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DONATION FROM SCOTTISH STUDIES FOUNDATION
KICKSTARTS CANADIAN IMMIGRATION COURSE
Thanks to an initial donation from the Scottish Studies Foundation, a new course in Canada's immigration literature and history has been created at the University of Guelph’s Humber Campus. More details on the course entitled "Canadian Immigration & Identity" can be seen here.
“This new course will enable students to expand their knowledge of Canadian identity and heritage," says Joanne Shoveller, U of G's VP of Alumni Affairs and Development. She also praised the Foundation for its support, which has allowed the university to advance learning, teaching, and research in areas such as community and culture.
In 2004 the Scottish Studies Foundation was instrumental in the establishment of a permanent Chair in Scottish Studies at the University of Guelph -- a first in North America, attracting academics from all over the world, and solidifying Guelph's position as one of the world's foremost centres of Scottish Studies. Interestingly, the university holds the largest single collection of Scottish books and manuscripts outside of the UK.
According to the Foundation's president David Hunter, the idea of establishing Guelph as a centre for the study of all things Scottish was the dream of a few visionaries including the late Professor W. Stanford Reid who added graduate courses in Scots-Canadian history to the university's history curriculum back in the 1960s. Reid's book The Scottish Tradition in Canada (1976) claimed that the preponderant culture in Canada became British, rather than English because of the Scots influence and that distinctive Scottish patterns could be discerned in Canadian education and moral attitudes.
The Foundation has members all across Canada as well as in the USA, UK and Australia, each working hard to keep Reid's dream alive. Every year, the Scottish Studies Society honours individuals who have achieved distinction through their contribution to Canadian society or the international community at large by presenting an annual Scot of the Year Award at a fundraising event which supports the Foundation. A special evening incorporating the award will take place on April 12 at the University of Toronto's Hart House.
But as both an immigrant and a Scot, Hunter is wary of the temptation of ethnic groups to focus inward on themselves. "Canada is a one huge multicultural social experiment and has the potential to be a role model for the rest of the world. For that reason we have to reach out to the culture, literature and history of all groups who strive to build this nation and thereby fulfill the promise and dreams of our early pioneers. It is our hope that the new course will help further this goal.”
Scottish Studies Foundation
Dr. John Walsh
University of Guelph-Humber
416 798-1331 ext. 6295
Dr. Graeme Morton
Chair of Scottish Studies
Department of History
University of Guelph