Giving Report 2020-2021

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“Your generosity is the foundation upon which all our achievements and successes depend, and the stories contained in this year’s edition of The Giving Report illustrate the incredible value of your gifts and their transformative power on campus life. We are better by virtue of your unfailing dedication and support, and I am humbled by your kindness and

Cover photography by Grant Lohnes

thoughtful consideration.”


The Giving Report | Fall 2021

Donor support helps make dreams a reality at Acadia As we welcome students back to the Acadia campus this fall and look forward with great anticipation to a successful academic year full of the customary promise and purpose that is so characteristic of the Acadia experience, I can’t help but reflect on how we arrived at this moment and the wonderful support we have received along the way. As you know, the global coronavirus pandemic had a tremendous impact on our faculty, staff and students, forcing us to shift to a hybrid learning approach last year, with all its consequent dilemmas and difficulties. But we were resilient and true, modeling in exquisite fashion our motto, In pulvere vinces. Through a determined and collaborative effort, we ended two academic years successfully with a virtual Convocation, celebrating our 2020 and 2021 graduates and their achievements as well as our collective ability to navigate a situation that tested our resolve and found us more than capable of meeting the challenge. We did not do this alone. Our many donors, friends, corporate and foundation partners continued to support Acadia throughout the pandemic, ensuring that we would conclude our historic Campaign for Acadia with a remarkable total of $86.8 million, surpassing our $75-million goal and cementing Acadia’s reputation now and for years to come as one of the premiere post-secondary institutions in Canada. There is nothing more gratifying than seeing dreams become reality. Your generosity ensures that Acadia will continue to be a destination of choice for prospective students and play a leadership role in the delivery of an outstanding, life-altering educational experience. We are so grateful for your support, and I would simply like to say thank you. Thank you so much for keeping Acadia close to your heart. I hope that this Report conveys the difference you make every day through your commitment to the University and represents in a tangible way how important your gifts are for the Acadia of today and tomorrow. Sincerely,

Dr. Peter Ricketts President and Vice-Chancellor

The Giving Report | Fall 2021


New awards at Acadia address inequities for Black and Indigenous students by Suzanne Robicheau (’03)

In the spring of 2020, George Floyd’s tragic death sparked worldwide conversations about deeply entrenched inequities. Acadia University is committed to amplifying those conversations by supporting Black and Indigenous students, focusing on anti-racism initiatives, and dismantling barriers to post-secondary education through the creation of new financial awards for these students. Speaking in February as part of a panel discussion that

McGillivray saw a call to action in recent global protests

included Robert Ffrench (’04), Tracey McGillivray

against systemic racism. An engaged member of

(’87), and Zabrina Whitman, Junior Moaku (’19)

Acadia’s Board of Governors and the Campaign for

stressed the importance of acting now to make

Acadia’s Cabinet, McGillivray jumpstarted Acadia’s

Acadia more diverse and inclusive. For Moaku, this

BLM/TRC Awards by pledging $1,000 annually to seed

includes promoting Black Lives Matter and Truth and

the fundraising initiative. “I am a fundamental believer

Reconciliation Commission (BLM/TRC) Awards by

that education is the root of progress at individual,

donating a portion of the proceeds from a special

community, and societal levels,” she says. “Ironically,

T-shirt in his Save Me Save We clothing line.

you need to be able to afford a post-secondary

“These awards will give Black and Indigenous students a fair advantage,” Moaku says. “Fortunately, I benefitted from a basketball scholarship, however, athletic scholarships are not financial opportunities offered to all. I would love to have my little sister be able to come to Acadia as well, so it’s important that she has access to the kind of financial supports that can make it happen.”


The Giving Report | Fall 2021

education, so it is difficult to break the cycle without external intervention.”

Leveling the playing field

Recognition for another Acadia graduate through

BLM/TRC Awards will be granted on an annual and

generous gifts from a wide variety of alumni donors

renewable basis to domestic students of African

created the Edwin Borden Awards: renewable awards

Canadian or Indigenous descent who have financial

that acknowledge community engagement and

need in any year of study. All renewed recipients will

leadership among Black Nova Scotian students. One

have demonstrated involvement in campus initiatives

of the first Black individuals in Canada to be granted

and will have helped to foster a welcoming environment

a Bachelor’s (1892) and Master’s (1896), Truro-born

for fellow members of the Acadia community.

