Campaign for Acadia - Giving Report

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T H A N K YOU ! Campaign for Acadia exceeds its $75 million goal

CAMPAIGN CABINET MEMBERS Nancy McCain (’82, ’21), Cabinet Chair, Toronto | Clive Anderson (’89), Singapore | Paul Bailey (’75), Toronto Libby Burnham QC, CM (’60, ’00), Toronto | Don Clow (’83), Halifax | Henry Demone (’76), Lunenburg Shih Fang (Dino) Ng (’01), Kuala Lumpur | Ruth Hennigar (’81), San Jose, CA | Karen Hutt (’89), Halifax Allan MacDonald (’92), Amherst | Peter MacKay (’87), New Glasgow | Ian MacNeily (’81), Toronto Tracey McGillivray (’87/’15), Ottawa | Kevin Mullen (’86), Calgary | Larry Mussenden (’86), Bermuda | Bruce Phinney (’81), Halifax Kerel Pinder (’06), Freeport, Bahamas | David Roy (’08), Toronto | Derek Smith (’05), London, UK | Ron Smith (’71), Yarmouth Cynthia Trudell (’74), Armonk, New York | Stephen Wetmore (’77, ’16), Toronto | Lana Wood (’82), Calgary/Vancouver Francis Yip (’90), Hong Kong | EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS: Bruce Galloway (’68, ’03), Chancellor John Rogers QC (’79), Chair, Board of Governors | Dr. Peter Ricketts, President and Vice-Chancellor Donalda MacBeath (’75), President, Acadia Alumni Association Dr. Rod Morrison, Vice-President, Advancement | Brendan MacNeil (’21), President, Acadia Students’ Union Nancy Handrigan (’92), Executive Director, Philanthropy, and Campaign Director Past Presidents, Acadia Students’ Union: Grace Hamilton-Burge (’18) | George Philp (’19) | Kyle Vandertoorn (’21) 2 Past Presidents, Acadia Alumni Association: Ryan Conrod (’06) | Geoff Irvine (’87)

Thank you for making history through a transformative Campaign The Campaign for Acadia concluded in December 2020, exceeding its $75-million goal by nearly $12 million, or almost 16 per cent, and amassing a total of $86.8 million to support four pillars of thematic endeavour: Transform, Inspire, Discover and Build. The most successful campaign in Acadia’s history is the result of the passionate support of so many wonderful individuals and organizations. We couldn’t have done it without you! This report details the Campaign’s remarkable success and illustrates in no small way its positive impact on Acadia, now and in the future. The collective efforts of our outstanding Campaign Cabinet, faculty, staff, alumni and volunteers tell a tale of cooperation, innovation and achievement that we are thrilled to showcase in this update. In the pages that follow, you’ll see first-hand the impact of your unprecedented generosity. The testimonials and stories bear witness to the sustainable and transformative power of the Campaign’s many gifts and clearly illustrate the varied benefits they have brought to our students, faculty, and campus. The successful conclusion of this historic campaign is also a wonderful introduction to our equally ambitious Acadia 2025 plan, preparing students for a transforming world through new and imaginative programs, a focus on the environment, and support for the mandate of equity, diversity and inclusion. The funds raised by the Campaign will be critically important in helping us achieve our strategic goals in coming years. Our foundation is strong, and we are very grateful to the thousands of alumni, donors and friends who through their commitment ensured that we would not only reach our fundraising goal but exceed it. Thank you for your generous support and dedication to Acadia.


Dr. Peter Ricketts President and Vice-Chancellor

Nancy McCain (’82, ’21) Chair, Campaign for Acadia





extraordinary student experiences

“Acadia has been a big part of making me feel I could be whoever I wanted to be and grow up and do whatever I wanted to do.” - Lauren Roberts

Lauren Roberts, Biology Coming to Acadia fresh out of high school was a little scary for Lauren Roberts. “I was afraid of being different, of not being what I felt other people wanted me to be,” she says. “But no one expected anything of me other than to be myself. I have met some great people from different programs, and everyone has a different dream. Acadia has been a big part of making me feel I could be whoever I wanted to be and grow up and do whatever I wanted to do.”


Having always lived in Victoria, British Columbia, Lauren wanted to go somewhere new and meet new people. What drew her to Acadia was not only the science she wanted to pursue, but also the University’s atmosphere of music, art and literature. It seemed like a perfect fit to a young woman who thrives on weaving the different strands of her life into a strong fabric. She is now a fourth-year biology student minoring in chemistry and English, and she loves being able to combine the skills she has gained from science and English to tell a story and share her knowledge.

