Mabel Bell to receive honorary degree posthumously
Cape Breton University will posthumously award an honorary doctorate of letters degree to Mabel Hubbard Bell at a special convocation ceremony on Thursday.
It will be held at the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site in Baddeck, starting at 1 p.m.
CBU president David Wheeler said Bell’s “incredible drive and personality” were instrumental in making her husband, Alexander Graham Bell, a household name around the world.
Wheeler said Mabel Bell had her own “remarkable, independent and unique” qualities.
“Cape Breton University hopes that in recognizing Mabel Bell, young innovative minds, in particular young women, will be encouraged to follow their dreams, appreciate the value of education and know what is possible when people persevere through adver- sity,” he said in a release issued by CBU on Tuesday.
In 1907, Bell became the first woman to invest in the aviation industry.
Believing that her husband’s aeronautical experiments could lead to heavier-than-air flying machines, she organized, financed and recruited members, such as J.A.D. (Douglas) McCurdy and F.W. (Casey) Baldwin, to form the Aerial Experiment Association.
Two years later, the association launched the first manned flight in Canada.
Bell will also be honoured with the presentation of the Bell Aliant Women in Education Awards.
Bell Aliant will provide $20,000 in support of the special convocation event, and will also award $2,500 to female students attending CBU during the upcoming 2015-2016 academic year.
Bell Aliant will present the awards at the annual president’s dinner.