Honorary Degree Recipient Elizabeth Fountain

Elizabeth Fountain honorary degree recipient for Dalhousie University’s Spring Convocation 2022

Dalhousie is presenting eight outstanding individuals with honorary degrees during Spring Convocation ceremonies in May and June. Honorary degrees are awarded to individuals across a wide range of disciplines and achievements. They recognize people who have shown inspirational leadership; outstanding contributions to a field or discipline of study or a non‐academic area of achievement; and/or outstanding achievement at or contributions to Dalhousie. Candidates are reviewed and recommended by the Senate Honorary Degrees Committee and approved by the university Senate. The 2022 honorary degree cohort consists of five people who are already alumni and three more who soon become alumni (as all honorary degree recipients officially join our alumni community if they’re not a member already). They represent Dal’s supporters and friends, and we are grateful in the Office of Advancement for the many ways they enrich our community.

 

Honouring Elizabeth Fountain, philanthropist and community builder

Elizabeth Fountain’s philanthropic leadership extends across Nova Scotia and Canada.

Born in the Spryfield neighbourhood of Halifax, her generosity and dedication to health, the arts, education, culture, and the environment have benefitted dozens of organizations.

She and her husband Fred have provided transformative charitable support to organizations as wide-ranging as the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, the Black Loyalist Heritage Centre, the Nature Conservancy of Canada, Symphony Nova Scotia and the National Arts Centre, to name a few.

They’ve also made significant donations to several universities, including Dalhousie — most notably the transformative gift that helped create the Fountain School of Performing Arts. The Fountains, in partnership with the QEII Health Sciences Centre Foundation, also founded the Stay Connected Mental Health Project in honour of their son, Alex, who died by suicide in 2009.

“It is very special to me to be placed alongside those remarkable individuals who have received and are about to receive Honorary Doctorates from Dalhousie University. I’ve been present at many Dalhousie convocations throughout the years and have always been intrigued by the vast array of accomplishments by honorary degree recipients, many of whom are not household names, who create and do amazing things that have a positive impact on our lives. And Dalhousie is very good at recognizing that. To me it says we see you, we know that what you are doing is making a difference in our communities, our country, and our world.—Elizabeth Fountain speaking about her honorary doctorate award for spring convocation.

Difference maker and distinguished patron

Elizabeth Fountain has been awarded honorary degrees from the University of King’s College and Mount Saint Vincent University, her alma mater. In 2017, she was honoured by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health as a National Difference Maker.

“It is very special to me to be placed alongside those remarkable individuals who have received and are about to receive Honorary Doctorates from Dalhousie University. I’ve been present at many Dalhousie convocations throughout the years and have always been intrigued by the vast array of accomplishments by honorary degree recipients, many of whom are not household names, who create and do amazing things that have a positive impact on our lives. And Dalhousie is very good at recognizing that. To me it says we see you, we know that what you are doing is making a difference in our communities, our country, and our world.” Elizabeth Fountain, on what receiving an honorary doctorate from Dalhousie means to her.

She is also an honorary trustee of the QEII Health Sciences Centre Foundation, a distinguished patron of the National Gallery of Canada, and is honorary co-chair for the Dalhousie Arts Centre Expansion Campaign.