Global Site Navigation (use tab and down arrow)

Giving to UNB

Celebrating 100 years of Beaverbrook Scholars

Beaverbrook Scholars gather at the annual dinner in 2019

2020 marks the 100th Anniversary of Beaverbrook Scholarships at UNB. This year we are celebrating Lord Beaverbrook and the generations of alumni that benefitted from his generosity. On May 25th, the birth date of Lord Beaverbrook, join UNB doctoral candidate and Beaverbrook Art Gallery Manager of Collections and Exhibitions, John Leroux, as he takes us through Beaverbrook’s fascinating history at UNB and the Beaverbrook Art Gallery.


The list of past recipients reads like a who’s who of Canada. Former chair of the board of directors for Bell Canada and UNB's fifth Chancellor, Dr. Richard Currie, is a Beaverbrook Scholar and was named one of Canada’s Top Chief Executives of All-time. Another past recipient is former New Brunswick Premier Dr. Frank McKenna, who after his successful career in provincial politics went on to become the Canadian Ambassador to the United States and is the current deputy chair of the TD Bank Group.

Then there’s Dr. Johanna Rommens. As a Senior Scientist with the Department of Genetics, Research Institute at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Dr. Rommens was part of a team that helped discover the gene that causes cystic fibrosis. More recently, she has been involved in ground breaking developments in the treatment of Shwachman‑Diamond Syndrome, which afflicts children with digestion, blood, skeletal and growth abnormalities. She was also involved in the discovery of the gene that causes Huntington’s disease and has done genetic research on the causes of breast cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, prostate cancer, and Wilson’s disease.

Florence Snodgrass, the first female Beaverbrook Scholar and one of Canada's first female psychologists, had a remarkable academic career that spanned more than five decades. She earned her Bachelor of Arts at UNB in 1924, her Master's in Education from Harvard University in 1927, and completed her PhD in psychology at Yale in 1949. Dr. Snodgrass returned to UNB in 1950 as the head of the Department of Psychology, and under her direction the department saw tremendouse growth. During her 17-year tenure she succeeded in establishing a modern department with an excellent reputation, and was named UNB's first female Professor Emerita in 1974. Florence Snodgrass credited the Beaverbrook Scholarship with giving her the ability to pursue a degree. She gave back to the university by establishing a fund to help New Brunswick students in need, to which she left what was - at that point - the largest bequest ever made by a faculty member. 

The list of scholars goes on and on thanks to the legacy established by Lord Beaverbrook 100 years ago. Beaverbrook Scholars of the past may have received any one of several different types of scholarships established in Lord Beaverbrook's name at UNB, but they all share a common bond: they spent their formative years at UNB, and now they are committed to giving back in gratitude for the opportunities Lord Beaverbrook and the scholarships offered to them.

Support the Beaverbrook Scholars now.

Giving new scholars a headstart on the path to leadership

When you become a Beaverbrook Scholar, you can expect a lifetime of friendship, support and an expectation to continue to do your best long past your studies at UNB. For new recipients, the experience begins almost immediately. Each fall, new recipients are invited to a private reception and dinner with many former scholars in attendance - and the new "Beavers" can feel the sanctity of this powerful group.

They're welcomed warmly into the circle with fascinating stories of the late Lord Beaverbrook and the "old days" at UNB. But, it's more than just story telling. It's also about learning from and being supported by so many individuals who successfully pursued their own dreams. Lord Beaverbrook intended to create a legacy of nation-builders through the scholarships and he succeeded.

The original Beaverbrook scholarships

In 1920, four promising young students – Leslie A. E. Booth, Francis W. Corkery, F. Gordon Lawson, and Florence T. Snodgrass – entered the University of New Brunswick to begin their academic careers. They were the first of what would become a group of more than 1,000 and counting: the Beaverbrook Scholars, a designation that has come to indicate the highest academic ability and achievement.

The Beaverbrook Scholarships, initiated by Lord Beaverbrook, were intended to cover the basic costs of tuition and residence fees of the four-year undergraduate degree for outstanding New Brunswick students. Recipients were recommended to Lord Beaverbrook by a selection committee at UNB, but the scholarship could be used at a wide range of acceptable universities.

After the Second World War, Lord Beaverbrook expanded the program to include overseas scholarships for post-graduate students and practicing teachers, scholarships in chemistry, forestry and law, and other special scholarships. When he died in 1964 these special awards came to an end, but UNB agreed to carry on the undergraduate and law scholarships in his honour.

David Copp and Brandon Grant talk about what it’s like to become a Beaverbrook Scholar.

Giving back every year

Past recipients find that the spirit of giving back is infectious, and expected. In fact, it's the reason that the Beaverbrook Scholars Award exists today. Former scholars worked together in 1979 to establish the modern day award to honour their former benefactor - Lord Beaverbrook - after his passing, so that they could continue the tradition of helping shape future leaders the same way that he did. They give their time, talent and treasure year after year to pay homage to Lord Beaverbrook and the opportunities afforded by the scholarships.

2020 Beaverbrook Scholars Dinner and Annual Meeting

The annual Beaverbrook Scholars dinner and AGM previously scheduled for Sept. 23 & 26, 2020 has been postponed. Homecoming 2020, which is held in conjunction with these events, has also been postponed due to COVID-19. We are currently exploring options for the annual Beaverbrook Scholars Dinner. Please watch for updates on our celebrations.

Have ideas on ways to celebrate the 100th Anniversary or the 40th Anniversary of the Beaverbrook Scholars Award in 2021? Please reach out to Craig at cpoole@unb.ca.

More information

For information on giving to the Beaverbrook Scholars Award contact us or make a contribution online, through mail or in-person.

Apply for UNB Scholarships, including the Beaverbrook Scholars Award.

It's easy to establish a scholarship for students at UNB. To learn more about establishing a scholarship, you can view information online or contact us to walk you through it. You can also make a contribution to existing scholarships and bursaries at UNB by donating online, by mail or in person.