Kathy Cicerone to host an old-fashioned Italian Family Dinner in Boston on the evening of Thursday, March 23, 2017. It was an opportunity for alumni and friends in New England to gather for an informal and fun familystyle dinner at Pagliuca’s Restaurant. Thirty attendees met and chatted with Chancellor Burnham, Executive Director of Alumni Affairs Ian Murray (’88), Executive Director of Philanthropy Nancy Handrigan (’92), and Consul General of Canada to New England, David Alward. Photo: Nancy Handrigan


More than 60 Acadia alumni and guests gathered on Sunday, March 5, 2017 in the Whitman House main floor living room for the 103rd annual Tully Tea. Alumni from the 1940s through to the 1980s plus current students attended the event, which featured a presentation by University Archivist Pat Townsend on the history of Whitman House, plenty of refreshments and an opportunity for past and present students to come together and share stories about their Acadia experience. Photo: Rachel Sparling, Sonas Photography



The annual Acadia Alumni Florida Luncheon took place on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at the Stoneybrook Golf Club in Bradenton. More than 25 attendees turned out to receive warm greetings from Acadia’s Vice-President, Advancement, Dr. Rod Morrison and to chat with Chancellor Libby Burnham (’60), Executive Director of Alumni Affairs Ian Murray (’88) and Director of the F. C. Manning School of Business, Dr. Ian Hutchinson. Photo: Ian Murray

Michael Bonser (’99), Minister-Counsellor, hosted a reception at the Office of the Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations in New York City on Wednesday, March 8, 2017. Approximately 20 Acadia alumni and friends joined University representatives Chancellor Libby Burnham (’60), Executive Director of Alumni Affairs Ian Murray (’88) and Executive Director of Philanthropy Nancy Handrigan (’92) at the event, which featured a talk by Mr. Bonser and an opportunity for refreshments and conversation afterward. Photo: Nancy Handrigan





1960s DOUGLAS BARBOUR (’62) has recently published a new collection of poetry, which experiments with what he calls “rhythmically intense open form.” Listen. If presents technically innovative poetry that invites the reader to join in some serious play. Barbour’s vivid, ekphrastic poems engage an ongoing conversation among artworks – not only classic paintings, but also popular music – while his lyric poems astutely, accessibly evoke places, moments, and feelings. Leaping from love to landscapes, politics to jazz, Keats to Milne to Monk, these poems yearn to be spoken aloud for the pure joy of sound. Barbour is the author of several books of poetry and criticism, including Continuations and Continuations 2 (UAP). A long-time resident of Edmonton, AB, he was inducted into the City’s Arts and Culture Hall of Fame in 2003.

How about this? MAXINE (MURRAY) STEWART (‘51) sent us a photo taken at Acadia’s Junior/Senior Prom in April 1949. The group, known as “The Eight Men of Melody”, were trained by ‘Mom’ Humphries, who operated a canteen frequented by students across the street from Willett Hall. Quite a number of students also worked shifts at Mom’s, mostly in the years before the SUB existed. Maxine says, “Mom and Pop were a great couple, very musical, and always interested in and supportive of the students and their activities. They never missed our stage productions, including plays by the Acadia



Dramatic Society, or other shows we produced from time to time (Follies ‘49 and Follies ‘50, for example). They usually hosted cast parties at the canteen after the closing show, too!” (Photo: courtesy of Maxine Stewart) MARCIA CAMPBELL DAVEY (‘59) of North Smithfield, RI, has recently published a new book, Isabella. A prolific author, Davey has published five other books, including Three Stories (2004), Camille’s Fond Embrace (2004), Gallivanting (2008), Priest (2010) and Chevy Blues (2013).

JOSEPH W. JOHNSON (’63) has published a book entitled The Vascular Plants of the Bruce Peninsula, a botanical survey of the Bruce Peninsula, a very botanically significant part of Ontario. It discusses all 1,380 vascular plants growing in the wild of this region, including those seen by others, and rejects some records. It is based on over 40 years of data and personal observation collected while Mr. Johnson lived in Wiarton and he tells us that he has worked on the book for decades. Recently, he returned to his home province of Nova Scotia, and enjoys botanizing and bird-watching. His book is available from Amazon at https://,


from his publicist Bill Moses, or in bookstores in the Bruce Peninsula area. He can be contacted by phone at (902) 532-2736.

