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Associated Alumni

Reflections on 2017

Jill Jollineau and Jamie Petrie (BBA'90, LLB'94) at the Homecoming Lobster Boil

Happy New Year and warmest regards to everyone. It is truly an honour for me to represent you and our family of more than 87,000 alumni.

Last fall was a busy one for the Associated Alumni, filled with gatherings that allowed me to meet many of you and hear wonderful stories of where life has taken you since your days at UNB. 

In September, we welcomed a record number of alumni back to UNB for Homecoming weekend; and in October, we celebrated UNB, Oktoberfest style in the company of nearly 200 alumni for an evening of celebration in uptown Saint John. Events held in Toronto and Ottawa gave alumni an opportunity to meet the new dean of law and to rekindle alumni chapters. Recent graduates and graduates of more than 50 years gathered to network, reminisce, share stories and give credit to the value of their education at UNB.

Stories, laughter, memories and music resounded throughout the many gatherings in 2017, leaving alumni with promises to gather again in the future.

During UNB's fall convocation ceremonies in Fredericton and Saint John, we celebrated the inspiring accomplishments of our new graduates and officially welcomed 580 new alumni into our family. I also had the pleasure of attending the UNB graduation ceremony in Trinidad and Tobago, where 180 graduates crossed the stage and added to the 4,000 other UNB alumni in that country. The pride in their success and the hospitality they extended was truly heartwarming.

Remembering those we've lost

Regretfully, we also became aware of those who have passed on, leaving a lasting legacy as part of the UNB family. One legacy that is particularly poignant for me, as I recall from my early days at UNB Saint John, is the contribution Dr. William Prouty (MA’56) made in building a closer relationship between the greater Saint John community and UNB. That connection continues to this day through the Lorenzo Society.

Dr. Prouty's statement purple shirt and tie, worn on Wednesdays, led to the Purple Wednesday Society, coined by the students in his classes. The Purple Wednesday Society is a university society and publishing group on the Saint John campus that has been active since the early 1970s. Dr. Prouty became the driving force behind the society, shaping it “to focus attention weekly on the arts and to serve as a vehicle for the publication of occasional collections of poetry.”

Through publications, film series, live theatre productions, the 'Little Gallery' art displays, string quartet performances, imported musical performances from Europe, a nationally renowned reading series and more, the Lorenzo Society brings the UNB community and greater Saint John together to celebrate the arts. Many have contributed to the development of the society and the celebration of its 40 plus years of service. Dr. Prouty passed away on Dec. 22, 2017, at his home in Québec. He will be missed.

Alumni Council priorities

A priority for the Associated Alumni Council over the past year has been to review and update our governance structure. This included the streamlining of council membership to offer a more effective and efficient organization. Beginning July 1, 2018, new members will serve three-year terms and will be selected based on a recommendation from the nominating committee. The nominating committee will be looking to fill vacancies based on various criteria, including skills, demographics and degree faculty. Anyone wishing to serve on the Associated Alumni Council is welcome to submit a letter of interest to Margaret Grant-McGivney, no later than March 1, 2018.

Our alumni are making a difference in industry, medicine, education, humanitarian service, and innovation, just to name a few. Nothing gives me, and the Associated Alumni, greater pride than sharing the many accomplishments of our talented students and alumni. Please follow the many social media networks dedicated to UNB, the Associated Alumni, U35 young alumni, and future students to join in on the conversation.

To each of you, may 2018 be a year filled with success, realized dreams, good health and time spent with family and friends. At some point during my tenure I look forward to meeting you and hearing your story.

Jill Jollineau (MEd'02)
Associated Alumni President


Back to Alumni News Direct - February 2018