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MANY HAPPY RETURNS King’s rugby comes full circle The Coast grows up Foundation Year turns 40

TIDINGS Winter 2013 Editor s

Adrian Lee (BJH ’11) Adria Young (BAH ’10) Editorial boa r d

Tim Currie (BJ ’92) Kyle Shaw (BA ’91, BJ ’92) Greg Guy (BJH ’87) Cheryl Bell

Table of contents Letter from the Alumni Association President


Letter from the Editors


Campus News Events in brief from the past semester


Sports and Athletics The men’s rugby team triumphs at last


Chapel Updates from the vibrant community of the college chaplaincy


Alumni in Focus Mitchell Cushman (BAH ’08), John MacKay (BA ’71), The Darcys



Curran’s Corner Dr. Thomas Curran on forewords as FYP moves forward


Co. & Co.

Foundation Year Programme As FYP turns 40, we remember some luminous lecturers


History of Science and Technology A program that teaches science’s innovations continues to innovate itself


P ostal Ad d r e ss

Tidings c/o Alumni Association University of King’s College 6350 Coburg Road Halifax, NS, B3H 2A1 (902) 422-1271 Kin g’s we bsi t e Ema il * * * * Stories in this issue were written by students and alumni of the University of King’s College. Submissions were also provided by faculty members. Tidings is produced on behalf of the University of King’s College Alumni Association. We welcome and encourage your feedback on each issue. Letters to the Editor should be signed. We reserve the right to edit all submissions. The views expressed in Tidings are expressly those of the individual contributors or sources. Mailed under Publications Mail Sales Agreement # 40062749

Alex Fountain Lecture A tête-à-tête with philosopher Charles Taylor on modern politics and religious decline 20 Time Capsule A FYP alumna recovers buried memories ten years later


The Coast An oral history of the King’s-grown weekly magazine on its 20th birthday


Journalism Something that describes this article


Community It’s the King’s torch that alights the YouthNet program


Choir Hitting the right notes after five years under a Grammy-winning conductor


Lives Lived Patrick Atherton, a FYP founder and Classics architect


In Appreciation Terra-Lee Bruhm remembers the late Drake Petersen


Presidential Installation With the college’s trademark pomp, George Cooper officially becomes president




Parting Shot


o n th e cov e r

Despite the best efforts of two Dalhousie Tigers, King’s player David Salanieks drives to the end zone for a try in the men’s rugby team’s victory in the divisional final game. The team went on to win this game and, one week later, claim the Maritime championships. Photo by Scott Kirkpatrick. Copy by Adrian Lee.

L E T T ER F R O M t h e a l u m n i p r e s i d e n t


reetings to my fellow alumni and members of the King’s community! It’s a great privilege for me to deliver this, my first Tidings message as the new president of the Alumni Association. First and foremost, I will admit that the prospect of filling Greg Guy’s shoes as pastpresident of the association is a daunting one. In addition to being a tireless crusader for initiatives like the Wardroom renovation and many special events at King’s, Greg knows everyone. A very tough act to follow. Greg is a true champion of King’s and I look forward to his ongoing support and counsel. I would also like to bid farewell to departing members of the alumni executive, namely Claire Campbell (BAH ’95), Stuart Wood (BAH ’93), and retiring pastpresident David Jones (BA ’68), and to thank them for their generous service to the association and to King’s. With that, I welcome the new members of our executive, Justis Danto-Clancy (BAH ’11), Alyssa Feir (BJH ’09) and Laura Sears (BJH ’00). With this transition, I’m happy to report that the long-standing tradition of having a great KAA executive team will continue. In the last issue of Tidings, Greg extended a warm welcome to our new president and vice-chancellor, Dr. George Cooper (DCL ’08). I had the good fortune of calling Dr. Cooper a colleague in a past life and it is a great

pleasure for me to work with him again on the King’s board of governors. Dr. Cooper’s wise and decisive leadership is already proving invaluable as King’s moves forward. Be assured: your college is in excellent hands. In September, I participated in a timehonoured King’s tradition: the matriculation of the incoming class of King’s students. You will be pleased, I’m sure, to know that the practice of signing the matriculation book during the first days of one’s time at King’s is alive and well. The ceremony has taken various forms throughout the years; in my day we milled about in the president’s lodge, making small talk with Colin Starnes, faculty, and the teaching fellows, staggering to the matriculation book to add a signature when the muse so moved. In any event, if you attended King’s, chances are your stilldeveloping signature is to be found in the matriculation book. I mention this because my time at King’s in the years since I graduated has helped me to understand one of the truly great things about our college, and it is this: students separated by years, even decades, can relate. Incoming students still matriculate. Formal Meal still happens. Haliburton Society, KTS, rugby, the Wardroom, The Watch, Frivols: all and many more carry on. This continuity can also be found right there in the every-day. Students attend lectures and tutorials daily and struggle with

the same questions you struggled with and read the same books you read when you were here. A strong sense of academic curiosity and social responsibility still inform almost every activity. It is still the case that one can simply walk into the president’s office, or anyone’s office, for that matter, and say hello. The list is endless. We have new buildings and tools for doing certain things, the number of programs and students has grown and some issues are novel, but many things have not changed. King’s truly is a shared experience. You will undoubtedly hear more about the experience that is King’s, and even have some experiences of your own that you might wish to share, as we prepare for our 225th anniversary, which takes place in 2014 ( just around the corner!). We would love to have you involved in this important milestone for the college. More to come on that. I will conclude with a hearty thanks to Adriane Abbott and the staff of the Advancement Office for their ongoing work on behalf of our beloved college. They are a true pleasure to work with and King’s is fortunate to have them. If ever in the neighbourhood, please do stop by and they will warmly greet you. I hope the holiday season found you well. Best regards, Bob Mann (BA ’01) Tidings | winter 2013


L E T T ER F R O M T HE e d i to r s


s we hurdle boldly over foolhardy talks of apocalypse and into the new year, we enter an impressive frontier for our humble college. The 2012-13 academic year provides plenty to celebrate, with all the appropriate jubilation due to the milestone anniversaries of the King’s College Chapel Choir, the Foundation Year Programme, the History of Science and Technology Programme, and the King’s-bred Halifax magazine, The Coast. But while they turn five, 10, 20, and 40, we’ll grant you this—one can feel like there is a sense of roteness, a tedium, to these roundnumber anniversaries. After all, what makes the tenth-year milestones truly more special than an eleventh one, you may ask; why fête the simple reaching of another year that is remarkable only in that it divides by five or ten, or that Hallmark produces cards devoted to that age? The reality is that what we celebrate in those anniversaries is the commitment needed to make those moments happen— and what we’ve found so marvelous, over the course of curating the stories you’ll read in this issue, is the manifold ways those commitments manifest and renew themselves. Take the King’s men’s rugby team, for

instance. After years of teambuilding and misfortune, it finally broke through with a divisional crown and the Maritime championship with the commitment of two alumni coaches who started as players, returned to tie up loose ends, and oversaw its growth from a band of vagabonds to title-winning titan. Or take the full-circle fact that many of the people remembering their favourite FYP lecturers as the programme turns 40 (pg. 12) were moved so deeply they are now beloved FYP professors themselves. Or look at the generational passing of the torch that helps keep the YouthNet programme going, serving children in need in Halifax’s sometimes-crusty north end (pg. 14). Or the work of Mitchell Cushman, or The Darcys, who by simply working in their respective fields—Cushman in theatre, The Darcys in indie rock—have King’s learnings and practices so deeply embedded in their bones that they renew the college’s identity with every stage direction and guitar lick (pg. 8). It’s all a circular motion through these round numbers, a return to whence we came by hitting a milestone on the way forward. In celebrating the 40th anniversary of FYP, we commemorate what got it to this point and rededicate ourselves to our care for its

future. When these pages honour the lives of Drake Petersen (pg. 30) and Patrick Atherton (pg. 28), we don’t simply recall their past accomplishments but also carry on their work and their legacy in our community. When we fête The Coast’s 20th anniversary, it is a nod to past labours, a nod to the labour still to come, all with the tacit assumption that there are more anniversaries like it forthcoming. When we ask, how far have we come, it is only logical to, in the same breath, say: Where do we go from here? As Joan Didion writes: “We tell ourselves stories in order to live.” At King’s, we believe stories reconstitute memories that knit the thickening tapestry of who we are. These milestone moments are convenient signposts to remember to tell those stories, to savour those moments, and to remind you why it is you love King’s, no matter how long ago you graduated. We hope, as the issues and the years go on, you’ll tell us your stories, and wish you many happy returns for 2013—and that by reading this you, too, you will return to us soon.

Your guest editors, Adrian Lee and Adria Young

campus news K i n g’s st u de nt awarde d prest i g i ou s nat i onal s c hol a r ship Anne White of Toronto has been awarded a 2012 Fessenden-Trott Scholarship, valued at $9,000 a year for three years. This scholarship is awarded to students going into their second year of university who have an excellent academic record and who demonstrate leadership qualities. It was one of Anne’s high school teachers—a former Foundation Year Programme student—who recommended King’s to Anne. She took the Foundation Year Programme last year and is now considering pursuing a degree in theatre studies. Before she arrived at King’s, Anne was involved with her high


Tidings | winter 2013

school student council and various social justice issues. On campus, she is part of the King’s Pride Society and the Feminist Collective. She is also active in theatre as coordinator of the King’s Infringement Festival and stage manager of Lysistrata this year. Last year she wrote and directed her own play. Anne came to King’s because she wanted “to be equipped to think about the world. I wanted to be challenged and to have that rigorous academic discipline. And the reading list was so cool.” —Cheryl Bell

campus news

K ing ’s Fl em m i n g L ec t u r e The 2012 Flemming Lecture at King’s featured renowned Canadian publisher, editor, and, most recently, author Douglas Gibson. After a long and distinguished career fostering and promoting other authors, among them some of the most prominent writers in Canada, such as Alistair MacLeod, Alice Munro, and Robertson Davies, Gibson wrote his own book about his experiences with those authors, Stories about Storytellers (ECW Press). On September 20, he shared some of his thinking in a lecture named “With a pinch of genius: a recipe to produce great authors”, his wide-ranging thoughts engaging particularly well with the Foundation Year curriculum. Doug Gibson is a great raconteur, a storyteller of stature in his own right, who is taking his own advice, given to John Houston, to get those stories down while you can. Certainly he delighted his audience at King’s, with both his serious reflections on how to “own the literary podium” and with his insider stories on great Canadian writers. —Elizabeth Edwards

A c ross-c ont i ne ntal part ne rshi p HOST professor Gordon McOuat has just returned from Manipal, India, where he spent four months forging an international partnership and exchange agreement between Indian and Canadian scholars and institutions working on the history and philosophy of science. The project looks at the issue of “cosmopolitanism and the local”. “My Indian colleagues and I are putting the finishing touches on a proposal to the SSHRC Partnership Development Plan to fund the three-year project, which will entail joint research, collaborative events, scholar and student exchanges, and a possible international summer school,” says Dr. McOuat. The institutions involved are the University of King’s College, Dalhousie University, Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi, the Manipal Centre for Philosophy and Humanities, the National University of Singapore, the University of Alberta, and York University. —Cheryl Bell

Mr . D c omes to ca m pus The King’s gym and the boardroom provided settings for the new season of Mr. D [photo above], which can be seen starting in January, 2013. A film crew visited during the summer and transformed the boardroom into the principal’s office of Mr. D’s archrival, while the gym provided the battleground for the warring basketball teams. —Cheryl Bell

Dorota Glowacka and Melanie Frappier released books over the course of this semester: Disappearing Traces: Holocaust Testimonials, Ethics and Aesthetics and Thought Experiments in Philosophy, Science and the Arts (co-edited with Letitia Meynell and James Robert Brown).

Tidings | winter 2013


For its two alumni coaches, the men’s rugby team’s championship season was just the finishing touch on a long road to restoration. By Adrian Lee and Evan McIntyre

LEFT: The King’s men’s squad in a tough scrum against the UNB team. (Photo: Evan McIntyre) right: The King’s team exults in its Maritime



Tidings | winter 2013


othing comes easy for the King’s men’s rugby team. It never does in this gritty sport, where players gnash and strain and lift, working to dash into the end zone for a scoring try and fighting for each inch of cleattousled muddy turf. But it’s likewise never been easy for a team that has seen myriad ups and downs over its existence. In the last few years, the team has suffered heartbreak after heartbreak, triumphing in the regularseason but falling just short in the championship games. This year, they faced the graduation of a large group of vital veteran players and lost their first game, too—before going undefeated the rest of the way. They then had to claw back from a 12-3 halftime

of tries and triumph deficit in the division-two finals game against archrival Dalhousie to earn the right to play for the provincial crown—and so they did. So it’s only appropriate that it was two battletested King’s rugby alumni—John Choptiany and John Adams (BAH ’10)—who, along with former provincial coach Brian Krawetz, guided them to the team’s biggest game of all: the Maritime championship. “We knew all season that we were the best team in the league,” said Choptiany, who played on the team for one year before getting severely injured and turning to coaching for the following six years. “Beating teams who put in their first-division players to try and stop us was incredibly gratifying.” Choptiany and Adams’s places on the team

reflect just how far the team has come. “Back then things were very amateurish, not necessarily in a bad way, just not professional and organized,” Choptiany remembers. Adams recalls that when he began playing for the team in 2005, there weren’t even enough players to field a full squad, and the losses piled up. King’s Athletics didn’t offer a lot of support, but Adams admits that the team’s sometimesloutish reputation made trusting it hard. Both were among the group of players who decided that this wasn’t good enough. The team organized its own tournaments and, with alumni support, goodwill tours to countries like Barbados and Cuba. Choptiany brought in professional guest coaches to focus on specific parts of the game. It all cre-

ated a new identity for the then-ramshackle squad. King’s Athletics eventually pulled it under its wing, and as the wins started trickling in, the team lured more and more athletes into the fold. They remade their tryout processes, too, so that playing for the rugby team could be about college pride, which further firmed brotherly ties: “Although we maintain a very competitive team, we do not exclude any players at practice and encourage as many students as possible to join the team,” said Choptiany. “It changed from the team simply being a social team into one where it was competitive and social, where people would even meet on weekends just to play for fun.” Added Adams: “Rugby really breeds fraTidings | winter 2013


ternity; through long, hard, cold, wet miserable days, putting your body on the line time and time again, it builds bonds that are really quite unique. Even across generations, when you meet players of older years, you each know what the other has been through, the physical confrontation and fear and exhilaration, and you share that.” Those teambuilding efforts bore fruit. “Over the years we were able to get players out, some of them new to the game, and some talented individuals who had played before,” said Adams. “We started cementing traditions, holding ourselves to new standards, and this was all driven by the players.” And so that effort led, in many ways, to the grey day in Wolfville, the team still buzzing from its divisional triumph over Dalhousie, and headed to the provincial finals game against the University of New Brunswick. Before kickoff, the coaches brought the players in for some last words. “You’re setting the tone for the game. You’re setting a legacy. Be that legacy,” Krawetz told the 6

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team in a pregame pep talk. It clearly worked. The team took to the artificial field under an overcast sky and began immediately to put points on the board. After all the heartbreak of a credo of “try, try again”, the team scored tries, again and again. Kris Works and David Salanieks notched the team’s first two as the Blue Devils opened up a hefty lead. Back-up players on the King’s bench were warming up and preparing to play midway through the first half. By the midpoint, King’s was up 22-3. The New Brunswick team was physically larger than the King’s boys, but nothing comes easy for King’s rugby, and that’s the way they like it. Unlike football, the game doesn’t stop and start when someone gets hit—it keeps going. The sport requires stamina. The game lasted 80 minutes and the boys in blue knew to take advantage of every second. By the second half, the UNB team was tired and about to face another 40 minutes of rugby and an 18-point deficit. King’s scored within minutes.

