Alumni

Saint Mary’s Viola Desmond Bursary celebrated at the Nova Scotia Legislature

From left to right: Tom Brophy, Dr. Malcolm Butler, The Honorable Tony Ince, The Honourable Wilfred P. Moore, Q.C., LL.D., Ms. Jane Adams Ritcey, Sylvia Parris-Drummond, Deborah Brothers-Scott, Erin Sargeant Greenwood, and Tony Colaiacovo.

From left to right: Tom Brophy, Dr. Malcolm Butler, The Honorable Tony Ince, The Honourable Wilfred P. Moore, Q.C., LL.D., Ms. Jane Adams Ritcey, Sylvia Parris-Drummond, Deborah Brothers-Scott, Erin Sargeant Greenwood, and Tony Colaiacovo.

On April 9th, 2019, the Honorable Tony Ince, Minister of the Public Service Commission and Minister of African Nova Scotian Affairs, recognized the generosity of the donors behind the creation of the new Viola Desmond Bursary.

The Honourable Wilfred P. Moore, Q.C., LL.D., and Ms. Jane Adams Ritcey were recognized with a Notice of Motion read by Minister Ince before the legislature, receiving a round of applause from its members.

“The most important part of today is the recognition of Viola Desmond and the bursary available to African-Nova Scotian students at Saint Mary’s,” said the Honourable Wilfred P. Moore, Q.C., LL.D. “This recognition was a very nice gesture that my wife and I appreciate very much.”

The Viola Desmond Bursary was announced on November 8, the date of Viola’s heroic anti-discrimination action in 1946. The bursary is fully-endowed and will be given out every year to full-time African-Nova Scotian students at Saint Mary’s. The bursary was established with the permission of the Desmond Family.

The initial award amount will mark the year of Viola Desmond’s anti-segregation action, 1946, with students receiving $1,946. While this award is not renewable, it may be awarded to the same student more than once.

While preference for the bursary will be given to students in the Sobey School of Business, the bursary may also be awarded to students in programs featuring entrepreneurship. Preference will also be given to female students from Halifax County. Students must also have a financial need.

 More about the Viola Desmond Bursary at Saint Mary’s

Celebrating International Women’s Day 2019

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Please join the Saint Mary’s University community in celebrating International Women’s Day. There are a variety of events taking place across Halifax and here on campus for you to take part in.

This year's theme for International Women’s Day, #InnovateForChange, is a call to action, asking everyone to harness the power of technology to create a more equal world. By removing the barriers facing women in STEM, we can unleash new ideas and solutions that will transform our society and strengthen our economy.

This morning Saint Mary’s professor Dr. Clarissa Sit is one of five “remarkable women researchers’’ participating in a special panel discussion at the IWF International Women’s Day breakfast on Friday, March 8.

Between 300-350 people are expected to attend the event at the Westin Hotel in Halifax to celebrate the occasion.

Moderated by Dr. Alice Aiken, VP Research at Dalhousie University, panelists will speak about how their work addresses the UN Sustainable Development Goals for 2030, and how they are having impact locally, regionally, nationally or internationally.

Dr. Sit completed her PhD at the University of Alberta before moving to Boston to work as an NSERC Banting and Alberta Innovates Health Solutions Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard Medical School. She is now an Associate Professor at Saint Mary’s; her lab investigates microbial warfare and other interactions between environmental fungi and bacteria. The team uses an applied science approach to tackle human health challenges, such as antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and ecological pests, such as White Nose Syndrome in bats and American Foulbrood Disease in honey bees.

The event was organized by the International Women’s Forum - Atlantic Chapter (IWF Atlantic). The IWF is a global non-profit, non-partisan membership organization created in 1982 to exchange ideas, to learn and inspire and to build better leadership. The Atlantic Chapter of IWF Canada annually hosts a breakfast on International Women’s Day.

This evening, the Saint Mary’s University Women’s Centre is holding an event that will feature performances, speakers and a student panel. The Celebration of Women event will feature prominent alumna Candace Thomas, Q.C., a partner with Stewart McKelvey, who was named one of the top 100 accomplished Black Canadian Women.

The Celebration of Women event takes places from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the 5th floor of the Student Centre. While the event is free, they will also be accepting donations that will go to Adsum house. Visit the SMU Women’s Centre Facebook page for more information.

