I 150 years of making a difference n my journalism career (now 25 years with CBC’s The National), I have had the opportunity to travel the country and the world. I get to meet many interesting and fascinating people, but Convocation Day at Mount Allison has come to mean more to me than many others. It is a day of inspiration. Each year I get a chance to meet the graduating class, spend a few moments with each of them, and share a few words as they receive their degrees. I can see their excitement. It is mixed with a bit of fear — the nature of the day — and a bit of sadness, leaving friends behind. But what is truly moving is the circle of love, affection, and pride that surrounds the graduating class — family, friends, faculty, staff, alumni — all there to share this special moment, one I’m sure you, as alumni, remember fondly. The first graduating class at Mount Allison, 150 years ago, only had two graduates — Josiah Wood and Howard Sprague. In those days, when you left a place of higher learning, there were mainly two choices; you could go into the clergy or you could become a lawyer. Wood and Sprague could not decide what they wanted to be, but thought one should do one and one should do the other. No one thought of a coin toss back then, so they settled this by spitting on one side of a wood chip, and tossing it in the air. The way it landed determined who would go where. Evidently this method worked out as Sprague went on to become a well-respected clergyman, eventually coming back to Mount Allison to teach religion, while Wood became a famous lawyer and lieutenant-governor of New Brunswick. * Those first two graduates walked off this campus and did extremely well. They have been followed by many others, including the latest Class of 2013. When our newest alumni leave this place, when they follow those footsteps made by Wood and Sprague 150 years ago, they too will have an impact. They will make the world better, and some of the reason they will is because of what they have learned here, the friendships made, the support and understanding from family and friends. Of course as proud alumni, you already know this and are continuing to make meaningful contributions to your communities, including Mount Allison’s. I am humbled to be part of this long-standing tradition and look forward to continuing my role as University Chancellor for a second term. Peter Mansbridge * story adapted from The Class of 1863, written by Al Smith (’65), in The White Fence, the newsletter of the Tantramar Heritage Trust; No. 31, February 2006. 40 / Summer 2013 / RECORD