“Rugby really breeds fraternity; through long, hard, cold, wet miserable days, putting your body on the line time and time again, it builds bonds that are really quite unique.” “When we scored at the beginning of the second half, it really set the tone, it really reupped the energy,” said rookie Liam MacNeil, nicknamed Goggles. Near the end of the game, UNB rallied and

was able to put 17 points on the board. But when the timer hit zero, the score was 48-20 for King’s. The team gave three cheers for UNB and shook their hands, before bolting into their own end zone, where the young men ecstatically moshed and erupted into one of its time-honoured cheers. “It feels good, it’s a big win for the boys and, I don’t know—it’s something special,” said team captain David Rennie, nicknamed Smiles. Their players say they’re thankful for their alumni coaches’ efforts. “They’ve been awesome coaches,” said rookie Sam Campbell. “To come here and have them has been great.” Those two coaches help stitch the past together with the present, and the big picture looks brighter for it. Choptiany had planned before the season to step down as coach at the end of this season, and is thrilled about how he leaves the program. “We now have students in high school who are choosing King’s College in large part because they have had older friends or siblings who have

come here and enjoyed it so much. Students are no longer looking to come to King’s despite a poor rugby team, and instead it has become a huge selling point. “My goal has always been to act as a facilitator more than a rugby coach, to provide the culture tools for as many King’s students to play and thrive at rugby.” Adams hopes that with those two muchsought titles, alumni support can only grow from here, as rugby expands beyond its mere athletic role in campus life. “I think it adds a fitting dimension to [the school’s] identity. When you visit great educational institutions, the Cambridges and the Oxfords and the Ivy Leagues of the world, it is their rugby team that are lauded as the most significant, historically. All the players and coaches over the past decade have been restoring to glory a piece of the college’s identity. “Whereas before I think rugby meant a bunch of loud drunks, now I think it’s respected. This championship means we have arrived.” µ

sc ru m mac hi n e Rugby coach John Adams credits the scrum machine, an anonymous gift from an alumnus, with helping the team to develop their technical skills. “In terms of the final against Dalhousie, our team’s scrummaging was a pivotal turning point in the game. Not only did we win every single one of our own scrums, we also stole the majority of Dal’s scrums, despite their size advantage… It really helped change the momentum of the game.” Top: Coaches John Adams, John Choptiany, and Brian Krawetz (left to right) talk shop as their team takes on UNB.

Tidings | winter 2013


dispatches from the chapel Evey Hornbeck (BJH ’12) graces us with updates from the campus sanctuary and the community that fuels it.

Students gather to break dinnertime bread.


n a sunny day at the end of October, the King’s chapel’s extended community embarked on its twice-annual trip to the shores of the Mersey River near Kejimkujik National Park. The chapel retreats have become a fun and affordable way for King’s students to get out of the quad for a weekend. Between 50 and 70 retreatants attend the fall and winter retreats in October and February each year. The group includes regular chapelgoers, Dalhousie and King’s professors, and students. The schedule is a balance of different factors. The day includes time for hanging out, sharing meals, being out in nature and quiet solitude. Each day follows the routine of the daily offices, short services from the medieval monastery, which include Morning Prayer, Noon Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Compline. Many of the students who


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attend are not familiar with them, though retreat, in their lives and at King’s. they understand their context: Foundation Year students read many texts about or from “Students have the chance to see anmedieval monasteries. Each retreat also in- other part of Nova Scotia, meet students cludes a guest speaker. This year, former FYP they would otherwise never encounter, and tutor Alan Hall led the group. to pause in quiet reflection in structured The retreats give students a space to nur- and unstructured settings. [There is] the ture their spiritual side, whatever that may open and inviting atmosphere allowed for mean to each of them. Over the course of a psychological renewal; the variety of stuFYP, the texts prompt many philosophical dents attending stimulated engaging converquestions, and the retreats complement that sation and new thoughts; and the services with a place that encourages students to and meditations offer students a chance to explore these questions. Students are only engage with spirituality they might otherasked to contribute $100 to the retreat, and wise be unfamiliar with.” —Nevin Cussen, no one is turned away if they are unable to fifth-year student pay. The retreats rely on outside donations (and hours of volunteer time) to make ends “Even though I have never been part of meet. the chapel community, everyone was very Here, four students and one alumna share welcoming. Despite the fact that I do not reflections on the meaning of the chapel consider myself a religious person, I found

the daily prayers lovely. Father Thorne, and the entire chapel community, make people of all religious backgrounds feel at home. The fact that I felt the freedom to believe what I want meant I was actually more open to contemplating the lessons raised in prayer. I think that it is important to have a chance to step back from our busy lives, take a breath and just think about things. The chapel retreat is an affordable and fun way to do this. — Anika Roberts-Stahlbrand, third-year student “I missed breakfast because I was in the dining hall until 3 a.m. singing and talking with my peers, and in my own way grappling with the parts of life that remain mysterious and problematic to me. At the same time this was a rejuvenating process for me, to engage in friendship freely given and genuine with an unmistakable and scarcely reproducible generosity of spirit, until finally, undone by the demands of my body I collapsed in my bed around 4 a.m.” —Daniel Boutilier, second-year student

The chapel has been aflutter with activity all semester. Here’s a small sample: Thom Swift concert The chapel has a musical community, beyond the choirs, including the folksy songbird’s annual frosh week concert.

Thanksgiving Retreat A trip for students, who are not with their families, so that they can be together in community at Thanksgiving.

Cape Split Hike This fall tradition saw 20 participants spend a day hiking beautiful Cape Split. Out-tripping is an established chapel tradition.

Antiquated Day A celebration of the old-school traditions in the King’s chapel, which included candle-lit Compline with 120 participants.

“Five years since completing FYP, I look back on the chapel retreats as some of the best memories I have from my time at King’s. Sharing a meal, listening to others playing music around a fire, talking about the latest lecture, singing Compline in a canoe, or sitting in prayer. I am grateful for the time I spent strengthening friendships and forging new ones. The Chapel at King’s is a place of true community — for everyone — and the retreats are a celebration of that beyond the quad.” —Katie Merwin (BAH ’11) “I cannot overstate the importance of the chapel retreats to the student body at King’s. While the schedules for the weekends follow the monastic rule and the services are traditionally Anglican, what is shared most deeply by all those on retreat is the common language of human life; that is, the retreats provide the time and space to contemplate/ experience/live through questions of beauty, truth, pain, suffering, love, evil, and the human experience of these things. The retreats, like the chapel, help to define the essential character of King’s — they provide the basis for the life and growth of the soul. Without them, we are left in a desert of intellectual truth.” —Ella Ramsey, FYP student µ

top: Henk Fisher in some contemplative reading outside. Bottom: Father Gary Thorne, preparing his

mealtime reading.

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a l u m n i i n fo c u s

J oh n M ac K ay (B A ’ 7 1 ) By Adria Young

Thinking back on King’s College, John MacKay is reminded of the 1975 musical, A Chorus Line. Humming the melody of “I Can Do That,” MacKay says he first visited King’s in the late 1960s, where he mimeographed political newspapers for his Dartmouth high school. “I got a feeling about King’s on those weekend trips in the student office, and it made sense,” he says. So, he enrolled and the stage was set. “King’s was very much my world. There are opportunities here that just aren’t available at larger institutions.” “Halifax was still somewhat provincial when I hit King’s,” says Mackay, joking that “the 1960s didn’t really hit Halifax until 1973.” But he quickly discovered how his interests fitted in. MacKay first got involved in campus life through the Orientation committee, which drew out abilities he didn’t know he possessed. “I remember having a realization: I could organize things, execute plans, shape culture and have a vision! It was incredible. I was a 10

Tidings | winter 2013

shy kid at first; I made friends but I was, by no means, ‘Mr. King’s’. But over time, I found my way and the college really supported who

at the Tarragon and Stratford Theatres in Ontario, and produced industry fashion shows in Toronto. As a “magazine guy,” he co-created Fashion Magazine, an innovation in special-feature inserts in Toronto Life that appealed to a new, booming market. He has worked in national television and film, including CTV’s CanadaAM and CityTV’s CityLine. He then took a bit of a departure from the entertainment industry, with a move to Los Angeles to start a master’s degree in clinical psychology in 1990. He had finished 2,700 of 3,500 required sessional hours when he realized the entertainment bug was all too alluring. “While I was down there, I spent time in show biz, working in the then-new ‘reality’ genre,” he said. Back in Canada since 2000, he is the founder of the Toronto-based boutique press relations and communications firm, Mackay & Co. He treasures his diverse experiences at King’s. “There are glimmers of what you can be and who you are when you’re here. Quite simply, King’s builds lives,” he says. For MacKay, the activities on a small campus exploded his view of his potential. It encouraged him to try anything. “That I can do,” he sings, “I can do that!”

“There are glimmers of what you can be and who you are when you’re here. Quite simply, King’s builds lives.” I was.” Until he started at King’s, MacKay was an average student. But like his sense of self and his interests, his grades improved as he continued to encounter new experiences at the college. By his third year, MacKay’s growing confidence prompted his involvement in the drama society. Theatre direction became his first career, and one of his lifelong passions. MacKay blossomed from there, bounding from one thing to the next and finding success in them all. After Encaenia, MacKay completed a Bachelor of Education at Dalhousie, directed at Halifax’s first independent theatre Pier One (founded by John Dunsworth of the Trailer Park Boys), performed

John MacKay, from the 1969 King’s yearbook (far left). (Photo courtesy the King’s Archives)

a l u m n i i n fo c u s T he Dar cys

By Adria Young Bass player Dave Hurlow (BA ’06) and keyboardist Jason Couse (BA ’08) first played together on the Prince Hall stage at Big Night, the annual King’s talent show. Then, after drummer Wes Marskell (BA ’08) transferred to King’s from Guelph, the band played their first show on Valentine’s Day, 2006, in — where else — the Wardroom. And then the influence of literature struck. While analyzing Jane Austen’s Regency romance, Pride and Prejudice, for an English survey course, The Darcys — who up to that point had been being performing as The Pink Flamingos — agreed that the roguish Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy was a misunderstood character, and a much better band name, to boot. “He can come across as arrogant or pretentious at times,” said Hurlow. “But when it comes down to it, he’s a really noble upstanding guy with a couple of, well, prejudices that he needs to overcome.” The Darcys have plenty to be proud of now. They moved to Toronto to follow their musical dreams, but were nearly derailed by interpersonal and financial difficulties. But the support they gained from the dozen shows they played on the Wardroom’s musty carpet buoyed them: “The audiences at our first Toronto shows were largely comprised of King’s students,” Hurlow says. It helped lead to a big 2011, where in the nick of time, they were scooped up by Toronto music label Arts & Crafts Productions, home to many of the country’s best indie rockers. They’ve blossomed ever since: Last year, they released their sophomore record before putting out a daring contemporary reinterpretation of Steely Dan’s 1977 classic Aja, which has in turn propelled them on an autumn world tour, taking them to places as far away as Dublin, San Francisco, and Australia. Hurlow credits King’s in a very real way in their musical process — for giving them the analytical approach to composition that helped the band handle the ambitious project of reinventing Steely Dan’s musically challenging and popular record. In CSP 3000, with Dr. Gordon McOuat and Dr. Andre LeBlanc, The Darcys learned about philosopher Karl Popper’s concept of empiri

Dave Hurlow, Wes Marskell, newest member Mike Le Riche, and Jason Couse on tour in the US.

cal falsification. “It carried over to our creative process. When we’re working on songs, everyone has an equal opportunity to put forth an idea. But in music, as in science, people tend to fight for their own ideas, sometimes without adhering to the bigger picture,” Hurlow says. “When we’re working on a new song, we like to look at all the component pieces from as many critical angles as possible and keep revising until it feels good. It can be incredibly frustrating and take time, but it’s the only way to get it right.” “The seven songs [on the original Aja], all the arrangements and parts, are complex and difficult but come across as smooth, breezy pop jams,” says Hurlow. Never one to shy away from a debate in classes, Hurlow hoped to create a discussion. “Steely Dan is incredibly divisive,” he said. “The idea of starting a new dialogue on an old subject appealed to us.” Last year, The Darcys came back to Halifax for the 2011 Pop Explosion with new member Mike Le Riche, who adds a “can-do” attitude to the band. They even played a set in the Wardroom. “Halifax definitely evokes

a lot of nostalgic feelings for us,” Hurlow said. By returning to where The Darcys took off, he added, “it gave us a chance to reflect on how much we’ve gone through and how hard we’ve worked since those early days, and to appreciate how far we’ve come.” Up next? A fourth album for 2013, and some hefty travel. Pride be damned: They’re going to put in the work. “We’re looking forward to touring ‘til it hurts and then some.”

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a l u m n i i n fo c u s

Kushman, centre, standing with David Mirvish (left) and the other theatremakers helming the Off-Mirvish season.

MITCHELL CUSHMAN (B AH ’ 0 8) By Adrian Lee

Mitchell Cushman’s theatre works are premised on the transformation of spaces. So it’s little wonder that much of that theatrical philosophy found its bearings in the Pit—that black-clad, precarious, malleable underground temple with the creaky pipes and the walls of wooden slats. “I felt like I didn’t want it to be any nicer or any cleaner or any better than it was, I just liked that it was ours,” he says, in a Toronto interview. “It was a magical place. It’s hard to imagine it empty — I imagine it lively. I absolutely spent more time in the Pit when I was at King’s than any other spot. It really felt like part of my day.” He remembers stage-managing a production of Into the Woods where Jon Grosz (BAH ’09) had built a castle attachment, filling the space with magic that “flowed into every inch of the Pit.” He recalls directing Waiting for Godot where his producer Blake Prendergast (BAH ’10), helping an elderly woman to her seat, was struck in the head by a broken magnet, before carrying on, giving the pre-show speech and performing a small role in the play. “It was the kind of thing that would only happen in the Pit—where some huge force could fall on you at any moment but you would go forth and finish your job,” he says. 12

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Go forth he has. In just five years since his graduation, Cushman has co-founded a theatre group, held performances in a computer laboratory and an elementary-school classroom, and won the award for best production at this year’s SummerWorks festival, one of the country’s most prominent theatre events. And for all the Pit’s rough-hewn, nostalgic rawness, it’s hard to deny that the stable prominence of Toronto’s venerable Royal Alexandra Theatre — arguably the country’s most august theatre and the venue for his production of Terminus, which launched David Mirvish’s inaugural “Second Stage” season in November — is a good thing indeed. “That’s something I’m still processing,” he says. “It means a lot more exposure, that we can pay the people involved a lot better, but there’s also such history in that building.” The Mirvish show was a slow-simmering development, beginning when a representative from the company saw the SummerWorks production, the third in a full, sold-out slate of shows Cushman’s group, Outside the March, had presented that summer. After the intimate show, which seats the audience on the theatre’s stage with the performers, the rep suggested putting it on at the Royal Alexandra. “I thought he was joking,” Cushman says. Not long afterward, Mirvish himself came to see the show. But in the middle of the performance, an audience member became unwell and suffered a seizure, forcing the show’s cancellation.

