Jan. 19, 1843 — Mount Allison Wesleyan Academy opened to students Aug. 17, 1854 — Ladies’ College opens 1901 — Ladies College Pond (Swan Pond) constructed May 1, 1858 — The College is granted the power to confer degrees May 19, 1863 — Degrees presented to first two graduates, Howard Sprague and Josiah Wood December 1916 — First issue of the Record published 1886 — College adopts garnet and gold as its colours July 9, 1840 — Charles F. Allison lays the cornerstone of the academy June 7, 1882 — Harriet Starr Stewart receives the first Bachelor of Arts degree conferred upon a woman in Canada May 25, 1875 — Grace Annie Lockhart becomes the first woman in the British Empire to receive a Bachelor degree when she graduates with her BSc Jan. 4, 1839 — Charles F. Allison proposes to the Wesleyan Methodists that a site be purchased and a building erected to house an academy by Aloma Jardine O years Mount Allison was founded in 1839 when Sackville merchant Charles Frederick Allison proposed building a school. But the story really begins in the late 1700s in Northern Ireland. When the local tax collector came to dine, the Allison family put out their best for their guest — including a set of silver spoons. As thanks, the tax collector said if they could afford silver spoons, they could afford to pay more taxes. Joseph Allison and his family emigrated shortly thereafter, headed for Philadelphia, but were shipwrecked on the way and ended up in Nova Scotia instead. Charles, Joseph’s grandson, eventually made his way to Sackville, accompanied by the silver spoons. Over the years the Mount Allison Wesleyan Academy as it was initially known, expanded — first adding a school for girls in 1854, and granting its first degrees in 1863. The University survived two world wars, when the number of young men headed off to war put a serious dent in enrolment; a number of devastating fires — at one point nce upon a time — that’s how University archivist David Mawhinney likes to begin the story of Mount Allison. The University’s 175-year-old history does read like a fairy tale at times: an improbable beginning, struggle in the face of adversity, triumph and tragedy. There is no prince, but there is a Princess — then-Princess Elizabeth visited in 1951 — and as for happily ever after, well, the story is still being written. 28 / Fall 2014 / RECORD