Edwin Borden went on to earn a PhD and enjoy a

Zabrina Whitman, Acadia’s Coordinator

distinguished career as a church leader and college president in the United States.

of Indigenous Affairs

“The cultural significance of the achievements of Lalia

and Student Advising,

Halfkenny and Edwin Borden is a powerful example

emphasizes the

to which all our students can aspire,” says Acadia

importance of leveling

University President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Peter

the playing field for

Ricketts. “The University is grateful to donors for

students who arrive

celebrating the impact of these remarkable individuals

at Acadia. “We need to change post-secondary

by establishing awards to support members of our

spaces, especially universities, to make sure they

Black student population.”

are more appealing to all types of learners,” Whitman says. “When you have awards specifically targeted at Black and Indigenous students, it signals that Acadia recognizes them and has a place for them.” Speaking on behalf of the University community, Nancy Handrigan (’92), Vice-President Advancement (Interim), describes BLM/TRC awards as a vehicle for addressing historic injustices that continue to pose educational challenges. “We are very grateful to our alumni and friends for supporting awards that will accelerate progress and empower Black and Indigenous communities,” she says. “We see this as a way to develop leaders who will promote an agenda of equity.”

Two Athletics Awards have also been created specifically for Black Nova Scotian student-athletes: the Mike Hazard and the Stu MacLean Awards. For Ffrench, CEO of the Valley African Nova Scotian Development Association (VANSDA), member of Acadia’s Board of Governors, and one of the February panelists, it all boils down to asking ourselves what kind of university we want to be and what kind of university we want to support. That, says Ffrench, is the bottom line.

New awards Heartened by recent support for Black and Indigenous students, Handrigan points to other examples of new financial awards for these communities. For instance, Dr. Laura Robinson (’88), Acadia’s Dean of Arts, and her sister Alva Robinson (’77), established the Lalia Halfkenny Award as a tribute to the first Black woman to graduate from an institution of higher education in

To establish an award or contribute to an existing award, please contact Nancy Handrigan at

the Maritimes, and the only Black graduate in her class at Acadia in 1889. The award is for a Black Canadian student in Arts or Sciences, in rotating years.

The Giving Report | Fall 2021


Celebrating family connection with a gift to help shape a sustainable future A generous gift from The David and Faye Sobey Foundation supports scholarships, research awards and field placements for students in Acadia’s Environmental and Sustainability Studies (ESST) program. by Suzanne Robicheau (’03)

Philanthropy has played a critical role in improving

commitment to shaping a sustainable future is a

access for promising students, attracting inspired

definite change-maker. We are extremely grateful for

faculty and positioning Acadia as one of the premier

this support for our students.”

post-secondary institutions in Canada. Thanks to a generous gift of $500,000 to create The David and Faye Sobey Foundation Fund for Environmental and Sustainability Studies, the University’s talented ESST students will benefit from the full experience of hands-on learning and research related to environmental sustainability.


A dynamic program conceived by a diverse group of faculty committed to environmental sustainability, ESST pairs an academically rigorous, trans-disciplinary approach with service to the community and society through applied learning experiences. Although only a few years old, the program’s numbers continue to grow and graduates have already earned a reputation

“Acadia is a leader in multidisciplinary environmental

for supporting important environmental change, either

studies,” says University President and Vice-Chancellor

directly as environmental specialists or more generally

Dr. Peter Ricketts. “With our planet in critical need of

by applying their passion and expertise in related but

protection, The David and Faye Sobey Foundation’s

diverse professional and civic settings.

The Giving Report | Fall 2021

Vitally important “The downside of being a new program, with relatively

Established in 2000 in Nova Scotia, The David and

few alumni, is that ESST hasn’t been around long

Faye Sobey Foundation is a family foundation created

enough to attract many donations for program-

to engage with organizations that benefit communities

specific scholarships, research awards and placement

across Atlantic Canada. The foundation funds

stipends,” says Nancy Handrigan (’92), Vice-President,

programs or projects in the areas of health, education,

Advancement (Interim). “That’s one of the reasons this

and community-based initiatives.

gift from The David and Faye Sobey Foundation is so vitally important.”

