Linda Kealey   2012 President's Medal

Dr. Linda Kealey is nominated for the President's Medal for both the significant contribution that she has made as a colleague during her ten-year career at UNB, and for the magnificent job she performed as the Academic Convenor of Congress 2011 (2007-2011). Thanks to her ability to handle unexpected problems with confidence and creativity, Dr. Kealey carries considerable responsibility for the great success of Congress 2011.

A Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, Dr. Kealey is a scholar of the first rank with an enviable national and international reputation. A key member of the SSHRCC-CURA “Re-Connecting with the History of Labour in New Brunswick” team, in 2009 Dr. Kealey convened the Informing Public Policy: Socio-Economic and Historical Perspectives on Labour in New Brunswick conference which brought together academics, politicians, and community partners. Along with her own scholarly publications, for several years she was co-Editor of Atlantis and served on the Aid to Scholarly Publishing Programme’s Board of Management.

An excellent teacher, Dr. Kealey has supervised several graduate students to completion, including four PhDs. Participating fully in departmental and university affairs, she served on the Board of Governors and Senate even when burdened with Congress 2011 tasks and was a critical agent in the development of the proposal for the Atlantic Canada Studies Centre.

Utilizing creative skills of organization, persuasion, fund-raising, problem-solving, and ego-salving, Dr. Kealey was the mediator between the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences and the dozens of the scholarly societies that met at Congress, helping also to attract nationally renowned speakers for the “Big Thinking” events. With over 6,000 delegates coming to Fredericton, Dr. Kealey had to ensure adequate food and housing, flight connections, taxi and shuttle service, adequate accessibility services, newsworthy publicity, and the requisite receptions and publishers’ displays. She moreover obtained the necessary governmental and community partnership funds.

The CFHSS has publicly thanked her “for her vision and leadership,” while Dr. Kealey’s STU counterpart, Dr. Michael Boudreau, has noted: “Linda's vision for, and commitment to, Congress and its academic themes, was unwavering.  Moreover, Linda always viewed, and treated, St. Thomas University as an equal partner in this venture. In that regard, Linda did a great deal to strengthen the working relationship between UNB and STU.” Dr. Don Wright, the Canadian Historical Association programme chair, commented: “Combining efficiency and humanity, Linda effortlessly juggled several files at once, . . . Despite the innumerable demands on her time, she was open and available to the Canadian Historical Association: e-mails always received a response; questions always received an answer; and problems always received a solution. Linda's tireless efforts to organize Congress 2011 brought enormous prestige to UNB and I can think of no one more deserving of a President's Medal.” Dr. Kealey has compressed into her ten years at UNB a list of contributions fully deserving of the recognition that the President’s Medal provides.

Presented by Gary Waite, Chair, Department of History
March 13, 2012