StFX’s ‘National Dinner EAST’ celebrates legacy of leadership

HALIFAX: StFX University’s National Dinner EAST, held on March 29, at Halifax’s Cunard Centre, was a fitting celebration of StFX’s strong legacy of leadership, and the role the university has played in shaping leaders from political, business and community spheres.

Since its founding in Arichat in 1853, graduates from this small university in rural Nova Scotia have gone on to become prime ministers, premiers, members of parliament, members of provincial legislatures, CEOs of global corporations and celebrated community champions.

The evening included a panel discussion with four members of parliament – all StFX graduates – who spoke about how they were impacted by their time at the university. Panelists included: Bernadette Jordan (class of 1984), Minister of Rural Economic Development and Member of Parliament for South Shore-St. Margaret’s; Lisa Raitt (class of 1989), Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and Member of Parliament for Milton, Ontario; Sean Fraser (class of 2006), Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Member of Parliament for Central Nova; and Rodger Cuzner (class of 2007), Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, and Member of Parliament for Cape Breton-Canso.

The panelists offered a number of reflections on how studying at StFX impacted their life’s trajectory and approaches to leadership.

“You don’t graduate from StFX without a social conscious,” said Jordan. “It is a place that teaches you to give back. I wouldn’t be doing what I am today if not for the friendships and connections I have to StFX.”

Fraser also credits the university for helping to broaden his worldview.

“At StFX I learned there were things more important than my own life experience,” he said.

The evening also provided an opportunity to celebrate the recent achievements of two very impressive StFX students. Liam Elbourne, a fourth-year student from Halifax who is pursuing joint honours in business and economics, was recently named as StFX’s newest Rhodes Scholar. Emma Logan, a fourth-year finance student from Halifax, has received accolades her initiative called Hearing for All, which collects and refurbishes used hearing devices and donates them to areas of the world where they’re needed.

The evening also included remarks from Marc Rodrique ’08, president of the StFX Alumni Association, Dr. Dave Risk ‘02, Professor of Earth Sciences at StFX, and StFX President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Kent MacDonald ’86 ‘93, who was heralded for his personal approach to leadership and unwavering commitment to StFX.

Consistently recognized as one of the best universities in Canada, StFX exceeds the needs of today’s undergraduates through providing the very best academic experience; outstanding teaching, exceptional hands-on research opportunities, global exchanges, all within Canada’s most vibrant and inspiring residential campus. For more, visit