More information on events taking place across Halifax.  

More information on International Women’s Day.

Michael Durland named Chancellor of Saint Mary's University

Dr. Michael Durland

Dr. Michael Durland

Saint Mary’s University’s Board of Governors is proud to announce that alumnus Michael Durland BComm’87 DComm’10 (SMU), PhD (Queen’s) has accepted the role Chancellor of Saint Mary’s University.

“As an institution, we are incredibly honoured and proud that Michael Durland is taking on the role of Chancellor of the University,” said Saint Mary’s President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Robert Summerby-Murray.  “His long and successful career in corporate Canada and as an entrepreneur and investor positions him as an excellent role model and inspiration for our students and our community. This appointment builds upon his loyal and generous support of our students as a mentor, university champion and through the Durland Innovation Fund. Today is a great day to be a Santamarian.”

Durland is the former Group Head and CEO, Global Banking and Markets, for Scotiabank. He retired from Scotiabank in 2016 to pursue a variety of business, philanthropic, and academic interests. Today, he is the CEO of Melancthon Capital.  

“Every time I walk through the front door of Saint Mary’s, I see a group of passionate students and professors thinking beyond the problems of today to what is on the horizon,” said Durland. “The university’s innovative, interdisciplinary approach to learning, teaching and research places them on the forefront of educating the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs. To serve as Chancellor at this special university that has played such a critical role in my life and for my family is an honour.”

In addition to his role as CEO of Melancthon Capital, Durland is:

  • a founding principal in Cabot Links;

  • Chair of the Board of Directors of Price Street Inc.;

  • Chair of the Board of Directors of TruLeaf Sustainable Agriculture;

  • Chair of the Board of Directors of Dessa;

  • Chair of the Board of Directors of Receptiviti;

  • a member of the Board of the Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation;

  • a member of the Board of the True Patriot Love Foundation;

  • a professor of global practice, Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto.

In accepting the role of Chancellor, Durland takes over from Paul D. Sobey, DComm’11, former President and Chief Executive Officer of Empire Company Limited, who served in this role since 2014.

“While his time as chancellor has come to a close, Dr. Paul Sobey continues as an active and engaged leader in the Saint Mary’s community,” said Summerby-Murray. “We are incredibly grateful for his continued commitment to Saint Mary’s and his exemplary leadership during his tenure.”

Durland will be installed as University Chancellor at a convocation ceremony on May 15, 2019.

Celebrating African Heritage Month 2019

Join Saint Mary’s University in celebrating African Heritage Month by exploring the multitude of events taking place across campus, including a one-of-a-kind exhibit and panel discussion in the Patrick Power Library.

African Heritage Month events at Saint Mary’s.  Click here to go to the Saint Mary’s events calendar.

African Heritage Month events at Saint Mary’s. Click here to go to the Saint Mary’s events calendar.

The theme of the panel discussion is “Racial Apartheid & Black Freedom Struggles in Nova Scotia & South Africa”. The exhibit features Nova Scotian and South African materials from the Lynn Jones African-Canadian Heritage and Diaspora Heritage Collection, housed in the Saint Mary’s University Archives. The exhibit will be on display on the first floor of the Patrick Power Library, Saint Mary’s University from February 4-28, 2019.

The panel discussion will feature South African writer and SMU scholar Gugu Hlongwane, Dr. Lynn Jones (Global African Congress, NS Chapter), researcher and filmmaker Francesca Ekwuyasi, and social justice strategist, songwriter and educator Delvina Bernard. The panel will speak to similarities and differences between Black history and freedom struggles in Nova Scotia and South Africa. This event takes place on Tuesday February 12th, 6:30-8pm, Patrick Power Library Classroom (LI135).

The Saint Mary’s University Archives is the proud home of the Lynn Jones African-Canadian Heritage & Diaspora Heritage Collection, which “documents the lives of Lynn, her family, and over 50 years of African, African Diasporic, and African-Nova Scotian heritage and history”.

Dr. Lynn Jones

Dr. Lynn Jones

Learn more about the Collection and how to access it at https://smu.ca/academics/archives/lynn-jones-african-canadian-collection.html

For more information about African Heritage Month and the events taking place throughout the province, visit https://ansa.novascotia.ca/, Facebook, @AfricanNSAffairs or Twitter, @OfficeofANSA.