First Tory-Bagnall and MacDonald Bursary awarded to Guysborough County grad

Taya Lucas-Desmond smiles on a bench in the Conservatory in the K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre

Taya Lucas-Desmond is honoured to have help during her academic studies

Taya Lucas-Desmond, a fourth-year environmental science student at Acadia University, has been named the inaugural recipient of the Tory-Bagnall and MacDonald Bursary. Cairine (Tory) and Bernie MacDonald established the $10,000 annual bursary to honour their family's commitment to education and to enable students from the Maritimes to aspire to university.    

A native of Sunnyville, Guysborough County, Lucas-Desmond pursued her degree at Acadia to remain in her home province while still accessing a world-class education.

"I was drawn to Acadia because of its close connection with nature," she explained. "I spend much of my downtime in the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens on campus and the various walking trails around Wolfville. I am fascinated with the Minas Basin and the famous Bay of Fundy tides that are just a few minutes from Acadia's campus."

Lucas-Desmond's experience at Acadia has been profoundly positive, fostering academic growth and lasting relationships. "I have had the opportunity to create long-lasting, meaningful friendships," she said. "I have also had the chance to get to know many of my professors, as the classes are very small at Acadia. The support from professors, peers, friends, and other campus resources has been astounding."

Taya Lucas-Desmond smiles while wearing a lab coat and examining a botanical archive print

The bursary holds particular significance for Lucas-Desmond, who learned about the award from her previous employer at the Guysborough Historical Society and Old Courthouse Museum. "I am happy to be the very first recipient of this award, and I am proud to represent the unique skills Guysborough County has to offer," she expressed. "As I enter my final year of studies at Acadia University, this award will go a long way in funding my future career in science!"

The Tory–Bagnall and MacDonald Bursary is a testament to Lucas-Desmond's dedication to environmental science and her commitment to positively impacting her home province. As she moves forward in her academic journey, this award will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in shaping her future successes.

There’s more to the story

Every donor has a reason to give. Learn the story behind the Tory-Bagnall and MacDonald Bursary.

For more information on enhancing the student experience at Acadia University, please visit How Can I Give? to contact the Donor Relations team within the Office of Advancement.

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