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Celebrating Dal's "Originals"

Dal seeks nominations as part of 200th anniversary celebrations

- February 23, 2016

Three of the sorts of individuals the Dal Originals series looks to celebrate: James R. Johnston, Bertha Wilson and Arthur McDonald.

Being “original” sometimes means being first. It can mean forging a different path than others — zigging where some might have zagged. And it’s a term we often apply to people who defy simple definition in their quest to make a difference.

As planning continues for Dal’s 200th anniversary in 2018, the university is putting out a call for submissions to help identify what it’s calling the “Dal Originals”: the people who’ve made an indelible mark on the university’s history and the world around them.

“We’re looking for people who’ve influenced, inspired, challenged and strengthened Dalhousie, from its earliest days to today, as well as those whose impact on their communities and our world speaks to what Dalhousie is all about,” explains Kevin Hewitt, chair of Senate and member of the Dal Originals working group.

The university plans to unveil the stories of 52 different Dal Originals throughout 2018, one each week, as part of the overall 200th anniversary celebrations. The stories, told through audio and video, will also form the foundation for an oral history repository hosted by the Dalhousie Archives.

Dr. Hewitt says the working group leading the Dal Originals initiative hopes to begin interviews and research this spring, which is why it’s seeking nominations by the end of March.

“There are so many alumni, faculty, staff, retirees, students, and friends who have helped make Dalhousie what it is, and this is a chance to shine a spotlight on some of the most influential and inspiring of them,” he adds.

Some of the names might include the likes of astronaut Kathryn Sullivan, Nobel Prize winner Arthur McDonald, writers Lucy Maud Montgomery and Ernest Buckler, Supreme Court Justice Bertha Wilson, and Nova Scotia’s first black graduate James R. Johnston, among countless others.

Do you have someone in mind who should be celebrated as part of the Dal Originals series? Submit your nomination by March 31, 2016. For each nomination you’ll be entered to win some Dal 2018 “swag.”

The university is also looking for 10-12 individuals to serve as part of the Dal Originals interview team, who will be trained in oral history interview techniques and will have the chance to meet some amazing Dal Originals through the process. Learn more.  


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