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Mourning the passing of honorary degree recipient Dr. Althea Macaulay

Author: Communications Office

Posted on Nov 22, 2019

Category: News and Notices

Please join me in offering condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of honorary degree recipient Dr. Althea Macaulay, who passed away on Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019, in Fredericton. She was 101.

Born in Moncton, NB, Althea was the recipient of the Governor-General’s gold medal, the Alumni Society’s gold medal and the Hebrew Society of Fredericton prize when she graduated from UNB in 1939 with her BA Hons. in Latin and biology. She went on to complete her master of arts in biology at Clark University in Worcester, MA in 1940.

Following graduation, Althea worked at McGill University in their physiology department and Harvard Medical School in pathology. She began working as a research assistant at UNB in 1942, but then moved to the University of Toronto, where she completed her PhD in zoology in 1950. She subsequently studied as one of the first female Beaverbrook Overseas Scholars at the University of London. In 1951, Althea returned to UNB, as an associate professor in biology. In fact, she was one of the first females to teach at UNB—archival research indicates that only two females taught at UNB prior to Althea. She taught there until her marriage in 1958.

Althea was awarded the doctor of laws (LLD) at UNB’s fall convocation in 1990 in recognition of her exceptional commitment and service to the university. Over the years, she served as president of the Alumnae Association and the Faculty Club, and secretary of the Associated Alumni. She also served as Alumnae representative on the UNB Board of Governors and Senate, and she received the Alumni Award of Honour in 1993. Other memberships and volunteer positions included: the Canadian Federation of University Women, The Parkinson Society of Canada and Girl Guides of Canada. She also served as an officer (adjutant) in the first university detachment of the Canadian Red Cross Corps in the Maritimes, and she established the Bev and Althea Macaulay Scholarship at UNB in 2006.

Friends, family and colleagues remember Althea as a wonderfully kind and gracious woman who had a love for all living things. She was also a pioneer and trailblazer, dedicated to the welfare of women on campus. An inspirational leader to many, Althea proudly served as a powerful supporter and ambassador for UNB, inspiring others to give back to their communities.

A memorial service was held on Thursday, Nov. 21. Flags were lowered on both the Fredericton and Saint John campuses on Friday, Nov. 22. Condolences can be made online. Althea will be missed by all who knew her and our thoughts are with her family. 


Dr. Paul J. Mazerolle

President and Vice-Chancellor

Category: News and Notices

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