On Friday, June 7, 2019, at the Boardmore Theatre, Cape Breton University celebrated the life and the contributions of Canadian writer and environmentalist, Dr. Farley Mowat. The celebration included the announcement of the Farley Mowat Chair in the Environment, a special convocation conferring Graeme Gibson, Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, and a live interview with Margaret Atwood.
In May of 1996, Dr. Farley Mowat received an honorary degree, Doctor of Letters, honoris causa from Cape Breton University. Farley Mowat always had a strong connection to Cape Breton Island and the University until his passing in 2014.
To celebrate Mr. Mowat’s life and his impact on the protection of the Canadian environment, Cape Breton University is announcing the establishment of the Farley Mowat Chair in the Environment, through an endowment from Mowat’s estate and its first chairholder, Mr. Silver Donald Cameron. “I am extremely proud to be the first Chairholder of the Farley Mowat Chair in the Environment,” says Silver Donald Cameron. “Farley was not only a dedicated and fiery environmentalist, but he was also a dear friend, and I will use that same fire and dedication in my role as chairholder to continue in his tradition.”
“CBU has always been committed to contributing to the protection and preservation of the environment, both here on beautiful Cape Breton Island, and on a global scale,” says, President & Vice-Chancellor, David C. Dingwall. “To announce Silver Donald Cameron as the first Chairholder of the Farley Mowat Chair in the Environment, and to be joined by Margaret Atwood and Graeme Gibson as an honorary degree recipient is a tremendous cause for celebration both for CBU and for the Island.”
During the celebration, CBU conferred the degree, Doctor of Letters, honoris causa on Graeme Gibson, Canadian writer and environmentalist and a long-time friend of Farley Mowat during a special convocation. Graeme Gibson was born in London, Ontario in 1934 and educated at the University of Western Ontario and has lived most of his life in Toronto. Gibson is a member of the Order of Canada, an award-winning and internationally known author, an avid birder and a passionate environmental activist.
As well, Silver Donald Cameron hosted a live interview as part of his Green Interview series with special guest, Margaret Atwood. Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, teacher, and environmental activist, Margaret Atwood has written on many diverse themes including gender and identity, religion and myth, the power of language, climate change and politics. The Green Interview is a series of in-depth conversations with global thinkers, artists and activists whose ideas and work are leading the way to a new era of sustainability.
Also, in attendance was Dr. Farley Mowat’s widow, Canadian writer and environmentalist Mrs. Claire Mowat. “For many years, Farley and I have been coming to Cape Breton Island and fell in love with the beauty, the diverse environment, and the culture,” says Mrs. Claire Mowat. “Farley would have enjoyed bringing these great minds together for the betterment of the environment and would have been proud of the endowment and the establishment of this chair in his name.”