Class of 1970 comes together to fund bursaries for current students
Giving Report 2020: Student Support
When Bill Bishop was studying at Mount Allison in late 1960s, early '70s, he recalled a time when — between tuition, books, and living costs — he found his funds were short.
“A friend of mine suggested I apply for a bursary through the Registrar’s Office,” he says. “It was a quick application and I got one, it was about $200, which in the late '60s was a fair bit. This support was so helpful at the time and I wouldn’t have known about it had my friend not mentioned this option.”
Bishop is the Class of 1970 President. In 2015, at the class’s 45th Reunion, the group decided they would begin a fund raising campaign in support of student bursaries as their class project. The executive set a goal of $50,000, which they planned to present in 2020 for their 50th Reunion.
Fast forward to 2020. With Reunion and Convocation being postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Class of 1970 still has a lot to celebrate. In those five short years, the group has increased their fund raising goal, twice, with the fund balance being currently over $90,000 for bursary support. Nine students have already received bursaries thanks to this class’s generosity.
“Our goal is to raise $100,000 for our 50th Reunion, whenever we can celebrate that in person,” says Bishop. “While we look forward to that Reunion, it’s nice to hear that the funds are already being put to use for current students.”
Bursaries are more important than ever before, given the climbing costs of education. One year of study, including tuition, books, and housing expenses costs in excess of $20,000 for Canadian students and more than $33,000 for international students at Mount Allison.
Yet, of the 400 students currently awarded annual bursary support, most receive less than $1,500.
Working with the University Advancement office, Bishop, along with Class of 1970 graduates Louise (Oates) Cooke, Ann Harvie, Barb (Titus) Cameron, the late Colin Cameron, David Constable, and Ron Buckle formed the fund raising committee for the project. Each individual put their own support behind the fund and then reached out to classmates, making as many as 25 individual phone calls and connections with former classmates.
“Reuniting with classmates after 50 plus years will be an exciting opportunity to renew old friendships and relive cherished memories of our time at Mount Allison. It is also an opportunity as a class to make a meaningful contribution, such as our bursary fund, which will provide a new student with a chance to receive an education and the Mt.A experience that we all remember,” says Cooke, who along with Bishop, is a past recipient of the Charles Frederick Allison Alumni Award. “I’m proud to join my classmates in building this bursary fund which has been so successful. In doing so, we now become part of the tradition of alumni generosity that keeps Mount Allison supported and a first-class institution for learning.”
Bishop shares this commitment and support for Mount A as well, evident in his leadership on the group’s activities and fund raising campaign.
“It’s all about personal contact,” says Bishop. “Our team worked to connect with everyone on the Class of 1970 list and seek support for the bursary project. It allowed us to connect with old classmates and share our enthusiasm for the project. It is completely a volunteer effort. None of us are professional fund raisers.”
To learn more about supporting the Class of 1970 and other class projects at Mount Allison, please contact Marcie Meekins, manager, alumni giving (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Photo captions: Bill Bishop, Class of 1970 President and The Class of 1970 at their 45th Reunion in 2015. The group are wearing their class colours, pink and charcoal, a tradition where the class from the year before assigned the group’s colours. Row 1 (L-R): Ron Rondeau, Alana Milne Robb, Louise (Oates) Cooke, Bill Bishop, Marion Holder, Kathy Morrell. Row 2 (L-R): Michael Hatfield, Rob Miller, Heather (MacPherson) Wilkes, Pam Love, Norman Buchanan, Marilyn (Read) Stark, Pam (Cullen) Anderson, Lorraine (Bragg) Moore, Margo (Staples) Bent. Row 3 (L-R): Gary Miller, Ron Buckle, Barb Cameron, Lorne Goodman, Colin Cameron, Jim Farmer, Nora Baker Fillier, Chuck Anderson, Linda (Mantle) Weatherbee, David Constable.