“Today’s environmental challenges require special solutions,” says Janis Sobey-Hames, David and

As one of the first students to graduate from ESST,

Faye Sobey’s daughter and Chair of the Foundation.

Emily Murray (’18), was thrilled to hear of The David

“My father has fond memories of attending Horton

and Faye Sobey Foundation Fund for Environmental

Academy at Acadia and playing on the school’s rugby

and Sustainability Studies. “This ESST program is so

team. The Foundation is very pleased to celebrate

crucial and pressing in our world right now,” she says.

this Acadia connection with a gift that advances

“We are currently facing a major ecological crisis and

the purpose of the University’s ESST program

we need all hands on deck in order to change that.

and encourages such a collaborative approach to

This amazing gift takes us a big step closer to making

safeguarding precious resources.”

that happen.”

“The Environmental and Sustainability Studies program is crucial in our world right now. We are facing a major ecological crisis and we need all hands on deck to change that. This amazing gift takes us a big step closer to making that happen.” Emily Murray (’18), Environmental and Sustainability Studies graduate

The Giving Report | Fall 2021


A Natural Balance celebrates 20 years of the K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre and Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens Arthur Irving family’s philanthropic impact on Acadia “incalculable” by Rachel Cooper (’89)

In Acadia University’s illustrious 183-year history, the Irving family has had a significant and enduring impact. Their impact on students, faculty and staff over the many years has quietly established them as Acadia’s most generous benefactors. The Irving family connection to Acadia spans more than a century. K. C. Irving was a member of the Class of 1921, and his sons James (’50, ’03 HON), Arthur (’52, ’03 HON) and Jack (’54, ’03 HON) were all students before returning to Saint John to work

the space. It is an indispensable resource for anyone interested in the plants and trees of the Acadian Forest Region. It is also a visual record of the Robert Sterndesigned centre – a spectacular instance of North American collegiate architecture. Landscape architect Alex Novell and architectural historian John Leroux tell the story of the design, construction, and features of the Centre and the Gardens, which were a gift to the University from Arthur, James and Jack Irving and their families. Today, the Centre and Gardens have matured and are beautifully nurtured by a dedicated team for the enjoyment of generations to come.

in the family business with their father. Arthur’s wife

“From its genesis, the purpose of the K.C. Irving

Sandra (’74, ’17 HON) is a loyal alumna and an integral

Environmental Science Centre and the Harriet Irving

part of the family’s exceptional legacy of support

Botanical Gardens has been to enhance the student

for the school, as is Arthur’s and Sandra’s daughter

experience at Acadia University,” says Dr. Peter

Sarah, who is currently Executive Vice-President and

Ricketts, Acadia’s President and Vice-Chancellor.

Chief Brand Officer for Irving Oil. Arthur was Acadia’s

“In that same spirit, this book captures the essence

Chancellor from 1996 to 2010, received a Doctor

of this world-class facility that has shaped Acadia's

of Civil Laws from Acadia in 2003, and was named

landscape, ignited our passion for research and

Chancellor Emeritus in 2010.

learning, and served our community as a place to

Now, to mark the 20th anniversary of Acadia’s K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre and Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens, Arthur and Sandra led the creation of A Natural Balance - a beautifully illustrated book to celebrate its story.


A Natural Balance shares the history and creation of

The Giving Report | Fall 2021

connect and engage. As much as it is a testament to an architectural and infrastructure achievement like no other, this book is also a fitting tribute to the Irving family's service to our community, which is an integral part of Acadia's story.”

The K. C. Irving Environmental Science Centre and Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens consist of Photo: Steve Mitchell

internationally significant facilities for botanical and environmental research, six acres of public gardens representing native plant communities of the Acadian Forest Region, a glassed-in winter garden, a garden of medicinal and food plants, plus fully wired conferencing and educational facilities. Construction

“Creating the K. C. Irving Environmental Science

began in the fall of 1999, 100 years after the birth year

Centre and the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens is our

of K. C. Irving.

gift to Acadia University, which we proudly share with

“Arthur Irving’s original idea to bring together environmental study of the region with a central meeting place on campus and gardens of wild flora was unique and brilliant,” says Novell, who was the project master planner. “After centuries of garden

you in photos, history, stories and memories on these pages,” says Arthur Irving, Chancellor Emeritus. “My wish is that it holds Acadia in good stead for a very long time in the opportunities the Gardens and the Centre provide students in their academic pursuits.”

