By Fred Sgambati (’83)
A love of hockey drew Paul Bailey (’75) to Acadia, but his affection for the school and all it offers has deepened considerably since graduation. He has been and continues to be one of the University’s most ardent friends, donating generously to support students, athletes and programs across a wide spectrum of endeavour.
Paul grew up in Orillia, Ontario and started playing hockey at the age of five. He became part of the Kitchener Rangers organization in the OHL eventually and played there from 1968-70. During that time, a couple of Orillia boys – Roger Creasor (’70) and Bart MacDonald (’71) – played for the Acadia hockey Axemen and they encouraged Paul to consider Acadia for his post-secondary education.
Legendary Acadia coach Don Wells subsequently visited with Paul and his parents and persuaded Paul to come to Acadia. Wells told Paul that he could get a good education in a beautiful setting, make some friends and chase the puck around a bit. It all sounded pretty good, and Paul chose to attend Acadia sight-unseen. He has said many times since that it was the best decision he ever made.
“My time at Acadia was surely the best time in my very lucky life,” he said during his induction to Acadia’s Hockey Honour Roll in 2014. He added that few days pass when he doesn’t revisit the good times at Acadia and the fond memories he has of his alma mater.
He also made some great friends at Acadia, many of whom he remains in touch with today, including his former roommate Hugh Bray (’75) and Chris Kavanagh (‘74). He speaks fondly of former fellow hockey Axeman Bill Parker (’56, ’98 HON) and Acadia teammates Ian Mackinnon (’72), Mike O’Doherty (’74), Bob Stoddard (’72), Michel Paiement (’76), and Brian Mosher (’73).
Paul graduated with a degree in business and eventually got into the residential land development and house construction industry. He started his own company, Bazil Developments Inc., in 1984, which continues to this day.
Give back in a profound way
His success has given him the opportunity to give back to Acadia in a profound way. He has provided the raffle prize at the annual Alumni Dinner in support of the S.M.I.L.E. (Sensory Motor Instructional Leadership Experience) program at Acadia for the past seven years, raising approximately $30,000 for the program; contributed $100,000 to the “Twenty Wing” project to transform Patterson Hall into the new home of the Manning School of Business; and $100,000 to refurbish the hockey Axemen’s locker room in conjunction with the construction of the Stevens Centre in the Athletics Complex.
As a member of the Campaign for Acadia Cabinet, Paul has served the University faithfully and well, crowning his commitment with an additional $500,000 donation to the Campaign.
“Acadia is really where I got my start in life,” Paul says. “The personal approach and collegial attitude made me feel welcome, and I met many wonderful people who have become lasting and lifelong friends. I’ve been incredibly fortunate, and I’m happy to be in a position to give back to Acadia because I believe I owe a great deal to the school. I will continue to donate to Acadia in the future and look forward to supporting its faculty, students, staff and administration to the best of my ability.”
“Paul Bailey’s commitment to Acadia has been nothing short of remarkable,” says Vice-President, Advancement Dr. Rod Morrison. “The connections he made as an athlete, business student and member of our alumni community have grown since his graduation in 1975 and his loyalty to the University knows no bounds. We are very grateful for his long history of support, and can’t thank him enough for his generosity, which will continue to benefit Acadia for generations to come.”