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Dorothy Cullen Memorial Award
|Occasion:||Deans' Academic Honours and Awards Night|
|Process:||Recommendation from the Department of English|
|Description:||Awarded on the recommendation of the English Department to a returning student who clearly demonstrates a love of reading and books.|
|Background:||Dorothy Cullen was born in Sherwood, Prince Edward Island in 1915. Being a member of a large, loving family headed by Timothy and Fanny Cullen, Dorothy learned the importance of generosity and helping others. In 1933, Dorothy graduated with honours from Prince of Wales College. She went on to receive a BLS from Enoch Pratt Institute Library School in New York in 1936 and later a Bachelor of Arts degree from Dalhousie University in 1948. Dorothy had a love of reading and surrounded herself with books during her career as a Librarian at the Prince Edward Island Library. She served as Chief Librarian from 1956-1971. Dorothy's devotion to the library and its mission was exemplified in 1940 when the library sent boxes of books to schools that were located in communities with no library. Wanting to ensure that the students received books that were grade appropriate, Dorothy lovingly devoted many hours to selecting and packing the books for each school. Dorothy was delighted when she received letters of joy from the children. Wanting to instill in youth a love of reading, Dorothy actively promoted the use of the library. Knowing that not all Island children had access to a library in their community, she wanted to bring books to them by way of a traveling library. She worked to promote this ambitious plan, which came to fruition shortly after her death when the Bookmobiles were launched. The Bookmobiles were a welcome sight to these children, who otherwise may not have experienced the joy of so many books. In addition to her work with the Library, Dorothy was also actively involved in many community organizations such as the Charlottetown Business and Professional Women's Club, Provincial Women's Business and Professional Association, and St. Dunstan's Basilica Catholic Women's League, to name a few. Dorothy contributed many volunteer hours of work in the early years of the PEI Music Festival, helping to prepare the annual syllabus of music. On May 16, 1971, this deserving woman was awarded for her dedication and commitment to community education with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Prince Edward Island. Sadly, cancer took her life days before her award was presented. She did, however, have the pleasure of knowing she was going to receive it. Wanting to continue Dorothy's work of inspiring a love of books and reading, while still keeping her memory alive, her family created the Dorothy Cullen Memorial Award, which is given annually to a student at the University of Prince Edward Island who is majoring in English. Since the Award began in 1973, many students have benefited from this wonderful gift including its first recipient, Elizabeth Rollins Epperly, who went on to become the University of Prince Edward Island's first female President.|