A Salute to William Brydone Jack

William Brydone Jack:  Courtesy of UNB ArchivesWilliam Brydone Jack served as president of the University of New Brunswick from 1861 to 1885.  Dr. Jack was an accomplished astronomer and surveyor whose 19th-century contributions stand the test of time.

On Jan. 13, 2011, UNB faculty, staff, students, alumni and supporters gathered in the Stewart Room of the Harriet Irving Library in Fredericton to honour his spirit of progress.  

Highlights included remarks by UNB President Eddy Campbell; Richard Langley, professor of geodesy and geomatics engineering; and William Ward, professor and chair of physics.  A plaque marking the recent naming of asteroid Brydonejack, in honour of Dr. Jack, was unveiled and will be mounted in the William Brydone Jack Observatory.

Following the formal portion of the event, guest viewed the UNB Archives' exhibition Dr. William Brydone Jack and the First Astronomical Observatory in Canada in the Stewart Room.

Tours of the William Brydone Jack Observatory, designed by Dr. Jack, were offered by Merrill Edwards, retired professor of physics, and alumnus Don Kelly, past president of the William Brydone Jack Branch of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.  Opened in 1851, the observatory was the first astronomical observatory in British North America.  Today it is a National Historic Site and museum.

Read Dr. Langley's remarks and download his presentation From Stars and Steeples to Software and Satellites:  William Brydone Jack's Legacy to Surveying and Mapping.