Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

December 3rd: StFX Day of Appreciation

December 3rd, 2016
StFX Day of Appreciation: A chance to say thank you to all who support StFX

On December 3rd - the feast of St. Francis Xavier - we were delighted to share stories of people who, with their continued support of StFX, exemplify what it means to be a Xaverian. In the video below, StFX President and Vice Chancellor Dr. Kent MacDonald explains why we wanted to say thank you to those who make StFX a priority.

Learn how you can support StFX University, or choose to give to StFX now

Roger and Joanne Campbell

Roger and Joanne Campbell are alumni who met while attending StFX. Since graduating, the Campbells have maintained strong ties to their alma mater. Roger and Joanne are involved with the StFX Alumni Association, and give financial gifts to support athletics programs as well as scholarships and bursaries through the Xaverian Fund. 

Recently, they decided they want to do even more.  Knowing the importance of the X-Ring to StFX students and graduates, Roger and Joanne decided to support the purchase of an X-Ring for a senior class student without the means to purchase one on their own. A fantastic way to support StFX students while keeping our university’s strong traditions alive! 

So why do Roger and Joanne give?

“We feel very fortunate to have attended X, as it provided us with an excellent spring board for our working careers. We also remembered the significance of the X-Ring Ceremony to our own experience and recalled seeing other friends during our memorable day who were not be able to participate since they couldn’t afford the ring.  That’s why we vowed to continue to purchase a ring for a worthy young person to allow them to experience that wonderful day, and the continued pride of wearing such an iconic symbol of hard work, excellent education and strong personal character. We believe as long as we can give back there is no better place to do so than investing in the future of our young people.  It is part of the StFX DNA.”

Thank you Roger and Joanne for your support! 


Bethany McNeill 

Bethany McNeill is a StFX graduate from the class of 2013. Originally from Canada’s west coast, Bethany was recruited to play rugby at StFX and credits her former coach and teammates for “believing in me as a player and a person” and their “relentless pursuit of excellence” both on and off the field. 

Bethany excelled as an honours psychology student, and thanks her former thesis supervisors for inspiring her to reach heights that otherwise wouldn’t have made her career possible. 

So why does Bethany give?

“During my time at StFX, I was fortunate enough to have played along the best in the country on the field, and to have studied under the best in the country off the field. I give to StFX with the hope that someone else from the west coast will one day stumble upon the quaint little town of Antigonish, and leave feeling as indebted to the university as I do” 

Thank you Bethany for your support! 


Robert and Carol Baldwin

Robert and Carol Baldwin know firsthand the benefit of a StFX education. Their daughter Betsy was a StFX student who received a scholarship to the university and decided to come to Antigonish from their home in New Jersey. Although Betsy graduated in 2005, the Baldwins continue to give to StFX in recognition of their daughter’s superb educational experience at StFX.

So why do Robert and Carol give?  

"We continue to donate to StFX because this institution gave so much to our daughter in the 4 years she was there and beyond, that we want to afford others the same gifts, opportunities and experiences.  We proudly continue to support the Gerald Schwartz School of Business in our gratitude."

Thank you Robert and Carol for your support!


The Morris Family

Denis and Evelyn (Mooney) Morris have always believed in family, faith, education – and StFX University. Of their eight children, six are StFX graduates, and Evelyn herself is one of eight siblings to attend the school. In fact, they estimate that across three generations of the Mooney family, approximately 40 people have attended StFX!

Given the family’s long-standing connection to StFX, perhaps it’s no surprise that Denis and Evelyn’s children decided to honour their parents’ legacy by establishing a $250,000 scholarship fund in their name.  The Evelyn and Denis Morris Scholarship Fund is part of the Xaverian Fund for Scholarships and Bursaries, and will provide $10,000 a year for students in financial need.

A wonderful way to pay tribute to a proud family legacy!

So why did the Morris family choose to give?

“We really thought there was no better way to honour our parents than to help others who many not otherwise have the opportunity to attend StFX due to financial circumstances. Education is an investment in the future of our students.  There is no better way to thank our parents for what they did for us.”

Thank you Morris family for your support!


