A lifetime of commitment

A lifetime of commitment
Alan Ansell (Photo : Courtesy)

The journey of Alan Ansell at Bishop’s

By William Crooks

Local Journalism Initiative

In a June 3 interview with The Record, Alan Ansell, a former long-serving staff member at Bishop’s University (BU), shared his life story, from his early days in Montreal to his extensive career at BU. The following is an account of his personal and professional experiences, enriched with anecdotes and reflections.

Ansell began by recounting his roots in Westmount, Montreal, and his subsequent move to the Eastern Townships. He admitted that his academic performance was less than stellar, which led him to apply to BU at his mother’s urging.

“After high school, everybody else went away to school… a friend of mine had come here, and to keep my mother happy, I applied, and I came here in January of 1972,” he explained.

Initially, Ansell applied to BU but ended up at Champlain College due to the timing of the academic year.

“I applied to Bishop’s, but it was the first year of Champlain, so all but humanities courses were given by Bishop’s professors at the time,” he recalled.

Ansell pursued business studies despite not having a strong affinity for subjects like calculus and accounting. Ironically, he ended up working in accounting for most of his professional career.

“I was in business, but I’m not a calculus person. I hate accounting, which I did most of my professional career to balance the books,” he said.

He also played football, becoming one of the two people who played two years of football at BU while enrolled at Champlain.

“In 1974, you had to be a Bishop’s student, and that’s when I went to Bishop’s,” he said. He started working with Al Grazys, the offensive line coach, and took a season off to help build the sports centre.

One memorable anecdote from his early days involved navigating to BU’s campus. On Dec. 6, 1971, Ansell arrived to register at Champlain. He followed his friend’s instructions to take a bus to the school but amusingly realized he had arrived at BU by mistake when he saw the campus and its flowers from the bus window. Lennoxville was so small, he had not realized he had gone through it.

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