Robert Quartermain knows the impact of receiving a good education.
A native of St. Stephen, N.B., Dr. Quartermain graduated in 1977 from the University of New Brunswick with a Bachelor of Science degree in geology. From there, he earned a master’s degree at Queen’s and worked in private industry. Today he is Chairman and CEO of Pretium Resources, a company that focuses on a new major gold mine in Northern British Columbia.
He says he owes it all to the great start he had at UNB. “Although I live across the country now,” said Quartermain, “I am still a New Brunswicker at heart and it was my education and personal growth at UNB that allowed me to enjoy a successful career in the resource industry.”
As co-chair of the It Begins Here campaign, Quartermain hopes to give today’s students the great start that he had. At the campaign’s launch on November 18, he announced a $300,000 donation to support scholarships for Earth Science students, as well as $200,000 for the University’s new Centre for Healthy Living.
“Nearly half the students who come to UNB from New Brunswick are the first in their family to attend university,” said Quartermain. “Many of them require financial support in order to enter the campus gates and eventually graduate.”
The Robert Quartermain Geology Scholarships were established in 2007 and are renewable awards offered to Earth Science students with high academic standing and financial need. This new gift will enable more students to access transformational education at UNB and to begin careers with the long-term sustainability of our country’s resources in mind.
The It Begins Here campaign has student support as its primary focus, and the gift from Quartermain will make these scholarships some of the largest Earth Science awards in Canada. “This generous gift will help align UNB’s scholarships and bursaries more closely with our students’ collective needs and keep our offers competitive with other institutions. We are very grateful for Dr. Quartermain’s support,” said UNB President and Vice Chancellor Eddy Campbell.
In addition to the scholarship donation, Quartermain will direct the remaining portion of his campaign gift toward the new Centre for Healthy Living, which is already under construction at UNB Fredericton. “We need a healthy environment to live in,” said Quartermain, “but we also need healthy bodies. This new facility will enable the Faculty of Kinesiology to grow its health and wellness research programs and help establish New Brunswick as a leader in preventative health care.”
Dr. Wayne Albert, Dean of Kinesiology, applauded the announcement. "It’s gratifying that distinguished alumni like Dr. Quartermain support what we are doing at UNB. We're working collaboratively to solve big problems in health care, and the impact of this new facility will be seen right here in New Brunswick.”
These are not the first major donations that Quartermain has given to UNB. Including the most recent gift, over his lifetime, he has donated more than $2.5 million to the University. His largest donation came in 2005 when he contributed $1 million to establish the Quartermain Earth Science Centre, which houses teaching space, a computer lab and a museum open to members of the UNB community as well as the public. It is a significant resource for information relating to New Brunswick and Fredericton geology. Quartermain’s latest gift announcement helped officially kick off the It Begins Here campaign. The campaign’s overall goal is $110 million and its primary focus is student support.