ANTIGONISH, N.S. - A special part of this year’s St. F.X. Homecoming Weekend activities was the installation of the university 10th chancellor, John Peacock, in a Sunday (Sept. 30) morning ceremony at the St. F.X. Chapel.
Peacock was announced as the incoming chancellor by the university back in mid-June and officially stepped into the role with Sunday’s ceremony.
He replaces Susan Crocker who was the university’s first female and first lay person to hold the role. Crocker was chancellor from 2015 to 2018.
“It’s an exhilarating experience for me, it really is,” Peacock said, immediately following the ceremony, as he mingled with attendees enjoying a reception in Dennis Hall at the Coady International Institute, only a few steps from the chapel.
“It’s totally unexpected; an honour I never thought was going to happen but, now that it has, it really is a privilege and I’m looking forward to it.”
Peacock, along with his wife Adrienne, are St. F.X. graduates of the Class of 1963.
St. F.X. Board of Governors’ chair Mike Boyd talked about the role.
“The role of chancellor is an ambassadorial and ceremonial one, advancing St. F.X.’s interests provincially, nationally and internationally, serving as an advocate for the university’s history, mission and vision,” Boyd said.
“The chancellor is a distinguished person with a record of demonstrated excellence in his or her chosen field and in community service; an individual whose reputation and experience exemplifies St. F.X. values. It is a role made for Mr. Peacock. He is a St. F.X. champion through and through.”
Peacock, the retired executive vice-president of Fednav Limited, a Canadian ocean-going, dry-bulk ship-owning and chartering group, said he is most looking forward to interacting with the students.
“It’s something I’ve often done, for a long time,” he said.
“That will be the highlight of what this is all about; meeting them and hearing what they have to say.”
In talking about the ceremony and reception specifically, as well as other Homecoming activities, Peacock said it has been a very encouraging weekend.
“[I’m] encouraged by the sense of how good things seem to be around here, in every respect,” he said.
“The student population is at a good level, we have a wonderful faculty, a lot of new buildings going up, there is not really much to want for. By and large, it’s a really good time for St. F.X.; nice to be here at this time.
“And it has been a great weekend. A little rain on Friday but that didn’t dampen a thing. The lunches, dinners, sporting events – football game could have gone a little better – all with the X spirit being displayed … it has just been fabulous. I’ve enjoyed it a whole lot,” he added.
St. F.X. President Kent MacDonald described the installation ceremony as a highlight of the weekend.
“It was a wonderful ceremony,” MacDonald said.
“His speech resonated with everyone in the chapel … he is a true Xaverian,” he added, noting he has received numerous positive feedback messages, through emails and in-person, regarding Peacock being chosen for the role by the board.