Helen J. Baxter

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Dr. A. F. Baird and Helen J. Baxter shaking hands, (ca.1947). UA PC 13; no. 5. Photo credit: L. Harrison.

In 1947, Fredericton native Helen J. Baxter became the first woman to graduate from UNB with a degree in Civil Engineering. "By virtue of her ambition Miss Baxter blazed the way for other young women who were, until she set the precedent, a bit timid to undertake the study of civil engineering." In 1950 she became the first woman professional engineer in the province to receive her membership in the Association of Professional Engineers of New Brunswick. Baxter's individual write-up in the university yearbook Up the Hill reads:

"'The first' -- yes, Helen is the first woman engineer to graduate form this university--and it's a proud record to be claimed by the class of '47. Having attended Mt. St. Bernard in Antigonish, she returned to the Capital city for her matrics and a special commercial course, before coming to college. Helen was a staunch member of the Debating Society,and held the presidency of the Delta Rho in her Junior and Senior years. She was also a member of the Chess Club, and an avid badminton player. During her Sophomore and Junior years she has worked part time on the library staff and during the summer of her third year, she worked with the architectural firm of Alward and Gillies, St. John. Helen wants to continue her studies at McGill, where she plans to take up architecture. With U.N.B's First Lady Engineer go the best wishes of all her classmates."


  • [Telegraph Journal], 26 January 1950.
  • Up the Hill, 1947.

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