STELLARTON — Students who attend the Nova Scotia Community College but need help are getting it in a big way, thanks to a massive financial campaign that has raised more than $30 million.
About 100 committee members, donors, campus friends, students, alumni and staff gathered on Monday at the NSCC’s Pictou Campus as campaign chairman Rob Sobey announced that the Make Way campaign has surpassed its original $25-million goal and officially ended with committed funds of slight more than $33 million.
Make Way is the province-wide fundraising initiative of the NSCC, where each campus sets its own fundraising goal and gets local community leaders to help achieve it.
“I was honoured to chair the Make Way campaign,” said Sobey, who is a former chairman of the NSCC Foundation. “I’m a big believer in the college and the life changes students have experienced. These funds are already helping students at campuses across the province. That is what we are all about — the students.”
Pictou Campus manager of student services Scott MacGillivay said he’s glad to see what Pictou Campus raised as a portion of the total amount of nearly $699,000. Each campus raised its own amount of funds that stays at the campus.
The total ranks fourth behind the Cumberland, Ivany and Marconi campuses. Of the campus’s total, $60,000 has been set aside for innovation programs and $525,000 to student awards and urgent need.
“People would be amazed at how many students need help,” he said. “If students encounter an unexpected cost, we are able to help.”
Kennedi Atwell is one of the Pictou campus students who have received financial help, as well as guidance for her courses to take at the campus before graduating in 2020 and completing the last two years of her psychology degree at Saint Mary’s University.
Her financial help has included a Doe and Bill Sobey Inspiration Award.
“I love my program and the education I’m receiving at NSCC,” she said.
NSCC academic vice-president Anna Burke noted the significant contributions that gave the four-year campaign momentum, such as those from the Joyce Family Foundation and from the various Sobey sources.
“The Sobeys gift was a turning point and a catalyst,” she said.
Deanna Mohamed, co-ordinator of African Canadian Student Services, also praised the campaign’s success as she announced the actual campus figure of $698,751.
“So many donors and partners have helped Make Way,” she said.
One of them was Andy MacGregor from MacGregor Industrial Group, whose donation to the campus includes equipment.
He noted members of his family who have worked and have studied at the Pictou campus, including Nick MacGregor who is taking on an increasing role in the business after courses he took at the campuses in Stellarton and Truro.
“His knowledge has taken our company to the next level, thanks to this facility,” he said.”Skilled trades are getting their due recognition.”
Pictou campus student president Emily MacNeil said she welcomed students’ commitment to the campaign.
“I understand how financial strains can undermine students’ performance,” she said.
The proceedings ended when a print highlighting points of interest in Pictou County and composed by graphic designer Bee Stanson was unveiled.
Stanson has worked to provide each campus with a similar print.