“I thought, ‘There’s no way they’re going to program this now, they’re going to think this show causes seizures to people,’” he laughs. “But they thought it was crazy but wonderful. Since then, I’ve joked to David that he programmed the show because he wanted to see how the show ended.” Cushman credits his success to the people he works with in Outside the March, a remarkably Kingsy affair; its artistic codirector is Simon Bloom (BAH ’10), and Grosz, Ishai Buchbinder (BAH ’10), Bryn McLeod (BAH ’12) and Sebastien Heins (FYP ’08) are among the Kingsfolk affiliated in other ways, too. “The kind of people King’s spoils you by being around—such a collection of unique, interesting people interested in the world around them—those are the kinds of people I like to work with in general.” And though he grew up around theatre — his father Robert is the National Post’s theatre critic, and his siblings Tony (BAH ’08) and Chloe (BAH ’08) are both graduates of King’s and the theatrical society — it was the KTS that affirmed his path. “Because the KTS is so self-driven, because it isn’t at all led by the faculty and it’s like being thrown in the deep end right away, it really tests your mettle for [theatre], and gives you more of an experience of making things happen for yourself,” he says. “When you look at whatever season that the KTS is doing, and stack it up against any theatre company in the world, at least the ambition will be on par, the gutsiness of it all…So I think, thank God that I did the KTS and learned how to do more with less.” And the 26-year-old is far from done: there are plans for an outdoor tri-production of a Sarah Ruhl show with Outside the March, a Terminus national tour, freelance directing John Mighton’s Possible Worlds and, in another major turn, Cushmill will be assistant directing The Merchant of Venice at this summer’s illustrious Stratford Festival. “It definitely represents a real dream of mine,” he says. “It’s definitely been a fast and wonderful ride.” Indeed, not five years ago, Cushman was his class’s valedictorian, and he recalls his speech speaking to “how amazing it was to be in a place that really valued learning for its own sake. “I still feel equally brainwashed to that idea, maybe to a fault. But it’s really contributed to everything that I do.” µ

A better craftsman Dr. Thomas Curran returns to these pages to peel back the layers of the famous tribute that prefaces T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land.


nyone who has read T.S. El- fied are atoning for their sins, we are to as- the obscure and the esoteric, one aspect of iot’s 1922 epic, The Waste Land, in sume that these great exemplars of the trou- the literary Modernism that Eliot inherited, the 40-year history of the Founda- badour tradition did not draw their verses at least to some extent, from Pound. tion Year Programme, will remember the simply from a romantic vision both noble Whatever the case, the concluding line striking dedication that appears on the po- and chaste, as it were viewed from afar. An of this Canto xxvi is also repeated in Eliot’s em’s title page. The dedication to Ezra Pound, “earthier” component seems to be implied. The Waste Land at verse 427, which is to say citing a phrase from Dante’s Divine Com- Here amongst those who practised a pas- only seven lines from the end of the poem. edy—il miglior fabbro—was first inscribed by sion “too rich,” Dante meets his own illustri- Arnaut, we are told there, jumped into the Eliot’s own hand in a presentation copy from ous poetic inspiration for the use of the ver- fire which anneals and purifies and so burns 1923, and then appeared in all publications nacular in rhymes of love, Guido Guinizelli. off all the impurities with which our earthly of the poem from 1925 onward. Dante praises his forebear by telling him his loves may be dragged down. The common translation of this Italian poems will always be honoured as long as the It is hard to credit the richness of Eliot’s phrase is: “the better craftsman.” This tag Italian language, in which they are written, employment of these three simple words has a long and venerable history, and it is continues to be spoken. But Guido, in turn, extracted from a poem of nearly 15,000 lines, Ezra Pound who first actually excavated this particular epithet from Dante’s Purgatorio All of us who have the privilege (Canto xxvi, line 117). In Pound’s The Spirit of Romance (published in 1910), the phrase of reading and teaching this Il Miglior Fabbro appears as the heading for masterpiece … will never to be able his book’s second chapter. So, Eliot manages here to do Ezra Pound a double honour: not to utter a single word in lecture only does Eliot take this jewel out the treaor tutorial without acknowledging sure chest of Dante’s great epic poem, but in doing so he actually imitates his own great “the better craftsman.” mentor, Ezra Pound. Eliot’s subsequent “polishing up” of this remarkable gem is both a tribute to Pound himself, and, at the same takes this opportunity of an encounter with but there is real genius at work here. Eltime, a palpable acknowledgment of Pound’s Dante to praise his own earlier mentor. Guido iot cites both Dante and Pound at one and own trailblazing insights: “Imitation is the points out the spirit of Arnaut Daniel, who the same time, and with one and the same sincerest form of flattery.” flourished at the latter end of the 12th cen- words. Eliot (following Pound) directs our This towering praise placed at the begin- tury, and who was a master of the troubadour attention to the poetic tradition out of which ning of his poem is entirely just. If Pound’s tradition. This sustained enthusiasm for the The Divine Comedy is possible, even as Eliot editorial excisions had not reduced the size of poetry of love at the top of Mt. Purgatory is acknowledges his own Modernist roots, the Eliot’s draft version by more than half, would not placed there by chance. Please remember basis for his Waste Land. And Eliot gives the we actually all continue reading the poem to- that Dante concludes his earlier statement of credit for the final shape and determination day? Under Pound’s editorship the manuscript romance (called The New Life) with a prom- of his epic to “the better artisan,” while also version of nearly 1,000 lines was reduced to ise to compose for Beatrice a kind of poetry placing himself in an enduring poetic tradithe canonical version we read in FYP, which such as “has never been written in rhyme of tion that reaches back to Dante and beyond. comes in at a very trim 434 lines. With that any other woman.” Therefore, in Canto xxvi, The Divine Comedy has been taught in the irony of fate which seems to govern all human we meet the sparks and flames that would set Foundation Year Programme now for the last ambitions, Pound is now probably more gen- Dante’s Comedy alight. 40 years, and has shaped our approach to the erally famous for this dedication (and his role In line 117 of this exceptional Canto, it first year of undergraduate studies in a way in the slashing of the The Waste Land) than is Guido who attributes to Arnaut Daniel that will never be superseded. All of us who for any poetic undertaking in his own right. the crafting of the vernacular language of have the privilege of reading and teaching Eliot’s dedication phrase is taken from Romance with the greater “skill”, which ac- this masterpiece—“as long as modern usage a Canto, very near the top of Mt. Purgatory, counts for Arnaut’s identification as the more lasts,” to reiterate Dante’s praise of Guido— reserved for the last of “the seven deadly accomplished craftsman or artisan. As it hap- will never to be able to utter a single word sins.” Here we find the circling foot race of pens, Arnaut was an adept practitioner of in lecture or tutorial without acknowledging the lovers, and among their number Dante something called trobar clus, a “closed” form “the better craftsman”: Dr. Robert Crouse, honours especially the poets who both in- of poetry, both complex and difficult; here it who in his decades of Dante’s lectures, Dr. spired and drew their inspirations from the might be possible to detect another honour Crouse taught us all how a poetic volume tussle that our profoundest human passion being bestowed by Eliot’s dedication, this can change our thoughts, even as it changes engenders. I suppose, since the poets identi- time to Pound’s own penchant for the arcane, our feelings. µ

Tidings | winter 2013


Students for life As the Foundation Year Programme turns 40, Grace Kennedy finds that past professorial icons have inspired present ones.

The King’s library, circa 1977.


t has been 40 years since King’s now renowned Foundation Year Programme was born in the Haliburton Room. These were the “heroic days” of the programme, says Dr. Torrance Kirby (BA ’76, HC ’77), a pioneering FYP student and now professor at McGill University. “We had the most uncomfortable chairs,” he remembers. “They had metal frames with canvas seats on them, and they were excruciatingly uncomfortable. We didn’t even have desks, nothing to write on. And, you know, this was in the old Haliburton Room before the glazing had been changed. It was drafty in the winter and there was a simple wooden lectern up by the fireplace.” It took fortitude—and a woolly sweater— to be a FYP student in those days. But it was not the adverse conditions that built the characters of both students and faculty—it was a close examination of ancient and modern texts. That was how the Foundation Year Programme began and that is what it offers 40 years on. It is perhaps a testament to the resilience


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and importance of the Foundation Year Programme that many current faculty and staff have vivid memories of lecturers who helped to shape them as young and eager FYPers. Dr. Laura Penny (BAH ’96), current assistant professor at King’s, and author of two books on social truths, fondly remembers Dr. Angus Johnston, director of the programme from 1984 to 1988. “Angus is as if Socrates and Santa Claus had a baby,” she says. Dr. Penny herself is beloved in the college, earning second place in Halifax magazine The Coast’s best professor category this year. But it is clear she owes plenty to the program’s hirsute icon. “There have been times when I’ve sat in an Angus lecture, walked out deeply confused, and then two months later I’ll be getting groceries and I’ll be like, ‘Oh! Now I get what he was saying about Plato,’” she says. Dr. Robert Crouse was another influential professor in the Foundation Year Programme. Coordinator of the Medieval section for many years, Dr. Penny describes him as “the Pope’s man on Dante,” with his

frail appearance belying a powerful intellect. “I remember him walking up to the front of the room, and he looked so frail, and so old, to the point where you felt that a gust of wind would knock him over,” says TerraLee Bruhm (BJH ’96), another former FYP student who has returned to be assistant registrar at King’s. “When he spoke he had the strongest and deepest and most profound voice that I had ever heard. And he spoke with such passion and conviction that I couldn’t help but hang on his every word.” His impression was just as powerful on the faculty, and, so it would appear, on the birds and bees around him. “There was a beautiful moment when Dr. Crouse was lecturing on the transition from Purgatory to Paradise, and a pigeon flew in the window and it landed on the mantelpiece right beside him,” says Dr. Johnston. “It was kind of eerie, like the dove had descended… We were in a room where the pigeon flew in an upper window and it was kind of confused, and there were lower windows, too.

a poster defending FYP. And then I put up character of the program, creating a solid a note, taking a middle ground, saying that and committed FYP community each year. these were valid criticisms, but on the other “It just has this vibrant dynamic character hand how could we possibly understand the where faculty, tutors, and students are all history of things, like racism and sexism, engaged in a conversation,” Dr. Fraser says. unless we were reading the history of these “We’re all students in this. Every year, I feel that I’m part of this conversation. I’m not just professing; I’m not just presenting a kind of authoritative understanding of things. I “There have been times where I’ve am engaged in the conversation.” watched an Angus lecture, walked out This conversation is part of what makes unique and influential to its students, deeply confused, and then two months FYP and what makes the learning experience so later I’ll be getting groceries and addictive for so many of its graduates. “About halfway through FYP, probably I’ll be like, ‘Oh! Now I get what he was about November, I would say, of 1973, I got saying about Plato.’” the bug,” continues Dr. Torrance Kirby (BA ’76, HC ’77). “Something happens to people, I’ve nocurrent chair of the Department of Classics very influential texts. And so, within a week ticed, in the Foundation Year Programme. and world authority on St. Thomas Aquinas, or so, the whole wall was covered in notes Something seizes them, and in quite a numDr. Wayne Hankey. from people arguing different sides of the ber of cases, it changes everything. And so “We were a much smaller class back then,” value of FYP.” now I am a professor of ecclesiastical hissays Dr. Kyle Fraser (BAH ’93), the current “I was really impressed that we could tory at McGill University, and I attribute director of the Foundation Year Programme have this contentious political debate with- it entirely to that event in my life, going to and a history of science and technology pro- out it getting personal or cruel—that people King’s in 1973. I think if I had gone to the fessor, “and we used to have lectures in the were thinking about FYP outside the class- University of Calgary, or UBC, or the Uniold Arts and Administration building. In room. That people cared enough about FYP versity of Toronto or something, I would this room, there were two pillars. And I can to make these kinds of arguments,” she says. probably be leading a completely different remember when Dr. Hankey lectured, the This has always been true for the Founda- life now. I probably would be back in Calgary, students who felt unprepared would try to tion Year Programme. Students and faculty bored to tears, practising oil law. But instead, hide themselves behind these pillars, so he alike are committed to the content and char- I’m an impoverished academic and enjoying wouldn’t be able to pick them out in the lec- acter of the program, and often the former my life.” ture,” Dr. Fraser recalls. becomes the latter. The content shapes the Ciara Harraher (BScH ’99), now a “But it was always futile. He would always find precisely those individuals who didn’t want to be spotted. So I certainly remember the fear and the enjoyment of Wayne’s lectures, which were very inspiring at that time.” Many are remembered—sometimes with apprehension—and many helped to shape the solid foundation of the program. The programme has changed subtly over the past 40 years, but at its core, an intellectual yet irreverent identity has been retained. And its influence on students has been indelible. Dr. Penny recalls an ongoing debate from her first year, when she lived next door to Dr. Roberta Barker (BAH ’96), current King’s professor and The Coast’s best professor for five years running, in Alex Hall. “I remember somebody in my wing of Alex Hall posted a big poster listing some of their concerns, about how FYP was kind of sexist or racist or entrenching this kind of Back row from left to right: Peggy Heller, Marguerite Kussmaul, Neil Robertson, Signy Henderson, white privilege,” she says. “Roberta put up Thomas Curran. Front row, left to right: Angus Johnston, Gyllian Raby, Gordon McOuat. circa 1994-95 Robert calmly went over and lifted the lower window up while he continued to talk about Beatrice and Dante, and the bird just flew out the window.” Along with Crouse, there was another professor that Dr. Penny called “The One,”

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left: Dr. Wayne Hankey speaks to the FYP class of 2012-13 about King’s. Right: Robert Crouse, circa 1976.

clinical assistant professor of neurosurgery at Stanford University, explains how FYP helped her in her chosen profession: “I think in a basic sense, [FYP] definitely gave me a skill set that a lot of other physicians don’t have—those who went straight to science degrees and never took an English class in

university. It definitely helped me with my writing skills, my ability to do that effectively and efficiently … and to be critical. To always be critical of things and to be able to articu- If you would like to share your own memories late that criticism in a thoughtful way.” of professors and lectures from the Foundation “All our students have gone on to do won- Year Programme, or simply send FYP a birthday derful things,” says Dr Johnston. It is a pro- card, please send them to

L a m ont D obb i n , H al i fax H u m an i t i es 2010 vale di c tori an “It seems to me that we all have a little door in our mind that we can close off and allow the words and ideas we don’t like to just pass by without touching us. In order to open that door and invite those ideas in, in order to engage those ideas, we need two things—a safe environment, and an idea worth engaging. Week after week after week this program provided both. “Several times during this course I’ve heard discussions about the value of a humanities course as opposed to a more practical, pragmatic program. The problem with practical instruction is that the role of the giver and receiver never changes. If you are teaching someone math, it is highly unlikely that you will learn something new about math from your student. In the humanities, however, the role of the giver and receiver is constantly shifting. Whoever is speaking at the time becomes the giver. This can be a very empowering and validating experience for people in low income situations like us. We are used to being seen as receivers and are rarely valued for our life experience or our opinions. Being able to share something of ourselves 16

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gram, he says, that respects the thoughts of the past as an influence on the future, where tradition is cherished and those who are gone can truly live in the minds of the curious and inspired. “I guess what I rejoice in, at 40 years, is that in my mind, the Foundation Year has been a kind of hope,” Dr. Johnston says. “And here I’m borrowing from Hegel in that what unites people in Foundation Year is that they have a trust in reason, and reason’s ability to deal with all of the great literature of the West; and equally, they have a trust in themselves, and especially a trust in students. That is a kind of faith, you know? That there’s something that you can figure out, that has depth to it in the tradition, and that you’re going to find young Canadian souls who are actually interested and have this in them. And that’s turned out to be true.” µ

and being validated for this can change our minds about who we are and this change will be made manifest throughout our lives.” “…you have been a bridge between some of the finest minds and biggest hearts in Halifax and ourselves, and the way our society is structured, we really need that bridge because these people would not normally be a part of our lives.”

