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New Year's Levee kicks off UPEI's 50th anniversary

Thursday, January 3, 2019
Recent PhD graduate Dr. Olive Bryanton is greeted at the Levee by President Abd-El-Aziz and Alumni President Lisa Doyle MacBain

Despite a New Year's Day storm, hundreds of UPEI faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends attended the University's annual New Year's Levee. UPEI’s version of the social event, co-hosted by the UPEI Alumni Association, proved yet again to be a popular stop for levee-goers, and, with the inclement weather, led to participants staying a bit longer to mingle as a number of other levees were cancelled.

UPEI President and Vice-Chancellor Alaa Abd-El-Aziz and Valerie Abd-El-Aziz, Chancellor Catherine Callbeck, Board of Governors Chair Pat Sinnott and Darlene Sinnott, UPEI Student Union President Will McGuigan, and UPEI Alumni Association President Lisa Doyle-MacBain received over 400 guests. Several UPEI music students, attired in Victorian dress, sang seasonal carols and helped the revellers kick off UPEI's 50th anniversary in 2019, which celebrates 50 years of the University serving as a leader in education, research, and service. (Visit upei.ca/50 to learn more!) 

About the levee tradition

The word levee (from the French noun lever, to raise) originated with King Louis XIV of France whose custom was to receive his subjects just after arising, a practice that then spread throughout Europe. In the 18th century, the levee in Great Britain and Ireland became a formal reception given by the sovereign just before noon or in the early afternoon. It was in Canada that the levee became associated with New Year's Day when fur traders began the tradition of paying their respects to their government representative on January 1. The first recorded levee in Canada was held in 1646.

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