DR. REX DUNN (’65) of Sydney, NS, was presented with a Heart of Gold award during the QEII Health Science Centre’s Heart Heroes awards ceremony on March 24, 2017. Heart Heroes is about recognizing those committed to advancing world-class cardiac and vascular care at the QEII Centre and celebrate the Hearts of Gold who make it possible. Dunn has been practicing medicine for more than 35 years and regularly participates in surgical missions to Guatemala, providing medical care to residents who don’t have access to surgical remedies. Dunn’s family has a rich Acadia history: his father REGINALD (’39), his mother THEO (’40), wife HEATHER (’65), son CAMERON (’95) and brother PETER (’67) are also Acadia grads. He was featured in the spring 2016 edition of the Bulletin. DON REED (’66) retired on January 31, 2017 as President and CEO of Franklin Te m p l e t o n Investments after 27 years with the organization. In a retirement message, Don thanked his

colleagues and said it was a privilege to work with them. He added, “I am not one to sit back and ‘chill out’. I have no denim in my closet to wear on jeans day and you can only play so much golf.” He will keep his hand in a few things at the office and remain on the boards of the Templeton Growth Fund and the Franklin Templeton Corporate Class Ltd. However, “it’s time for family to come first. I have five wonderful grandchildren in Chicago and San Mateo that will be seeing more of me, and I am keen to keep up my philanthropic work at some important organizations.” Don continues to serve Acadia as a member of the University’s Board of Governors.


KAREN MONNON DEMPSEY (’72), President of the National Council of Women of Canada, attended the International Council of Women’s Executive Committee Meeting and Conference, “Transforming Society Through Women’s Empowerment” in Taipei, Taiwan in November 2016. The Conference deliberated on best practices to achieve women’s empowerment and gender equality that lead to transformative change in society and the sustainable and inclusive development of the world. Taiwan’s newly elected woman President, Tsai Ing-Wen, spoke at the Opening Ceremony.

Congratulations to PEI resident DIANE GRIFFIN (‘73) on her appointment in November 2016 to the Red Chamber as an independent senator representing Prince Edward Island. Diane is recognized provincially and nationally as a leader in natural area conservation who has contributed to sustainable land management, the protection of ecologically significant lands, and the improvement of her community. She has worked in the environmental non-profit sector, the provincial public service, including as PEI’s Deputy Minister of Environmental Resources, as well as in municipal government. Over the course of her career, she has advised senior political leaders on environmental issues and policy, and has been involved in drafting and enforcing legislation related to ecological reserves conservation and environmental protection. Diane has an honorary degree from UPEI and is a former member of the UPEI Panthers women’s basketball team. Her husband, KEVIN GRIFFIN, is an Acadia grad, earning a BSc in 1972. CYNTHIA DAY TALL (’78) was named recently co-president/CEO of Beau Ties Ltd of Vermont. With Elizabeth Smith, Day Tall has assumed leadership over all corporate functions, including merchandising, operations, production, marketing, technology, finance and sales.




BILL CURRY (’76) sent us this incredible photo and the following information: “My niece (ERIN CURRY (’08), now Esson) got married last summer on PEI and we realized there were many Acadia grads at the wedding so we got a photo. The people pictured are: (left to right, back row) – Bob Curry, Kevin Ward, Ellen Snook, Dimitrios Tzekakis, MARSHA CURRY (’03, married to JOSHUA SALMON (’04, who is missing but was at the wedding with three-year-old Theo Salmon), BART MAIR (’87), with the green tie, ‘back’ row); (next row, left to right) – GEORGE CURRY (’46, former head of the biology department at Acadia), Alex MacDonald (with sunglasses), TRAVIS KAYS (’87, with sunglasses), BREN MACFARLANE (’07), JEFF ROY (’08, blue suit, blue-striped tie), MIKE SARAY (’07), CAROLE CURRY (’62), REV. ROBERT CURRY (’62), Bill Curry; (front row, left to right) – Samantha Kays, KATIE GARDNER



(’05), JARED ESSON (’09, groom, holding flag), JEFF ROY (’08), SARAH ROY (’08, maiden name MacGregor, in flowered print), slightly behind in blue-flowered dress, LISA CURRY MAIR (’82), and in blue with zig-zag design NORMA MACASKILL CURRY (‘73), Erin Curry Esson (bride, holding flag), KATE ESSON (’07), and SHANE ESSON (’80). Photo courtesy of Bill Curry HEATHER JANE WARREN (’76) of Wolfville has been doing remarkable things in track and field. A national and international track and field athlete (in the 60-64 age category), Heather is currently ranked number one in Nova Scotia for hammer, javelin, discus, weight throw and throws pentathlon, and she is second in shot put. Her husband GRAHAM MACDONALD (’92) and brother RICHARD WARREN (’90) are also alumni. Stand Up and Cheer!

