Graduation Address
Delivered by Maillet, Antonine

“"Graduates Face Life With a Degree – Ceremony B" Daily Gleaner (23 May 1997). (UA Case 67, Box 3)

An honorary degree was handed out to Acadian cultural icon Antonine Maillet, who also delivered the graduation address.

It was the 25th honorary degree for the world famous author of La Sagouine. And she told the crowd she was very honored by UNB’s gesture because it symbolized a link between UNB and the University of Moncton where she is chancellor.

"Let me tell you that I feel a bigger, a greater New Brunswicker today because I am a member of the great University of New Brunswick," she said. "And I’m so happy to know that from now on there will be more, better links between the two great universities that of New Brunswick and of Moncton."

Ms. Maillet, a native of Bouctouche, urged the graduates to be proud and respectful of the province’s Anglophone and francophone cultures. And she said they should promote t he province’s duality whenever possible.

"New Brunswick is an example for the rest of Canada," she said. "We can help the rest of Canada to come and learn here how to get that as an asset and not as a problem—to be officially a two cultured province."

Ms. Maillet said the two cultures provide francophones and Anglophones with the opportunity to learn from each other about the best each has to offer.

"We all came at almost the same time from the same Europe—or almost—and we brought here something that looked like hope for a future," she said. "Now we can tell that to Canada and maybe Canada can say it to the world. Maybe Canada can say it to the European countries trying to unite—save what is different, but get together what can be united."

Addresses may be reproduced for research purposes only. Publication in whole or in part requires written permission from the author.