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Associated Alumni

Cherrington family creates scholarships

MacKenzie Brimicombe, Alan and Debbie Cherrington

When Alan Cherrington (BSC'67) graduated from UNB, little could he have known that one day he would be counted among the top diabetes researchers in North America.

Cherrington – now a celebrated professor in the departments of molecular physiology & biophysics and medicine at Vanderbilt University – was awarded UNB’s Alumni Award of Distinction in 2016 for his efforts to raise awareness of diabetes, while researching new medical solutions. He credits UNB with igniting his interest in scientific research.

“I found my passion at UNB,” he says.

That passion has earned him numerous professional honors, including the Banting Medal for Service from the American Diabetes Association and the David Rumbough Award for Scientific Achievement from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. He was the first non-M.D. elected president of the American Diabetes Association, a position that enabled him to travel across the globe educating people on the rapid rise in the incidence of diabetes.

To ensure that students can continue to find life-changing opportunities at UNB, today and far into the future, Cherrington and members of his family have created the Cherrington Family Scholarships. These scholarships are awarded to nursing and science students entering UNB directly from high school. The recipients are selected based on scholastic achievement and financial need. Each Cherrington Family Scholarship is valued at $24,000 over four years.

“I am fortunate to have worked at three really good universities - UNB, the University of Toronto and Vanderbilt," says Cherrington. "But the one I feel most compelled to support is UNB. I want to give money where it can make a difference, and at UNB, I know our gift will have impact."

At Homecoming 2017, during his 50th class reunion, Cherrington and his wife Debbie, had the opportunity to see first-hand the effect their scholarship is having. There, they met their scholarship recipient, MacKenzie Brimicombe of Saint John, NB. Brimicombe graduated from St. Malachy's Memorial High School in Saint John and is in her second year of UNB's medicinal chemistry program. Her public service includes working as a bilingual interpreter for the New Brunswick Museum and raising support for Fredericton’s food bank. She has served on various committees for her residence, Bridges House.

“Meeting MacKenzie was a wonderful experience,” says Cherrington. “It is inspiring to see students who are so full of potential, and to know that we are helping them pursue their careers.”

“Investing in our students is a priority for UNB,” says UNB President Eddy Campbell. "By making education accessible and recognizing success, these scholarships will give others the chance to succeed as Alan and Debbie Cherrington have."

Student support is a significant part of UNB’s $110-million fundraising campaign, It Begins Here. Fully one-half of the campaign goal – $55 million – will be dedicated to student financial support, funding scholarships, bursaries and programs to expand accessibility.

Back to Alumni News Direct - February 2018