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Acadia initiatives win top awards in Canadian Higher Education

June 6, 2019

Acadia University won two national awards from the prestigious 2019 Prix D’Excellence Awards program of the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education (CCAE).

Campaign for Acadia was selected as the Silver award recipient for Best Fundraising Materials, placing top in its class.

Acadia’s Advancement team launched Campaign for Acadia in October 2018. It has a goal of $75-million to sustain the Acadia of today and build the Acadia of the future. The comprehensive fundraising initiative has four distinct themes – Transform, Inspire, Discover, and Build – which will dramatically enhance the student experience at Acadia.

Campaign leaders and Advancement staff led the creation of the case for support, website, articles, advertising, photography, and videos to inspire giving. The Campaign fundraising materials have helped propel support for the University to historic new heights in recent years.

“This award speaks to the creativity of our staff and their personal commitment to Acadia and its students,” said Dr. Rod Morrison, Acadia’s Vice-President, Advancement. “It’s especially rewarding to our team that this work has been recognized by our peers across the country.”

Campaign for Acadia fundraising materials were also recognized by the international Higher Education Advertising Awards with gold, bronze, and merit awards.

SMILE Acadia

The Sensory Motor Instructional Leadership Experience Program (S.M.I.L.E.) received a CCAE Bronze award for Best Community Outreach Initiative. Led by a Kinesiology professor, part-time coordinator, and student leaders, S.M.I.L.E. is an adapted physical activity program for children, youth, and adults with developmental, intellectual, physical, and/or sensory disabilities. Acadia’s student volunteers receive hands-on leadership training.

Exceptional support by the University community, an advisory board, and donors allowed S.M.I.L.E. to grow and help others thrive. In 2018, 475 student-volunteers (nearly 15% of Acadia’s student body) provided programming four times weekly over 16 weeks to 285 participants (ages three to 53). Donations covered all expenses.

“Having the program recognized in this way is very meaningful,” said Dr. Roxanne Seaman, Director, S.M.I.L.E. Program. “We are incredibly grateful to be able to work with our students and the community to make a positive difference – not just in the lives of our participants, but in us as leaders and volunteers. Support from donors and the team in Advancement helps us achieve our goals.”

The S.M.I.L.E. Program was recently awarded a Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities Accessibility Grant to enhance its offerings.

The CCAE awards were accepted by the Office of Advancement at the CCAE’s annual conference in Ottawa on June 5 by Dr. Morrison.

About Prix D’Excellence

The Prix D’Excellence is the prestigious annual awards program of the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education, which recognizes outstanding achievement in alumni affairs, public affairs, development, student recruitment, and overall institutional advancement. The program does more than honour excellence – it provides a chance to have entries assessed by judges comprised of advancement colleagues and external professionals. All entrants receive constructive comments from the judges, who take a thorough and thoughtful look at each submission. There are more than 4,400 members at 132 Canadian educational institutions, and the Prix D’Excellence awards are keenly contested. It is considered a great honour to win. View the 2019 Prix D’Excellence results.

About CCAE

The CCAE is a national organization whose members aim to increase public awareness of the issues that face Canada’s post-secondary institutions. The members represent post-secondary institutions, including community colleges, universities and their affiliated colleges, institutions, and related agencies. Advancement encompasses advancement services, alumni relations, communications and marketing, fundraising (development), external relations, public relations, and other advancement disciplines.

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