Joe Parks 

Joe Parks is a lifetime Xaverian Patron – a distinction that means he has contributed over $100,000 to StFX University throughout his lifetime of giving. 

Joe, who was inducted to the StFX Hall of Honour in 2013, has contributed an unrestricted gift through StFX University’s annual giving program for the past 25 years. His pleasant, friendly nature places him among the favorite calls for our students! 

He also recently decided to turn a planned gift to the StFX Chapel into a living gift, so he could have the satisfaction of seeing the StFX community benefit from its use. Joe is a great example that continuous giving over a long period of time makes a substantial impact!

So why does Joe give? 

“I have an absolute love and pride for this university. I credit both my career in the military, and my second career as a high school science teacher, to the education I received at StFX.” 

Thank you Joe for your support!


Karen Gardiner 

Karen Gardiner is a StFX graduate and partner in a major law firm in Halifax. She is a dedicated fan and supporter of StFX Athletics, often making the drive from Halifax to Antigonish to cheer on the blue and white. You can most definitely count on her attendance at any sporting event in Halifax! 

In 2014 and 2015, Karen co-chaired the StFX Kehoe Dinner & Auction and is currently the co-chair of the StFX Women of X-cellence, raising awareness for women’s athletics and enhancing the experience of StFX female student-athletes both on and off the field. In 2013, Karen also received the Ten-Year Xaverian Patron Award, recognizing 10 consecutive years of StFX President’s Club membership. Karen is a great example of what it means to give generously of one’s time and financial means!

So why does Karen give?

“Giving back to StFX is my way of saying thanks for what StFX has done for me.  As someone who obtained a graduate degree at a large academic institution after graduating from StFX, I can appreciate first-hand the benefits of attending a smaller university, but there is nothing small about StFX.  StFX is the place where I developed life-long friendships and received a first class education that allowed me to achieve my ultimate goal of becoming a lawyer.  I feel fortunate that I am in a position to donate back to StFX and hopefully allow  others to live the StFX experience!”

Thank you Karen for your support!


Project 2017 

When Connor O’Brien and Kyla MacDougall were elected senior class presidents for the class of 2017, they wanted to find a way to leave a legacy for their class that would benefit future generations of Xaverians. The answer was Project 2017, a bursary program started by the senior class that will help an incoming senior student with financial need who has lived “the ultimate StFX experience.”

All members of the 2017 senior class are being asked to donate $20.17 to the bursary fund, as a way of paying it forward to future Xaverians. In recognition of the senior class’ leadership in creating this legacy, StFX University chancellor Susan Crocker has generously committed to match all donations by giving $20.17 for each student that participates. 
A fantastic way to live the Xaverian legacy!

So why is the Class of 2017 choosing to give?

“This is really a great opportunity for our glad class to give back to the community that has given us so much,” says Connor. “It will carve the path for future generations to succeed at StFX, just as we have.”

Thank you Class of 2017 for your support! 


Elizabeth and Thomas Rankin 

If future generations of StFX students aren’t already familiar with the names Elizabeth and Thomas Rankin, they soon will be. 

This year the Rankins gave a $1.5 million gift to the StFX school of nursing, which recently was extensively renovated so that students will continue learn practical skills in a state-of-the art, hospital-like environment. This new facility makes StFX the envy of other nursing programs in our region! 

The Rankins also gave a $500,000 gift to the Xaverian Scholarship and Bursary Fund, recognizing that opening the door to a university education will transform countless lives for students who otherwise couldn’t afford to go on their own. 

So why do the Rankins give?

“I don’t know if I would have gone to university if I didn’t receive a Knights of Columbus scholarship and a StFX bursary,” says Tom. “Without that, perhaps I wouldn’t have become an engineer. There are probably a lot of future engineers, or medical professionals, or teachers, in the community who wouldn’t be able to go to university, and I feel if a  scholarship helps some person get an education in a profession they dearly like, then I am very happy about that.”

Thank you Beth and Tom for your support!


Hugh and Doris Gillis

Hugh ’54 and Doris ‘94 Gillis are well known to many Xaverians as StFX graduates and distinguished former members of the university faculty. Hugh – a former academic vice president and chemistry professor, and Doris – a former nutrition professor, gave generously during their StFX careers and now continue to do so in retirement. They designate their gift to StFX’s service learning program, an initiative close to their hearts.  