design where the emphasis has been on the plant

“The Irving family, and Arthur and Sandra Irving

collector, the breeder and the designer, we are now

particularly, have been there whenever we have

looking for gardens which celebrate the natural world

needed them, and provided incredible financial

and contribute to our understanding of ecology and

support that has benefitted students, faculty and staff

biodiversity. In this, it was ahead of its time.”

over many decades,” Dr. Ricketts says. “Their legacy

The Centre and Gardens took nearly three years to research and design, and a further two years to build. They were created as places for people to enjoy

is impressive and ongoing, and we are incredibly grateful for their long association with Acadia and very thankful for their interest in the University.”

the natural world and to participate in learning and research. For Acadia students, they are also spaces for quiet relaxation and study. “A Natural Balance shares the story of the K. C. Irving Environmental Science Centre and Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens – the coming together of the beauty of nature, the importance of scientific research and connection in space for friends to meet. It is a testimonial to those who built this beautiful place and importantly the vision and heart in each of its spaces,” says Sarah Irving.

“The Irving family has been very much a part of the fabric of Acadia, and I have been lucky enough to experience their kindness of spirit and genuine affection for the University. All members of the Acadia community have been touched by their generosity, and the impact of their investments is, frankly, incalculable. Words can’t express how appreciative we are of their support, now and in the future.” Dr. Rod Morrison, Retired Vice-President, Advancement

A Natural Balance is published by the K. C. Irving Environmental Science Centre and Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens at Acadia University. It is available at the K. C. Irving Environmental Science Centre and the Acadia University Bookstore, at bookstores across Nova Scotia and online at Chapters Indigo or

The Giving Report | Fall 2021


Your Endowment Report For the year ended March 31, 2021, the Endowment Fund had a market value in excess of $108.0 million. Contributions to the funds were $4.1 million for the year. The funds distributed $4.1 million, averaging a net payout of 4.0%. A market appreciation of $22.5 million was recognized in the current year. Acadia University effectively manages administration fees (0.6% of total assets). Statement of Changes

Asset and Manager Allocation

(for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021)

(As at March 31, 2021)

Balance at beginning of period


Revenue and other additions Bequests and donations


Transfer from special reserve funds* Market appreciation (depreciation) Transfer from operating fund

The allocation of Acadia’s endowment funds is listed below, with the highest weighting to Canadian Equity. Global Equity



Global Equity



699,789 22,542,440 –

U.S. Equity



U.S. Equity



Fixed Income and Cash Fixed Income and Cash Canadian Equity Canadian Equity

26,619,809 Expenditure and income transfers Investment service fees

Endowment Split


Administration fees


Transfer to research fund Transfer to special reserve fund Transfer to capital fund Transfer to operating fund

Scholarships and Bursaries Scholarships and Bursaries

4,318 1,365,455

13.7% 56.7%




22.6% 22.6%


4,056,806 Balance at end of period

General (4.6%) Departmental and Research Support Departmental and Research Support Other (2.4%) Other (2.4%)


* Special reserve funds are restricted funds held separately between the time a donation is made and the time the designation is finalized by the donor.

Professorships and Lectureships Professorships General (4.6%) and Lectureships

Investment Committee Members Stuart MacLean (’83) Investment Committee Chair Charles Coll (’84)

Market Performance and Annualized Returns

Tim Formuziewich (’00) Bert Frizzell (’72) FCGA

The performance of Acadia University's endowed funds over five years is

Dr. Bruce Galloway (’68, ’03 HON)

8.64% compared to the median of 8.05% for plans less than $100 million.

Chancellor, Acadia University

Annualized Returns

1 year

2 years 3 years 4 years 5 years


27.79 10.35 8.91 7.93 8.64


24.75 8.79 8.20 7.53 8.05

Lana Wood (’82) Dr. Peter Ricketts President and Vice Chancellor, Acadia University Mary MacVicar (’90) CPA, CMA Associate Vice President Finance and Treasurer, Acadia University


The Giving Report | Fall 2021

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

Cover photography: Grant Lohnes

Acadia University is proudly located in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral territory of the Mi’kmaq People.

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