StFX surpasses $50 million scholarship and bursary fund goal

    ANTIGONISH: Continuing to impact countless lives for the better, StFX University celebrated the remarkable efforts in supporting their students, as the Xaverian Fund surpassed its $50 million target.

    Not only has the target been achieved, it’s been exceeded by over $100,000, StFX confirmed.

    Making a difference already to so many of their students, the Xaverian Scholarship and Bursary Fund has provided new opportunities for students to access experiences that will help shape their lives, both from a personal and academic standpoint, the university noted.

    Iain Boyd, the chief campaign officer for the Xaverian Fund, advised their campaign was a success as a result of a strong team effort, including 58 faculty and staff members who canvassed their colleagues.

    “This support at home was the springboard to our success,” Boyd said on Nov. 3, as he addressed the audience at the Joyce Family Atrium in Mulroney Hall.

    StFX President Andy Hakin acknowledged Boyd served “as a true champion” in his fundraising efforts and that through this strong commitment, new opportunities are being provided.

    “New doors are being opened to provide access to a StFX education, access to experiences that will help shape their lives in the future,” Hakin said. “The Xaverian Fund creates opportunities for future students, and today we celebrate the amazing impact this fund is already having and will continue to have for years to come.”

    In October 2014, then StFX President Kent MacDonald launched the Xaverian Fund campaign, a campaign to raise $50 million for student scholarships and bursaries to increase the access to higher education for students in financial need.

    “Today, seven years later, we celebrate the ambitious goal,” Hakin said. “While $50 million has been achieved, the work must continue. A need remains to continue to increase the amount of scholarships and bursaries available.”

    With more than 4,000 donations, contributions ranged from $10 to $6.24 million, a total of 58 donations were $100,000 or more, the university said. The StFX Board of Governors had 100 per cent participation, contributing over $2.5 million, whereas 50 per cent of full-time faculty and professional staff donated, StFX noted.

    “This fund is helping to change lives, through the sheer number of scholarships and bursaries that have been created,” Hakin said. “Every donation has made a difference, and through such gifts, the Xaverian family has demonstrated its commitment that a StFX education is open to all.”

    StFX said the Jeannine Deveau Educational Endowment has provided 668 scholarships and bursaries for African Nova Scotian and Indigenous students from across the Maritimes; over 75 students have been presented with Brian Mulroney Institute of Government awards, benefitting from renewable scholarships and bursaries; and over 100 students in the Gerald Schwartz School of Business have received renewable scholarships.

    “Through the Xaverian Fund, financial aid for students in need has more than doubled since the fund was established,” Hakin said. “Going from $400,000 annually to over $1 million annually, such need unfortunately continues to grow.”

    In addition, the university said 109 new scholarships and bursary funds have been established and over 3,000 scholarships, bursaries and financial awards have been supported through the Xaverian Fund.

    To truly grasp the importance the fund has had, during the event, several students spoke via video on the impact the fund has made on their lives; whether it was a recent graduate who is now a cardiac surgery nurse at the Halifax Infirmary; a student athlete who is able to focus on their academics; students who’re able to give back to their community, or students who’re able to fully immerse themselves in university life; StFX said it’s clear to see without financial burdens, students thrive.

    Speaking on behalf of students, Students’ Union VP Academic Meredith Cudmore-Keating, indicated anyone who has stepped on StFX campus knows that there is something special there.

    “It’s a community where everyone can find a place, and where friends are never in short supply,” Cudmore-Keating said. “It’s an incredibly unique experience and it’s difficult to describe to someone who hasn’t had it. “

    She said StFX has always been a community that takes care of its own, and once again it has demonstrated this, through this campaign.

    Hakin suggested when doors open to this many students to get an education, something good is happening that can change lifes.

    “The fund has helped StFX connect to a great number of individuals, whose lives could be transformed through education. It truly is a remarkable step in the history of this university,” he said. “It opens our doors to new students. Unlocking human potential from education is one of the most valuable gifts that we can give.”