David Adams Richards Appointed to the Senate of Canada
Alumnus and award-winning author David Adams Richards has been appointed to the Senate of Canada and will represent New Brunswick in the Red Chamber.
“David’s selection by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is inspiring,” said President and Vice-Chancellor Dawn Russell. “He will be a fine representative for a province he has written about so movingly for more than four decades.”
In making the announcement, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that Richards “has done an extraordinary job of telling the stories of the Miramichi River valley of New Brunswick to Canadians and to the world.”
“His dedication to the arts and his love of place and of country will be an extraordinary asset to the independent thinkers in the Senate. I am pleased to say that David Adams Richards is going to be a credit not just to New Brunswick but to all of Canada,” he added.
Richards is one of Canada’s most respected writers. The New Brunswick native is one of only three people to win the Governor General’s award in the categories of fiction and non-fiction. He is also an award-winning poet, essayist and screenwriter. The author of 16 novels, two books of short stories, and six books of non-fiction, Richards is highly regarded in the eyes of both his readers and reviewers. He has received every major literary award in Canada including the Giller Prize.
An Honorary Degree and Artist in Residence
Richards attended STU in the early 1970s and received an honorary degree in 1990. More recently at STU, he co-chaired the university’s centenary celebrations, was a featured speaker at the National Congress of the Humanities when it was hosted at STU and UNB, was Artist in Residence and the Irving Chair in Journalism. In these roles, he has spoken with thousands of students, and some members of faculty have published scholarly studies of his work.
“His lectures at STU were standing-room only events and he held his audiences spellbound,” Russell added.
“At the same time, I have seen him quietly work with our students, in classrooms and in one-on-one sessions. Perhaps it is most impressive that he always found the time to listen to and encourage young writers. The generosity that permeates his writing is reflected in his personal graciousness and interest in young students. Indeed, many of these students are amazed that such a humble person is a writer whose novels are read, celebrated and studied world-wide.”
Through the annual David Adams Richards Prizes for Fiction and Non-Fiction, STU students continue to benefit from his legacy.
Richards holds four honorary degrees, including one from St. Thomas University, and was named to the Order of New Brunswick and Order of Canada.