When Dave Shastri thinks back over his life, Mount Allison’s role in it is simply stated, but profound in impact.
“Mount Allison is where I grew up,” says Shastri.
There are two main reasons Shastri has wanted to stay involved with his alma mater. The first is to stay in touch with his former classmates and the second is to find ways to help others get the same great education and growing up experience Mount Allison gave him.
“Mount Allison is something special,” says Shastri. “The environment is one that lets you try new things, is more forgiving when you fail, supports you in trying something else. Mount Allison is a place where you can develop and navigate your own way. It may not be for everyone, but I think there are a lot of people out there that would benefit from this kind of experience.”
Over the years, Shastri has volunteered with many Mount Allison initiatives — from fundraising campaigns to alumni engagement in Bermuda, where Shastri primarily lives. He is a current member of the University’s Board of Regents.
“I’d served on business boards but knew this was going to be different and am very grateful to have committed to it,” says Shastri. “I like all the various voices that come into the process of a university board, how these different experiences work together to help benefit the success of Mount Allison.”
Recently, Shastri made a philanthropic gift in support of the University’s Hub for Innovation and Learning project, which will renovate Mount Allison’s R.P. Bell Library building to provide modern library services as well as facilities designed for collaborative study, entrepreneurship, and experiential learning with community groups.
“I saw the value in Mount Allison’s Hub project right away and was happy to support it at this early stage,” says Shastri. “You see similar projects happening all over the world. These are the environments that allow students to prepare for the complex realities that exist after graduation.”
Designs for the renovated library building are currently being finalized. The project is supported by investment from the federal and provincial governments and by gifts of various sizes from donors. It is Mount Allison’s largest capital project in more than 60 years.
Shastri encourages others to think about giving to Mount Allison, whether through donating their time and skills to a University initiative, making a financial donation, or by sharing their enthusiasm.
“I recently ran into someone at a business conference in London who was from BC and started asking me about Mount Allison because their daughter was thinking of applying,” says Shastri. “I like when that happens. I like having the opportunity to talk to people about Mount Allison, why they should consider attending, the role a place like this can play in their lives.”
For more stories of alumni engagement, volunteering, and giving to Mount Allison, visit mta.ca/giving