The Class of 1964 will celebrate its 50th anniversary during Summer Reunion at Acadia July 11-13, 2014, and plans to mark the occasion by recognizing their honorary classmate and former University president, Dr. Watson Kirkconnell.
Kirkconnell served for 16 years (1948-1964) as Acadia’s ninth president and left a remarkable legacy of scholarship and achievement that transformed the campus community physically and intellectually. The depth of his academic endeavour was formidable, and he oversaw the construction of the Students’ Union building and heating plant, six residence and academic buildings, and the Manning Memorial Chapel before his retirement, all of which enabled Acadia to cope with the rapid increase in enrollment in the 1960s.
He saw Acadia’s future as a tolerant, secular, inclusive institution, and laid the foundation for the modern Acadia University: a small school that values personal contact, good teaching and scholarly research.
Kirkconnell was admired and beloved by his fellow Classmates, who dedicated the 1964 Axe to him as follows: “In appreciation of the greatness of this man, in recognition of his international reputation, and in respectful gratitude for his leadership, we proudly dedicate this yearbook to the man who has been an inspiration and guiding light to sixteen graduating classes of which we are but the last….”
After his death, the Kirkconnell Scholarship was established in his honour. It is awarded annually on the basis of the previous year’s marks and, in homage to the breadth of Kirkconnell’s scholarship and interests, an interdisciplinary essay written under exam conditions.
The Class of 1964, under the leadership of Linda Piers (’64) and the late Walter Newton ('64), and in honour of their 50th anniversary, encourages those alumni to rally and contribute to boosting the endowment so that the Kirkconnell Scholarship can continue to be of significant help to present and future students. To make a donation, click here.