Faculty of Arts alumnus Tom Harrington is making his first trip back to Newfoundland in five years this summer – and Spinnin’ a Yarn is on top of his "to do" list.
“The reunion was top of mind because I’d never been to one and in recent years I have become better connected with Memorial and felt it important to support an institution that that means so much to the province, producing generation after generation of leaders in politics, science, culture and industry,” said Mr. Harrington, current host of CBC TV’s Marketplace and a nine-time Gemini nominee.
At Spinnin’ a Yarn, taking place on Friday, Aug. 10, as part of havin’ a Time: Reunion 2012, Mr. Harrington will be reminiscing about his father Michael Harrington, the first Newfoundland-born graduate of Memorial University. He chose his father and his work as his subject for a long list of reasons.
“When my father attended Memorial College in the 1930s he started the first university newspaper which would eventually become The Muse. He taught English there in the 1950s before becoming editor of the Evening Telegram. He would later become a member of the Board of Regents, receive an honorary degree and my siblings and I established a Newfoundland history prize in his name. Four of my five siblings are graduates of the Faculty of Arts, owed in no small part to the legacy and passions of our father.”
Mr. Harrington credits his arts degree and the lasting inspiration of his father for his ability to explain ideas and argue points of view clearly and compellingly.
He holds many fond memories of his time at Memorial in the mid-1970s.
“I had some wonderful profs including Ralph Pasture in history, Michael Langford in philosophy and Terry Murphy in religious studies. My final year at MUN, I ran with George Wyatt for CSU president and VP (me), which we won. I oversaw the 1977-78 Winter Carnival which included a performance by the then-unknown jazz guitarist Pat Metheny. But our signature achievement was staging a referendum supporting the transfer of the student union building fund to the university so it could lobby the province to fund for a new library. The resolution passed and the library was built, opening 30 years ago this summer.”
Memorial’s Faculty of Arts is hosting Spinnin’ a Yarn on Friday, Aug. 10, as part of havin’ a Time: Reunion 2012. Billed as a celebration of storytelling and storytellers, the event features alumni and star faculty members telling their own tales.
Participants include CBC broadcaster Tom Harrington, Newfoundland Chocolate Company founder Brent Smith, folklorist Dale Jarvis, musicians Katie Baggs and Tom Power, faculty members Patricia Dold, Gerard Van Herk and Elizabeth Miller, archivist David Bradley, photographer and writer Dennis Flynn and graduate student Suzanne Power.
A super mixer in the lobby featuring music from Chris Youé and Glenn Collins, door prizes and a cash bar will follow the event in the Bruneau Centre’s Innovation Theatre.
Spinnin’ a Yarn begins at 7 p.m. and admission is $20. Alumni and friends can visit www.reunion.mun.ca/4305_spinnin_a_yarn.php for more information or to register.