Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

StFX celebrates supporters and friends, honours outgoing President Dr. Kent MacDonald, at 45th annual President’s Club Gala

June 1st, 2019
Fr. Stan MacDonald, at podium, one of those recognized during the 45th annual President's Club Gala as a new 10-Year Xaverian Patron, leads a rousing, trademark 'Go X Go!' group cheer during the evening celebration.

Two words. Thank you. 

That was the simple, yet heartfelt message shared at the 45th annual President’s Club Gala, held June 1, 2019 at the Charles V. Keating Centre, both to supporters and friends of StFX and to StFX President Dr. Kent MacDonald who finishes his term as StFX President and Vice-Chancellor in July.  

The President’s Club Gala annually celebrates and thanks supporters of StFX. During the evening, StFX recognizes President’s Club members who have reached new 10-year, 20-year, and lifetime milestones. 

This year, the evening also included a special tribute to Dr. MacDonald, who led StFX for the past five years. 

“Tonight, we express our deep gratitude to you, whose generosity makes it possible for StFX to remain one of Canada's finest universities,” Murray Kyte, Vice President, Advancement and the evening’s master of ceremonies, said in opening remarks as he thanked all those who so generously support StFX.

“Tonight, we celebrate your generosity, your support, and your commitment to StFX. And, we take this opportunity to pay special tribute to those of you who have reached milestones.”

StFX is so grateful for the support it receives from President Club members, he said. These donations have considerable impact on the lives of students and make StFX, and in turn society, even stronger.

He also thanked Dr. MacDonald for his leadership, and in particular his efforts and commitment to make StFX accessible to all students regardless of their financial background including initiating the Xaverian Fund.  

StFX Director of Development Wendy Langley, who led the recognition of new patrons during the ceremony, spoke of how truly blessed StFX is to enjoy the friendship and support of so many. 

“Thank you again to all of our members of the President’s Club,” she said as she noted the tremendous impact President’s Club members have had on the university—since its inception members have donated over $184 million to StFX. 

“Thank you for all that you do for StFX!” 

THANK YOU, DR. MACDONALD

The night also celebrated Dr. MacDonald and the legacy he will leave following his five year tenure.  

“It is of course bittersweet that we are using this evening to laud Kent’s accomplishments,” StFX Board of Governors Chair Mike Boyd said as he paid tribute to Dr. MacDonald, who he described as the type of leader who encourages others to step into roles that might seem daunting or beyond their existing scope and then supports and guides them.

“But most importantly, he creates space for them to become something more than they thought they could be.

 “And so, while we lament his departure, we also recognize that his legacy lies in the people who remain.” 

Mr. Boyd thanked Dr. MacDonald, his wife Mary Ellen and his family and wished them well on behalf of the Board of Governors. “StFX is a better place because of your hard work and leadership,” he said. 

A number of video greetings from students, alumni, faculty, staff and Board of Governors members were played throughout the evening, each commenting on the impact Dr. MacDonald made during his tenure.  

Dr. Kent MacDonald

Dr. MacDonald, who received a standing ovation both before and after delivering his remarks, spoke of the many accomplishments from the past year, and about highlights on the horizon. He updated on enrollment and new academic programs, the national Special Olympics held at StFX this year, award-winning students, accomplishments of faculty and staff, the upcoming 50th anniversary of women athletics and the upcoming opening of Mulroney Hall and the Mulroney Institute of Government.    

He also had his own thanks to share. 

In particular he thanked donors and supporters for all they do for the university, and encouraged them to continue to give time, talent or treasure to give back to StFX, a place “we all love,” he said. 

“To all of you, I say thank you.”

Dr. MacDonald also thanked and recognized Bishop Brian Dunn and members of the clergy, the Sisters of St. Martha, the Congregation of Notre Dame, alumni leaders, faculty, staff, and students, members of the Board of Governors, and the university’s leadership team, and his family for all the support and commitment.  

“What a joy and a blessing it has been to be able to serve this community.”

During the evening, Mr. Kyte also thanked Bishop Brian Dunn, Vicar of the Founder and a StFX Board of Governors member, who will also depart from Antigonish as he was recently named by His Holiness, Pope Francis, as Coadjutor Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth. “We wish you the very best in this new role,” he said. 

Other special highlights during the evening included a musical performance by 2019 StFX graduate Shane Arsenault, a number of pieces of art from the StFX’s permanent collection on display, and a rousing, trademark “Go X Go!” group cheer led by Fr. Stan MacDonald, himself recognized during the evening as a new 10-Year Xaverian Patron.  

President’s Club members reaching milestones in 2018-19 included:

New Lifetime Xaverian Patrons (recognizing $100,000 and above in lifetime giving): 
 

Barrick Gold Corporation 

Michael and Beth Brien 

Thomas J. and Gail Hayes 

The late Leo D. Kirwan 

Lauder Foundation 

Burton MacDonald 

The Molson Foundation 

Kenneth J. Moscone 

Guy R. Savard 

Francis and Mary Shea 

Timothy Upton and Beryle Girard 

R. Howard Webster Foundation 

The Windsor Foundation

 

New 20-Year Xaverian Patrons (recognizing 20 consecutive years of President’s Club membership):

Michael A. and Anne Campbell

Marc and Clare Champoux

Carol Cochrane

Ian Doyle

Penny Fuller and Bill Marshall

Joan E. Gillis

Chris Keating

Roderick W. Landry

Colin P. and Irene MacDonald

Linden MacIntyre

Louise MacLellan

Alistair and Anita MacLeod

John C. McCurnin

Fran and Joe McGann

Shelly and Ed J. McHugh

Sheilagh A. Ross

New 10-Year Xaverian Patrons (recognizing 10 consecutive years of President’s Club membership): 

Richard and Jeanne Brown

Anne Emery and Joe A. Cameron

Thomas and Lois Chadwick

Peter I. Chisholm

Lt Col Brian W. Donovan

David and Sandra Gibeault

Bob Hale

Shelagh Howard

Robert and Beth Hynes

Stuart Knight

Angie Kolen

Carmen B. Lowe

Allan S. MacDonald

Rev. Stanley V. MacDonald

Mike and Mary MacKinnon

Helen D. MacPherson

Francis X. Shea

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