Lamont Dobbin

Do you ever wish that you could take the King’s Foundation Year Programme—or take it again as a more sober, mature adult? Thanks to the Halifax Humanities Society and its Halifax Thinks program, you can. The Halifax Humanities Society is a group of 50 professors from all the Halifax universities and Acadia. For eight years, these professors have been offering Halifax Humanities 101, a program that is modeled on FYP and delivered free, twice a week for a full academic year to people on low incomes. The same course is now available to professionals, retired people, and anyone who wants to study the great works of western civilization. Starting in January 2013 with a course on the Ancient World, the programme is available in five, term-long sections. Each term costs $500, all of which goes to support the work of Halifax Humanities 101. The course is offered online, with live tutorials every other week. Information, schedules, and registration details can be found at www.

DOWN TO A SCIENCE This year marks ten years since the first History of Science and Technology class graduated. Adria Young talks to the innovators who put together the innovating programme.


e imagined that we could produce something entirely unique here at King’s,” says associate professor Dr. Gordon McOuat, one of the co-founders of the History of Science and Technology Programme. “Something that would soon shine brightly on the academic scene.” From its beginning, the HOST Programme at King’s has indeed been luminous. Growing and developing over a decade, HOST now boasts a strong, engaged faculty teaching dazzling core courses and electives with all sights set squarely on the future. With a considerably smaller faculty than similar programmes at other universities, HOST has been cutting-edge in its concept and delivery since its inception. The fouryear programme is as multidisciplinary as the students it attracts. HOST has granted combined honours degrees alongside a broad range of disciplines at Dalhousie, from biology and journalism, to mathematics and music. HOST courses are diverse but focused, asking not only why, but how. After engaging with the long and complex history of humanity’s attempt to know the Students and Dr Mélanie Frappier revisit the Miller-Urey experiment. world, right from the beginnings of recorded history to present day, HOST alumni have anywhere but King’s. It had been long-rec- additions, cross-listing HOST courses at gone on to such postgraduate institutions ognized that the philosophy of nature is one Dalhousie. Drawing from a stellar faculty, as Harvard University, The University of of the core elements in the offerings and which included Dr. Angus Johnston and Toronto, Cambridge and Edinburgh. Indeed, traditions at King’s, especially in the Foun- FYP tutors Dr. Kyle Fraser and Dr. Ian HOST graduates research in science, ques- dation Year Programme,” says Dr. McOuat, Stewart, HOST’s current director, the protion culture, bridge disciplines, and shape who wrote the proposals for the programme gramme was set in motion with all the force dialogues all over the world. with professor emeritus and historian of of Plato’s Demiurge. In its very essence, the HOST Programme oceanography, Dr. Eric Mills. Even early As a step towards developing the Classics has always been on the edge of invention. on, it was clear that the HOST Programme elements of the programme, HOST hired Shortly after joining the faculty at King’s, could have all the shape and feel of King’s Dr. Daryn Lehoux, a Mesopotamian and while strengthening the “science studies” College. Roman specialist now at Queen’s University, core of CSP, Dr. McOuat was approached Modeled after the chronological layout of which Dr. McOuat remembers as a galvanizby then-president, Dr. Colin Starnes, about FYP—from Plato to NATO, and beyond—Dr. ing moment. “Students soon flocked to his developing a degree programme that would McOuat says HOST concerns itself with the classes on ancient divination, pre-telescopic complement both CSP and Early Modern “genealogy and meaning of our relationship astronomy, and the history of the body,” he Studies, but ultimately develop into a strong to ‘nature’ and the natural sciences.” And says, while adding that Dr. Stewart’s experand full curriculum in a growing academic while programs like HOST already existed in tise in ancient and early-modern natural field. the UK and America (M.I.T’s Science & Tech- philosophy helped shape pre-Scientific As a specialist in taxonomic and natural nology studies, for instance, was founded in Revolution HOST. The programme continued to grow. science, Dr. McOuat was impressed with 1976), the uniquely King’s-style structure Starnes’s vision. He saw that King’s was par- has opened up a spectrum of possibilities.      Dr. Stephen Snobelen, formerly a ticularly well-placed for this kind of pro- The Faculty of Science and the Faculty of research fellow at Cambridge University, gramme. Arts and Social Sciences at Dalhousie Univer- brought expertise in the interface of natural “I don’t think this could have happened sity immediately valued HOST’s curricular philosophy and religion in the seventeenth

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Dr. Ian Stewart and his tutorial, holding Plato texts, in 2003. (Courtesy of King’s College Archives).

and eighteenth centuries, as well as an un- engineering survey class. “In fact, it was the as a concept and physical reality, is so central canny interest in the “media” dimensions of Faculty of Engineering that approached us; to the philosophy, literature and culture of science, like science in film. As the director they wanted us to design a course that could the West.” of the Newton Project Canada, Dr. Snobelen give their students a humanities experience Its alumni agree. One of the first HOST affiliated King’s with the UK-based project, tailored to their study.” graduates, Emily Tector (BSc ’03), said, “In which digitizes the texts of one of the most Dr. Frappier took up the challenge. my experience, there’s nothing like HOST influential figures in history and gives the “The course has been a fantastic addition and there’s nothing like HOST at King’s. I school some international reach. to the programme,” said Dr. Frappier, add- loved the teachers, the content, the primary By the mid-2000s, scholarship in the his- ing that it enables the faculty to grasp the texts, the approach, the inspiration, and the tory of science was booming. The increase of science in the media and the abundance of technology in our homes made our connec“HOST also complements Humanities tion to this tradition increasingly relevant. The HOST Programme at King’s is particidegrees beautifully. Nature, as a pating in an exciting and dynamic field. The concept and physical reality, is so five-part “Trust in Science Lecture Series,” distinguished visiting scholars, and vibrant central to the philosophy, literature student societies were signs of a vital and and culture of the West.” valuable academic community. With the addition of Dr. Melanie Frappier, King’s gained “a genius at teaching and understanding modernity,” Dr. McOuat symbiosis between science and technology. relative newness of the field itself. I wanted says, “especially with her own scholarship “The students we’ve had in these courses more.” Now the project coordinator at Situregarding that bundle of perplexing concepts, have been a tremendous source of inspira- ating Science, Tector began teaching HOSTQuantum Mechanics.” With the help of Dr. tion through their questions and personal related courses at CEGEP in Montreal after Stewart, collaboration between HOST and research projects, which have covered ev- an MA in the History of Medicine at McGill. Dalhousie’s Faculty of Engineering moved erything from the creation of the broom to After graduating with a combined honfuturistic flying windmills.” This hands-on ours degree in HOST and English, Charles into new terrain. “HOST really values that chance to element appeals to the various areas and Bourne (BA ’12) was accepted as an intern branch out and teach engineering students strengths. at the International Atomic Energy Agency’s something about the history of their profes- “HOST also complements humanities de- (IAEA) Division of Human Health (NAHU) sion,” Dr. Stewart said of the technology and grees beautifully,” Dr. Stewart said, “Nature, in Vienna, Austria this summer. Using skills 18

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and knowledge from HOST, he communicated hard science to non-experts. “HOST catered to my science-oriented interests while embracing my skills and abilities in the arts,” says Bourne. “There is a shifting and challenging space that lies between the arts and the sciences,” he says, and interesting opportunities can be examined by dialogue. “These are important conversations and HOST creates capable arbiters of them.” Bourne believes that his knowledge of contemporary topics in HOST made him “better able to meet the science issues of today.” Strong research skills, precise focus, and the process of robust investigation— what he learned at King’s—gave him the confidence to express complex ideas and data in effective ways. But there have been benefits for the sciences, too. More recently, Dr. Georgy Levit has been exploring all aspects of environmental science and biology in the modern period. His own research brings him into collaborative work with eminent scientists and historians around the world. Collaboration across disciplines reflects the HOST discipline; its interdisciplinarity is one of its most alluring appeals. “One of the things I’m most proud of is the way our programme has been able to draw students from the sciences into thinking about their studies from a humanities perspective—‘outside of the box,’ if you will,” says Dr. Stewart. And the Faculty of Sciences has taken notice. “Science professors at Dalhousie often comment that their best students are the ones who can navigate between the laboratory and the library, between equations and essays. These are precisely the sort of

students King’s can and does attract, and who find themselves at home in HOST and other King’s programmes.” The effects are clearly felt in graduate studies. “Each year, we all write a myriad of recommendations for HOST students applying for graduate school,” and other opportunities, says Dr. McOuat, “FYP prepares students with the remarkable grounding and skills necessary to stand out amongst very strong peer groups. The upper-year programmes hone those skills, giving them the best education available in Canada.” Small class sizes, a small faculty, and challenging core material along with a dizzying array of electives combine to offer opportunities to an amazingly diverse body of students. As one of the only schools to offer HOST at the undergraduate level, King’s is cutting edge in the field. “It is well-recognized amongst elite grad schools that King’s students are easily the best prepared, HOST students especially,” says McOuat. He lists some cases in point: HOST alumni Lisa Crystal (BA ’07), Stephanie Dick (BA ’08) and Deirdre Moore (BA ’09) are now doctoral candidates in the History of Science Programme at Harvard and are standouts in their classes. “When our students first arrived at Harvard, the faculty members expressed to me, with delight and astonishment, the level of these budding young scholars. Simply, our students are intellectually engaged and we are very proud of these achievements.” Now in its golden years, with plans to develop courses in the history of medicine and increase synergies with other programmes, McOuat says, “We imagine a bright future for the HOST Programme.” Let there be light. µ

EVELYN FOX KELLER VISITS For about six weeks this fall, Dr. Evelyn Fox Keller, physicist, author, and professor emeriti at M.I.T, was the Situating Science visiting scholar at the Atlantic Node at King’s College. The Situating Science project, now in its fifth year, promotes collaboration among humanists and scientists in the study of science and technology. As part of her visit, Dr. Fox Keller gave talks to the King’s community, met with scientists, and spoke with students who had recently read her latest book, The Mirage of Space between Nature and Nurture. The HOST Programme at King’s, she said, is “terrific and quite unique. The programme does so much with such a small faculty, it’s amazing. I’m very impressed by King’s students. They’re engaged and thoughtful, and so open-minded.” What’s even more extraordinary about HOST, she said, is the programme’s involvement with scientists like Dr. W. Ford Doolittle, professor emeritus in Dalhousie’s Department of Biochemisty, and Dr. Tom Duck in Physics. “I’ve been speaking with scientists here who are caught in the conflicts about climate sciences, and the fisheries and government cutbacks. And this is a golden opportunity to really address the issues of science in society and situating science in its actual happening. So I think it’s all really wonderful.”

left to right: Dr Stephen Snobelen, Dr Gordon McOuat, Dr Ian Stewart

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IN CONVERSATION WITH A PHILOSOPHER Aaron Shenkman sits down for a one-on-one with renowned philosopher and intellectual Dr Charles Taylor, who delivered the 2012 Alex Fountain Memorial Lecture. What brought you to the study of philosophy? I didn’t know I was going to study philosophy at all. When I first got to university I didn’t know what I was going to do until about 25 minutes before I had to register. What really grabbed me, from the books I had read, was history, so my first degree was at McGill in honours history. But then I was going to do a second degree because I loved the scholarship of Oxford, and they had a course called ‘Politics, Philosophy and Economics.’ In those days you had to take all three. I said, ‘This is great, I’ll broaden myself in history, but I’ll probably broaden myself in politics, too.’ So I took more politics. But the philosophy people who taught there were very influenced by Vienna positivism, a very reductive theory about anti-metaphysics and so on. And I found that absolutely I couldn’t take it. I thought it was awful. I thought, ‘I must get into this and show that it’s awful.’ I began to argue about it, and think about it, and read about it, and I got more and more involved, and somehow I just never, you know, stopped being involved in it. I did 20

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a doctorate thesis in philosophy and have been involved in it ever since. But with this important twist: I think a lot of the most interesting philosophy requires you to know philosophy and something else. I’ve always seen philosophy as a border subject where you need something else with it. In that way, I was well-served—though I wasn’t planning it this way—by doing a history degree. Did your French come in handy when you were at Oxford? Yes, because I got tremendously interested in French philosophers that provided the antidote against some of what I was trying to argue against. Much of it wasn’t translated in those days. Maurice Merleau-Ponty wrote Phénoménologie de la Perception, which was his version of phenomenology, and what I found really fantastic about that was that Merleau-Ponty read a lot of the science—he read a lot of neuroscience, and psychology, and he wove all of this together. This was just absolutely riveting. I was blown away by this. I was just starting out, finishing arguing against this awful stuff, and I read him, and

my mind was totally blown. Merleau-Ponty said something that was actually false, but I can see why he said it. He said, all the main philosophical schools today descend from Hegel. I said, ‘What? I’ve just come from Oxford and Hegel’s a four-letter word and no one wants to read him.’ But if you think of it, he was in France after the war, there was Marxism, there was existentialism, and these things were profoundly linked to and came from one or other aspects of Hegel. So I thought, yeah, I need to go back and read Hegel in order to—especially to—understand Marx and all the other stuff, also, so you understand what they’re saying. But also there are formulations in Hegel, in things like objective spirit—the idea of a kind of understanding which is not just in your mind or my mind but is distributed through the whole society and its institutional modes and the understanding you need to have to live in those institutions— well, I think this is a really fantastic insight that’s worth the detour to go back and read it too.

One of your most prominent texts, A Secular Age , speaks about religion losing its central role within society. As a practising Roman Catholic, what do you think is the place of religion? There is a story which is told a lot in the West: that religion belongs to an earlier period and now it’s disappearing, so naturally it’s less in the public sphere because it’s less everywhere—the secularization thesis. And I thought, ‘That story is really bad, it doesn’t work.’ And not only that, a lot of other people were beginning to think that too. As of 25 years ago, the secularization thesis in sociology began to get really hammered, and hammered for all sorts of reasons. But the most important thing that seemed to me to be obvious is that what people understand to be religion changes. The secularization thesis seemed to think there’s a thing called religion; way back when the Aztecs were pulling hearts of out of prisoners and offering them to Huitzilopochtli, and then we have Mother Teresa, and then we have Sufis, and all this was religion? The mind boggles! It’s tremendously different and it changes. So one of the biggest things that happened in the modern West was the kinds of spiritual life itself that people got interested in began to evolve. And in some parts of the West, the whole thing declined—in East Germany there are more atheists than anywhere else, right? But other parts didn’t decline at all. But what obviously did happen was, the whole idea of

what it was about—how it relates to social life—all changed in interesting ways. What we need to do is not just go on saying the whole secularization theory doesn’t work. We need to have another story, and so I tried to give another story, which was centred on this notion that the spiritual is not going to disappear from human life, but the way in which it’s taken up is going to be very different. And I’m sure the book is wrong in all sorts of ways, but really what I wanted to do was impact on the discussion. We’re at least on the path where we’re going to get somewhere instead of just going over the old stuff.

You are also an active member of the New Democratic Party, running as a candidate four times, including once against Pierre Trudeau in 1965 before he became prime minister. What are your thoughts on Canadian politics now? I ran four times in the 1960s against Liberals, and the time I did best was against Pierre Trudeau. How can that be? Well, when we were running against each other, Trudeaumania hadn’t happened. Trudeau was virtually unknown in English Canada and in Quebec, he was thought to be this egghead and so on, so there was no wave of support for him.

