Saint Mary's University Receives Major Gift from The Joyce Foundation

HALIFAX, Dec. 4, 2015 /CNW/ - A $2 million gift from The Joyce Foundation will help students attend university and make their dreams a reality. The generous gift will be used to create The Joyce Foundation Bursaries Fund which will support Nova Scotia students with demonstrated financial need. A significant portion of the gift will be designated for students attending the Fred Smithers Centre of Support for Students with Disabilities.

Dr. Robert Summerby-Murray, Saint Mary's President and Vice-Chancellor, voiced his gratitude to Dr. Ron Joyce for choosing Saint Mary's as the recipient of such a substantial gift. He also acknowledged the support of the Foundation's Board of Trustees, including Grant Joyce, Steven Joyce, the Hon. Ed Lumley, Rob MacIsaac, Aileen O'Rafferty, Michele Thornley, and David Wagstaff.

"Saint Mary's has a tradition of inclusiveness and student support that dates back more than 200 years," said Dr. Summerby-Murray. "This generous donation from The Joyce Foundation enhances our ability to meet the financial needs of students, helping us achieve our goal of ensuring that university education is accessible to all academically-qualified students in Nova Scotia."

"The Joyce Foundation is very pleased to offer a helping hand to Saint Mary's students who would otherwise have no access to postsecondary education. When education is accessible to all, everyone benefits," said Ron Joyce, Advisor Trustee.

Saint Mary's student Kala Rafuse knows the importance of student support and financial aid. The Arts student pursuing a double major in sociology and criminology has received financial support from scholarships and bursaries to break through barriers that may have kept a university education out of reach.

"I am very grateful for the financial support I've received at Saint Mary's" she says. "I'm the first in my family to attend university and it's a real privilege."

John S. Fitzpatrick, Q.C., Chair of Saint Mary's Board of Governors, has heard many stories from students like Kala who are the first members of their family to attend university. Bursaries such as The Joyce Foundation Bursaries Fund will allow Saint Mary's to continue to open doors and provide new opportunities to prospective students.

"I am pleased to offer thanks to The Joyce Foundation and admiration of their philanthropic goals," he said. "Together we can sustain a legacy of student support, and keep Saint Mary's accessible and affordable for all deserving students."


Founded in 1802, Saint Mary's University is a modern, urban university with more than 7,000 full and part-time students. Saint Mary's has developed a reputation for diversity and inclusiveness on campus. With the internationally renowned Sobey School of Business and award-winning Arts and Science Faculties, Saint Mary's is educating tomorrow's citizens of the world. 


For more than 40 years, the Fred Smithers Centre of Support for Students with Disabilities has played a leadership role in ensuring higher education is accessible to individuals with disabilities. The Centre provides programming and support services to students while pursuing their education. At present, the Fred Smithers Centre of Support for Students with Disabilities supports over 550 disabled Saint Mary's students.


Through its strategic philanthropic work, The Joyce Foundation seeks to build a legacy for the future, through ongoing leadership and innovative partnerships, by promoting improved and meaningful social, economic and emotional engagement for young Canadians.

SOURCE Saint Mary's University

Image with caption: "Saint Mary’s University Receives Major Gift from The Joyce Foundation. From left to right are Maureen O'Neill, Administrator, The Joyce Foundation; Andrea Rosgen, The Joyce Foundation; Lauren Keyes, Saint Mary's University alumna; Heather Fitzpatrick, Director of Development, Saint Mary's University; Dr. Robert Summerby-Murray, President, Saint Mary's University; and sitting, Dr. Ron Joyce, The Joyce Foundation. (CNW Group/Saint Mary's University)". Image available at:

For further information: David Harrison, Communications Assistant, Saint Mary's University, 902.491.6212.; Maureen O'Neill, Administrator, The Joyce Foundation, 905.332.3472,


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