She particularly appreciated a course in Arctic biology with Professor Mark Mallory and did a research topic with him. “Going through his class really opened me up to all the different things you can do with a biology degree. It’s not just about medicine,” she says. Being able to incorporate the Indigenous experience was a bonus. “We’re doing research on using local ecological knowledge for animal population management and seeing how they can be used together to understand how we can best conserve our animal friends to the north.” Discovering the Indigenous Student Society of Acadia (ISSA) deepened her university experience. “My dad is Ojibwe, and my mom is German and French,” she says. “In second year I joined the society and have really enjoyed it since then. It’s definitely made me feel more at home. I feel like I have all these families, especially with Zabrina Whitman, the Indigenous students advisor.” Lauren is on the executive of ISSA. In 2020, she authored Acadia’s 36-page Indigenous Student Handbook, a comprehensive handbook of practical information, tips, advice, and resources.

She would like to see more Indigenous art on campus. “It’s so much part of the culture, and the Mi’kmaw culture is beautiful,” she says. Knowing that Acadia is on Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral territory of the Mi’kmaq People, is important to her. “I like how there’s one overarching community, that Acadia is based on the land. I’ve met so many people who live on reserves here, and they have beautiful stories of how they grew up and were connected to their culture and went to school.” Acadia and Wolfville are like a little ecosystem, she feels. “It’s like you step off campus at Acadia and you’re still there. You see your friends and your classmates everywhere. For someone from a city, it’s a completely different experience.”

Lucy Glen-Carter (’21), Kinesiology

Lucy Glen-Carter (’21) is studying kinesiology and plays on the women’s volleyball team. She is also in the SIAM (Sports Injury Assessment and Management) program, acting as the student therapist on the team. “The coach and faculty are invested in our development as people, not just in our marks,” she says. “I was a very, very quiet kid when I first got here – do homework, stay in my room, work out. That’s all I did. But now, I enjoy being a vocal leader. And I like sharing my thoughts and encouraging the younger ones and helping them on and off the court. I think that’s something, that now I identify as a vocal leader.”

“I really am very, very proud to have an Arthur Irving Athletics Award. As a leader in the community, I help coach young kids and they see me as a role model.”




exceptional teaching and engagement

“The MacNeill ScholarBursary has really pushed me to be a better student. - Quincy Cochrane

Quincy Cochrane, Business Winning the MacNeill Scholar-Bursary had a huge impact on business student Quincy Cochrane. The oldest of five children, Quincy went to high school in Burlington, Ontario. His mother is originally from the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, and his father immigrated from South Sudan. “Throughout high school, I worked a lot of hours trying to save up for university,” he says. “I didn’t expect to get a scholarship of any sort, so I was ecstatic. 6

I was super thankful for it, because it has made my life a lot easier coming to Acadia. And the scholar-bursary has motivated me to try to outperform what I did in high school. It has really pushed me to be a better student.” The MacNeill Scholar-Bursary is an award in the amount of $4,000 offered to a student entering full-time study at Acadia, in any discipline, who has and maintains an average of 80%. It is renewable for four years or until the student graduates, whichever comes first. Quincy is in the BBA honours program, majoring in finance. “I got interested in finance in my second year,

because it was fascinating to learn about different companies and to see how every company has its own story and where it’s coming from, where it’s going,” he says. “I love being a part of that process.” When he came to Acadia, he had no idea what finance was all about. But as he talked to other students and considered possible career paths, he began to understand more about it. “Finance is not just wizardry that happens on computers,” he says. “It’s actually a people business. And to be able to learn about its many different aspects is super interesting. There’s the private side, the public side, small start-ups you can invest in, and

Dr. Ryan MacNeil

Rath Professor (Associate Professor) of Entrepreneurship F.C. Manning School of Business As the Rath Professor in Entrepreneurship, a new endowed professorship established by Truro businessman and philanthropist Stuart Rath, Dr. Ryan MacNeil helps students at Acadia become entrepreneurs.

the big blue chips like Imperial Oil. I love how much variety there is. I’ve learned a lot since my first day at Acadia.” During those early days at Acadia, Quincy kept to himself, focusing on the coursework. “But then I started to get involved more, to volunteer and build relationships with other people,” he says. “Acadia is a great university to be involved, because there’s such a close-knit community.” For Quincy, the professors are a supportive part of that community. “They’re always happy to share their research and try to find your interest and help you grow as a person while at Acadia,” he says. “I love Acadia. Working with the profs has been really nice.”