Philosopher Charles Taylor lectures to a packed Alumni Hall Tidings | winter 2013


top left: Lecture founders Fred and Elizabeth Fountain, who began the lecture series in 2011 in memory of their son Alex, sit listening among the crowd. bottom left: Former president William Barker and the chair of the board of governors, John Hamm. Right: Omri Haiven was among the students who participated in the lively discussion following Taylor’s lecture.

The next election in 1968, it was all transformed because there was this tremendous wave, after Pearson made him the spokesperson for the federal government, and Pierre was razor-sharp intelligent. But then I got clobbered by another Liberal in 1968 because of Trudeaumania. They put him in there against me because he supported me in the previous election. And the crooked Liberal machine hated him because he had been so terribly critical of them. And I think they placed him in my riding because they knew he would feel terrible about it, because we were friends, and he did. The NDP today, we’re going to need someone with a real coherent program. As a third party, we’ve been able to indulge ourselves and be whatever we want. Now we need someone with a very sharp mind who can really argue effectively with a reasoned position, and I think that is the guy we chose in Tom Mulcair. There’s a second wave of Trudeaumania that’s now threatening the NDP momentum, but of course it’s not based on it—poor Justin has nothing of his father’s 22

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tremendous qualities, so I don’t know if it’s going to last. The Harper government to me is very saddening because we had a Conservative party in Canada which was a reasonable party, a broad, engaged party—Red Tories and others. But Harper has pulled the party in this very American direction, which is extremely ideological. I’m a little bit appalled and a little bit surprised because I thought the Conservative party was much more like the old one. Your lecture at King’s is focused on the question of whether democracy is in danger. Yes—democracies are not something you ever have once and for all. If you just look at the legal structures, it looks that way. But in all democracies, going back to the Greeks, you see societies where there is a tendency for it to slide more and more. There are always going to be people who have more power and that looks different in each society—it may be patricians, or leaders of big industries, or aristocrats. But they tend to occupy

a lot of space, and the situation changes, and the mechanisms that you need to mobilize the base in order to hold this back change. So you always have to keep up with the contemporary situation. And I think we’ve been sliding backwards over the last 30 years—with the fact that the number of voters are going down, the spread between rich and poor is getting greater, the power of money in political life is getting greater—it’s pushing us in the direction where democracy is failing. And democracy failing means that people who once trusted it don’t participate in it anymore, so there’s this downward spiral. This is one of those moments where we need to take that downward spiral and move it back. So it’s good to have Occupy movements and the students in Quebec, but we need to take it beyond that with programs that mobilize people and reverse this trend. This is one of those moments where the bell should be ringing. This interview was condensed and edited by Adrian Lee

LIVING MEMORY Melissa Shaw tells the story of a King’s alumna who couldn’t help but leave keepsakes of her time at King’s—literally inside King’s


ary Breakspear knew it was important to capture all the silly, stressful, and bonding moments that help define the King’s experience, and during her first year in 1990, she preserved some of her mementos from King’s in a small box and stashed them away above some ceiling tiles in Alex Hall. Unfortunately, she didn’t leave a time capsule for her time capsule—and instead of retrieving it after 10 years, she completely forgot. “The funniest thing is that I don’t remember putting that time capsule up there,” she says. “But once I got it I remembered doing it, once I opened it up and looked at everything.” Electricians discovered the capsule this summer, while doing some rewiring work. A Mary Breakspear and Christina MacDonald flip through an old handbook that had been buried in a box of recent King’s grad and facilities staffer Me- keepsakes in Beakspear’s first year. (photo courtesy of King’s Advancement Office) lissa Pike (BAH ’12) brought the capsule to the Advancement Office, which had kept laughs. “Those were good memories.” that had been attached to a fruit basket—an in touch with Breakspear over the years and She was friends with five other girls who incentive to study hard for her tests. sent her an email. lived in Alex Hall—Gillian Mahen (BJH She lifts out the Dalhousie Gazette stu “I can’t believe I forgot it. I was supposed ’94), Jennifer Bird (BSc ’95), Danielle dent newspaper containing an article titled, to go get it in April, 2001, so I’m 11 years late. Arsenault (BA ’93), Suzy Kerr (’90-’93), “A Gay Man’s Guide to Erotic Safer Sex.” But I got it eventually.” and Denise LeBlanc (FYP ’91). Only these “It was very controversial in 1991 to have Breakspear pulls out the capsule, wrapped girls knew that Breakspear had buried a time printed something like that,” she says. in orange tissue paper and bearing her name, capsule. “I put things in there that repre- Every object has a story. There are tickets her parents’ address and her phone number, sented all six of us,” she says. from school plays and balls; caution tape, and sets it on the table. She smiles as she She recorded her friends’ favourite songs mistletoe and a giant banner her friends gingerly lifts the items out of the box. She to make a “King’s friendship tape.” Her made for her surprise birthday party; a picholds up a copy of Plato’s Republic and a friends’ initials are written beside each title ture of her tutorial group and a pink cut-out faded student agenda containing her colour- with a description of what the song meant to of the letter ‘K’, the one that hung from her coded notes. them. One of the songs is Barry Manilow’s residence door. “I was notorious for not picking my topic Copacabana, which found its place on the She also hid another capsule from her until the night before it was due and spend- mix tape thanks to a roommate wake-up third year. She retrieved that capsule in 2004, ing all night sitting up and doing my essay competition. before she was married in the King’s Chapel. that was due the next morning at nine o’clock, “Jennifer got three guys from residence “The girls from King’s who came to the and literally running across the quad at five- to come over one morning and wake Denise wedding and I opened it up during a dinner to-nine to hand it in so it wasn’t late,” she up by standing beside her bed and singing a few nights before the wedding,” she said. Copacabana,” she laughs. “Needless to say, “It was a fun stroll down memory lane!” Jen won the prize for the best wake up.” She Breakspear graduated from King’s with plans to contact her friends so they can listen an English degree and worked in London, to the tape. England for two years. Then she worked on A photo from the capsule shows them a cruise ship for nine years as a purser, and gathered around a smiling 18-year-old met her husband. She returned to Halifax, Breakspear. There are also photos of her completed an MBA at Saint Mary’s Univerbuilding a pop-can tower in her room, and sity, and worked as an accountant for Marrex standing behind a snowman with Jennifer. Gold in Bedford. “We had a really big snowstorm one night, She’s on maternity leave now and is busy and Dalhousie students came over and we taking care of her newborn baby girl. She’s had a big snowball fight in the quad,” she said. not planning to make any more time cap There’s a handmade Easter card from sules—but she does want to start recording Breakspear holding some of the other keepsakes in the box. (Photo by Melissa Shaw) her roommate and a card from her parents all of her memories in a scrapbook. µ

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TOAST TO THE COAST Kristie Smith goes behind-the-scenes of the little altweekly that could, delivering an oral history on the year of the magazine’s 20th anniversary.


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top: Four of the magazine’s founders (left to right) Aran Rasmussen, Kyle Shaw, Christine Oreskovich and Tom Lissaman middle: Ted McInnes and Kyle Shaw (left to

right) edit copy. bottom: Christine Oreskovich, who is the pub-

lisher today. “On Thursdays, when I’m around the city and see people who aren’t my friends or people I know reading The Coast, I think, ‘Wow, they’re actually reading my newspaper.’”

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ew expected The Coast to last this long. Two decades later, however, it’s hard to imagine Halifax without it. Twenty years after The Coast published its first edition on King’s computers in June, 1993, the free weekly is now a vital, trusted voice that tells readers what’s what in Halifax, from its annual Best Of issues to reviews on music, food, arts, retail, concerts, and more.

It all started with six ambitious King’s students, hell-bent on being the new source for entertainment news in town: Aran Rasmussen (BAH ’93), Tom Lissaman (BA ’93), Andy Lamey (BAH ’93), Andy Pedersen (BJH ’93), current publisher Christine Oreskovich (BA ’95), and Kyle Shaw (BSc ’91, BJ ’92), the current editor-in-chief.


like night and day. There would be no Coast if I didn’t wander into King’s.

every week. And I thought, ‘if we hit that goal, people will like us.’



espite finishing the one-year journalism degree that year, Shaw returned to King’s for another year, working on The Watch and clinging to the school he loved. His relationship with Kimber grew from that last magazine class, and one day, Kimber mentioned that the local entertainment listing, Seven Days, was being discontinued, which sparked the idea to replace it. Kimber still swears he advised against it. Shaw: [Kimber] knew that the entertainment supplement that The Daily News was doing at the time, was going to be cancelled. He had inside information, so he said, ‘There’s going to be a hole opening up in the market, you guys should do this.’ As soon as Stephen said it, we were in.

Stephen Kimber, King’s professor: Kyle is an interesting student in that I would not have predicted this. He was in my magazine class and he did not stand out as a particularly brilliant student—until the final class. I can’t even remember how the discussion came up, but somewhere in that final class, I talked a little about people and their magazine habits and Kyle suddenly came to life with a story about stolen GQ magazine stacks hidden in his bedroom. I think at that point I realized there was something much more to Kyle.

Christine Oreskovich, The Coast publisher: I was involved with The Watch when Kyle approached me, saying that a group of people was forming The Coast. At the time, it seemed like I was the token female voice, but considering I was working at the student paper, it really just made sense. I was really young, naive, and didn’t have any business experience, either.

Kyle Shaw, The Coast editor-in-chief and founder: King’s to me, personally, was hugely shaping. The difference for me between going to Dalhousie and getting a degree, and going to King’s and getting an education, was

Shaw: It took a long time to name The Coast, and then we came up with a sort of, well, not a mission statement, but a goal. Our goal is to be ‘provocative, entertaining, and truthful,’ and we still publish that in the paper

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heir first year of operation was spent in a dank, dingy basement with one window that was frequently blocked by, and covered by the roiling excrement of, endless flocks of pigeons. They used the Wardroom as a meeting place, using borrowed computers, but despite it all, The Coast remained free and ready every two weeks. Kimber: The issues were pretty thin at first; they were really focused just on music and entertainment, and there wasn’t much journalism in those early issues that I remember. I think that once they decided to keep going, despite some of them leaving… it became a much smaller core group and they had unbelievable dedication and devotion. Oreskovich: We owed a lot of money and we didn’t really know how to make any at this point. Printing bills added up quick. So we worked harder and dug our heels in. It’s only by sheer force of will that those papers got out. It was scary owing money. Kimber: For several years, they weren’t taking any money out of The Coast. They had part-time jobs and they lived at home and that’s how they survived those first years. Oreskovich: We would work days and days and overnights and sneak into the journalism lab at King’s to use its computers because we didn’t have any. Someone’s mother

bought us a fax machine and the rest of our furniture we sort of found on the streets. It was pretty scrappy, but fun at the same time.


he Coast jumped from bi-weekly to weekly in 1997, the most significant sign of its growth in those burgeoning mid-90s. Writers took note, and it accumulated a staff and a stable of contributors. Lezlie Lowe (BAH ’96), King’s professor and Coast contributor: In the early 2000s, I wrote a piece about art galleries and why we need them. And that kind of writing—there was just no other venue for that kind of thing. Mike Fleury (BJH ’05), former Coast news editor and current producer for CBC’s George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight: When I first met Kyle and Christine, I was still just learning. The Coast is great for seeing potential in people, and that gives them really interesting points of view. They gave me my first real shot… I had so much respect for The Coast and for what they had already achieved, on a weekly basis. I learned about hard work and the amount of work it takes, what it takes to create something worthwhile and that you care about, that’s good and interesting and relevant. Lowe: I never intended to be a journalist. I don’t have a journalism degree. I never wanted to be a journalist. What I learned in my time at The Coast is that I am a writer. I had no idea. I had no idea that I could write journalistically until I started doing it for The Coast.

Fleury: What struck me [then] were the little touches that show they cared, hidden in the margins, right between the lines. If they can maintain that spirit and that feeling, they’ll be fine.


he Coast is a vital voice in Halifax now. The staff gets paid. Their coverage has earned them awards. They’ve turned out countless journalists and bought the homework of countless journalism students. They have a fan base, and they’re loyal as hell— which will help them as the industry evolves.

Neal Ozano (BJ ’04), former editor of OpenFile: The best part of The Coast has always been the public’s support. People read it. People respond to it. The best thing The Coast used to do was repost or re-tweet something OpenFile had written on their own Twitter or Facebook…An endorsement by them is a very definite thumbs-up, regardless of the topic. People read what The Coast says they should read. Rachel Bloom, current King’s student and Coast summer intern: It’s one of the newspapers that people who live in the city love. I mean, you read the Metro, but you love The Coast. The Coast just feels like home to Halifax. Ozano: One thing I miss in The Coast is the lack of writing by Kyle Shaw. His writing style used to be the voice of the paper… it read like every hip, well-informed freelancer, reporter, and editor in Halifax, rolled into one. He was the voice of Halifax’s indie crowd.

Oreskovich: On Thursdays [when The Coast comes out], when I’m around the city and see people who aren’t my friends or people I know reading The Coast, I think, ‘Wow, they’re actually reading my newspaper.’ It’s still shocking to see people reading and relying on The Coast. When you publish a newspaper, you only ever hear what you got wrong, what you didn’t cover, or covered incorrectly, or what you should have said... I still get that buzz every Thursday when it comes out, though. After almost 20 years, that’s pretty cool.


hough Shaw graduated two decades ago, he nurtures the King’s roots that helped get The Coast where it is today. He comes to King’s and talks to students in classes, still offering to buy their homework. He does what he can to help when he can, and when he has the time, sits on alumni boards (like the one for this very magazine –Eds).

Shaw: There are a billion little milestones across 20 years and each time you hit one… well, the business succeeded because we’re all very goal-oriented and after we hit each milestone, we wanted to move onto the next one. I still remember when we got our first Coast t-shirts, when we got a water cooler, when we got a postage meter. There’s not much [that’s] journalistic about a postage meter, but at the time, it was kind of a symbol that the business was becoming established— and it was going to be around to need to have tens of dollars worth of mail. µ

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MEDIA RELATIONS Rachel Ward paints portraits of four King’s students who have wound their own way, by hook or by crook, within the evolving world of journalism Dav i s Car r (B AH ’ 1 2 ): F rom soc i e t i es mav e n to soc i al me di a


ife was busy for Davis Carr in her time at King’s, and it certainly hasn’t slowed down since graduating in May. The Contemporary Studies Programme and history grad now lives in Ottawa and juggles two jobs, one as a digital media intern with Hub Ottawa and the other as the online community manager with Citizens Academy. “When I tell people what I do, they latch on to the social media part,” says Carr. “It’s something a lot of people don’t understand very well. It’s really quickly become a very important part of our culture.” She says she’s helping both organizations use social media to develop their brand and connect with communities far from her city. “A lot of the things I have studied have affected how I approach my work in general, especially the work at the HUB,” says Carr, having written about Marshall McLuhan’s thoughts on media for her fourth-year thesis. Carr volunteered her time at many societies, serving as editor of The Record, the

King’s yearbook, for two years, production manager of The Watch, communications director of the King’s Theatrical Society, and the editor of Hinge, the History of Science and Technology journal. “The great part about King’s is that there are all of these opportunities to get involved and do actual real-life skills. Even stuff as basic as time management has to come from balancing extracurriculars and school,” says Carr. “That’s super invaluable because right now I don’t work nine to five. I work all the time, and in spurts. It very much mimics balancing societies and class times with all of your other activities.” Carr says the future of media jobs will be shaped like this—contract work, working all the time, and in collaborative environments. She says it’s exciting and busy, and constantly keeps her moving. She says the love for media came from thinking in class, but really found her niche in her out-of-class activities. “I really like moving text boxes around

on a page. I really like layout design,” she says. “I like the problem solving aspect, trying to figure out how to present information properly.”

