Pickard-Bell Chair in Music

Dr. Elizabeth Wells has recently been named the new Pickard-Bell Chair in Music at Mount Allison University.

This Chair was established in 1966 with a generous endowment from the estate of Winthrop Pickard Bell, B.A., M.A., Ph.D. This very substantial bequest to Mount Allison was in memory of Dr. Bell’s mother, Mary Emerancy Pickard Bell, the first teacher of piano in the Conservatory of Music, 1873–1882. (In 1965 Dr. Ralph P. Bell, brother of Dr. Winthrop Bell, donated the Mount Allison Chapel Organ, also in memory of his mother). Mary Emerancy Pickard Bell graduated from the Mount Allison Ladies’ College in 1866 with a degree of Mistress of Liberal Arts. From 1866-1869 she taught Literature, Mathematics and Calisthenics at the Ladies College, and in 1873 she joined the Faculty of the Conservatory of Music.

Winthrop P. Bell was one of Mount Allison’s most illustrious and loyal graduates. An outstanding scholar, he graduated with honours in Mathematics, Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degree. He also earned an M.A. from Harvard and a Ph.D. from Gottigen, Germany. He lectured at the University of Toronto and at Harvard University, eventually returning to Nova Scotia to engage in business and pursue scholarly activities.

A loyal Allisonian and churchman, he annually supported the financial program of the university and encouraged classmates and friends to rally around their “alma mater.” It is for one of his earliest works, composed when a student at Mount Allison, that he is best remembered by all Allisonians, for he wrote the lyrics of the “Alma Mater” song. Since 1906 this song has been sung by students at the University and by Allisonians throughout the world. Dr. Bell served on the Board of Regents from 1948-1951. He died in 1965.

In 1965 Mount Allison received Dr. Winthrop Bell’s entire library, more than half of which is a very valuable collection of Acadiana.

The following scholars have held the chair since establishment: George A. Procter, B.A., M.Mus., Ph.D., 1967-1974; and Nancy F. Vogan, B.A., M.Mus., Ph.D., 2005-2014.

Description from the Mount Allison University 2013–2014 Academic Calendar, pg. 47