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Wednesday, June 12th, 2013 - Université de Moncton: Congratulations on Fiftieth Anniversary of French Programming

Université de Moncton

Congratulations on Fiftieth Anniversary of French Programming

Hon. Rose-May Poirier: Honourable senators, on June 19, Université de Moncton will be celebrating 50 years of French programming in New Brunswick.

On June 19, 1963, the university opened its doors to the Acadian student population to become the first and only francophone university in New Brunswick.

Université de Moncton is the result of the merger of Collège Saint-Joseph in Memramcook, Collège Sacré-Coeur in Bathurst, Collège Sainte-Anne de la Pointe-de-l'Église in Nova Scotia and Collège Saint-Louis in Edmundston. These institutions gave up their charters to affiliate with the university. A campus was established in Shippagan and later in Edmundston.

Fifty years of history means 50 years of young Acadians achieving their full potential at home, near their families, in their mother tongue instead of having to move away and risk losing their culture and identity.

Université de Moncton offers a wide range of opportunities for Acadians through its sports teams, the Aigles Bleus, through exchanges with other universities and through academic research in a number of disciplines. The following alumni illustrate the diversity of Université de Moncton:

Joël Bourgeois, an Olympic athlete; Percy Mockler, a long-time politician and senator; Herménegilde Chiasson, a poet and former Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick; Bernard Lord, the former Premier of New Brunswick; Bernard Imbeault, the founder of Imvescor, which manages Pizza Delight, Scores, Mikes and Bâton Rouge; and Yvon Fontaine, the first graduate of Université de Moncton to become its rector.

 

This year, Université de Moncton handed out 857 diplomas. The 5,000 or so students who attend the university come from across Canada and around the world.

Father Clément Cormier, who was the rector of Collège Saint-Joseph, played an important role in the founding of Université de Moncton. He was its first rector and strongly advocated for its creation. I must also acknowledge Acadian Premier Louis J. Robichaud, who fought to give Acadians their rightful place in New Brunswick society, including with his "Equal Opportunity Program."

The university is a symbol. It opens doors for young Acadians by giving them the same post-secondary education opportunities as their anglophone counterparts.

The university rallied Acadian youth in the struggle for bilingualism in New Brunswick, and its student federation speaks to current issues on behalf of Acadian youth.

I would like to congratulate and thank all of Université de Moncton's rectors, from its first, Father Clément Cormier, to its latest, Raymond Théberge, for 50 years of hard work and dedication to the cause of French education for Acadians. All alumni and current and future students should be proud of their university.

Honourable senators, join me in congratulating Université de Moncton on its first 50 years of success and wishing it another 50 years of providing exceptional opportunities to our Acadian youth.

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