From May 21 to 23, St. Francis Xavier University hosted the first annual conference of the Celtic Studies Association of North America. It was organized under the leadership of Ken Nilsen, the first chair of Gaelic Studies, and Sister Margaret MacDonell, retired chair of the Department of Celtic Studies. The endowment for the chair of Gaelic Studies is named in honour of Sister Saint Veronica (Mary MacDonald), who was a Gaelic-speaker and the first woman to be appointed to the St. Francis Xavier faculty (History, from 1937 to 1970). Sister Margaret MacDonell authored The Emigrant Experience: Songs of Highland Emigrants in North America (University of Toronto Press, 1982).