Alumni

Canadian Football Hall of Famer and SMU Huskies legend Chris Flynn to have his jersey retired

Chris Flynn’s No.1 jersey to be retired.

Chris Flynn’s No.1 jersey to be retired.

For the first time in the 217 year history of Saint Mary’s University, a jersey will be retired for all-time to celebrate and honour a Saint Mary’s Huskies and Canadian university football legend, Chris Flynn.

“To be the first player to have their jersey retired by Saint Mary’s University, the place where I have made so many memories, is truly an honour,” said Flynn. “I am incredibly proud of what we were able to accomplish as a team during my time at Saint Mary’s. Looking back, I want to thank all my teammates, coaches, trainers, students, and professors, really the whole Huskies community, for their support. We wouldn’t be celebrating this today without you.”

Originally from Buckingham, Quebec, Flynn played football for Saint Mary’s University from 1987 to 1990. During his time with the Huskies, he led the team to two Vanier Cup games as quarterback. He was an integral part of the resurgence of the team in the late 80s and early 90s, which is reflected in the accolades he received from his peers and university sport. The only player to win the Hec Crighton Trophy three times as the most valuable player in Canadian university football, Flynn was a three-time All Canadian with the Saint Mary's Huskies.

To be the first player to have their jersey retired by Saint Mary’s University, the place where I have made so many memories, is truly an honour.
— Chris Flynn
Chris Flynn with the Hec Crighton Trophy, awarded to the most valuable player in Canadian university football. Chris would win the trophy a record setting three times.

Chris Flynn with the Hec Crighton Trophy, awarded to the most valuable player in Canadian university football. Chris would win the trophy a record setting three times.


Following his time at Saint Mary’s, Flynn went on to play professionally in both Canada and Europe. In 2011, Flynn became the first-ever Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) player to be inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame. He was also voted the #1 CIS player of the past 50 years of Canadian university football by Sportsnet.ca.

“Chris Flynn was a transformational player for the Huskies, whose name is synonymous with university sport success,” said Scott Gray, Saint Mary’s director of Athletics and Recreation. “Chris was a leader for our team and someone who raised the bar for quarterback play in Canada. We are proud to call him a Husky and to honour his legacy.”

Saint Mary’s University is proud to celebrate and honour the achievements of Chris Flynn and retire his No. 1 football jersey forever at this year’s homecoming, October 2-6, 2019.

 

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.

Saint Mary’s University announces new Indigenous advisory council

Saint Mary’s University is pleased to announce the creation of the President’s Advisory Council on Indigenous Affairs.  

“As an institution, we are committed to advancing support for Indigenous students, and strengthening connections to the community,” said Saint Mary’s University President Dr. Robert Summerby-Murray.  “The advice and guidance of the council will be a great resource for the university.”

The following is a list of the members of the President’s Advisory Council on Indigenous Affairs:

  • Chief Bob Gloade, BComm’93, Chief of the Millbrook First Nation (and member of the Saint Mary’s University Board of Governors);

  • Dr. Donald Julien, DCL ’17, the Executive Director of the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq;

  • Pamela Glode-Desrochers, Executive Director of the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre;

  • Jarvis Googoo, BA’05, the Director of Health for the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nation Chiefs Secretariat and a member of the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society; and

  • Ann Sylliboy, the Post-secondary Consultant for Mi'kmaw Kina'matnewe.

The appointment of the advisory council marks another stage in Saint Mary’s commitment to reconciliation and the university’s response to the federal report by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. The council provides an external viewpoint for Indigenous supports on campus, and Indigenous issues facing the post-secondary sector. The council will provide a place for dialogue, insight and engagement for the president from members of Nova Scotia’s Indigenous communities and will meet periodically throughout the year.

The Dauphinee Centre: On schedule and taking shape

As we say goodbye to 2018 and hello to 2019, The Dauphinee Centre continues to make great progress towards its opening for the 2019-2020 varsity hockey season.  The exterior walls are in place, and work is underway on both the inside and outside of the structure. By the end of 2018, the steel roofing will be in place, and in early 2019, more roofing material will be added to ensure it is weather tight. 

“It’s been a busy construction season in Halifax, which has been great for the city but can also be challenging,” said Gary Schmeisser, the Arena Project Manager. “Our partners on this project have been busy doing a great job to ensure that work continues on schedule, which it has, and we are looking at the opening date with anticipation.”

The last of the major tenders for the project will soon be awarded. The tender will include the rink boards, glass, flooring and the maroon seating for spectators. Preparations have begun for the mechanical equipment required for refrigeration as well as for the new zamboni and scoreboard.

“Work on The Dauphinee Centre is really progressing, you can feel the anticipation both on and off-campus,” said Schmeisser. “We are looking forward to the opening, and sharing the centre with the Halifax community. This is going to be an important gathering place for years to come.”

While varsity sport has always been an important part of the university, it’s expected that a new on-campus arena will bring even more interest.

“Anyone who enjoys SMU Huskies hockey, should buy their tickets as soon as possible because tickets to The Dauphinee Centre are going to be hot commodities,” added Schmeisser.

 

About the Dauphinee Centre

The Dauphinee Centre is named in honour of the late Bob Dauphinee, a Saint Mary’s alumnus and community champion, who donated $2 million for an arena through his estate.