JAY ATKINSON’S (’79) eighth book, Massacre on the Merrimack: Hannah Duston’s Captivity and Revenge in Colonial America (Lyons Press), was named an Honors Book in the 2016 Massachusetts Book Awards in the non-fiction category. It’s the harrowing true story of Hannah Duston, who was captured by Abenaki warriors while homesteading in Haverhill MA in 1697, later engineering a bloody escape. Atkinson’s book was one of four honored by a panel of judges after they reviewed a long list of titles. Jay writes, “setting aside the night GEORGE LEFORT (’80) and I scaled Manning Chapel and the time DAVE BARNES (’80) and I let a farmer’s cow loose in the SUB, I learned many things at Acadia that show up in my work. I remember my professors fondly, including Richard Davies, Donna Smyth, Herb Lewis, Peter Smale, and Cornelius Kampe. Their insights continue to help me as a writer.” Acadia friends are invited to e-mail Jay at

1980s PAM TOWER (’82) of Tower Interiors has been recognized by the Consumer Choice Awards for the seventh year in a row in the category of Interior Design. Consumer Choice Award recipients are not selected by a panel of judges, but


are chosen by consumers. Each year, consumers are surveyed to gather their opinions, perceptions and expectations regarding the services they choose on a daily basis. “We are honored once again to be chosen by the public as their Interior Design firm of choice,” Tower says. “This is an incredible award to win. We are truly committed to creating functional design solutions to enhance work and life for our clients. Thank you to all those who made this a reality!”

J. DIANNE (McMANUS) WAYE (’84) celebrated 20 years of marriage this year to the marvellous Bill Waye. She has two awesome kids, one in college and one in high

school. She lives and works in Ontario, where she has published several novels and short stories, satisfying that craving for creative writing. One of her novels revisits the Acadia campus: characters hear autumn leaves crunching underfoot, see northern lights dance overhead and smell the tang of Bay of Fundy water. She would love to find out what her classmates are up to now, so drop her a line at Pictured is the cover of Inner Demons, the novel that is set on the Acadia campus.

GARRY BEATTIE (’85) was elected the 63rd President of the Nova Scotia Golf Association at the Annual Fall Meeting in October, and will serve as NSGA President until the end of the 2017 season. Garry joined the NSGA in 2010 and served as the Director of Player Development until 2014, when he became the second vice-president. He is also a volunteer with Partners for Care at the QEII. Born and raised in Woodstock, NB, Garry graduated with a BBA and is a partner at BAASS Business Solutions. He and his wife Lori Duggan live in Bedford with their cat Buster and dog Clyde.

KENNETH M. FELLS (’84) was awarded the Canadian Association of Basketball Officials J.A. Wink Willox Award in September, 2016 in recognition of outstanding contributions to basketball and basketball officiating. This award was one of only five awarded in Canada that year. Congratulations, Ken!

LORENE PHILLIPS (‘89) has recently published a new book, 29 Keys to Unlocking your Faith at Work and Win! (AuthorHouse UK), that promises to help readers use their faith in the workplace to their ad-

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vantage. In the book, Phillips shows readers how faith can bring a purpose to their work by raising their level of performance. The 29 keys use Scriptures to advise readers on dealing with humility and confidence, failure and apologies, and worry and anxiety in the workplace. Lorene has a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Acadia, is a chartered insurer with the Chartered Insurance Institute, is a corporate and personal coach with The Coaching Academy and owns the corporate coaching firm ClarendonWallace. She is married to her husband, A.W. Eugene, has three sons and currently resides in Essex, England. Bermuda is home for Phillips and her family. More information on the book is available at: BILL WHITAKER (’89), founding President of the new Washington Jesuit Academy, was named recently as a Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian magazine. He and nine others received the honour in January 2017 in recognition of their commitment to make Washington a better place to live.

1990s A quick update on DR. JONATHAN TRITES (’90) from his mother, EUGENIE TRITES (’80). Jonathan was the recipient of the 2015 Faculty Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award for the Department of Surgery at Dalhousie University Medical School. GUILDEN GILBERT (’90) and his wife, SANDRA (BARRY) GILBERT (’91), celebrated 25 years of marriage on December 21, 2016. Congratulations!