“What amazes me about Acadia is that I didn’t have to give participation points to encourage students to engage,” he says. “They come with this intellectual curiosity that I didn’t experience when I was teaching part-time elsewhere. It also amazes me that Acadia students are so engaged outside the classroom, and they bring that into the classroom with them. The number of students I have who are S.M.I.L.E. volunteers, who are engaged with the Wolfville Farmers' Market, who know the local business community inside out – it’s wonderful to see.” Campaign for Acadia has touched everything he does at Acadia, he says, including buying time for him and his students. “We can spend that rich time together, just thinking about what we could do differently. Time to improvise. Time to experiment. Time to learn.”





innovative research and inquiry

“I had such a great experience as a student. I wanted to be a part of that again.” - Dr. Jennie Rand

Dr. Jennie Rand (’99)

Associate Professor, Ivan Curry School of Engineering Alan D. Foulis Chair in Engineering Dr. Jennie Rand (’99) was the fourth of four sisters to come to Acadia but the only one to study engineering. Acadia was a top choice for her as a student and again after she earned her PhD. She returned in 2006 and has been teaching here ever since. 8

“I had such a great experience as a student,” she says. “I loved the campus – it was beautiful. I loved my professors and the atmosphere at the school and the projects we got to work on. It was exciting. I wanted to be a part of that again.” Rand is a civil engineer whose research focuses on water and wastewater treatment. She is impressed by the confidence of Acadia students and by their involvement in the community. “Engineering can be considered a challenging program, but all of our students are involved in things beyond their education,” she says. “They might be volunteering for S.M.I.L.E. They might be in the Acadia orchestra or playing as a varsity athlete.”

Over the years, she has mentored undergraduate and graduate students in her water quality lab in the K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre. “One of the first students I ever hired is now a professor at Dalhousie, and that’s a really nice kind of full circle story,” she says. Together with a colleague in psychology, she is researching inclusion and diversity in the water industry in Atlantic Canada. The gender imbalance in engineering led her to start a program called Ms Engineering, which stands for Mentor in the School of Engineering. The program pairs upper-level female students with incoming female students. Its aim is not only to make the incoming students feel welcome and have a support system in place, but also to empower the upper-level students to be good mentors in future. She is also involved in WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) Acadia. Rand was the first to hold the Alan D. Foulis Chair in Engineering. “That has had a massive impact on our students in the School of Engineering and on faculty as well,” she says. It has funded a substantial research program, helped to fund students working in the lab, and been instrumental in

attracting external funding. In addition, the Foulis Chair has enabled the school to start a design club in engineering, to give an annual design bursary, and to renovate teaching spaces. Beyond the measurable differences that donations make, Rand, a Harrison McCain Faculty Award recipient, points to the value of their less tangible benefits. “There’s also that immeasurable part to donations which shows that somebody really cares, that somebody thinks enough of this institution and of the students who attend this institution to make an investment in them,” she says. She is also looking to the future. “The world is going to need engineers to be leaders in solving problems right now, and there are lots of problems to be solved,” she says. “We would like to establish some new programming in order to train those future problem solvers.”

Laura Pickett says thank you

In a handwritten thank-you letter to David Huestis (’63) and his wife, Faye Huestis, chemistry student Laura Pickett describes what receiving the Greg Somerville Award in Innovation means to her. Here is an excerpt: I am honoured to have been chosen for the Greg Somerville Award in Innovation for the 2020–2021 school year.… I work part-time in Dr. Nicoletta Faraone’s and Dr. Kirk Hillier’s lab as a research assistant. Additionally, I work part-time at the Acadia COVID-19 Assessment Centre, and in the Emergency Department at the Halifax Infirmary.... Thank you for supporting my education. Your support allows me to focus on my honours research and studies. Sincerely, Laura Pickett Established in 2018 by David Huestis, the Greg Somerville Award in Innovation is granted in recognition of exceptionality. Available to full-time students who are engaged in studies in the David Huestis Innovation Pavilion, the awards are valued at $6,000– $7,000 annually. 9




proud heritage and promising horizons

“It’s been incredible to watch our student-athletes achieving at such a high level in the classroom while still achieving on the court and giving back to their community.” - Len Harvey

Len Harvey (’03)

“I think everybody feels that magnetic pull of Acadia and Wolfville.”

As Head Coach of the women’s basketball program, Len Harvey (’03) has helped to guide the Axewomen to consecutive AUS Championships in 2018 and 2019, two U SPORTS National Championships appearances, and a U SPORTS National #1 ranking in 2018.

