The Acadia Alumni Association knows the considerable financial challenges facing Acadia students as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and has stepped up in a very big way to support them.
The Association announced this week a $50,000 donation to the recently established COVID-19 Student Relief Fund to help provide bursary support in variable amounts to second, third and fourth-year students facing ongoing and/or summer employment disruption or other financial difficulties as a result of the pandemic.
University President Dr. Peter Ricketts inaugurated the Fund on April 9, 2020 and received an immediate response. The first gift arrived less than five minutes after an e-mail appeal was sent to Acadia’s faculty and staff, and six more within 15 minutes. The Fund grew to $120,000 in short order thanks to numerous contributions from Acadia’s employees, alumni and friends, and continues to attract much-needed support.
The Alumni Association’s gift boosts the total to $170,000, with the possibility of more to come in recognition of the magnitude of need. Alumni Association President Donalda MacBeath ('75) says, “we’re delighted to support Acadia’s students and ensure that the unique learning opportunities that represent the University’s academic and social experiences will continue to be available to them. We look forward to welcoming them to our alumni family upon graduation, and are committed to their success in attaining that goal by allocating resources to this Fund now and in the future.
“As an alumni community,” MacBeath says, “we have supported Acadia, its students and staff in times of need. The COVID-19 pandemic has created challenges for the University and its students that were incomprehensible four months ago. In these challenging times I encourage our alumni community, if possible, to make a donation to the COVID-19 Student Relief Fund. A little help can go a long way.”
Acadia Students’ Union President Brendan MacNeil agrees. “Who Acadia students are, and who they will become, is shaped by their experiences today,” he says. “It is shaped by the commitment of Acadia University to create exponential growth, of the Wolfville community to provide a cultivated experience, and the tireless unity and engagement of past graduates, our Alumni Association. Today, the product of these experiences is giving back to Acadia students once again at a time when their growth may have been checked, or circumstances may have gotten them down. In true Acadia spirit, our past students are there to help them back up again. Thank you.”
Applications for COVID-19 Relief bursaries will be accepted up to June 15, 2020. To donate to the Fund, please visit: giving.acadiau.ca/COVID.
Written by Fred Sgambati (‘83)