Pull up a chair

For really good stories, you pull up a chair and listen. The stories of William Barton and Ruth Bell—long-time Carleton University donors whose recent generosity established two Chairs in the Faculty of Public Affairs— are these types of stories.

Vienna, Geneva and New York were just a few of the stops Barton made during his 30-year career as a Canadian diplomat. He held positions as diverse as Canada’s ambassador to the United Nations (UN), president of the UN Security Council, and chair of the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament. Barton, who retired in 1980, is still passionate about international affairs, as evidenced by his creation of the William and Jeanie Barton Chair in International Affairs housed in the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA).

The Chair will support teaching, research and public education to promote understanding of Canada’s roles and impact in international diplomacy. It will initiate new courses, colloquia, lectures and public conferences to disseminate knowledge in Canada and internationally.

“I thought establishing a Chair would help generations of NPSIA students succeed on the international stage,” says Barton. “Moving towards peace and harmony for our world and all of the people living it, that’s an important area of study.”

The turtle makes progress only when she sticks her neck out. Those are words that Bell, MA/65, LLD/84, takes to heart. Bell stuck her neck out when she pursued her first degree through five universities, three countries, two continents and 10 years. “Getting my degree was so important,” says Bell. “Education presents you with a whole new world to enjoy.”

Bell hopes her gift to the Department of Political Science will present more students with a new perspective on Canadian history and government. The Honourable Dick and Ruth Bell Chair for the Study of Canadian Parliamentary Democracy will support teaching, research and public education into Canada’s dynamic system of parliamentary democracy. It will initiate new courses, colloquia and conferences to promote understanding of the parliamentary system.

“Without knowledge of our own history, we might not appreciate the strides we have made and realize how good we have it today,” says Bell.

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