When Harvey accepted a previous basketball coaching position, he was asked if he would be staying a long time. “I said, ‘There’s only one job in the entire country that I’d leave this job for.’ And it was Acadia,” he says now. “When Kevin Dickie (Executive Director, Athletics & Community Events) called, it was a pretty quick decision for me to move back to Wolfville.”

Head Coach, women’s basketball

“I think when you graduate from Acadia, you’re always looking for ways to come back, whether as an employee or just to come back and visit,” he says. 10

Harvey’s ties to Acadia go back a long way. His parents met and fell in love here, and his grandfather and grandmother were Acadia students as well.

Today, he is impressed by the students he coaches. “Our student-athletes are so engaged in our community, and it’s amazing how much they give back to the area,” he says. “It’s been incredible to watch them achieving at such a high level in the classroom while still achieving on the court and giving back to their community. That’s going to put them in a good spot for the rest of their lives.” Harvey believes donations to Acadia enhance the student experience significantly. He describes the new Stevens Centre, a high performance training facility made possible by the Stevens Family and many other generous alumni, as one of the best high-performance training centres in the country. In addition, he says the new bleachers and other gymnasium updates have brought the team up to the level that it needs to maintain. “We have the best fans in the country here, and a lot of those fans are alumni,” he adds. “A lot of those people who come to our games and donate to our program and our athletic department are people who have had that Acadia experience, feel a loyalty to this place, and want to help it continue its success.”

In Harvey’s experience, Acadia works hard to make the most of every donation. “My dad always told me, if somebody gives you ten dollars to do some work for them, make sure they get twenty dollars’ worth,” he says. “That’s something that stuck with me, and I would say that we do stretch the money we receive, and we reinvest it in the students. Whether it’s ten dollars or ten million, we’re going to stretch it as far as we can.” He would say to donors that whether a donation is large or small, it matters. “The fact that you cared mattered,” he says. “Your donation was put towards transforming students’ experience here at Acadia and helping them move on to something even bigger.”

Dr. Suzie Currie (’91) Dean, Faculty of Pure and Applied Science Professor of Biology Dr. Suzie Currie (’91) is a professor in biology as well as the Dean of Pure and Applied Science. “There has been a lot of renewal on the science side of campus over the last few years,” she says. “The thing about science is that we do need that infrastructure. We need the facilities. We need the equipment. We need the field space to be able to do our work effectively. The renovations and the renewal of the new science complex – Huggins Science Hall, Elliott Hall and the new Huestis Innovation Pavilion and adjacent McCain Commons – allow state-of-the-art research to happen with undergraduate and graduate students. That has changed the face of how we do research at Acadia. “It continually amazes me when I look at my colleagues at larger, research-intensive universities, that the research we do at Acadia rivals those. We’re a small, liberal arts university, and our students and faculty compete on a national and international scale.”


Gifts of all sizes fuel Campaign success We said from the beginning that every gift matters and you stepped up with contributions that made our Campaign for Acadia a resounding success. Thanks to nearly 30,000 donations ranging from $3 to $3M, we have the resources to address priorities across the University’s four Campaign themes: Transform, Inspire, Discover, and Build. Student success was front of mind, from Dr. Tom Raddell’s (’57, ’13) gift in the early days of the Campaign to establish the Raddell Research Fund in Biology, to the final gift from Gordon MacNeill (’48, ’87) in December 2020 for student bursaries. A concern for student success was also evident in a fund established by The David and Faye Sobey Foundation for scholarships, research awards and field placements for students in Acadia’s Environmental and Sustainability Studies (ESST) program. From farther afield, Bermuda alumni established an award for Bermudian students, Singapore Alumni of the Class of 1987 created an award for Business and Computer Science Students, and Bahamians came together in memory of one of their own with the Anthony A. Smith ScholarBursary. BMO and Scotiabank also put student need first by establishing generous scholarships and bursaries for those with outstanding academic achievement, those facing adversity and student-athlete leaders. 12

Recent graduates, such as Business major Josh Sampson (’18) and former volleyball Axewoman Fiona McGuinty (’17) also answered the Campaign call with contributions in support of the Manning Enrichment Program (Sampson) and student-athletes (McGuinty). Another former varsity athlete, basketball player Junior Moaku (’19) worked with Campaign Cabinet member Tracey McGillivray (’87) to fund and promote the University’s new Black Lives Matter and Truth and Reconciliation Commission (BLM/TRC) Awards. Student services saw a tremendous lift through a $2M gift from Campaign Chair Nancy McCain (’82, ’21) and her husband, The Honourable Bill Morneau, to enhance facilities and services for Acadia students in a renewed Students’ Union Building. Specific supports for Indigenous students are also ensured by a $200,000 gift from TD Bank. RBC supported Acadia’s Q-Life program, a platform in resilience training, enhancing mental wellness initiatives for students. Thanks to support from Acadia alumni and the Governments of Canada and Nova Scotia, infrastructure received its own lift with the addition of the David Huestis Innovation Pavilion and its McCain Commons. Steamspace, a 21st century makerspace, took shape with an initial donation from Campaign Cabinet member Kevin Mullen (’86) and came to fruition through combined funding from the R. Howard Webster Foundation and The Windsor Foundation.



