Voices of Acadia - 175th Anniversary

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As Acadia University celebrates its 175th anniversary, we bring you stories and recollections of our people. This is the first in a three-part series. Enjoy.


<ul><li><p>Voic</p><p>es of </p><p>Acad</p><p>ia</p><p>Voic</p><p>es of </p><p>Acad</p><p>iaOn</p><p>e-tim</p><p>e su</p><p>pple</p><p>men</p><p>t pub</p><p>licat</p><p>ion</p></li><li><p>When I first came to Acadia from Florenceville, New Brunswick, in the late 1950s, I had no idea that Id one day find myself as Acadias Chancellor welcoming you to join us in celebrating the 175th Anniversary of Acadias founding. </p><p>I certainly understood what kind of opportunities my degree from Acadia would allow me to pursue, but my journey has been even richer than I could have imagined. Since returning to Acadia in an active role as University Chancellor, I have come to appreciate that Acadias focus on ensuring students are well-prepared for whatever career choice they make has not changed. Nor has it in the 175 years since Acadia was founded in 1838. This institutional longevity, achieved through good governance and the consistency and dedication of faculty and staff who have helped us to fulfill our mission, is rare and deserves to be celebrated.</p><p>Voices of Acadia is an appropriate way to tell our story through the recollections of our people. Many you will know instantly because they were your classmates and contemporaries or have achieved tremendous profile and personal success. Others you will come to know and be proud that they, too, are members of our Acadia family because they are on the verge of achieving great things. </p><p>However, there is one common thread that connects us all: we have somehow been changed because of our connection to Acadia. I have the good fortune, as Chancellor, to meet with generations of alumni as well as every one of our new graduates who attend Convocation. If we think we have had a remarkable first 175 years, the next 175 look even brighter. Today, we are an institution with a global reach and a national profile that places us among only a few select institutions. This is because of our people and how their experiences at Acadia and in Wolfville have equipped them to be leaders both in their professional lives and in their communities. I am also very proud that our alumni are part of a network that supports and promotes one another and looks for new students for whom Acadia would be a perfect fit. We are truly fortunate.</p><p>Please enjoy this collection of stories about our institution. I hope they will allow you to think about many more people who had an impact on your Acadia experience, and I invite you to participate in the many events we have planned for this year. </p><p>In Acadia spirit! </p><p>Libby Burnham (60, DCL 2000)Chancellor, Acadia University</p><p>Global reach, national profile worth celebrating!</p></li><li><p>It is my honour to share the 175th Anniversary of Acadias founding with you through the pages of this special collection of stories about Acadia and its people. These personal perspectives reflect our storied past and rich tradition, but they also capture the Acadia spirit and the deep attachment to the school that continue to characterize our University community in 2013. </p><p>It is perhaps difficult for us to appreciate fully the boldness of our founders vision in establishing, a quarter-century before Confederation, a college predicated on inclusiveness and a commitment to admitting students regardless of race, gender, or creed. It was a courageous enterprise, to be sure, and it propelled Acadia to be a leader in the admission of women and African-Canadians in the 19th century. It also laid the foundation for an academic culture that has produced leaders in virtually every discipline and profession including a Nobel laureate, Dr. Charles Huggins.</p><p>This willingness to break new ground has made its presence felt in generation after generation at Acadia. Every time I speak to a new student, meet with our alumni, or encourage my colleagues to take on a new challenge, I cant help but think that we, collectively, are fulfilling our responsibility to honour and preserve the philosophy of our founders.</p><p>You will find that the Voices of Acadia offer eloquent testimony to the unique and formative influence our school and its faculty have had on generations of alumni, and the lasting mark our alumni have in turn left on the world around them. </p><p>I want to applaud all of those who have contributed to Acadias success over the course of our 175-year history. I hope you will find that the remembrances encompassed in this anniversary publication resonate strongly with you. These are our stories, and they give all of us cause for great pride in the distinguished history and promising future of our University.</p><p>Raymond E. IvanyPresident and Vice-Chancellor</p><p>Voices define Acadias past, present and future </p></li><li><p>As Chair of Acadia Universitys Board of Governors, it gives me great pleasure to acknowledge and applaud Acadias 175th Anniversary.