Planting a seed of gratitude

06 Nov 2020

Giving Report 2020: Generations of Giving

Professor Emeritus Pravin Varma establishes the Pravin Varma Gold Medal in Science.

Varma_mainPravin Varma spent over four decades teaching at Mount Allison in both engineering and physics. He remains engaged with the University community and is passionate about the success of Mount Allison students. During his time at Mount Allison, he helped transform the first-year physics course presentation into the highly-successful experiential model that is still used today, more than a decade after his retirement.

This year, he chose to give back to the University in another way by establishing the Pravin Varma Gold Medal in Science. Funded as an endowment to support future generations of students, this gold medal is awarded at Convocation to the highest-achieving graduating science student. The inaugural recipient was Brian D. Beardsall from the Class of 2020.Beardsall_main

“I wanted to give back to Mount A, to the people I had the privilege of working with for four decades, in a newer, different way,” he says. “I can’t teach now, but I can give back in other ways.”

Varma says he established the Pravin Varma Gold Medal in Science at Mount Allison to benefit the University and, most importantly, the students. The award consists of a framed gold medal and a $1,000 prize.

“I wanted top students in the field of science to be fully recognized for their superb academic achievement. It’s a huge encouragement for them to proudly show off their achievement and their successes promote Mount Allison moving forward.”

He says the award benefits him as well.

“This award helps me reinforce my own ethical values and it sets a family example for my own children,” he says.

Varma’s main motivation, however, is the impact on the lives of students for generations to come.

“I look at this award as a small seed,” he says. “In my own humble way, I want to plant this seed in students’ hearts and minds. I want them to receive something more from the University than their education. When you plant that seed of gratitude in students’ hearts, hopefully they will also someday give back to Mount Allison.”

To learn more about establishing an endowment at Mount Allison, e-mail Executive Director of Development Jeff Wright at jrwright@mta.ca or call 506-364-2259.


PHOTO CAPTION (L-R): David W. Beardsall (father), David Beardsall (’20), Emma Beardsall (’23 sister), Helen G. Sampson (mother)

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