Farris, Evlyn Fenwick

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Farris, Evlyn Fenwick

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1878-1971

History

Evlyn Fenwick Farris (nee Keirstead) was born in Windsor, Nova Scotia on August 21, 1878. She attended school in Nova Scotia and then attended Horton Academy, graduating high school at the age of sixteen. In 1898, she graduated from Acadia University with First Class Honours and in 1899, she was granted an MA Degree in Philosophy and German. She moved to Middletown Connecticut, where she taught high school history from 1899-1905.

After a seven-year engagement, she married John Wallace de Beque Farris in 1905 and moved to Vancouver. She and her husband had four children, Katherine Hay, Donald Fenwick, Ralph Keirstad, and John Lauchlan. She started the first University Women’s Club of Vancouver in 1907, where she was president for a three year term. In 1912, Farris was elected to the Senate of the University of British Columbia, and was on the Board of Governors from 1917-1942. She worked with members of the University Faculty to establish University Extension Lectures to bring education to adult populations across the province. In 1923, Acadia University acknowledged her contribution to higher education in British Columbia and presented her with an honorary doctorate. She also received another honorary doctorate from UBC in 1942. She died on November 5, 1971.

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