The Dauphinee Centre will feature an NHL-sized ice surface with seating and sightlines designed to enhance the fan experience. The centre will have seating for 850 fans with ample standing room that brings the capacity to more than 1200 people.  The building is fully accessible with an elevator between floors and six accessible changing rooms for visiting teams, community-based recreational sports groups and summer camps.

Visit news.smu.ca/arena to learn more. 

Saint Mary’s venture capital students invest in haircut house calls

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House calls for haircuts proved to be to be a cut above the competition and too good an investment to pass up for Saint Mary’s University’s Venture Grade Fund. They are investing $15,000 in Cribcut, an online booking service that connects consumers with top hair stylists that bring the salon to them.

“Cribcut has a novel business model that we are proud to support,” said Saint Mary’s student and Venture Grade Associate Emma Scott. “We are confident in David’s lean startup methodology and experience as a serial entrepreneur who’s exited three past ventures and one in Silicon Valley. Cribcut is positioned to be a major disruptor in the beauty industry.

Cribcut was co-founded by serial entrepreneur David Howe, who has built and deployed a software-enabled marketplace for hairstylists. Cribcut's solution helps stylists become travelling hairdressers - providing clients with haircuts, colors, and styles at their homes and offices. Cribcut's software solution helps stylists with bookings, travel optimization, payments and ratings. Cribcut also facilitates new client introductions for stylists. Bookings can be made through their online booking app with on-demand appointments available.

 "We're happy to welcome Venture Grade as one of our investors,” said David Howe, the Chief Executive Officer with Cribcut. “We're confident that this investment will help us continue growth and product development and set us up for further funding over the coming months. We look forward to a mutually beneficial partnership with Venture Grade and welcome them with open arms to our growing team."

Should the company experience a successful exit, meaning if they are purchased for a large sum, the investors, including Venture Grade, will receive a payout scaled to the purchase. Any returns made on Venture Grade’s investments are returned to Venture Grade, the student fund.

The Saint Mary’s University Venture Grade Fund is a student-raised and run venture capital fund and the first student-raised venture capital investment fund in Canada in which the students raise the capital.

The fund was started by students of Dr. Ellen Farrell at the Sobey School of Business in fall 2016, with a connection to Silicon Valley’s C100 group, Boston’s Canadian Entrepreneurs in New England, and initial support from Innovacorp. It has expanded to include members at other Atlantic universities including Acadia University, Dalhousie University, and Memorial University.

Saint Mary’s alumni appointed to Supreme Court positions in Nova Scotia

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Congratulations are in order for two Saint Mary’s alumni who were both appointed as Supreme Court judges in Nova Scotia.

Darlene Jamieson, Q.C., managing partner of Merrick Jamieson Sterns Washington & Mahody, is appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia in Halifax. She replaces Justice K. Coady, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective November 5, 2018. Justice Jamieson graduated from Saint Mary's University with a B.A. (summa cum laude) in 1985.

Scott Norton, Q.C., a partner at Stewart McKelvey, is appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia in Pictou. He replaces Justice N.M. Scaravelli, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective December 16, 2016. Justice Norton previously served as the Vice-Chair of Saint Mary's University.

Read the official release announcing the appointments.

Sobey School of Business MBA ranks #8 in the world for sustainability

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The Sobey School of Business is eighth in the world for sustainability, according to the recently released Corporate Knights Better World MBA ranking.

The eight place finish marks the highest ranking yet for the Sobey School of Business at Saint Mary’s University. The school attributes its success to the way sustainable development and ethics are deeply embedded in its courses, the strong ethnic and gender diversity of its student and faculty, and the faculty’s extensive research on sustainability themes. Corporate Knights assessed 141 business schools across 25 countries for its rankings.

“Placed as we are here on the east coast of Canada, the impacts of climate change are strongly felt. At the same time, our province is a leader in immigration, and has a deep history in co-operative and alternate business models. We understand how important sustainability must be in business today,” noted Dean Harjeet Bhabra. “We are proud of our faculty’s strengths in international research and ethics, and the growing expertise in social enterprise development at Saint Mary’s, which have helped us achieve this recognition.”

The Sobey MBA program ranked second in Canada, with Schulich, at York University, placing first nationally. Warwick University in Exeter, UK, was ranked first in the world
Corporate Knights introduced two new metrics to this year’s ranking: the gender and racial diversity of graduate business department faculty. Such diversity can influence student perception of what leadership looks like, and means that business schools can model meaningful standards for more diverse corporate boards and management.

According to Corporate Knights, The University of Connecticut's School of Business and the Sobey School of Business at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax led the way on racial diversity with 51 percent of faculty identified as visible minorities.

Participating schools were graded on five indicators: the number of institutes and centres dedicated to sustainable development; the percentage of core courses that integrate sustainable development; faculty research publications and citations on sustainable development themes; and faculty gender and racial diversity.

In 2014, the Sobey school’s faculty unanimously voted to become signatories to the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Management Education initiative (PRME). A central part of this commitment is a pledge to advance the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

For Saint Mary’s and the Sobey School, the ranking was helped by research and work conducted through the school’s centres: the Atlantic Research Group on Economics of Immigration, Aging and Diversity, the new International Centre for Co-operative Management, the Centre for Leadership Excellence, the David Sobey Centre for Innovation in Retailing and Services, and the Centre of Excellence in Accounting and Reporting for Co-operatives.

See Corporate Knights' full top 40 here.