Other major infrastructure projects include: • arena renovations made possible by a gift from Andrew H. McCain’s children and their families;

Campaign by the numbers:

• an Alumni Hall addition to create the Wu Welcome Centre – thanks to the Wu Family of Hong Kong;


$ 86.8 MILLION

• a new high performance training centre and hockey and football locker rooms – courtesy of the Stevens Family and many other generous supporters; • accessibility in the Kinesiology building and Athletics Complex through Jumpstart Charities and the Class of ’51.


You – our alumni and friends – have transformed the Acadia campus and had a positive and lasting impact on academic programs, research, and the student experience. We have new pianos for the School of Music, new bleachers in the gym, and a new home for the Manning School of Business in Patterson Hall – a transformation made possible by approximately 50 donors!


So how do we express our gratitude for gifts of all sizes from so many people in so many countries? And how best to recognize thousands of individual, foundation and corporate donors as well as alumni supporters from every faculty and program? A global pandemic has shown us the potential in digital communication, and Acadia has put it to good use as a vehicle of gratitude. Please see the Campaign and University websites ( and for alphabetical lists of our donors and named funds, as well as feature stories and videos that attest to the power of giving. And once again – thank you!


PERCENTAGE OF GIFTS BY GRAD DECADE 18% 16% 14% 12% 10% 8% 6% 4% 2% 0% 1920s 30s 40s 50s 60s 70s 80s 90s 2000s 10s 20s


Accounting anomalies Campaign reporting standards allowed us to count sponsorships and research funding received philanthropically from corporations and agencies. We are also fortunate to count future estate gifts, accounting for $16M from forward-thinking, generous donors. What we can’t include in the Campaign total is the millions of dollars in government revenue leveraged through donations from private sources. The Science Complex Renewal, in particular, leveraged over $15M from government. Thank you to the hundreds of donors who contributed to this initiative. Had we been able to include the monies leveraged by your gifts, our Campaign total would have surpassed $100M!








Team effort, fantastic result The secret to the success of the Campaign for Acadia was the unyielding commitment from everyone involved to enhance Acadia’s historic reputation as one of Canada’s best universities and the unique experience it offers to students. The Campaign drew enormous strength from the leadership of Campaign Chair Nancy McCain (’82, ’21); Chancellors Libby Burnham QC, CM (’60, ’00) and Bruce Galloway (’68, ’03); Presidents Ray Ivany and Dr. Peter Ricketts; our Board of Governors, chaired by John Rogers (’79); the Acadia Alumni Association; and the Acadia Students’ Union. We also had an outstanding international Campaign Cabinet spanning over 50 years of graduation dates, and a small, talented and energized staff team that understood the value of personal interaction with alumni and donors. Ultimately, this undertaking succeeded because of all those individuals who were inspired to give by the Campaign’s ambitious and student-centered goals and who rallied beautifully on behalf of Acadia. The stories and photos represent the results of a determined fundraising effort that began in 2013, entered its public phase in 2018, and concluded in December 2020 in dramatic fashion, two years ahead of schedule and millions of dollars beyond its original goal. Simply put, Campaign for Acadia was a total team effort. Your philanthropy and loyalty to Acadia were key and integral parts of a wonderful and fulfilling journey that has enhanced Acadia’s ability to attract the brightest and best, deliver a post-secondary experience that is second to none, and look to the future with optimism and excitement. We couldn’t have done it without you, and we are incredibly grateful for your kindness and generosity. Thank you! Warm regards,

Dr. Rod Morrison Vice-President, Advancement (retired)


Nancy Handrigan (’92) Vice-President, Advancement (Interim) Executive Director, Philanthropy


Office of Advancement 15 University Avenue, Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6 Canada Telephone: (902) 585-1459 Toll-Free: 1-866-222-3428 Web: Email:

Acadia University is located in Mi’ kma’ ki, the ancestral territory of the Mi’ kmaw nation.