Acadia alumna, accomplished professor and researcher MAUREEN MacDONALD (’91) is now McMaster University’s Dean of Science. Her appointment began May 1, 2017. MacDonald came to McMaster as a sessional instructor in 1998 after earning an undergraduate honours chemistry degree at Acadia and her Master’s and PhD in kinesiology at the University of Waterloo. She held post-doctoral positions at Western University and the University of British Columbia. She is a highly regarded expert in cardiovascular health, exercise physiology, spinal cord injury and aging, and leads important research into the effectiveness of exercise as a way of preventing illness, improving health status and lifestyle. The Greater Moncton Sunrise Rotary Club recently named alumnus ANDREW TRITES (’98) as a Paul Harris Fellow. Andrew is a native Monctonian who has contributed significantly to many local causes mostly benefiting children in need. He is known as an individual of action. Whether leading the charge or on the team, Andrew has earned a reputation of getting things done. He is also known as a staunch advocate




for mental health issues and has served on the board of the Atlantic Wellness Community Centre. Andrew is a board member of Codiac Soccer, where he has coached for the past five years, and he currently lives in Irishtown with his wife Jeanie and two sons, Luke and Dawson.

PAUL (‘98) and MARISSA (YAP) DONKERSLEY (‘01) welcomed their first child, Ryan John Frank Donkersley, on April 21, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario. Paul (a.k.a. Donks) promised Montreal native Marissa that baby Ryan would grow-up as a Habs fan, much to his dismay. Mom and Dad are avid travelers and have already started showing Ryan the world with trips to Ireland, Montreal, the Muskokas and Florida all before his first birthday.


KRISTI-JAYNE (HURST) MILLER (’01) writes to fill us in on a mini-reunion she and fellow 2001 grads had recently

in their old house on Prospect Avenue in Wolfville. Pictured in the back row are JILL (EVANS) JACKSON, SARA (MACDONALD) MACEACHARAN, Kristi-Jayne, CANDRA (MACDONALD) COTTON and AMY SMITH. The front row consists of current students who now live in the house on Prospect. “Lots of great memories!” ERIN JAMES (’02), an Associate Professor in the English Department at the University of Idaho, has received the Barbara Perkins and George Perkins Prize from the International Society for the Study of Narrative for her book The Storyworld Accord: Econarratology and Postcolonial Narratives (University of Nebraska Press, 2015). The prize is presented annually to the book that “makes the most significant contribution to the study of narrative.” Congratulations, Erin! ASHLEY PHILLIPS (’05) has moved to British Columbia after graduating from Acadia’s MEd program (’13) and started a career as a child and youth counsellor in Oliver and Osoyoos. She is currently working in Kelowna as a clinical counsellor with InspireHealth, a supportive cancer care centre. In addition to counselling, Ashley teaches yoga, meditation, facilitates workshops, and coordinates an annual fundraising event. “Needless to say,” she notes, “I am using all of the skills I learned in both of my degrees at Acadia.” ANDREW R. SMITH (’06) writes to let us know he has a new position: assistant professor of sport management and history, and chair of the undergraduate adult education program, at Nichols College in Massachusetts.

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

THERESA MacGREGOR JAIN PELLEY (’07), an English, Canadian Families, Healthy Living and Mi’kmaq Studies teacher at Horton High School in Greenwich, N.S. has earned the 2016 Lieutenant Governor’s Teaching Award. Pelley has been teaching a variety of subjects at Horton for five years, including initiating the school’s offering of Mi’kmaq Studies. In a career that spans 35 years, Pelley was a music educator for 25 years, has been with the AVRSB for 20 years and has taught at all levels, including at West Kings High School, Coldbrook and District School and Hantsport School. She draws great inspiration from her mother, JUNE JAIN (’78), who has retired from a 43year teaching career, but still volunteers at Somerset and District School. “My mother is a caring, nurturing teacher, and I have tried to continue her legacy throughout my teaching career,” Pelley says. She is pictured here receiving her award from His Honour BrigadierGeneral J.J. Grant in June, 2016.




