Changing the world starts at home

February 21, 2019

Changing the world can start by financially supporting a student. Four Acadia University students were the recent beneficiaries of Rotary Club of Wolfville-Mud Creek’s desire to help others.

“Our objective is to change the world, so our decision to support educational bursaries is a slam dunk for us,” said Rotary President John Smith (’08) during a celebratory breakfast gathering with the award recipients at the Wu Welcome Centre on Acadia’s campus.

“We know there are barriers to education and we don’t control all of them, but we can help ease the financial strain of achieving a post-secondary education,” Smith said, urging the recipients to pay it forward when they graduate. “We can make this a gift that goes on.”

Last year, the Rotary Club pledged to fund the Mud Creek Rotary Acadia Entrance Awards. Each year in perpetuity, a $1,000 bursary toward Acadia tuition will be awarded to a graduating student from select Valley high schools. The 2018 recipients of the bursary are Rowan Duprey (West Kings), Adelaide Smith (Horton), Shauna-Lynn Pineo (Central Kings), and Hannah Corey (Northeast Kings). In 2019, an additional award will go to a graduate from Avon View High School.

The endowed awards through this generous $135,000 gift will bolster Acadia’s ability to support students financially. Each year, the University provides more than $4.8 million in scholarships, bursaries, and awards to its undergraduate students.

Back row (left to right): Bruce Galloway ('68), Peter Ricketts, Rob Porter, John Smith ('88, '08), Ted Cross, David Gardam Front row (left to right): Nancy Handrigan ('91), Rowan Duprey, Adelaide Smith, Shauna-Lynn Pineo, Wendy Donovan and Georgie MacNeil (Hannah Corey not pictured)

Inspired by generosity

West Kings High School graduate Rowan Duprey says she was overjoyed when she learned she would get financial assistance from Acadia. “It’s astounding to see this kind of support from our community and it inspires me to do my best,” she explained.

The Kinesiology major said she was drawn to Acadia because of alumni family connections and its proximity to her home in Kingston, N.S. but it was attending an Open House that got her set on attending. “I saw a different side of campus by speaking with professors and students and by visiting the biomechanics lab. I knew Acadia was where I belonged.”

Horton High School graduate Adelaide Smith agrees. The Port Williams resident says she was excited to become an “Acadia student” since she grew up watching them in the community. “This was a smart choice for me,” she says, “being close to home but living in residence, so I can immerse myself in my education.” The Psychology major hopes to become a pediatrician. Right now, she’s enjoying the support from her community. “It is incredible to have a community of people who believe in you.”

During the awards celebration on campus, Acadia President and Vice-Chancellor Peter Ricketts thanked the Rotary members for their generosity and forethought. “Acadia changes the world through our students and faculty and the work that they do,” he said. “Access to education is important if we want to have an impact regionally and globally – and, if you are going to change the world, you have to understand it.”

He reminded the award recipients that “there are real people and commitment behind the donations” that create awards for students at Acadia.

Acadia Chancellor Bruce Galloway agreed. “It is a major financial burden to go to university and getting assistance like this is very important – remember the Rotary and remember Acadia.”

Rotaract Club at Acadia

In addition to offering bursary support, the Rotary Club of Wolfville-Mud Creek is hoping to re-build the Acadia Rotaract Club. A second-year student Shyanne Dougherty is seeking a minimum of 15 students to join so an Acadia-sanctioned club can be established.

The purpose of Rotaract is to provide an opportunity for young men and women to enhance the knowledge and skills that will assist them in personal development, to address the physical and social needs of their communities, and to promote better relations between all people worldwide through a framework of friendship. Rotaract clubs bring together people ages 18 to 30 to exchange ideas with leaders in the community, develop leadership and professional skills, and have fun through service. In communities worldwide, Rotary and Rotaract members work side by side to act through service.

Rotaract members decide how to organize and run their clubs, manage their own funds, and plan and carry out activities and service projects. Rotary club sponsors offer guidance and support and work with the club as partners in service.

For Acadia students interested in joining Rotaract on campus, contact the student coordinator shyannemad99@gmail.com.

About Rotary
For more information about the Rotary Club of Wolfville-Mud Creek, visit its website.

To create a named award
Named student awards can be created at Acadia University for less than $100 a month, making an incredible impact on our students. To discuss your options, please contact Executive Director of Philanthropy Nancy Handrigan (’92) at 902-585-1042 or nancy.handrigan@acadiau.ca.

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