Autumn 2014

Your Letters

House illustration

A Distinguished Provenance

I saw the tiny picture (Spring 2014, page 55, alumni edition) of my aunt and uncle’s house on 81st Avenue in Edmonton and felt compelled to write, just in case the provenance lacks some details. The house was owned by Dr. W. Dewar McDougall and his wife from around 1939, and they lived there until Mrs. McDougall, my Aunt Agnes, moved into Canterbury Court around 1976. She rented out the house and later sold it. When I married in 1953, we were often invited for Sunday dinner there. My daughter, Kate Habke (Pecover), ’80 BEd, remembered the house as soon as I showed her the picture. Dr. McDougall was a professor in the Faculty of Education. They had many special friends at the U of A, like Murray MacDonald, ’78 LLD (Honorary), the artist (I inherited one of his paintings), and were very close to Margaret-Ann Armour, ’70 PhD, ’13 DSc (Honorary), and her mother, who lived close by after arriving from Scotland. The Armours remained Aunt Agnes’s friends until her death in 1980.

Our thanks to Shirley Serviss, ’80 BA, Wendy Gervais, ’82 BFA, and Ken Tingley, ’73 BA, ’81 MA, for illuminating a little bit of our not-so-distant past. They might know all these details already — and I might be off on a few of the dates — but just in case they don’t, I thought I should provide a few of them.

Joan Munro (Pecover), ’55 BA, ’59 BEd, ’71 MEd, ’86 PhD, Edmonton

Inspiring Profs, Inspiring People

I loved reading “Last Lecture” (Spring 2014, page 42). Linda Kerr, ’92 PhD, history; Robert Burch, philosophy; and David Begg, a cell biologist who teaches human anatomy, reminded me that the U of A’s “excellence” lies in the profs who inspire undergraduates, not in its ranking among the top 20 global universities.

On July 5, I met Alan Nursall, ’81 MSc, the new CEO and president of Telus World of Science Edmonton, at the launch of Mother Nature is Trying to Kill You by Dan Riskin, ’97 BSc. Two inspired U of A alumni now inspiring thousands! I remember Alan’s father, Ralph Nursall, an inspiring professor of zoology from 1953 to 1988, and I remember how warmly I was received in the department of microbiology when I arrived in Edmonton from Quebec in 1969.

To attract the best and brightest faculty and students, the U of A simply needs to continue to do what it has always done so well: focus on human contacts and inspire by its love and enthusiasm for the sciences and the arts.

Cecily Mills, ’71 PhD, Edmonton


The photo of Allan Suddaby, ’08 BSc(ElecEng), that appeared on page 40 of the Spring 2014 issue of New Trail should have been credited to Maki Blazevski, ’97 BSc. We apologize for the oversight.