EMILY (RUSSELL) FAWCETT (’07) recently earned her PhD from Lakehead University. Pictured, from left to right, are: DAWN BARKHOUSE (‘77); EMILY (RUSSELL) FAWCETT (’07); and grandmother ELEANOR BARKHOUSE (‘51). The family has enjoyed a long and distinguished history with Acadia University. Emily’s brother, ERIC RUSSELL, graduated from Acadia with a Computer Science degree in 2007. Emily’s grandfather, the late Honourable RONALD T. BARKHOUSE, was a graduate of Horton Academy (’44) and her great-aunt, LORRAINE BARKHOUSE SARGENT, was a graduate of the Class of 1937. Emily is now an Associate Professor at Memorial University in St. John’s, NL and is married to Jonathan Fawcett.


JEFF WAUGH (’09), with guest Dary Jessome, was our 2016 Alumni Gala Raffle prize winner, nabbing a trip to Toronto to see the Maple Leafs in action against the Canadiens at the Air Canada Centre, plus spending money and accommodations at a hotel downtown. It was a great evening, and special thanks to PAUL BAILEY (’75), who generously donated the all-inclusive prize package.

PAUL GRAY and KRISTEN HIGGENS (both Class of 2012) were married in August 2016 at the Manning Memorial Chapel with REV. TIMOTHY McFARLAND (’92) officiating. Photo: Evan McMaster Photography

DR. EREK (‘10) and JESSICA FOX (‘09), along with big sister Josie, welcomed Elliot Stuart McLaine Fox to their family in September 2016. As Erek will be commencing his residency in the UK, that’s where the family is currently stationed and Elliot was born! 42


SARAH STORY (’12) was in touch to let us know that she has co-produced a film with Liz Carlson, Gladys Rowe and Teddy Zegere-Gebriwot in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Decolonizing Stories: Land Dispossession and Settlement is a multi-film, interviewbased documentary project that shares personal stories in order to explore accessible understandings of colonialism and its continued impact on those living on the lands now called Canada. It also explores notions and actions of decolonization. ‘Stories of Decolonization’ is the first short film of

a series, focusing specifically on stories of personal and ancestral connections to these lands. The film officially launched in an overcrowded Winnipeg cinema in October 2016. Sarah says it is meant to educate and she hopes it inspires individuals to take action to support decolonization efforts in their own communities. You can see it on Youtube at: MELANIE CLOUTHIER (‘13) and SCOTT COLEMAN (‘09) are pleased to announce their marriage. The service was held at Manning Memorial Chapel on the Acadia campus and photos were taken around the beautiful K. C. Irving Environmental Science Centre. In attendance were two fellow alumni: mother of the bride WANDA (ATWELL) CLOUTHIER (’77), and sister of the groom KIMBERLY (COLEMAN) BECK (’05). LEAH DAVIDSON (’14) recently graduated from the University of Edinburgh with an MSc in Sport Policy, Management and International Development. Shown here with her proud father, DAVID D AV I D S O N (’81), Leah now resides in London, UK and works for BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport). Dave says, “studying with classmates from around the world, we can never lose sight of the fact that Acadia prepares students so well to perform at such a high level.”

Acadia Remembers We are saddened to report the following deaths in the Acadia community: Evelyn (Powell) Denton, (’30), Halifax, NS — Lois (Barkhouse) Gilson, (’39), Halifax, NS — Gordon Taylor, (’40), Halifax, NS — Audrey (Robertson) Rothney, (’40), Abbotsford, BC — W. Duff Morrison, (’41), Halifax, NS — Ruby J. MacNeill, (’41), Saint John, NB — Carl L. Bruce, (’41), Middleton, NS — Lillian (Sutherland) Amirault, (’44), Dartmouth, NS — Eleanor G. Dimock, (’44), Windsor, NS — Barbara (Bligh) Ganong, (’46), Delta, BC — Donald Edgar Hiltz, (’46) — Gordon Poole, (’47), Truro, NS — Nancy (Baker) Ripley, (’47), ON — Duncan A. Wallace, (’47) — Margaret (Maxwell) Wheeler, (’47), Sackville, NB — G. Peter Green, (’48), New Glasgow, NS — Kenneth A. Baillie, (’48), Vancouver, BC Arthur R. Hamilton, (’48), Sarasota, FL