</p><p>Since its inception in 1838, Acadia University has delivered an exceptional educational experience to students that has enabled them to hone their academic and social skills, discover their potential and meet the challenges of an ever-changing world.</p><p>Acadia has accomplished this by virtue of strong and visionary leadership from its Board of Governors, University presidents and many distinguished alumni, faculty and staff that have served the University and also anticipated its needs.</p><p>The campus today is certainly different from its humble beginnings, but the spirit upon which Acadia was founded is as evident now as it was then. Students and professors still work cooperatively in classrooms, cheer together at sporting events, and model the fundamental tenets of lifelong learning and social responsibility held in such high regard by our founders.</p><p>The voices in this anniversary publication tell Acadias success story, articulating its past, present and future through overlapping tones of fond reminiscence, academic excellence, artistic endeavour and scientific achievement. Each is a single piece in a brilliant mosaic that defines Acadias rich history and describes its value to the thousands of men and women who have graced this campus and gone on to become civic and community leaders both here at home and around the world.</p><p>On behalf of Acadias Board of Governors, I invite you to share in and celebrate Acadias 175th Anniversary, and look forward to 175 more years to come!</p><p>Paul Jewer (94) Chair, Acadia University Board of Governors </p><p>Visionary leadership, outstanding achievement</p></li><li><p>Ive had a wonderful relationship with Acadia University for 40-plus years now: as a student, graduate, Board member and current president of the Associated Alumni of Acadia University (AAAU). </p><p>I make no bones about it; I love Acadia. Im proud to be part of its incredible history and look forward to participating in many outstanding events over the next year as Acadia celebrates its 175th Anniversary. Its a great opportunity for AAAU members to join in, appreciate the Universitys rich heritage and celebrate our contribution as alumni to Acadias success.</p><p>We are the gatekeepers and storytellers, well-suited to share the value of the transformative Acadia experience. In fact, the AAAU has a long and vital history that spans more than 150 years, and our membership includes business, social, political and community leaders who stand as shining examples of the quality and integrity that are the hallmarks of Acadia graduates. We are 27,000 strong and growing, proud to be associated with Acadia and happy to share in its anniversary.</p><p>Keep in mind, our longevity and Acadias is no accident. It relies on strong leadership, foresight and an overriding desire to be the best. As these 175th Anniversary celebrations unfold, its clear that we have learned the lessons of the past and charted a course toward an even brighter tomorrow.</p><p>The myriad voices contained in this special publication are a fitting testament to the unique experience Acadia offers, and they describe in so many ways our alma maters ability to forge an enviable present from a distinguished past. We have capitalized on our strengths, maximized our opportunities, and built a place that continues to attract the brightest and the best. Small wonder we can look ahead with great excitement and anticipation!</p><p>I think its important for us, as alumni, to understand not only the value of our time at Acadia, but the lasting and lifelong effect it has had on each of us. I urge you to remember what Acadia means to you, and that we continue to celebrate and support it, particularly during this landmark 175th Anniversary celebration.</p><p>Stand Up and Cheer!</p><p>Hugh Bray (75)President, Associated Alumni of Acadia University </p><p>Alumni attest to Acadias success</p></li><li><p>Acadia University </p><p>Acadia University was born out of a growing desire on the part of some Nova Scotia Baptist leaders for access to higher education, and a mounting frustration with the exclusion from the colonys colleges of many of the regions youth. </p><p>Celebrating 175 years</p></li><li><p>1On November 15, 1838, meetings took place in Horton, N.S. (now Wolfville), and then in Nictaux, where plans were laid for the establishment of a college from which no one student or faculty would be barred on the basis of denominational affiliation. Plans went forward swiftly, and on January 15, 1839, the college opened with two faculty and 21 students in attendance, initially sharing facilities with the boys school, Horton Academy, that had been established in Horton by the denomination a decade before. What would become Acadia University was born.