Newsbites (Page 2)

Newsbites (Page 2) McGill University

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Home > McGill News > 2001 > Winter 2001-2002 > Newsbites > Newsbites (Page 2)

A Tree for Gretta

Photo PHOTO: Owen Egan

There's a new sapling outside the Administration building, planted in honour of McGill Chancellor Emerita, Gretta Chambers, BA'47, DLitt'01. In recognition of her work for the McGill community and the Montreal region as a whole, the McGill Women's Alumnae Association had an oakleaf mountain ash (or sorbus thuringiaca fastigiata) planted and a plaque laid dedicating the tree to the popular former Chancellor, shown here watering the tree at the dedication ceremony. The ceremony was part of a campus tour during Homecoming in October this year.

The year saw a sort of McGill hat trick for Chambers, who served as McGill Chancellor from 1991 to 1999 before current Chancellor Dick Pound, BCom'62, BCL'67, took over. In addition to the mountain ash ceremony, she was named the University's first-ever Chancellor Emerita, and then awarded an honorary doctor of letters degree at the fall convocation in November.

Going for the Gold

Photo PHOTO: Andrew Dobrowolskyj

Kim St. Pierre is in a class by herself. When she steps on the ice in Salt Lake City in February to goaltend for Canada's Olympic women's hockey team, she will be the only player selected from the ranks of interuniversity sport. Hailing from Chateauguay, Que., St. Pierre began playing hockey at the age of 8, but until she came to McGill she had never played with members of her own sex. At the age of 20, she was in the men's junior AA category -- two levels away from professional league hockey -- when she was handpicked by Martlets manager Dean Madden to goaltend for the McGill women's team. The team's success soared: the Marlets made the playoffs each of the next three seasons for the first time since 1985. St. Pierre garnered attention as the 1998-1999 Quebec conference rookie of the year and the league's MVP in 2000-2001.

Now 23, St. Pierre has taken a leave from her studies in physical education to train with the Canadian national team in Calgary. Thirty players challenged each other for the 21 spots on the Olympic team and the final roster was announced in November -- St. Pierre snagged one of the three coveted goaltending spots. In a pre-Olympic international meet earlier this year, St. Pierre helped Canada clinch the championship and was named top goalie at the tournament.

Women's hockey was featured at the Olympics for the first time in 1998 in Nagano, where Canada came away with a silver medal. They lost to their arch-rivals, the Americans, whom they have defeated in every other women's world championship. The two teams will likely be fighting for the gold again in February.

Something Fishy


McGill's Bellairs Research Institute, located on the lush west coast of Barbados, has become an even more colourful place lately. Susan Nimbley, an artist and regular visitor to Barbados, dropped by one day and suggested she might spruce things up by painting a mural on the wall of the dining room of Seabourne House. She and her sister Frances set to work, and within two weeks, the job was done -- and then some.

Not only was the interior mural completed, but the entrance to the facility also underwent a transformation. The Nimbleys recreated a coral reef in their paintings, a subject the institute's director Bruce Downey calls "very appropriate to the Bellairs." The project was launched with an alumni gathering, and Downey says response to the finished murals has been very positive.


Seabourne House was originally the home of Carlyon Wilfroy Bellairs, a member of Winston Churchill's government during the Second World War. Bellairs was so disillusioned when Churchill was tossed out of office that he left England and settled in Barbados. He eventually left the property to McGill in his will, and it was Principal Cyril James who suggested the estate be dedicated to marine biology research.

The institute, which maintains an open-door policy to researchers from around the world, has been an invaluable resource for Barbados since it opened almost 50 years ago. The growth of local industries and vastly increased cruise ship traffic have placed considerable pressure on the island's reefs and marine animals.

One Day the Nobel

Photo PHOTO: Nicolas Morin

McGill has established a science award to attract promising high school science and math students. Principal Bernard Shapiro has written to all the province's secondary school principals asking them to select a student for recognition. At graduation, one student from each school will receive the award, which consists of a paperweight and a $300 book credit to be redeemed if the student registers as a McGill undergraduate.

The University already works to promote science education through special programs it offers to teachers, bilingual exhibitions and family workshops at the Redpath Museum, a summer science camp run by Engineering students and the Office for Chemistry and Society, along with efforts undertaken at Macdonald Campus like the Urban Nature Information Service and forestry and environmental education programs at the Morgan Arboretum.

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