Eliza Ritchie died (b. 1856). A scholar (BA 1887, LLD’27), author, educator, liberal humanist and feminist, she was the daughter of John W. Ritchie, a Nova Scotia Father of Confederation. She was educated at Dalhousie University and Cornell (Philosophy), and was a cousin to the Canadian diplomat and author, Charles Ritchie. She is considered the first female graduate of a Canadian university to earn a PhD. During the 1890s, she was a professor of Psychology and Philosophy at Wellesley College. In 1927, she was the first woman to receive an honorary LLD from Dalhousie (she was also the first female on the Dalhousie Board of Governors). She was a charter member of the NS Museum of Fine Arts, a forerunner of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. She also urged for the provision of libraries in public schools and the teaching of art to schoolchildren. She led campaigns to reform municipal politics, hold school board elections and achieve women’s suffrage. On May 2, 1917, she wrote in the Halifax Herald that “It is not for any little group of ‘intellectuals’ in Halifax and a few other towns that we desire political freedom, we want the great mass of our people, men and women both, [to] be sensible of, and to exercise their responsibility for, the good
government of the country.” (Photo: Eliza Ritchie (1856–1933). Library and Archives Canada).