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(L-R) Meg Shields (Carol's daughter) and Dr. Don Shields (Carol's spouse and former University of Manitoba Dean of Engineering), University of Manitoba President and Vice-Chancellor David Barnard and Curt Vossen (Richardson Foundation) at the unveiling ceremony on Sept. 8, 2016.

(L-R) Meg Shields (Carol's daughter) and Dr. Don Shields (Carol's spouse and former University of Manitoba Dean of Engineering), University of Manitoba President and Vice-Chancellor David Barnard and Curt Vossen (Richardson Foundation) at the unveiling ceremony on Sept. 8, 2016. // Photo by Mike Latschislaw

Paying tribute to the legacy of a literary lion

Commemorative bust created to honour Carol Shields

September 8, 2016 — 

The University of Manitoba honoured internationally acclaimed writer and former faculty member Carol Shields through the official unveiling of a commemorative bust on Sept. 8 at Innovation Plaza.

Shields taught at the University of Manitoba for nearly two decades. She joined its department of English in 1980 and taught students until her retirement in 1999. Shields died in July 2003.

Shields taught at the U of M from 1980 until 1999.

Carol Shields taught at the U of M from 1980 until 1999.

Her work, which included non-fiction, poetry, drama and fiction, attracted accolades far and wide. In the mid 1990s, her novel The Stone Diaries won both the Governor General’s literary award and The Pulitzer Prize. Some of her other celebrated works include Swann, The Republic of Love, Unless and Larry’s Party.

In January 2003, the U of M recognized Shields with an honorary Doctor of Letters degree.

Shields was born in 1935 and raised in Oak Park, Illinois. She enrolled at Hanover College in Indiana in 1953. She also spent a year at Exeter University in England as an exchange student, where she met Don Shields, an engineer from Canada who would later serve for several years as dean of the U of M’s Faculty of Engineering.

After she graduated from Hanover College in 1957, they married and settled in Canada, living in a number of cities before arriving in Winnipeg in 1980.

Along with amassing local, national and international awards, Shields mentored many developing writers and earned widespread recognition for her impact on communities.

In 1998, the Governor General of Canada made Shields an Officer of the Order of Canada. Four years later, she was made a Companion of the Order of Canada – the country’s highest honour.

The Carol Shields commemorative bust.

The Carol Shields commemorative bust.

Innovation Plaza was established in 2013 to celebrate and honour University of Manitoba academic staff who have demonstrated sustained excellence and global impact and influence through a body of research, scholarly works or creative activities with a series of commemorative busts. The project was made possible through the vision and leadership of the Richardson Foundation.

Research at the University of Manitoba is partially supported by funding from the Government of Canada Research Support Fund.

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3 comments on “Paying tribute to the legacy of a literary lion

  1. Ilana

    I was fortunate to take a creative writing class with Carol Shields at U of M in the early 1980s – she was an amazing prof who always brought out the best in her students and taught us all so much!

    Reply
  2. Andrew Katsanis

    I will always be grateful to Carol for the help she gave me for an important speech that I had to give back in 1954. I knew then that she was a 5 star person

    Reply
  3. Jane Gralen

    Hw lovely that Carol has been honored this way. I was
    a childhood friend of Carol’s and always appreciate
    her wit and cheerful attitude. As for her books@! I was smitten with them all, and have them all in my library.
    What a special person she was! Jane Gralen

    Reply

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