Pat r i c S e n s o n (B J ’ 9 9 ): From s c i e nc e to t he CBC—and t he n a s hi ft


atric Senson came to the King’s one-year bachelor of journalism program armed with the knowledge he gained from his bachelor of science in microbiology and immunology, his masters of science in microbiology, and the knowledge that he wanted to be a science journalist—but also knowing it’d take even more than that.


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“King’s gave me the language and the skill set to communicate science to regular people through the media,” says Senson. “I came in with a strong understanding of how science worked. I had no idea how journalism worked.” Senson says he took on any story his professors threw his way, also freelancing for the local CBC radio station during his degree and then landing a summer job with CBC Charlottetown. “I did all kinds of little stories, stuff I never thought I would talk about,” says Senson. “I dug right in and helped out during the Iraq War and during 9/11.” His training at King’s and CBC Charlottetown put him “one step ahead” of other applicants when he applied for a gig with Quirks and Quarks—and was, he says, the reason he got the job. Senson spent ten years with the CBC radio show before he applied to law school.

“I looked at the skill set I had in journalism, which was being able to explain complex ideas in ways people can understand, especially a science journalist,” he says. “What you do learn in journalism school is how to be a good advocate.” Indeed, that ability helped him when editing the legal journal while in law school, which helped him pay the bells. Senson was eventually called to the bar in June, 2012, and now works at a litigation firm in Toronto, offering what he calls “Bay-Street-quality work” for those who might not be able to afford it. Although he’s switched careers, he says his time at King’s keeps paying off. “What’s really amazing is, even as a law student and a lawyer, my connections with King’s have played out,” says Senson. “You tell someone you went to King’s and it’s an immediate connection, even if you didn’t go there at the same time, just the fact that you have been in the Wardroom.”

A l e x B o u t i l i e r (BAH ’09 ): F rom Heg e l to he adli nes


lex Boutilier took a winding road from contemporary philosophy at King’s to political reporting in Ottawa— but if you ask him, both were a natural fit. Boutilier was a second-year Contemporary Studies Program student when he started writing for The Watch, the campus magazine, and would end up being its editorin-chief for two years. “At that point I just realized that maybe this was something I wanted to do,” says Boutilier. As gradation neared, Boutilier scanned ads for paid internships and applied to a newspaper in Fort McMurray. “I put ‘King’s BAH’ on my resume when I applied and hoped that most editors would look at King’s and say, ‘He must be a journalism graduate. He must be applying for a journalism job,’” says Boutilier with a laugh. “I didn’t go out of my way to explain that I had no training and I had no idea what I was doing.” He got the gig, and despite a “rocky first couple of weeks,” says his editor turned him into a newspaper writer. Boutilier was offered a full-time job, but turned it down to move home to Halifax. He then spent the next couple of months

volunteering at, and then freelancing for, Metro Halifax, until the editor, Phil Croucher, gave him a job covering the provincial legislature. “It was great as a young journalist,” says Boutilier. “Not only was I 22 and covering the provincial legislature, but when I broke news, people treated it as a big deal.” Boutilier also gathered a substantial online following, publishing a daily blog for Metro, ‘Politics as Usual’, and amassing more than 3,000 Twitter followers. He may have been at a “disadvantage” without a journalism degree, says Boutilier, but his job was to translate the complicated into news that could be understood simply, something he found familiar from CSP. “You have to digest passages from Being and Time and then relate them to somebody who may not have the benefit of a strong background in Heideggerian phenomenology,” says Boutilier. “What I do as a journalist is sift through budget documents, sift through difficult reports and relate them to people who have five minutes on the bus.” “If I can do that, then that’s great, I’ve done my job. And King’s taught me to do that.” Boutilier is one step closer to his dream of covering politics on Parliament Hill—this

past summer, he left Halifax to work for Metro Ottawa and cover city hall there. He says it’s a job that comes with its own difficulties; he knew his way around in Halifax, but in Ottawa, he’s still making those connections. “There’s nothing you really can do except keep doing good work and developing relationships,” says Boutilier. “Working long hours and trying to go above and beyond when you can.”

L i am H y l an d (B J H ’ 0 8): F rom c hi ld stardom to c hasi ng storms


e’s gone from a “goofy” child actor playing ‘Question Mark’ on the 1990s kids science show, Wonder Why, to bartending in New York, to now doing some pretty serious reporting, filming and producing out of CTV’s Los Angeles bureau. Hyland’s return to television began when he enrolled in the King’s journalism program. He hand-delivered his application to thenjournalism director Kim Kierans, unsure if his high school marks would be good enough.

“On paper it may not look great, but if you give me a chance, I’ll show you that I can do it,” Hyland says he told Kierans. “I’ll never forget it, too,” he says. “At the end of my three years there, when I was graduating, Kim came up to me and said, ‘You definitely didn’t let me down, and you didn’t let any of us down.’” Hyland saw his degree climax with the television documentary workshop, calling the doc screening his “shining moment”. In that final year at King’s, he worked part-time at CTV, a job that turned into a full-time gig. He’s now working at the Los Angeles bureau, and he’s seen the exciting stuff—the Stanley Cup, the Olympics, the Academy Awards— but also, he says, some not-so-great things. Most recently, he’s covered two hurricanes: Katrina in New Orleans and superstorm Sandy in New York. “It’s kind of funny because, when you’re doing these jobs, we’re the only people who go to these places,” says Hyland. “Other

people are leaving. Governors and presidents and whoever else are warning, ‘Stay off the streets, evacuate,’ and meanwhile, we’re checking into hotels.” But in the fall of 2011, Hyland wasn’t travelling the country or producing daily news out of the two-person bureau. He was looking for work, after moving to California as a newlywed. “It’s been a pretty amazing year,” says Hyland. “It’s kind of unbelievable that just over a year ago we were just moving back here and I was trying to find a job.” He used connections through CTV to get an interview in L.A., but only after freelancing was he considered for a job, something he chalks up to persistence and a good deal of luck. He spent some time convincing people, but says he’s now having a blast. “It’s a front-row seat to some of the best things that happen and, sometimes, not the best things,” says Hyland, “but you’re on the front line of bringing that to people.” µ Tidings | winter 2013


NET WORTH The vital St. George’s YouthNet program gives kids in need a safe haven—and as Sarah Mateshaytis (BJH ’12) and Evey Hornbeck (BJH ’12) find, it was founded in a spirit passed down through generations of King’s students.

Behind this mural-painted fence is a place of wonder and safety for youth in Halifax’s north end, and much of that comes from the King’s community. (photo by Ian Gibb)


ilming a documentary for an art gallery screening, or tending a herb garden and producing homemade salad dressings—these aren’t opportunities most kids usually get. But between the bright, craft-covered walls of St. George’s YouthNet, they’re just some of the many opportunities the program offers to kids living in Halifax’s north end. A volunteer-based lunch and afterschool program for kids in grades primary through junior high in the Uniacke Square neighbourhood, YouthNet provides kids with experiences they otherwise would often miss out on. “We give them a space where they can go after school when they may not want to go home for reasons of poverty,” says Natasha Conde-Jahnel (BAH ’07), a former King’s residence don, and current program coordi-


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nator. “We try to offer genuine friendship.” And while the University of King’s College has always had a presence in the program—all four paid staff are King’s alumni or students, and many volunteers come from the King’s fold—this past year, the King’s connection has grown even stronger. “We’re really looking for volunteers who are not necessarily just looking to volunteer, but to get to know people and to support them in that way,” says current staff member and former volunteer coordinator Jesse Blackwood (BAH ’04). YouthNet took flight in the mid-1990s under the leadership of current King’s chaplain Rev. Dr. Gary Thorne, who was the rector of St. George’s Round Church. He envisioned a program that focused on positive, mentoring relationships with kids and providing opportunities for them to excel and succeed.

But over the years, Blackwood says YouthNet has slipped away from that, moving more towards a youth drop-in centre model. “There were a number of ways in which we weren’t doing what we set out to do in terms of building friendships,” he says. So Blackwood took advantage of his residence platform as the current don of Middle Bay to rally first-year King’s students to volunteer with YouthNet in the fall of 2011. This built on the annual Christmas gift drive, already a tradition linking King’s residences and YouthNet. Their recent effort to bring in more firstyear students was borne of the hope that those who volunteered would choose to stay involved with the program for years to come. “There’s a lot of inconsistency in the neighbourhood and often a lack of stability, and also a dearth of opportunity,” says

Blackwood. “In building one-on-one relationships … you’re able to recognize what [the kids’] individual needs are and you’re better able to meet them.”

quired of King’s students; she herself first came to YouthNet during her undergraduate years. “I was terrified!” she says. “I came to

of King’s students. “I definitely think one of my favourite things about [YouthNet] is that it is kind of a long-term commitment,” says second-year student Michelle Johnstone, who started volunteering in her first year. “Having the kids coming every day and seeing familiar faces, and being able to work YouthNet provides kids with and grow with certain volunteers, I think it experiences they otherwise would really makes a difference.” Johnstone said the program was exactly often miss out on. what she was looking for when she started the Foundation Year Program. While King’s “That students take time out of their lunch and all these kids and teens running has plenty of societies, she says nothing else busy schedules to come to YouthNet never around after they had eaten were a bit in- worked as directly with kids. ceases to amaze me,” says current Youth- timidating for me, but I was a lot shyer back “I think as university students, we all valNet director Jane Neish (BA ’01). “They then! After I returned to Halifax [in 2011] to ue education a lot,” she says. “For kids who are dedicated and many of them have built do an MEd I was enticed back to YouthNet live in the north end and kids who come to long-lasting friendships with the kids here. by Jesse Blackwood, who was director at the YouthNet, having a positive role model and Their dedication is actually quite humbling time, and it changed my life.” A few short being able to interact with people … is a really and the truth is we would never be able to months later, she took over as director. good part of education and not necessarily run our programs without this support.” With Neish and Blackwood, the renewed something they’re going to learn in school.” Neish understands the commitment re- focus on consistency has drawn the interest µ

Program director Jane Neish and recruitment coordinator Jesse Blackwood with children on a YouthNet trip. (contributed photo)

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GREAT COMPANY As the King’s College Chapel Choir rises to the top in its fifth year, Laura Hubbard reports from the front lines of the voice lines.

The King’s College Chapel Choir celebrates its fifth anniversary this year. (photo by Peter Ghansiam)


ow in its fifth year, the Cambridge in England. King’s College Chapel Choir is “It’s very much along those lines,” Halley rounding an important bend—it says. “Those universities have a longstanding now has as many years under its belt as its tradition of really excellent choirs singing music director, Paul Halley, has Grammy scripture.” awards. This academic year, the choir’s ambitions But that isn’t all the choir is singing about. have grown, with five performances of their This year, the CBC will feature its upcoming “A King’s Christmas” concert, which Halconcert, the Bach St John Passion, (23 March ley introduced in 2008, including two perin Lunenburg, 24 March in Halifax) as part formances at the Cathedral Church of All of its Choral Concert ‘Bach Month’ alongside Saints in Halifax, and one each in Wolfville, the Elmer Iseler Singers and the Studio de Lunenburg, and Truro. In November, the musique ancienne de Montréal. choir performed the first concert in the an “That’s great company to be in,” Halley nual King’s at the Cathedral series, Alfred says. Schnittke’s Requiem. Composed in 1975, this When he joined the King’s community rarely performed work contains what Halin 2007, the King’s College Chapel Choir ley describes as “some of the most profound sang one service each week during the term. and powerful religious music of the past 50 Now it performs at least two sung services years.” a week—sometimes more. There are also “Being able to do that piece is a sign of concert series and province-wide tours on how far the choir has come,” he says. “I their docket, too. And the choir is now an in- wouldn’t try to do it unless I had a really delible part of the identity of King’s, similar good choir.” to the famous college choirs of Oxford and Of course, creating a choir that Halley


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describes as being comparable to the finest in North America and England doesn’t happen overnight, nor without its members putting in serious work. “I’m not aware of a chapel choir like King’s anywhere else in Canada in terms of the amount of singing we do,” he says. “I mean, a tremendous amount of it is the highend singing, but the choir just has to be proficient in sight reading and have choral skills, too.” The main challenge has been to add to the group’s repertoire and stamina, to ensure that students were prepared for the additional services. But that’s what choir members like fourth-year student Joy Shand like best—the challenge of it. “It’s definitely not always been easy,” she says. “In a lot of ways it’s been grueling, but in so many ways it’s been amazing and a great experience.” Shand wasn’t prepared for the high intensity that comes with performing with a chapel choir when she initially joined.

“I’m afraid to admit I was fairly delinquent in my first year,” she says. She takes the task seriously now: “I’ve been totally blown away by Paul’s vision and his ability to mould and shape the choir into what it is today.” Shand says that being part of the choir has enriched her experience at King’s beyond her vocal growth. She spends a minimum of six hours each week practising with the choir—and more during concert season.

“I’m not aware of a chapel choir like King’s anywhere else in Canada in terms of the amount of singing we do.”

for three years, they will have encountered a tremendous amount of the best of King’s traditions and be very accomplished singers by the time they leave.” Shand agrees: “[The choir is] a performance of the philosophy that we talk about in class and the traditions we’re told that helped shaped this place. It’s so amazing to me to see those things still happening on a daily or hourly basis through the services.” Sustaining even a group of 20, however, has proven difficult. Churches have cut the education component of much of what they do musically, and music programs in schools are suffering as well. Halley says he’s seen a decline in choir training in those that audition for the King’s College Chapel Choir. Despite that, he sees signs of hope in that his son, Nick, has started a popular group, the King’s Chorus, for talented students who lack formal choir training.

He hopes that his restructuring of the choir will put King’s on the radar of aspiring vocalists across Canada. “The chapel choir is helping attract talented young people with some training from all over the country to come to King’s,” he says. “We’ve had a few students come specifically to be a part of the choir, and I hope that will increase over time.” Shand admits that there can be struggles within the choir and with the music. But having 19 other choir members with her has not only helped her vocally during rehearsals, but also throughout her university career. The choir, she says, is definitely a community within the community of King’s. “The music is something that I’m endlessly passionate about, but in the same way, the people have kept me going,” she says. “I think it’s a little microcosm of what I’ve experienced at King’s.” µ

“It’s almost a band-of-brothers scenario,” she says. “We’re a tight little group and there’s a lot of solidarity with one another.” Many of the choir members are brought together by the “educational model” that Halley introduced, which helps to pass on many of the traditions that define the college spirit. “[It] makes it hard to beat,” Halley says. “If someone has been in the choir

CBC Music named this year’s “A King’s Christmas” one of its “Top 10 classical Christmas concerts to check out this season”. “By all accounts,” writes Robert Rowat of the December performance, “if you’re only going to take in one Christmas concert in Nova Scotia this season, this is it.” Grammy-winning conductor Paul Halley credits an educational model and his choir’s commitment to rigorous training to its success.

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Li v es Li v e d

Joseph Patrick Atherton, KHS Colleague Wayne Hankey remembers the foundational works of the teacher who helped create the Foundation Year Programme and define Dalhousie’s Department of Classics.

