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Dance of the happy shades

Munro Chair in Creativity moving forward thanks to successful fundraising

by Crystal Lamb | July 28, 2016

Dance of the happy shades
Michael Milde, left, Arts & Humanities Dean, and Bryce Traister, English and Writing Studies Chair, are celebrating the fact the faculty has raised $1 million toward the new Alice Munro Chair in Creativity. The funds will be combined with a $2-million commitment from Western to create the endowed chair.

Creativity on Western’s campus and beyond will soon get a boost now that the fundraising campaign for the new Alice Munro Chair in Creativity is complete.

Since launching the campaign in 2013 to commemorate Munro’s Nobel Prize in Literature, the Faculty of Arts & Humanities has raised $1 million, which will be combined with a $2-million commitment from Western to create the endowed chair.

“We are thrilled to be moving forward with the Alice Munro Chair in Creativity and grateful to the many supporters who made it possible,” said Michael Milde, Dean of Western’s Faculty of Arts & Humanities. “Not only does this prestigious chair recognize and honour Ms. Munro’s creative accomplishments as a Nobel Prize-winning writer and story-teller, it will be unique in Canada’s academic landscape and will promote creativity across campus and in the broader community.”

Dance of the happy shades
Alice Munro has received numerous awards and accolades for her short-story writing in addition to her Nobel Prize, including multiple Governor General’s Awards, Man Booker International Prize and Giller Prize.

Highly acclaimed as a literary icon, Munro has received numerous awards and accolades for her short-story writing in addition to her Nobel Prize, including multiple Governor General’s Awards, Man Booker International Prize and Giller Prize.

Naming the chair for Munro was also an opportunity to honour the relationship between Western and Munro. The author was an undergraduate student and published three short stories in Western’s undergraduate English magazine, Folio, from 1949-51, in addition to serving as Writer-In-Residence from 1974-75. In 1976, she received an honorary degree from Western – the only such honorary degree she has ever accepted.

The holder of the Alice Munro Chair in Creativity will serve as a mentor and model to scholars, students and creative talents. The chair’s work will focus on the production of creative work and analyses of creativity in today’s society and serve as a bridge between Western and the broader creative community. Recruitment for the position will soon begin, with the aim to fill the chair next spring.

“The Department of English and Writing Studies is honoured and delighted to participate in the search for the first Alice Munro Chair in Creativity,” said Bryce Traister, English and Writing Studies Chair. “As one of the world’s top English departments, Western English will attract interest from many talented and accomplished thinkers from across the world, one of whom will lead the department, the campus, the London community and, indeed, the world in a vibrant inquiry into the nature, role and practice of human creativity both within and beyond Arts & Humanities, both within and beyond the gates of the university.

“We look forward to the Alice Munro Chair in Creativity bringing students and faculty from all over campus into the excitement of invention, creation, innovation and speculation. What an exciting time to be part of Western English and Writing Studies.”


This article appeared in the Fall 2016 edition of Impact Western
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