Hugh and Doris have demonstrated a lifetime of support for StFX through their time, energy and financial gifts. 

So why do Hugh and Doris give?

“StFX is a very important part of our lives.  We appreciate the many opportunities that StFX has provided us, both as students and throughout our respective careers in post-secondary education.  We contribute to StFX because we want others to experience what StFX has to offer, particularly students who may not have the means to engage. One example is our support for students to participate in Immersion Service Learning, a program we see as reflecting core values of StFX.”  

Thank you Hugh and Doris for your support!


Mark Wallace 

Mark Wallace ’80 has been a member of the StFX Board of Governors since the early 2000s, and has served as chair since 2013. Given his dedication to the university – and the fact he’s also a StFX graduate – it’s no surprise he understands what a financial gift to StFX can accomplish. 

Mark – the President of Medgate Inc., an environmental, health and safety (EHS) software compare – exemplified what it means to lead by example when he and his wife Anita gave a transformational $1 million gift to the Xaverian Scholarship and Bursary Fund. The fund, launched by university president Dr. Kent MacDonald in 2014, has a goal of raising a $50 million endowment for student scholarships and bursaries in five years. This will open the door to a StFX education for aspiring students whose financial circumstances otherwise wouldn’t make it possible. 

So why does Mark give?

“StFX has been a huge part of my life since I was a student there. In this small school environment I got to know my professors, which contributed to the terrific academic experience. And, I made many close friends who have been a constant and enriching part of my life. I am delighted that my wife Anita and I are now in a position to give back so that other students can enjoy the same impactful experience that I had."

Thank you Mark and Anita for your support!


Josh MacIntyre

Josh MacIntyre’ 13 is a strong supporter of StFX’s soccer program, having played with the X-Men during his time as a StFX student. Josh has stayed involved with the team since graduating and moving to Toronto, where he volunteers as player recruiter and also developed a website for the StFX soccer program that includes a platform for supporters to make a donation. 

Josh also gives financially himself, and as a recent graduate is a wonderful embodiment of what it means to lead by example.

So why does Josh give?

“I give to StFX because of the profound impact it had on me in terms of personal and professional growth.” 

“Playing under Graham Kennedy in the Varsity Soccer Program provided me the opportunity of learning what true character, work ethic, leadership and teamwork meant. It allowed me to travel and play the game I love, while also fostering some of the most memorable experiences in my life and creating life-long friendships. All of this was made possible by the generosity of others, whether it be their time or donations. I feel it is my duty to pay it forward and allow this new generation of young men and women in the program to not only have those same opportunities that I did, but to do my best to improve them even further.”

Thank you Josh for your support! 


Sandra Blank

Sandra Blank ‘49 is a loyal StFX supporter through our annual giving program, having donated for 28 consecutive years since the program began in 1988.

Sandra gives an unrestricted donation and always picks up when our students – who make calls on behalf of our giving program – phone her. Originally from Neil’s Harbour but now living in Halifax, Sandra still keeps up with StFX sports teams and loves when they do well. She remains a passionate Xaverian! 

So why does Sandra give? 

“I started giving to StFX when that was the thing to do back in my day. I continue to give because I’m fond of the university and want StFX to do well! 

Thank you Sandra for your support!  


Dave and Jenna (Kyte) Joyce

Dave Joyce '09 and Jenna (Kyte) Joyce ’10 are recent graduates and former StFX employees, with Dave having worked for the Advancement department and Jenna for the Coady International Institute. With careers in philanthropy and as new alumni, Dave and Jenna immediately understood the importance of giving. 

So why do Dave and Jenna give?  

“Our time at StFX helped shape the people we are today. That’s why we choose to give back.” 

“We understand that a lot of our experiences at StFX and the facilities we used were made possible by donors.  We hope by supporting StFX Athletics and the Coady Institute that current students can experience StFX to the fullest and take away their own lasting memories.”

Thank you Dave and Jenna for your support! 


Start Your Journey