</p><p>Through the 1840s, the college prospered modestly. The first class, numbering four, graduated in 1843 (Bachelor of Arts was the only degree then offered), and Acadias first building, College Hall, was built in that same decade, largely through the dedication and perseverance of Professor Isaac Chipman, to whom the college owed so much. However, the next decade showed how fragile a new institution could be, entirely dependent as it was upon denominational giving and very low tuition fees. The drowning death of Chipman and his students while on a geological expedition, and the loss of a substantial portion of its painfully-acquired endowment fund, nearly brought Acadia to its knees. </p><p>Significant changes</p><p>Weathering these storms, for the rest of the century Acadia saw modest growth and significant changes. By 1900 there were over 120 students on campus, a remarkable number in the Canadian post-secondary scene of that era. And by this time, the student body also included women. When Acadia was initially founded, the general view in North America was that higher education should be provided for males only. Attitudes slowly changed, and Acadia graduated its first female student in 1884. Women have been an important component of the Acadia community ever since. Before the end of the 20th century, females constituted more than 50 per cent of the student body. Acadia was also one of the first institutions in the Commonwealth to admit students of African heritage. In 1893, Acadia admitted its first African Nova Scotian, which marked the beginning of a connection to this important Nova Scotia community. Many of the provinces most influential African Nova Scotian community leaders throughout the 20th century were Acadia graduates. Changes in curriculum would take place during this time as well, as Acadia </p><p>Diversity defines Acadia in the 20th century</p><p>Acadias first building, College Hall</p></li><li><p>2Voic</p><p>es of </p><p>Acad</p><p>ia</p><p>gradually moved away from the traditional classical education based on Latin and Greek, introducing modern languages, more sciences, and other subjects, and eventually a separate Bachelor of Science degree. More specialized education, as opposed to the general curriculum of the 19th century, began to predominate. Although it was never the intent that Acadia be primarily a training ground for Baptist ministers, theology was added to the curriculum, and eventually degrees in that area were established as well. </p><p>Student life was enriched by the beginning of campus, and eventually interuniversity sports, with cricket, tennis, football (rugby) and track-and-field being among the early favourites. The student newspaper, The Athenaeum, began in 1874, and the first students council was established in the 1880s. The warm attachment that its students have always held for Acadia is reflected in the founding of the Acadia Alumni Association in 1859, which has supported and encouraged Acadia and its students ever since. </p><p>Dramatic growth</p><p>The 20th century would be one of dramatic growth for the institution. The student body would grow fivefold in the first 50 years and quadruple again in the last half of the century. Campus changed significantly as well, with dozens of new buildings being erected, while </p><p>fires destroyed some of its earlier landmarks. The academic offerings expanded significantly as well, with new programs in such fields as music, computer science, business, nutrition, education, and kinesiology. Campus became increasingly diverse, as Acadia attracted a wider array of international students. Significant changes took place in student life on campus, beginning at mid-century with student demands to control more of their own lives while attending Acadia, and to have a greater say in the affairs of the University. Co-ed residences, student representation on the Board of Governors and the Senate, and increasing autonomy of the students union were important signs of change at Acadia and in North America.</p><p>Acadia faces the 21st century with both major challenges and exciting opportunities. It remains one of the select few small, first-class, primarily undergraduate institutions in the country where small classes and individual attention is possible. However, this also comes at a significant cost, and it will be Acadias task to ensure that it can continue to provide such a specialized, high-quality education and survive financially, maintaining the high standards and rich educational experience that have characterized its first 175 years. Special thanks to the author of this overview, Dr. Barry Moody (67), Acadia University professor of History and Classics, and the author of Give us an A, a historical look at Acadia published in 1988. </p><p>Acadia gradually introduced a more specialized education </p></li><li><p>Voic</p><p>es of </p><p>Acad</p><p>ia</p><p>3</p><p>John Pryor Acadias first president was John Pryor, a cultivated and courtly man, born on July 4, 1805. Son of a well-to-do Halifax merchant, Pryor attended Kings College in Windsor and, after graduating with a BA in 1828, taught school in Sydney and Halifax. His true calling was the church, and in 1828 he began his career as a Baptist preacher. He studied theology at the Newton Theological Institute in Massachusetts and was ordained in 1830, returning to Nova Scotia that same year. He was appointed principal of Horton Academy in Wolfville, a school founded by the Nova Scotia Baptist Education Society. He remained in that position for eight years, </p><p>helping to shape it into a respected centre of learning.</p><p>In 1838, Pryor joined with his friend E.A. Crawley to discuss plans to expand Horton Academy physically and academically. Their dream was to...</p></li></ul>