Marial Mosher dancing
Photo Credit: Dance Collection Danse

A scholar, philanthropist, professional dancer, and World War II veteran, the Mount’s Dr. Marial Mosher was many things.

Born in Halifax in 1917, Marial Mosher was passionate about dance. At 18, she moved to New York to study dance and perform on Broadway, returning home four years later to work at Madame Hylda’s School of Dance. In 1941, she joined the Canadian Women’s Army Corps, where she served as a senior officer at Canadian and English bases. In 1953, in recognition of her distinguished military service, Marial was part of a small group of Canadian service women selected to attend the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

After the war, Marial studied sociology and anthropology at Acadia University, the University of Toronto, Simon Fraser University, and Dalhousie University, before accepting a tenure-track job in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Mount Saint Vincent University in 1969. She also initiated the Mount’s Canadian Studies program, which she later endowed with two sizeable scholarships and two travel awards. Since the mid 1980s, more than 80 awards have been made!

Marial Mosher dancing in her Women's Army Corp uniform
Photo Credit: Dance Collection Danse

After retiring, Marial helped found the Elder Learners program at Saint Mary’s University and she was honoured by the Canadian Federation of University Women for fifty years of service. In 2004, her contributions to women’s education, elder learning, and the history of dance in Canada were recognised with the Order of Nova Scotia.

Dr. Marial Mosher died in Halifax on October 4, 2008. Her legacy lives on in the achievements of the many Mount students she has supported.

MSVU’s history is rich with the stories of countless people who’ve had an impact on the university and in the broader community. Over the course of 2023, we’ll feature mini stories about 150 MSVU students, faculty, staff and alum. Check back often to meet more amazing MSVU people!

Marial Mosher during her service with the Canadian Women's Army Corps
Photo Credit: Dance Collection Danse