Professor Atherton, who passed away on Sept. 6, 2012. (Photo contributed by Lorraine Atherton)


rofessor Patrick Atherton, who devoted his entire life as university teacher, administrator, and scholar to the Department of Classics, the University of King’s College, and Dalhousie University passed away early on the morning of the sixth of September. He was 77. In the current state of the university, the range of his teaching, the scope of his scholarship, and the weight and diversity of his administrative work are scarcely imaginable when viewed together. Yet, by them, he was crucial to saving King’s College from bankruptcy and irrelevance, to raising the Department of Classics to the important place in international scholarship it now occupies, and to giving both their present characters, making them the vibrant centres of humanities education they are. Dalhousie and King’s owe him enormous debts of gratitude. Patrick was born in recusant Lancaster and educated by the Jesuit Fathers in their


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college at Preston. Winning an open scholarship in Classics to Brasenose College, Oxford, he took an Honours degree in Literae Humaniores and then went on to serve in the British Army on the Rhine. Appointed to a post in Classics as King’s Carnegie professor in 1959, Patrick combined his teaching in the Faculty of Arts and Science with the duties of dean of men and acting registrar at King’s. This combination of a full teaching load and scholarship with administrative work both at King’s and Dalhousie characterized his whole career here. At some time or other, he occupied positions in nearly every aspect of the administration of the Department of Classics and of the faculty, administration, and board of governors at King’s, as well as many in the Faculties of Arts and Science and of Graduate Studies at Dalhousie, where he was a Senator. For more than 30 years he was Public Orator at King’s, where his citations for honorary graduates at Encaenia

were models of oratorical art, celebrated for their concision and their elegant use of the precisely apt literary or scriptural quotation. During his years as vice-president at King’s (1980-83), he was directly charged with bringing King’s into accord with the Dalhousie salary scale and with the revision of the pension plan. Patrick served as chairman of the Department of Classics for two terms: 1976-81 and 1992-1998. Patrick’s classes and seminars ranged from those in Latin and Greek, classical literature, and ancient history, to others in ancient, late ancient, and medieval philosophy. He was a convinced Aristotelian and his influence in this regard continues in the Classics Department. Patrick was promoted to full professor in 1978. He retired in 2000, after which he was made an Inglis Professor at King’s. From the beginning of his teaching here, Patrick joined wholeheartedly in James Doull’s work of radically changing the approach to Classical Studies by making philosophy, philosophical theology, and religion foundational. In this enterprise, they were later enthusiastically joined by Robert Crouse. He made a critical contribution, when, in 1970, he attracted A. H. Armstrong, the great Plotinus scholar, here as a Killam Fellow. In 1972, on his retirement as Gladstone Professor, Armstrong became Visiting Professor with us. Armstrong was the author of one of the most widely used textbooks on ancient philosophy; he and Patrick developed and taught the first classes on the introduction to ancient philosophy in the Classics Department and secured their recognition by the Department of Philosophy. Together Armstrong, Doull, Crouse, and Atherton founded our international journal, Dionysius, established Dalhousie Classics as the centre for the study of Neoplatonism and of the Platonic and Aristotelian traditions it continues to be, and won acceptance of our PhD programme in Hellenic and Hellenistic studies. Patrick’s arrival at King’s immediately preceded the financially disastrous overreach of the college in constructing three new buildings. When this was followed by

the departure of the Faculty of Divinity, the near-bankrupt college was left with nothing specifically its own to do, and was threatened with the withdrawal of support by the province. In this crisis, Patrick chaired the committee which introduced the Foundation Year Programme in 1972, and thus established the basis of the other programmes at King’s and of its entire rebuilding as an academic institution. He was one of the first six professors coordinating the sections of the programme and he continued as a coordinator or lecturer until his retirement. In 2000, Patrick delivered the concluding lecture of the Foundation Year Programme, “Contemporary Individualism and its Future: A Prophecy.” Two others of the original six coordinating professors were also classicists, thus establishing the close connection of the department and the programme. In 1963, Patrick married Lorraine Laurence of Annapolis Royal, who acquired a MSc and PhD in microbiology while raising a family of three sons with him: Patrick, Geoffrey, and Hilary. Patrick and Lorraine’s homes were places of generous hospitality,

where Patrick’s excellent cooking heartened many colleagues and students and heightened the conviviality essential to the transformative work being undertaken in the department and at King’s. Indicative was the period when, with others, Patrick imported grapes in winemaking season and we literally trod them out at his house! The Classics Department has received condolences from former students who have been reminded, by his passing, of Patrick’s many kindnesses to them. These continued right up to his death and his encouragements extended from those interested in reviving Gregorian Chant in the church to those who might turn toward the study of Classics and medieval philosophy. Patrick’s life was entirely devoted to his family, the Catholic Church, the Classics Department, King’s College, and Dalhousie University. He was a model of the Vergilian pietas he taught, and, of him, Vergil might also write: “heu pietas, heu prisca fides”. µ Wayne Hankey is the chairman of the Classics department.

The young professor from the 1965 King’s yearbook. (Photo courtesy the King’s Archives)

c a n yo u i d e n t i f y t h e s e a l u m n i ?

If you know who these alumni are, please send your answers to

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AN APPRECIATION Terra Duncan-Bruhm remembers King’s head librarian Drake Petersen as a man who taught about the importance of both institutional and personal histories.

“Once upon a time there was an invisible knight who served the silent King, and together they helped people who didn’t even know they were there.” —Touched


first met Drake Peterson in the mid-2000s, when I was the student representative on the Residential Advisory Committee. At the time, I always felt as though Drake was looking at me with a keen eye, as though he was seeing something no one else saw. Looking back, I would like to think he saw a little bit of himself. It would be a great honour if that were the case. It wasn’t long before Drake had me for tea. That was the day I discovered Drake could talk. Don’t get me wrong, he spoke at committee meetings, but his words were limited. He was more of a conductor at committee meetings, encouraging everyone to share their ideas which he would then craft into a perfect master plan that made everyone feel included and excited. In his office, Drake was a masterful conductor of conversation. He wanted to know what I thought of the political climate at King’s. He wanted me


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to know what he thought. He was always sure to stress that individual thought and creative ideas were the key to the success of the future of the college. Individual thought and creative ideas were the result, he said, of understanding one’s history. In 2006, I was hired as a recruitment officer, and Drake was delighted. He had me in for tea and took me on a personal guided tour of the archives. He let me touch the books. He let me hold the cuneiform Assyrian tablet. He took me through the paintings. He unloaded as many historical facts on me as he could, encouraging me to use them as recruitment tools. Drake was of the impression that our history was the one advantage we would always have over every other school in the country—that and our inability to die, no matter what the world throws at us. (And the world has been throwing a lot at us over the past couple of years.) Drake is the man who taught me to visit the painting of the burning Windsor campus, located outside of Alumni Hall, whenever I felt as though it was impossible to keep going. Drake wanted me to remember that things will never be as

bad as it was for the people who had to keep King’s alive without buildings. If they could do it, we can do it. More so than anything else, I think Drake wanted me understand our historical advantage and to use it to the fullest extent. His words greatly influenced the way I deliver tours and presentations, always emphasizing the idea that King’s is a community grounded in history and tradition. Drake was right. History is the one thing other schools don’t seem emphasize when they present. My toolbox of interesting facts and stories allow me to stick out as a presenter. Other recruiters often drag me off to dark corners, confessing they wished they had gone to King’s. That’s how I learned that people desperately want to a part of something meaningful. History adds meaning to existence. Drake was of the impression that King’s has survived for so long because of the community’s ability to pass knowledge and history down from generation to generation. Shared knowledge and strong bonds between the new and ‘seasoned’ Kingsmen have helped foster a collective spirit that is powerful and

“It is truly wonderful—and fitting—that we are celebrating Drake’s life in this place today. This place—the University of King’s College—that was so much a part of Drake for the past 42 years. To this community—that welcomed Drake so many years ago, and where he found acceptance—we say thank you. Drake deeply loved his own family, and he considered King’s to be his second family—particularly his co-workers in the library. Drake took great satisfaction from his achievements and career here at King’s, and from the achievements and successes of those around him, or those whom he mentored along the way. His legacy is in these things, in the Archives, and in the personal touches that Drake promoted. Such things as a cup of tea. A comfortable chair. Well-kept flower beds. Or a glass of sherry.” —Archie Collins, Drake’s cousin, speaking at Drake’s memorial service on 3 November 2012.

impenetrable. I believe one of the most important things Drake ever said to me was, “If you can understand who you are, you will always know where to go next.” This statement is so profound that I could mull over it forever and never quite get to the centre of its significance. All I know is Drake Peterson put a lot of time, energy and tea into me. I intend always to be worthy of it. I didn’t understand that I had a special relationship with Drake until quite recently. I just assumed he pulled everyone into his office for tea and discussions. But I remember that I had missed an alumni meeting—I showed up to the library committee room a day late because I had the meeting written down incorrectly in my schedule. Drake came out of his office and said, “You’ve missed it, young lady,” and pulled me in for a chat on the significance of organization at a time like this, referring to the current state of the college. These are trying times, he said, emphasizing the importance of keeping it together and hanging in there. I cried. I was tired. I had been putting in a lot of hours. I was dropping balls. I was feeling like a failure. He reminded me that failure is not the dropping of a ball. It’s opting not to pick the ball back up again because bending over is hard. It’s allowing history to end with you. He encouraged me never to stop fighting. He encouraged me never to give up on King’s. I have explored every corner of this fine country, and much of the United States, and I have never found one school more stimulating or exciting than King’s. I truly believe it is the best post-secondary institution in this country and one of the top schools in the world. I genuinely deliver this passion

to students, teachers and parents every day. Drake Peterson gave me my passion. If there is one thing Drake taught me, it is the importance of taking a moment to revel in the glory and the wonder of the history we are living right now. Feel it. Embrace how beautiful it is to be a part of it. Register the significance of your favourite lecturer’s next lecture. Really live in the moment and try to grasp fully how lucky you are to be alive to witness it at that moment. Then turn that moment into a memory and share it. When you do that, you keep the community alive. Thanks to Drake, I was able to appreciate the significance of the moment when I handed Dr. Father Crouse a white rose at the end of his final lecture on The Divine Comedy. Drake’s outlook also allowed me to laugh and feel honoured the first time I made Wayne Hankey angry enough to send me a scathing email. Drake did not allow history to end with him. He left King’s with a glorious archive that will allow us to appreciate the significance of our legacy for generations to come. He did so to ensure that we would know where we came from—a key element of knowing where to go next. So where are we going? I’m not sure. But I think Drake would agree with Confucius when he said: “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” Drake gave me my heart. It has been an honour and a privilege to have served the silent King; a man who understood the significance of the invisible Knights—the administrative body of the University of King’s College. µ

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p r e s i d e n t i a l i n s ta ll at i o n

Dr. George Cooper was installed as the 24th president and vicechancellor of the University of King’s College on 13 September 2012 in Prince Hall. 38

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Al u m n ot e s 70 s Jim Irvine (BA ’69, BST ’71, Life President of ’71) has given the King’s library a copy of Low Tide at Grand Pré, a book of lyrics by Bliss Carman. Newly published, the volume is hand-set and printed by David Brewer of Rabbittown Press of Fredericton. The gift will be accessioned and catalogued for the college’s Special Collections and may be consulted by researchers in the library’s rare book room. Jim can be contacted at James Jardine (BCom ’72) recently retired as partner and CEO of Appleby, an international law firm. In December 2012, the governor of Bermuda appointed him as an independent senator to serve in the Bermuda Senate. James is also a Justice of the Peace.

80s Kevin Little (BAH ’83), who graduated from AST in 1990 with a master of divinity degree, received the 2012 Lieutenant Governor’s Faith in Action Award in May. This award is given for exceptional community outreach. The Rev Little is the full-time minister at St Luke’s United Church in Up-

per Tantallon and the part-time minister at Brunswick Street United Church in Halifax. He also works as an outreach navigator for the Public Good Society of Dartmouth, where he helps marginalized people get access to various programs, depending on their needs. Carolyn Saunders (BJ ’84) is a screenwriter who divides her time between Toronto and France. She spent several years writing documentary television series, such as Discovery’s Mighty Ships, Forensic Factor, and the long-running series, Ghostly Encounters. She recently made the transition into feature film writing. Her dark comedy, Drilled, a Canadian-UK production, is due to be shot in spring 2013, and her romantic comedy, The Macaroniste, is in development with Canadian, UK, and French interests. Carolyn is also mother to three teen-aged boys. Carolyn can be contacted at James Eaton (BSc ’85) became a full-time instructor in the electromechanical engineering program at Algonquin College in Ottawa. James and his family have also joined the ‘cult’ of VW Westfalia owners with the purchase of a 1991 Westfalia Weekender. They are doing a lot more camping now! If you would like to contact James, he can be

reached at Mark Renouf (BJH ’85) was appointed a principal at MT & L Public Relations in June. Before joining MT & L in 2006, Mark spent much of his career as a journalist with the BBC in London, England, where he worked on programs covering national and international politics, economics and current affairs. He has worked across Canada, Europe, Russia, and the Middle East. Alan Doerksen (BJ ’88) currently works as a publication editor with Intercede International ( He lives in Ontario’s beautiful Niagara region and says that he is “grateful for the good journalism training he received at King’s.” Laurelle LeVert (BAH ’89) was appointed associate vice-president at UNB Saint John and took up her new position on August 1. She can be reached at Richard Reagh (BA ’89) is living in Sweden and making lots of music. He has just released the new single, “Whatcha Gonna”, from “The Ed Harris Masters Pt. 1”. You can listen at mp3.

B ooks pu bli she d

Sharon Chisvin (BJ ’83) recently published a children’s picture book, The Girl Who Cannot Eat Peanut Butter.

Paul Atanya (BA Adv Major ’93) published the first of eight novels, Bloodshed in Mana. The soft copy is available from Paul’s website, You can reach Paul at sales@

Pam Callow (BA ’87) published her third thriller in the Kate Lange series, Tattooed.

Darcy Rhyno (BA ’92) has recently published his second book of short stories, Holidays.

Tidings | winter 2013


Al u m n ot e s A group of Chronicle Herald reporters—most of them King’s alumni—won the Team Multimedia award at the 2011 National Pictures of the Year Awards in April for its multimedia project Nova Scotia Burning. The four-day series was also a runner-up at the National Newspaper Awards in the Multimedia Feature category and a finalist at the 2011 EPPY awards for Best News Feature (on a website with 250,000 to one million unique monthly visitors). The King’s alumni involved on the project were Patricia Brooks Arenburg (BJH ’97), editor Randy Jones (BJH ’85), web editor Rick Conrad (BJH ’92) and page designer Nadine Fownes (BA ’87). Photojournalist Eric Wynne and director/producer Jayson Taylor also worked on the project. From left to right: Shawn Woodford (director of marketing and product development), Ian Thompson (associate publisher), Nancy Cook (director of sales), Andrew Waugh (director of news content), Randy Jones (editor), Bruce MacKinnon (editorial cartoonist), Patricia Brooks Arenburg (reporter), Eric Wynne (photojournalist), Jayson Taylor (director of design and multimedia), Mark Lever (president and CEO) and Nadine Fownes (page editor).

