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Flemers Gift of 125 000 to UNB Establishes Awareness Tours to Holland

Author: Communications

Posted on Nov 12, 2014

Category: UNB Homepage , myUNB , In the Media

Gregg Centre for Study of War and Society to administer programs starting in 2015

Canadian teachers, education professionals and education students will have a professional development opportunity to gain understanding of Canada’s role during the Second World War, thanks to a generous donation of $125,000 from Dr. Lucinda Flemer, C.M. (D.Litt.’99) and John Flemer to UNB’s Gregg Centre for Study of War and Society.

The gift will support the Lucinda and John Flemer Netherlands Study Tour, a bi-annual teachers’ tour of the Netherlands scheduled to begin in 2015 and continue in 2017 and 2019. The tour will promote awareness of Canada's help in liberating Holland and the subsequent relationships that formed between the two countries. The announcement was made at the annual Eaton Lecture Nov. 4 at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.

“Our common vision is to encourage teaching professionals to engage students on the subject of the special relationship between the Netherlands and Canada which began during the war,” said Dr. Flemer. “We also intend to build relationships with Dutch educators, historians and survivors of that period and, when possible, bring Canadian and Dutch educators together to study our shared past.”

The Flemers’ are also establishing awards to assist teachers with the costs for the two-week tour. The awards are valued at up to $2,000 and approximately $20,000 will be granted for each study tour.

"This generous gift will enable us to raise awareness of Canada's critically important roles in the Second World War," said Dr. Eddy Campbell, UNB's president and vice-chancellor.

"Our goal is to provide an exceptional and transformative education by encouraging initiative and innovation and unlocking creative potential. This wonderful gift allows us to accomplish that objective.” 

The study tours will be based on the expertise of the Gregg Centre staff and will primarily focus on visits to five key areas - Amsterdam; Zealand Province – River Scheldt; Nijmegen; Apeldoorn – Issel River; and Groningen – Westerbork - where the most significant episodes of the Second World War took place. The historic sites, monuments, visible scars of war, museums and terrain in each of these areas will be used to engage participants in five principal themes of occupation, resistance, war, liberation and rebuilding.

“Tours such as these help to broaden the knowledge of Canada’s role in Holland during that significant period of our history,” said Dr. Marc Milner, director of the Gregg Centre. “We are thankful for an exceptional gift that allows us to continue our commitment to academic excellence and innovation in the study of one of humanity's most tragic and perplexing social activities.”

The University of New Brunswick (UNB) is one of Canada's oldest English-language universities and one of the first public universities established in North America. Founded in 1785, the multi-campus institution is home to over 60 research centres and institutes, groups and ongoing projects. The university offers over 75 undergraduate and graduate programs in 100 disciplines. UNB has over 10,500 students from more than 100 countries, and several thousand more take UNB courses online and at partner institutions around the world.

For media inquiries, contact Natasha Ashfield.