UNB Welcomes Chancellor Wade MacLauchlan | UNB
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Fall 2023

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UNB Welcomes Chancellor Wade MacLauchlan


In 1947, UNB started a new tradition with the appointment of Lord Beaverbrook as our first modern-day chancellor. Since then, we have enjoyed the outstanding leadership of seven exceptional individuals who have held this special ceremonial role, advising our presidents, presiding over graduations and serving as our ambassador on many occasions.

The most recent of these “senior statespersons” is H. Wade MacLauchlan (LLB’81), CM, OPEI, who was officially installed in October at fall Convocation in Fredericton and Saint John. He succeeds Allison D. McCain (BScEE’72, DSc’07), CM, who stepped down after 10 years as chancellor in June.

As Dr. McCain said at last May’s Encaenia dinner honouring his contributions, “What’s not to like about the role? You are constantly surrounded by highly intelligent people – young people full of ideas and promise and academics with some of the finest minds you will experience.”

Artist Glenn Priestley and Allison McCain, with Dr. McCain’s portrait as chancellor, which was unveiled on Nov. 28 at the Wu Centre

During his decade as chancellor, Dr. McCain served with presidents Eddy Campbell and Paul Mazerolle, both of whom benefited from his proximity to Florenceville, NB; his international business experience; and his strong belief in UNB’s importance to the province.

“One might ask why we need a national reputation when we are already conferring a solid undergraduate degree and doing leading-edge research in a broad range of disciplines,” Dr. McCain proposes. “In my view, we need it because New Brunswick needs it. New Brunswick has far too few institutions that are considered world-class, and able to compete with the best.

We need it so our young people can go out in the world confident in their ability to be leaders and innovators. We need it so others will come here to study, to invest and work, saying, ‘Why not?’ instead of ‘Why?’”

Dr. McCain leaves big shoes to fill, but Wade MacLauchlan has stepped up to the challenge with enthusiasm. Former dean of UNB Law (1991 – 96), president emeritus of the University of Prince Edward Island (1999 – 2011) and past premier of PEI (2015 – 19), Mr. MacLauchlan brings broad and deep experience to the position.

Like Dr. McCain, Mr. MacLauchlan sees the university in a larger context. “Our essential calling is to combine humanity and curiosity with the desire to make UNB and the world a better place,” he says. “The number one job of the chancellor is to be what I call the volunteer-in-chief, and I do that happily,” he says. “And I know you can only be effective in that way if a lot of other people are involved.

“I will support the university's priorities, the priorities of President Mazerolle, and work with people throughout the university and the extended community in ways that can make a difference.”

Carrying on the tradition of more than 70 years, these two dedicated UNB alumni follow proudly in the footsteps of their distinguished predecessors: Sir William Maxwell Aitken, Lord Beaverbrook; Sir Max Aitken (LLD’66), Lady Violet Aitken (LLD’90), Dr. Fredrik S. Eaton (BA’62, LLD ’83), OC, OOnt, and Dr. Richard J. Currie (LLD’87), OC, ONB.