2016 Fredericton Convocation

Branscombe, Daryl Kadey

Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.)

Orator: Davies, Gwendolyn


to be Doctor of Letters

In Shakespeare's play King John, he notes that "Strong reasons make strong actions". In many respects, this literary observation sums up much that underlies Daryl Branscombe's success as a business visionary, property developer, socially-conscious public volunteer, and community leader.

Born and raised in Chipman, New Brunswick, Daryl Branscombe graduated from Chipman Regional High School, the New Brunswick Institute of Technology in Moncton, and the University of New Brunswick (where he earned a Bachelor's degree in Teaching). Having taught in Chipman, Saint John and Summerside, PEI, he turned in the mid 1970s to a career in business. Beginning with co-owning and managing a hardware store in Summerside, PEI, he had moved to Fredericton by the late 1970s where he variously became leasing manager for Ross Ventures; founding director of the Fredericton Downtown Development Corporation; the developer of a brokerage division of Greenarm Commercial Realty Inc.; and eventually, through his own company, Dad's Enterprises N.B., the owner and developer of commercial and residential property throughout the province. The first president of the Business New Brunswick Association, his effective influence can be traced in the evolution of Carleton Place in downtown Fredericton, in the visionary planning of the Knowledge Park as an information technology cluster in Fredericton, and in the development of the TD Centre in Saint John.

A major turning point in the life of Daryl Branscombe came with the heartbreaking death of his sons from a rare autoimmune disease while they were still in their early twenties. In Walking With a Limp, the autobiographical book dedicated to his sons and published after their deaths, Daryl Branscombe explores the impact of such a tragedy on one's life, at the same time developing a message of healing and social outreach to others in grief that has proven inspirational to a wide range of readers. This moving "coming to terms with loss" has included Branscombe's establishing two memorial scholarships at UNB, one the Michael Christian Branscombe Memorial Scholarship for Fredericton campus students in the Faculty of Science majoring in Biology (especially favouring students whose career plans have the potential to ease human suffering), and the other the Anthony Watson Branscombe Memorial Scholarship for students on the Fredericton campus who have completed at least first year in the Bachelor of Arts programme and have indicated interest in a major or honours in English, particularly in creative writing. An annual Branscombe Golf Tournament, now in its 15th year, adds to the endowment of the scholarships and helps to perpetuate the memory of the two Branscombe boys.

Daryl Branscombe's personal experience of death and loss--as well as his history as a successful community volunteer, developer, and businessman--inevitably drew him into roles as President of Fredericton Hospice Inc. and as Chair of the Fredericton Hospice Fundraising Campaign. Noting in a news release on the Hospice Fredericton initiative that by 2036 twenty-five per cent of the local New Brunswick population will be senior citizens, Branscombe articulated at the beginning of the hospice campaign Fredericton's need "to have infrastructure in place to deliver the most effective, most compassionate care that we can for both patients and their families." Overseeing successful funding approaches to government, business, and the private sector while chairing the Hospice Palliative Care capital campaign, Branscombe (and his committee) raised millions of dollars to convert the former Rosary Hall in downtown Fredericton into a peaceful palliative-care site for end-of-life patients surrounded by caring friends and families.

throughout his career, Daryl Branscombe has consistently demonstrated qualities of both dynamic corporate leadership and compassionate caring for his fellow citizens. It is with pleasure that the University of New Brunswick now bestows upon him an Honorary Doctor of Letters, honoris causa.

Insignissime praeses...

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