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Associated Alumni

Windows into history

Memorial Hall is a long-standing fixture of the UNB Fredericton campus and the greater Fredericton community. Built in 1924, the building commemorates the 35 students and alumni who lost their lives serving in the First World War.

Synonymous with the building are the seven breathtaking stained-glass windows featured in the Gothic Revival auditorium. The windows were installed in stages shortly after Memorial Hall was completed, beginning in 1926 and ending in 1943. Each of the windows is dedicated to an important member of the UNB community and feature family crests and personal insignia, as well as images drawn from poetry, history, and science. 

Over the years, exposure to the elements and the settling of the building have left the windows unstable. The weight of the glass and the resulting lack of support have caused them to buckle. In some cases, fractured glass has been lost.

The UNB Art Centre is leading a fundraising campaign to restore these treasured pieces of history to their former splendor. As part of this campaign, they’ve created a 16-month calendar featuring the distinctive details of each window. Proceeds support the restoration fund.

“There’s so much history in each of the windows,” says Marie E. Maltais, director of UNB's Art Centre, located in Memorial Hall. “Each window is linked to a member, or members, of our community here at UNB. The emblems and images are personalized and reflect the interests and achievements of the person to which the window is dedicated – I think that makes them very special.”

Members of the community visit Memorial Hall to see plays, attend concerts and view art exhibitions, says Maltais. It’s a cultural link connecting the city and the university.

The windows

Franklin Sharp Rankin

A member of the 28th New Brunswick Dragoons, Rankin became a lieutenant of the Royal Flying Corps. He was tragically shot down over Bapaume in 1916. This window dedicated by his father, Dr. W.D. Rankin, features the triumph of good over evil in John Milton’s Paradise Lost.

Thomas, Earl of Ashburnham

Earl Ashburnham settled in Fredericton in 1900. Too aged to fight in the First World War, the war veteran served his community by organizing and participating in war efforts at home. Commemorating his love for theatre, the window features William Shakespeare at the court of Queen Elizabeth I.

John Douglas Hazen

Hazen, a UNB alumnus, served as chief justice of the New Brunswick Supreme Court and premier of New Brunswick, before becoming minister of marine and fisheries in Ottawa during the First World War. The window, a gift from his children, features the maple leaf as a tribute to his service to Canada.

Henry Seabury Bridges

The UNB alumnus was a professor of classics, a member of the UNB Senate and grandfather to UNB President Emeritus Colin B. Mackay. The window, a gift from his daughters, features Aristotle instructing his students, the lamp of knowledge and the book of learning.

Lieutenant George P.O. Fenwick

Lieutenant Fenwick was killed at Passchendaele on Oct. 30, 1917. The window, donated by his sisters, features scenes from Sir Galahad, a poem by Lord Tennyson. If you look closely, you’ll find a piece of stained class from the cathedral bombed at Ypres, retrieved by UNB alumnus Clarence Steeves.

Loring Woart Bailey

A graduate of Harvard University, Bailey came to UNB in 1861 to teach natural sciences. A favourite among students, he taught at the university until his retirement in 1907. The window, donated by former students, depicts the subjects he taught: Saturn, astronomy, a volcano, geology, a waterfall, geography, and a pyramid, history and archeology.

John Fletcher Taylor

A gift from his brother F.R. Taylor, the window features scenes from the poems of Robert Burns, To A Mountain Daisy and The Cotter’s Saturday Night.

Anyone wishing to make a contribution to the restoration of the Memorial Hall stained glass windows, can contact Susan Montague, senior campaign advisor with UNB’s Development & Donor Relations.

Calendars can be purchased by contacting Marie Maltais.

Back to Alumni News Direct - January 2017