Connection to alumni community fuels new Association President's passion for Acadia
Donalda MacBeath (’75)
When Donalda MacBeath became President of the Acadia Alumni Association in May 2020, she was not only representing Acadia’s worldwide family of tens of thousands of alumni, she was also representing nearly every member of her own family.
“My father’s mother came to Acadia from Prince Edward Island and was part of the Horton Academy,” she says. “My father and mother met at Acadia, and they’re both Acadia graduates. And then I and my four siblings are all Acadia graduates, as are my three children. We have a long generational connection to the University.”
The one exception is MacBeath’s husband, Martin Mundry, a University of Toronto graduate whom she met in Alberta. “I almost guarantee, from the first time Martin came down here with me, he wanted to move to Nova Scotia,” she says laughing.
Born in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, MacBeath lived throughout the Maritimes during her childhood. After graduating from Acadia in 1975 with a BA (Hon) in Economics, she completed the coursework for an MA.
“Acadia is a passion, so I’m happy to try to find ways to give back.”
“Maurice Tugwell was fantastic,” she says. “I met him in his first year of teaching Economics at Acadia. Between him and Ralph Winter, who was head of the department, I had an amazing experience. Those early mentorship-type relationships contributed greatly to my success. It was because of their perspective that I went on to study law.”
MacBeath graduated from Dalhousie law school in 1979 and moved to Calgary, Alberta, where she began her career in private practice. She moved into corporate work in the oil and gas sector, holding mid- and senior management positions. In 2015, she retired.
MacBeath and Mundry now own a home in Smith’s Cove, Nova Scotia, where they spend several months of the year. In addition to her work as President of the Alumni Association, MacBeath actively volunteers with the Smith’s Cove Historical Society and museum.
“Studying Economics at Acadia was a very good experience, and I got to know many of my professors on a first-name basis. Those early mentorship-type relationships contributed greatly to my success.”
“I’ve been involved with them since 2014,” she says. “It’s a small, community-based historical society, and we maintain two historical buildings in the village and run a small museum. This summer, we’re developing a website and digitizing our records.”
When MacBeath was invited to join the Alumni Association board in 2012, she was struck by the high level of engagement of the board members. “For a volunteer board, they were doing amazing things, and I was excited to be part of this organization,” she says. “I feel we really bring value to our alumni, to the University, and to current students, who are our future alumni.”