90 s Roger Thompson (BAH ’91) has been appointed a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts for his published work revealing the corruption in the US military industrial complex. He has also been appointed a member of the Eccentric Club (established in 1781) and been given the title of Official Envoy of the Eccentric Club (UK) in Asia and the Far East. Roger can be contacted at professorthompson Donal Power (BJH ’93) and his wife Rowena Hopkins recently welcomed the birth of their FYP-friendly daughter Athena. Besides working as the communications director for the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council, Donal is the founder of Open Heart Forgery, Halifax’s guerilla literary journal, which has published more than 180 HRM residents’ poetry and lyrics. Donal is also currently spearheading Fusion Halifax’s bid to have Halifax designated a Fair Trade Town in 2013. Tim Rissesco (BA ’93) was named executive director of the Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission in June 2012. He is also president of the Dartmouth Kiwanis and lives 40

Tidings | winter 2013

in Dartmouth with his wife Genevieve and two sons, Owen and Neil. Tim can be contacted at Cheryl (Ciona) Arkison (BAH ’96) recently welcomed son Nikolai into the family. He is a little brother to sisters Mila and Elena. Nikolai arrived only weeks after the publication of Cheryl’s first book, Sunday Morning Quilts. Cheryl lives in Calgary where she writes, designs and teaches quilting. Amelia Hadfield (BAH ’96) spent a year in Oxford on a Commonwealth Scholarship before going to Brussels to pursue a PhD and work as a consultant for a number of EU institutions. In 2004, she took up a tenured position at the University of Kent, where she lectured on EU foreign affairs. In 2010 she moved back to Brussels to the Vrije Universiteit Brussels and its Institute for European Studies, where she heads up the Educational Development Unit. She is married to a Jordanian lawyer and has a four-year-old son, Alexander. Tudor Robins (BJ ’96) will be publishing her first YA novel in the spring of 2013. Heather Smith (BA ’97) studied for a bach-

elor of social work at Dal, followed by a MSW at Carleton. “Have been a social worker at the QEII Hospital in Halifax for ages,” she writes. “It’s a family tradition to go on to social work from King’s. Just following my mother’s footsteps.” Golda Arthur (BJ ’98) is working at the BBC World Service and travelled to the US this autumn to cover the presidential elections. Sue Coueslan (BJ ’98) is director of external relations at Genome Atlantic. “I continually benefit from the one-year program I did in journalism at King’s, even though I’ve morphed my career from news into external relations.” Juliet Williams (BJ ’98) is working as a journalist in California, where she leads AP’s political coverage. Megan O’Brien Harrison (BJH ’98) was recently appointed communications officer for the Town of Hampton. She will also continue her duties as town clerk. Megan and her husband, David, have three children: Meredith, Ella, and Ty.

Al u m n ot e s law degree in 2011 and was called to the bar in Ontario in June 2012.

fessor of communications at Fleming College in Peterborough, Ontario.

Zach Wells (BAH ’99) is the author or editor of several books. He is contributing editor at Readers’ Digest and Canadian Notes and Queries. Find out more at

Janet Harrison (BJH ’04) recently graduated with honours from the Nova Scotia Community College with a diploma in library and information technology. She was awarded the Nova Scotia Association of Library Technicians Award for Merit. Janet currently works for Halifax Public Libraries.

00s Laura Sandilands (BA ’00) and her husband Jon-Paul Booth were happy to welcome James Gordon Booth to the family on 13 May 2012. Aunty Merrin Sandilands (BA ’96) is looking forward to teaching him all about Keith’s and Oland’s. Scott Dyson (BJH ’01) is currently studying for a master of arts in military intelligence and terrorism at the American Military University. Jennifer Yabsley Drogell

Hill and Knowlton account director Jennifer Yabsley Drogell (BJH ’90) was named the winner in romance publisher Harlequin’s global writing contest, ‘So You Think You Can Write’. This contest challenges published and unpublished writers to write a book for Harlequin. Jennifer’s book, The Divorce Party, was turned over to the public on 16 November for the final voting. She has won a publishing contract with Harlequin. Congratulations, Jennifer! Stephanie Bouris (FYP ’99) received the John Godfrey Travel Scholarship while attending King’s, which took her to BC and the Philippines. “This led me to a career in international development,” she says, “and I had the privilege of working in Tanzania, Rwanda, and Switzerland. I returned to Canada and moved to Montreal six years ago and settled into a role coordinating a research program on reproductive health and international migration. I’m grateful for the support and foundations in academic learning I gained from King’s!” Ciara Harraher (BScH ’99) is now working as a clinical assistant professor of neurosurgery at Stanford University. She has also had her first child, Gemma Rose. Patric Senson (BJ ’99) is now an associate at the Toronto law firm Phillips Gill LLP after a career as a CBC journalist. He received his

Wendy Sawatzky (BJ ’01) was recently named associate editor of digital news for the Winnipeg Free Press, where she oversees the paper’s digital platforms. She returned to King’s in 2011 for the Data Journalism Summer School. Her work as a visual artist has been exhibited locally and in the US. She tweets @wendysawatzky.

Marie MacDonald (BJH ’04) and James Lewis were married on 7 July 2012 in Glendale, Nova Scotia. They currently live in London, UK. Mitch Cochran (BJH ’05) lives in Toronto and is the presentation producer for CTV National News. He recently returned from Australia, where he worked with the Nine Network. Laura Day (FYP ’05) recently finished her masters in social work at the University of Toronto and now works at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Nicholas Johnson (BAH ’05) started a masters in fine art at the Royal College of Art in London, UK, this autumn.

Jonathon Driscoll (BA ’02) is now an associate immigration consultant. He practises corporate immigration with Oneterra Visa & Immigration in Calgary, Alberta. If you would like to reconnect with Jonathon, he can be reached at Joyce MacDonald (BAH ’01, BJ ’02) is living in Margaree, Cape Breton, in a Gaelicspeaking household. She recently completed a year-long mentorship program with a first-language Gaelic speaker from Cape Breton and is active in language revitalization efforts. Elliott Siteman (BA ’02) accepted an appointment as director of youth and family ministry at St Luke’s Anglican Church in Burlington, ON. Elliott can be contacted at After graduating with a combined honours in Asian Studies, Angela Chang (BJH ’03) had stints in Regina and Edmonton before becoming the newsreader for Information Morning in Fredericton for five years. She is now a producer on the show. Devon Code (BAH ’03) was appointed pro-

Jill McTiernan

Jill McTiernan (BJH ’05) is the new patron relations manager at Symphony Nova Scotia. After graduating from King’s, she studied for a BEd at St Francis Xavier University and then worked with Impact Teaching in Plumstead, UK, and Kampala, Africa, teaching elementary school and training educators. Michael Goodfellow (BA ’06) is working for a division of Pearson Education in Washington, DC.

Tidings | winter 2013


Al u m n ot e s Brendan Morrison (BA ’06) joined the Toronto law firm Lenszner Slaght LLP as an associate in September 2012. Vanessa Green (BJH ’07) worked for a while as a copywriter in Toronto before landing the job of assistant lifestyle editor at Yahoo Canada. In 2010, she went to London and launched the Yahoo UK Lifestyle site, where she was the editor for two years. She is now the in-house content editor at a startup digital marketing agency in London and says that her career has allowed her to travel all over Europe. Sébastien Heins (’07-’08) graduated from the National Theatre School in the spring and created the Soloicious theatre festival in Nova Scotia. He recently took his own self-written solo show, “Brotherhood: The Hip Hopera” to New York City to represent Canada in the International United Solo Festival. Sébastien can be contacted at Lyndsie Bourgon (BJH ’08) is now represented by Derek Finkle at the Canadian Writers Group, which supports Canada’s top freelance writers. She travelled to Haida Gwaii, BC in October to report for various national magazines and research a documentary. Mark Cwajna (BSc ’08) recently completed his MSc in experimental medicine from McGill University. In 2011 he won the Nova

Scotia Music Award for Hip Hop Recording of the Year for the album, “Business as Usual”, by his group, Something Good. The album was also nominated for a 2012 ECMA. Leah Erdahl (BAH ’08) has been teaching English in France for the past four years. In 2010 she started an online MA in applied linguistics from the University of New England, Australia. Her thesis will look at how the language that French elementary school teachers use to give feedback to their students relates to French cultural values. Christel LeBlanc (BAH ’08) and Gregory E Hatt Jr (BA ’10) were married in the University of King’s College Chapel on 10 September 2011 with Father Gary Thorne officiating. Catherine Gleason-Mercier (BAH ’08) went on to get a combined LLB/BCL (common and civil law) degree from McGill. She is now articling at a Bay Street firm in Toronto. After taking a MA in English at Dalhousie University, Christian Ledwell (BAH ’08) worked in communications and research roles for the Province of PEI and was managing editor of the Canadian Journal of Education. Christian has recently started a MSc in media, communication, and development at the London School of Economics and Political Science, which “has been exciting so far!” he says.

Alex Mifflin (BA ’08) and his brother Tyler won the prestigious BBC Earth Panda Award for Best Newcomer at the Wildscreen Film Festival in the UK for their series The Water Brothers. There were entries from 46 countries. Alex and Tyler recently climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds for WaterCan, a charity that builds wells in African villages so that young women can be released from the daily burden of hauling water over long distances and be able to go to school. Adrian Molder (BAH ’08, grad president) ran as a member of the Green Party for Scarborough-Agincourt in the 2008 federal election. He then completed his law degree at the University of Kent in Canterbury, England, in 2012. He is now working on a one-year master of law degree at Cambridge University, focusing on commercial and environmental law. He plans to article in either Canada or England. Ruth Pekelharing (FYP ’08) received her bachelor of science from University College Maastricht in June and in September started a master of medicine at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, where she will study and do internships for the next four years. “Caroline Morgan (BA ’11), Caroline Kingston (BAH ’12) and I have stayed in touch over the past few years and I’m planning to visit them this year. I still think back on the wonderful and amazing time I had at King’s. I

Andrew Younger (BJ ’99) has written the text and taken the photos for his book Ribbon of Water: The Shubenacadie Waterway from the Air, published by Whalesong Productions. Andrew was a member of the Shubenacadie Canal Commission between 2004 and 2009 and is still actively involved in the organization. The book traces the waterway from the opening gates in Dartmouth Cove all the way to Minas Basin and talks about its importance in the development of Nova Scotia.


Tidings | winter 2013

Al u m n ot e s

we ddi ng s Lily Sangster (BAH ’09, BJ ’11, MJ ’12) and Thomas Saunders (BAH ’11) were married in the University of King’s College Chapel on 24 August 2012. Both from Halifax, they met just before starting FYP in 2005. top left:

Alyssa Feir (BJH ’09) and Matthew Baker (BA ’11) were married in the King’s Chapel on 13 October 2012, surrounded by King’s friends and family. They met playing rugby for the Blue Devils. top right:

A summer wedding in Vienna was the gathering point for the Curran family and friends. It also provided a great opportunity to capture a number of King’s alumni from across the generations in one place. Our thanks to Katie Merwin for the photograph. Back row (from left to right): Martin Curran (BAH ’09), Emma Curran (née Whitney, BAH ’10), Veronica Curran (BAH ’12), Lucille Curran (BA ’81), Victoria Schilowsky (née Curran, FYP ’10), Jasmine Hare bottom:

(class of 2013), and Katie Merwin (BAH ’11). Front row: Charles Bourne (BAH ’12), Patrick Curran (BA ’80). Other King’s people who were at the wedding were King’s professor Dr. Tom Curran and Rozzi Curran, who is currently studying FYP.

Tidings | winter 2013


Al u m n ot e s For two weeks in October 2012, three King’s alumni, Mary Jane Webber (BJ ’88), Vicky Bachiu (Fowler) (BJ ’06) and Molly Segal (BJ ’11), were part of a team of 12 journalists contracted by the Pearson Centre to participate in Canadian Army exercise Maple Resolve 2012, simulating print and broadcast media during an international military crisis. The project was managed by Peter Dawson (BAH ’85), who has been with the Pearson Centre since 1995. Exercise Maple Resolve took place at the Canadian Manoeuvre Training Centre (CMTC) at Canadian Forces Base Wainwright, Alberta and involved over 3,000 troops and 900 vehicles. For 16 days, the team produced daily television news updates and print articles, reflecting in-theatre, Canadian and international news sources, which were disseminated to the training audience and exercise control staffs. Commanders and their public affairs staffs were expected to be proactive in dealing with the media as part of a broader Information Operations strategy.

learned a lot, which also helped me in my studies in the Netherlands. The pictures of Caroline, Caroline and myself in the courtyard on the library steps are still hanging on my wall and they will be there again in my new home in Amsterdam.” After graduating with a combined honours in journalism, French and Spanish, Meagan Robertson (BJH ’08) spent time studying in France and Mexico. She is now a senior communications advisor in New Zealand. Ruth Spencer (BA ’08) travelled to Maastricht in the Netherlands after graduation where she worked at the European Journalism Centre. She then moved to New York City to do her MA. She now works at The Guardian. Daniel MacIsaac (BJ ’07) has had a geographically wide-ranging journalism career since leaving the quad. He started out in Russia and spent several years in Eastern Europe. He then returned to King’s to learn broadcasting and, as he says, to become “truly multimedia”. After a stint with CBC North in Iqaluit, Daniel is experiencing a very different climate in Nairobi, Kenya, where he is interning as a public information advisor with UNHCR (the United Nations’ refugee agency). 44

Tidings | winter 2013

Michael Da Silva (BAH ’09) recently completed law school at the University of Toronto and this autumn began graduate studies in legal philosophy at the Rutgers University Department of Philosophy. He also spent some time working as a foreign law clerk for the president of the Supreme Court of Canada and carried out comparative research on a variety of subjects.

This past spring he won the Best Sports Photo award at the Newspaper Atlantic Awards.

Dave Jerome (BScH ’09) began studying medicine at Memorial University this autumn. “I accepted the offer from MUN because of the program’s strong clinical exposure, and the great reviews I heard from current and former students,” writes Dave. “I’m also currently living in St John’s and am looking forward to staying here in Newfoundland and Labrador.”

Gray Little (BSc ’12) is currently working on his MBA and will begin working for BMO in Toronto in January.

Clare C Marshall (BJH ’10) took the creative book publishing program at Humber College in Toronto after leaving King’s. She now writes and publishes her own books and also works as a freelance editor, designer, and web manager.

10s Nicholas Mercer (BJ ’11) has been working for Trans Continental Media since June 2011.

Lauren Williams (BAH ’11) is currently enrolled in the master of museum studies program at the University of Toronto. “I am very excited to be taking a course called ‘curating science’, which builds on some of the same ideas we dealt with in CSP 3000,” she writes.

Jordan Parker (BJH ’12) is living in Saint John and working as a copy editor for Brunswick News Inc.

In me mori am Joseph Patrick Atherton (professor), 6 September 2012 Barbara Borden Fergusson (BA ’48), 20 July 2012 Donald Fry (bursar), 23 November 2012 Aleah Lomas-Anderson (BA ’48), 18 August 2012 Henry Drake Petersen (librarian and archivist), 17 October 2012

pa r t i n g s h ot

Photo by Patrick Wilkins.

Matt Murphy (BJ ’94) and Charles Austin (BA ’92, AMC ’93) of The Super Friendz wowed the crowd at the 20th Halifax Pop Explosion as part of their two-performance reunion tour in October. Formed at King’s in 1994 by Murphy, Austin and Drew Yamada (BA ’92, AMC ’93), The Super Friendz garnered a strong following in the heat of Halifax’s heady mid-90s indie scene, joining fellow King’s alumni and musical contemporaries Sloan on their influential murderecords label. After four albums, the band broke up to pursue other ventures in 1997, but this reunion at The Marquee Club—in addition to a later show at Lee’s Palace in Toronto—revisited one the most successful eras in East Coast music.

Tidings | winter 2013


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Tidings - Winter 2013  

The winter edition of the University of King's College alumni magazine

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