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Honorary Doctorate Presented to Ken Macleod

May 17, 2024

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Honorary Doctorate Presented to Ken Macleod

2024 Honorary Doctorate Presented

At the 2024 Spring Convocation, Crandall University presented the honorary degree Doctor of Letters (DLitt) to Kenneth Randal Macleod.

Since 2002 Ken MacLeod has led the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra. For his work he has been awarded the Order of Moncton (2012), the Governor General’s Meritorious Service Medal (2015), and the Queen Elizabeth II, Platinum Jubilee Medal (2022).

Equally important to Ken is that he is married to Miriam and they have two children and two grandchildren.

Beginning as a parent volunteer, Ken’s involvements with NBYO grew to become full time. He became President and CEO and in 2009 he founded Sistema NB, a milestone in establishing NBYO as one of the most accomplished youth orchestra programs in Canada.   

But Ken’s impact at NBYO builds on all his prior experience. 

Ken earned a Bachelor of Science degree (1976) from Acadia University, and Bachelor of Education and Master of Science degrees from Mount Allison University (1979 and 1984.) 

In 1980 he started honing his teaching skills as professor of Biology at Atlantic Baptist College. Meanwhile, serving as Vice President for Development at Crandall University from 1985-1996 immersed him in fundraising. 

Ken gained first-hand insight into government decision-making as an elected member of the New Brunswick Legislative Assembly from 1995 to 1999. At the same time, he founded KMA Consultants. As President, he guided leaders at nonprofit organizations across Canada towards success.

Ken also has been a Board member of the Orchestra of the Americas Group and of the Global Leaders Institute in Washington, D.C.

However, it was the potential of the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra that truly fired his imagination. 

Early on, as an NBYO Board member, Ken encountered El Sistema in Venezuela. This world-leading music program was making a tangible difference on issues of poverty. Ken became convinced that a similar investment in New Brunswick youth would generate positive change.

In 2009, that conviction launched Sistema NB with 50 children in a school basement in Moncton. Today, Sistema NB engages more than 1,200 students daily in nine communities. Its mission is ‘to inspire children and youth to achieve their full potential through learning and performing orchestral music.’  In 2015, the program was recognized by the Prime Minister’s Award for Social Innovation.

Sistema NB’s current vision – and a lasting legacy of Ken’s service – is to serve more than 2,000 children daily, engage more than 10,000 children over 15 years, and ultimately end intergenerational poverty in New Brunswick. That commitment is earning accolades from El Sistema-based programs in 25 countries.

Presentation and Address

Watch below for special music provided by the Sistema NB Mozart String Orchestra, followed by the presentation of the honorary doctorate and convocation address.

Crandall University is Atlantic Canada’s leading Liberal Arts University rooted in the Christian Faith, offering degree programs in Arts, Science, Business Administration, Education, and Management. To learn more, visit crandallu.ca or call 1‑888-968-6228.

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