Joyce Foundation $2.5M gift to Acadia one of the largest in University’s history

Bursaries to offer financial assistance to applicants from Atlantic Canada and Ontario with an emphasis on visible minority students

A generous $2.5 million gift to Acadia University from The Joyce Foundation will dramatically increase financial support to visible minorities and to students with a proven commitment to volunteerism. The Joyce Foundation Bursaries and The Clifford and Helena Oliver Bursaries will be among the largest renewable awards available to students from Atlantic Canada and Ontario who choose to study at Acadia.

The Joyce Foundation

“We are profoundly grateful to Ron Joyce and The Joyce Foundation for the support they have shown for Acadia students,” said Ray Ivany, President and Vice-Chancellor of Acadia.  “Ron has been a longtime supporter and promoter of post-secondary education as one avenue for young people to achieve their full potential. He understands the challenges faced by students with limited financial means and through these gifts from the Foundation many more students will be able to pursue their goals here at Acadia. The special emphasis placed on volunteerism and students from visible minority groups fits perfectly with Acadia’s culture and community.”

The $2.5 million endowed gift – $1.5 million supporting the Joyce Foundation Bursaries and $1 million for the Clifford and Helena Oliver Bursaries – will support up to 20 students annually and on an ongoing basis through $5,000 bursaries granted on the basis of financial need. The awards will be available to students from Atlantic Canada and Ontario who demonstrate exceptionality in volunteerism, leadership, citizenship and character, with a portion of the Oliver Bursaries available only to students from visible minority groups.

“The Joyce Foundation is pleased to play a role in helping young Canadians pursue a university education by removing financial barriers,” says Ron Joyce, Advisor Trustee, The Joyce Foundation. “Recognizing students who are already committed to their communities by being active volunteers is particularly satisfying.”

Says retired Senator Donald Oliver, “I can’t thank my friend Ron Joyce enough for endowing this $1 million gift to Acadia in honour of my parents, Clifford and Helena Oliver. Post-secondary education is more important now than ever before and Ron’s generosity will ensure we do what we can to support students who see university as an important step in achieving their career plan. Acadia was a wonderful experience for me and thousands of Acadia alumni worldwide. This incredible gift will help open doors to many more young people, particularly African Canadians from the Atlantic, who will benefit from everything Acadia has to offer.”

Approximately 80 per cent of Acadia students are involved with at least one volunteer activity beyond their studies. For example Acadia’s award winning S.M.I.L.E. program matches approximately 400 student volunteers with 300 children and youth with physical and cognitive disabilities, and Acadia has the largest Global Brigades Chapter of any Canadian University despite its small student population. These awards will further enhance Acadia’s reputation for community involvement and social responsibility.

“We are deeply fortunate that Ron Joyce and The Joyce Foundation place such a premium on opening doors to higher education for young people,” said Dr. Rod Morrison, Acadia’s Vice-President Advancement. “We believe that this generous gift from the Foundation will encourage more students to choose Acadia because our commitment to inclusivity and social engagement resonates strongly with them, and we’re looking forward to welcoming the first recipients of the Joyce Foundation and Oliver bursaries to campus this September.”

About The Joyce Foundation

The Joyce Foundation is a private, family foundation created by Canadian entrepreneur and philanthropist Ronald V. Joyce. The Foundation is dedicated to supporting the social, economic and emotional well-being of children and youth by empowering them to develop into healthy, confident, independent contributors to Canadian society. Its trustees include: Ron Joyce, Grant Joyce, Steven Joyce, the Hon. Ed Lumley, Rob MacIsaac, Aileen O’Rafferty, Michele Thornley, and David Wagstaff

About Acadia University
Acadia University, in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, has long been recognized as one of Canada's premier post-secondary institutions. With its nationally and internationally recognized undergraduate and graduate research initiatives, small classes, and technology-rich teaching and learning environment, Acadia offers students an experience that includes academic achievement combined with personal growth and development. Acadia also offers distance learning, certificate programs, language training and other university extension programs through Open Acadia. For more information about Acadia University, visit our website at


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