Published Jan 26, 2011A few years back, Liverpool Hope University announced its music-minded masters program "The Beatles, Popular Music and Society," which analyzes the cultural impact of the Beatles on modern society, among other things. Interestingly, a portion of the course also deals with how the port city shaped the identity of the group.
If you were at all skeptical of the program's practicality -- not many jobs require a specific knowledge of the Lennon/McCartney partnership -- you may want to monitor this: This week the institution loosed its first graduate of the program into the world, and she's Canadian.
CBC reports that Mary-Lu Zahalan-Kennedy, a former Miss Canada finalist from Ontario, is the first to finish the advanced degree. While the 53-year-old's thesis wasn't revealed, can we assume the Canuck focused on the Fab Four's first-ever Canadian gig at Vancouver's Empire Stadium back in 1964?
Zahala-Kennedy, an actress and singer born in Renfrew and raised in Brampton, said the course provided insight into the Beatles' influence on music and culture.
"It's absolutely academic. It was an examination of how the Beatles came to be. What the political and social climate was and the cultural aspects that helped to facilitate an environment where the Beatles' could happen," she told the BBC.
As for Zahala-Kennedy's future plans, she says she intends to return to Canada and teach popular music.