With a little help from our friends
Donors have been helping to send University of New Brunswick students to school for more than 125 years.
Mrs. Lemuel Wilmot was our very first scholarship donor. In 1883 she established an award in honour of her late husband, author of the UNB Act of 1859 and the first new Brunswicker to serve as Lieutenant-Governor. Soon after, alumni and friends began to follow her lead.
In the 1920s and ‘30s, when times were hard, faculty members — and even the president — quietly dug into their own pockets to support needy students.
When Lord Beaverbrook created his generous four-year scholarships in 1920, their impact was substantial and their inspiration even greater. Sir George Foster, the distinguished politician and diplomat, proposed and fund raised for the Half Million Endowment Fund for scholarships starting in 1923.
Over the ensuing 87 years, both the endowment and the donations have grown considerably. Today more than $5 million — over half of it from endowment income and annual contributions — is awarded annually in undergraduate scholarships and bursaries. Every year upwards of 2,000 students receive support.
Support can be critical
The importance of these awards, large and small, cannot be overestimated.
Johnathan MacIntosh is a case in point. A native of Miramichi, N.B., and valedictorian of his high school class, he completed a year of community college before enrolling at UNB Fredericton. Now in his final year of concurrent bachelor of arts and bachelor of education degrees, he received the Carlton C. Covey Scholarship in 2008-09.
"Two years ago my mother had a brain aneurysm and my father was forced to take a two-year leave from work to take care of her," he explained in a letter written to the scholarship donors. "This meant that my parents were not making enough money to provide me with any financial support during the school year.
"However, I have been fortunate enough to receive scholarships each year from generous donors like you. This allows me to be more focused on my studies and less preoccupied with money. As a result, I have maintained a 3.7 grade point average all four years."
When he completes his degree this year, Johnathan plans to become an elementary school teacher.
Committed to the cause
Kathy Waugh, associate registrar (undergraduate awards), has one of the university's most demanding and most satisfying jobs.
How you can help
Contact the Office of Development & Donor Relations to learn how you can support existing scholarships or start a new one to help students at the University of New Brunswick.
"I've always wanted UNB to be among the best in everything, including its scholarship offers," she says. "UNB has to keep attracting the best students in order to be the best and to have the best academic environment. Any professor will tell you that an excellent student in the class raises the bar. The quality of the classroom environment increases and that benefits everyone in the class. That is my challenge — to keep UNB at the top.
"I am so privileged to be in a position where I facilitate the opportunity for students to find their way in life. I've seen students cry over a $300 award. The scholarship validated what they were doing, the sacrifices they made and awakened them to the fact that they were not alone — they had someone in their corner, cheering them on.
Scholarships open doors
"I've talked to students who have never stayed in a hotel, whonever been in a city before, and a scholarship made the difference in experiencing a life that they never knew existed," Kathy said. "I've met students who had stars in their eyes and great plans to make this world a better place, and a scholarship helps them move toward this goal. I've seen them struggle with life's curveballs, deal with them and move on, and the scholarship was the incentive.
"We are assisting a group of young people who are growing into their own and education can only help develop them into productive members of society. Scholarships are a tool that has an impact in so many ways."