One hundred and ten years after the first woman enrolled as a student, UNB appointed its first and only woman president and vice-chancellor in July 1996, Dr. Elizabeth Parr-Johnston. An economist educated at Wellesley College and Yale University, Dr. Parr-Johnston served as President of Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax prior to joining UNB. She also held a number of academic appointments, served in senior federal government positions, and performed executive roles in the private sector.
Throughout Parr-Johnston's five-year term, "during a very difficult period in UNB's history", much was accomplished including the momentum of the Renewal Process, the establishment of several new chairs and centres (e.g the University Women's Centre, located in the Student Union Building), the creation of Renaissance College, the construction of new buildings on both campuses, the attraction of the National Research Council E-Commerce Centre, the doubling of scholarship funds, the appointment of many highly qualified vice-presidents and deans, the re-organization of academic administration to strengthen key areas, and a greatly improved financial planning and control structure. She stepped down as the institutions's sixteenth President on 30 June 2002. In September 2011, the newest residence at UNB was named her honour as the Elizabeth Parr-Johnston Residence.
- Alumni News, vol. 5, no. 1, Fall 1996, p. 12-15.
- Alumni News, vol. 10, no. 1, Fall 2001, p. 8.
- UA Case 135; File 15.
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