Paying it forward
In September, on your behalf, I had the pleasure of welcoming this year’s incoming class into the Mount Allison alumni community at Pilei nipi.
Mi’kmaq for ‘a new leaf in the tree,’ Pilei nipi served as an alternative welcome event for the traditional Commencement ceremony, and an appropriate way for the University to signal its commitment to truth and reconciliation. Students were also treated to Acadian artist and activist Xavier Gould (’17) (who many of you will remember from the cover of our Fall 2019 issue), as this year’s guest speaker.
For many of these first-year students, the terms alumni, alumna, or alumnus may be a new concept. I shared with them that being MtA alumnus means that there is a community of people who care deeply about the experiences while at Mount A. Their Allisonian family is cheering for them, literally from around the world.
It’s been said many times that our University was built on philanthropy and this is very true. Over the past 180+ years, Mount Allison alumni and friends have provided the funds for most of the academic and residence buildings, scholarships, bursaries, and countless other programs and initiatives on campus, from travel opportunities to visiting speakers to internships.
Why do so many people give large and small gifts? Why would so many alumni volunteer to coach and mentor students, help out with Alumni Office initiatives, and actively recruit high school students to attend Mount Allison?
It is quite simple really. Our alumni do these things to ensure present students have the same immersive and life-changing experience they had at university Mount Allison gave them the space and place to become who they were meant to be. Being an engaged alum simply means they are paying it forward — a mantra we are truly grateful for here on campus.
Carolle de Ste-Croix (’90)
Editor of the Record and Director of Alumni Engagement