Ernest LeLacheur, (’48), Dartmouth, NS — Earle Davidson, (’49), Middleton, NS — Donald Irving McClare, (’49), Wolfville, NS — Victor MacKay, (’49), Wolfville, NS — Gloria (Dickie) Thurber, (’49), Barrington Passage, NS — Wylie Verge, (’49), Dartmouth, NS — Harry Mollins, (’49) — Russell E. MacDonald, (’50), Brooklyn, NY — Donald F. Muir, (’50), Truro, NS — Robert Millard, (’50), Toronto, NS — Isabel (Kinnaird) Palmeter, (‘51), Windsor, NS — Walter L. Wile, (’51), Bridgewater, NS — H. Bruce Williams, (’51), Montreal, QC — Ronald E. Elliott, (’51), Ottawa, ON — Avis (Sypher) Sparks, (’51), Perth, ON — A. Winston Churchill, (’51), Dartmouth, NS — Eric C. MacNearney, (’52), Dartmouth, NS — John S. Hiltz, (’52) Truro, NS

J. Leonard Embree, (’52), Halifax, NS — Harold Seward Feltmate, (’53), New Minas, NS — Shirley (Murley) Schade, (’54), Cornwall, ON — Leslie Slipp, (’55), Hubbards, NS — Kenneth E. Tingley, (’55), La Selva Beach, CA — John D. Haikings, (’57), Annapolis Royal, NS — George Edwin Mollins, (’57), Chipman, NB — James D. Langille, (’58), Hopewell, NS — Eva Grace Jones, (’59), Ellershouse, NS — Michael Milburn, (’60), Sydney, NS — Helen (Clarke) Bill, (’60), Port Hope, ON — Michael S. Schurman, (’60), Stratford, PEI — Hazel A. Roper, (’61), Berwick, ME — Edward B. Colp, (’61), Rose Bay, NS — Anthony Alexander Russell, (’62), Winnipeg, MB — H. Ross Myers, (’64), Liverpool, NS — Helen (Learmouth) Bishop, (’65), Truro, NS — Helen Marie (Meisner)

Arenburg, (’66), Conquerall Mills, NS — Carolyn Lindsay, (’67), Bedford, NS — George Ivan Pulsifer, (’67), Truro, NS — Eugene. R. Veinotte, (’69), Nova Scotia — Judith (Totten) Terrio, (’69), Halifax, NS — Dennis Wesley Eaton, (’69), Kingston, NS — James Paul Robinson, (’70) — Wayne D. Blynn, (’70), Woods Harbour, NS — William Maxwell Sears, (’72), Thunder Bay, ON — John David Hebb, (’72), Brampton, ON — David Rupert Stoddard, (’73), Yarmouth, NS — Heather Jean (Dobson) Williams, (’74), Westchester Station, NS — Rebecca J. Baker, (’77), Halifax, NS — Mary-Lee (Chaddock) Amoroso, (’78), Yarmouth, NS — Harvey Edwin Crowell, (’83), Halifax, NS — Helen Marie (Veino) Peill, (’88), Port Williams, NS — Angela (Cantwell) Peters, (’88), Windsor, ON

Arden R. Haynes, (’90), Toronto, ON — John Carman Townsend, (’90), Montreal, QC — Brendon Michael MacNeil, (’93), Kentville, NS — Peter Taylor Sayer, (’96), Dartmouth, NS — Andrew D. MacRae, (’04), Wolfville, NS — Tracy Allison Demmons, (’04), Wolfville, NS — David Richard Fillmore, (HOR), Toronto, ON — Jacqueline (Oxner) Winter, (HOR), Dartmouth, NS — Lloyd Card, Truro, NS — Robert Oulton, Dartmouth, NS — C. Joseph Feeney, Mahone Bay, NS — Alonzo Myles, Wolfville, NS — Kerry Lynn LaFrance, Kentville, NS — Dennis Covill, Hackets Cove, NS — Wesley Nicol — Karen V. Mann, Halifax, NS — Chesley Fulton, St. Catharines, ON — John R. Craig, Halifax, NS — Douglas C. Farris, New Minas, 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. As Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary this year, we return to our Centennial for this Final Frame. 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 fall edition. Look forward to hearing from you.

Have fun!


In our last edition, Kimberley Scott Ryan (’99) of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia was the first to identify the photo of Kevin Mullen (’86).

Congratulations, Kim! ACADIA BULLETIN Spring 2017


Supporting you … and Acadia University. As an Acadia University graduate, you have access to the TD Insurance Meloche Monnex program. This means you can get preferred insurance rates on a wide range of home and car coverage that can be customized for your needs. For over 65 years, TD Insurance has been helping Canadians find quality home and car insurance solutions.

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Acadia Bulletin - Spring 2017  

Enjoy this Spring 2017 issue of Acadia University's alumni magazine.

Acadia Bulletin - Spring 2017  

Enjoy this Spring 2017 issue of Acadia University's alumni magazine.