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Associated Alumni

Giving more, getting more

Peter Vincent, head coach of the Seawolves basketball team; Nick Huggard, assistant coach; and Alan


Alan Rivers-Bowerman is living proof of the adage that true happiness stems not from getting more, but from giving more. In his case it’s the gift of time, most of it volunteered to his alma mater.

Alan (BBA’09) is a chartered accountant living and working in Saint John, NB. There are many things he treasures from his four years as a student at UNB Saint John, but the main ones are the business program and the varsity basketball team, the Seawolves. Not only has he never forgotten the connections and friendships he forged as a student and an athlete, he continues to build on them through his belief in the value of volunteering.

Alan is an assistant coach with the Seawolves men’s basketball team; he volunteers in the community at clinics and camps for young basketball players and he helps out with the Associated Alumni initiative, Career Talks, in which alumni share advice and knowledge with students on career-related professional development topics.

His volunteer activities are a big demand on his limited free time. At 32, he is financial manager for DP World at the Port of Saint John. On top of a demanding career and extensive volunteering, he is in the throes of planning for his wedding in July.

Time well spent

But Alan says his volunteering is time well spent. He says he gets back more than he gives in terms of the enduring friendships he has formed and the feeling of being part of his community. He says he never wants to be sitting on the sidelines, on the outside of his community. He always wants to be part of the team.

“With my parents, there was always an expectation of giving back,” he says of growing up on the Kingston Peninsula. “It was expected that I would contribute to the community and be a solid citizen. Those were the values of my parents and they are lessons I am grateful they emphasized.”

When Alan was a student at UNBSJ, he was on the basketball team from 2005 to 2009, as a player and as team captain in his final two years. After graduating from university, he knew he wanted to stay involved. This will be his ninth year as assistant coach for the Seawolves.

“Basketball is a pretty big commitment - it’s every day and weekends,” says Alan. “I love it, and if there’s a way I can help out current student athletes, I’m happy to do that. Selfishly, it keeps me involved in the university, it keeps me young and it keeps me involved in the game I love. It’s a win for everybody.”

The deep personal connections he has made from his commitment to basketball endure. One of his former UNB teammates will be his best man at the upcoming wedding.

”Those are the kind of connections you make,” he says. “It’s important to give back if you are able to. I think everyone has a duty to make our community and our world a better place. Not that coaching basketball is saving the world, but if you can help out younger folks and help foster their love for something, it’s our duty to do so. I enjoy it as well, so it works out for everyone.”

Proudly UNB

Alan is a big booster for UNB and its business and co-op programs, which he found extremely rewarding. Thanks especially to the co-op program, he was able to secure full-time employment in Saint John before he graduated. His personal success in the business world is one of the reasons he likes to give back through the Career Talks initiative.

“It’s important to give your insight and help out any way you can, even if it is just a small thing,” he says. “If you can provide any guidance or advice it can make a big difference for students and I think it’s important to do so.”

Alan has no hesitation in saying he is “Proudly UNB.”

“I am proudly UNB,” he says. “I am proud of the program I came from, the business program -  its quality, its standards and its guidelines. It is a well-respected program. So to be a graduate of that and involved with UNB basketball for so many years, it makes me very proud.”