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.

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