Ted Nolan and Melanie Ross to Receive Honorary Degrees at Spring Convocation May 16
Award-winning coach and philanthropist Ted Nolan and vocalist and artistic director Melanie Ross will be receiving honorary degrees from St. Thomas University at its Spring Convocation on May 16.
“As a player and coach, Ted Nolan faced discrimination and racism – he went from ‘loving the game to surviving the game’ – though his success provided him with the opportunity to inspire Indigenous youth. Melanie Ross has been a preserver and promoter of traditional music, keeping the history of the “old songs” alive,” said Dr. Kim Fenwick, Acting President and Vice-Chancellor.
“We are looking forward to honouring them along with the accomplishments of our graduates in the Bachelor of Arts, Applied Arts, and Mi’kmaq/Maliseet Bachelor of Social Work Programs at Spring Convocation.”
Spring Convocation will take place Tuesday, May 16 at 2 pm at the Grant Harvey Centre. Nolan will deliver the address to graduates and Ross will sing the traditional song “The Banks of the Miramichi.
Ted Nolan is an Ojibway and grew up on the Garden River First Nation in Ontario. He went from skating on a backyard rink to minor and junior hockey, and then to being drafted by the Detroit Red Wings. As a young coach, he led the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds to Ontario Hockey League Championships in 1991 and 1992 and won the Memorial Cup in 1993. As a head coach in the NHL, he earned the Jack Adams Award for Coach of the Year in 1997. He led the Moncton Wildcats to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League President’s Cup in 2006. His international experience includes coaching the Latvian Men’s National Team to the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
In 2013, he set up the 3Nolans Hockey School with his sons, Brandon and Jordan. They travel across Canada to develop the hockey skills of Indigenous youth, and speak about the importance of active lifestyles and leadership in their communities. In 2004, he started the Ted Nolan Foundation to honour his late mother Rose and established the Rose Nolan Scholarship Fund which has provided scholarships to Indigenous women continuing their education. The foundation raised almost $2 million and awarded scholarships to over 130 women. Nolan works for the Chiefs of Ontario Regional Office and this fall, Penguin Random House Canada will release his autobiography Life in Two Worlds.
Melanie Ross is a native of Miramichi who excelled in music from an early age and earned awards from local and provincial music festivals. She graduated from Mount Allison University with a Bachelor of Music and a Bachelor of Education, and a Master of Education in Educational Leadership and Administration from St. Francis Xavier University. She is currently Principal at Halifax Regional Arts which provides fine arts programming. She provides music liturgy at Christ the King Parish, Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, and St. Mary’s Basilica in greater Halifax. She has been the director and organizer of many festivals and events, including the Helen Creighton Folklore Festival.
She is Artistic Director, performer, and emcee for the Miramichi Folksong Festival, the longest standing folk festival in Canada and an important part of preserving New Brunswick culture in song. Ross has participated in recording projects in Canada and Japan, and has made six of her own recordings of folk and contemporary songs including Songs of Ireland, From Our River, Live in Miramichi, and Miramichi Folk. She has performed across Canada and in Thailand, Japan, China, Dubai, Switzerland, Ireland, and England. She has performed at Canadian and Maritime festivals including the Fundy Sea Shanty Festival, Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival, Mahone Bay Wooden Boat Festival, Harbourfront Maritime Festival, the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo, and the Miramichi Irish and Scottish Festivals. She was awarded the Senate of Canada’s 150 Anniversary Medal in 2017 for her contribution to her community.