1971 Fredericton Encaenia

Nowlan, Alden Albert

Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.)

Orator: Condon, Thomas J.

Image Caption
L to R: John Seaman Bates, Geoffrey Clement Andrew, Jean Eudes Dubé, Sir Max Aitken, Dr. James Dineen, Sylvia Ostry, Alden Albert Nowlan, Robert Edward Bell
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Source: Joe Stone fonds-UA RG340, 1971 (#8892A)


to be Doctor of Letters

In an increasingly standardized world there are still many paths to a University degree. The usual one is a high school diploma followed be the right progression of courses. But some men choose a life that swings wide of academia, achieving an eminence in their own wav which later brings them the acclaim of Universities and underscores the age old truth that we must have the courage to be true to ourselves and our dreams. Alden Nowlan is such a man of courage.

He is a man of the Maritimes. Born in Nova Scotia, much of his life has been spent in New Brunswick. He has celebrated the variety and richness of our region in prose and poetry. News Editor of both the Hartland Observer and the Saint John Telegraph Journal, he continues to do a weekly column called "Alden Nowlan Reports." His books and his many poems which have appeared in hundreds of magazines and periodicals here, in the United States, and in the Commonwealth have already brought him awards and honours. He has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Canada Council Senior Fellowship and has received the Governor General's Award for Poetry for his Bread, Wine and Salt.

In a recent column, Alden Nowlan wrote about today's ceremony, speculating on the impact of the impending honour, worrying about the possibility of magical transformation as hood was placed over his head, but concluding finally that "Under my red robes I'll be the same old Alden Nowlan. Rather clever at times and rather stupid at other times. Occasionally a good guy and occasionally a creep."

Alan Nowlan has honoured us by his presence on the campus since 1968 as Writer in Residence and it gives us great pleasure to honour him today. Poet, short storey writer, essayist, and warm human being, his writings have teased and tormented us, inspired and depressed us, challenged us always to view ourselves and our surroundings with less complacency.

We salute you today as a "real writer". Who knows, perhaps you will find the green stick in your hood?

From: Honoris Causa - UA Case 70, Box 1

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