Graduating classes at St. F.X. have established a well-known tradition of creating a legacy project, one that will continue for the next group of alumni crossing the stage this spring.
The Class of 2018 has launched a $50,000 fundraising effort to create a refugee student bursary endowment fund at their soon-to-be alma mater.
“It has been quite inspiring,” Alex Corrigan, one of the class presidents spearheading the initiative, said of St. F.X. for SAFE (Syria Antigonish Families Embrace).
That effort by university students, faculty and staff, has amassed more than $100,000 to help bring Syrian refugee families to the Antigonish area.
“We saw the incredible things they have done; how they – and the Antigonish community – have embraced that effort,” he added.
Over the summer, Class of 2018 members bounced around legacy project ideas. Eventually, they narrowed their focus to helping provide refugees with the opportunity to attend St. F.X.
Corrigan and co-president Rachel LeBlanc also noted the project will build on a more than 30-year foundation established by St. F.X.’s World University Service of Canada (WUSC) group in, annually, bringing a refugee to Antigonish for university studies.
“It is such a tremendous legacy,” LeBlanc said.
With a variety of fundraising efforts and activities planned for the coming weeks, the Class of 2018 hopes to reach their monetary goal.
“They are fully behind it,” LeBlanc said, when asked about the level of support from their graduating classmates.
She added the wider university community, including St. F.X. for SAFE, along with Antigonish residents, have already offered their support.
“They reached out to us to help out, and we were happy to agree,” Norine Verberg of St. F.X. for SAFE, said in an email.
“It is an exciting initiative that will leave an amazing social justice legacy.”
LeBlanc said the class is confident in the power of the “Xaverian spirit and generosity of the community” in talking about anticipated support.
As part of the effort to get their message out, the Class of 2018 plans to use social media as an engagement tool, particularly in getting the message out about upcoming events.
“We will be holding events and fundraisers throughout the year and they will be open to anyone,” Corrigan said.
“We would love to be involved with the community, so if anyone would like to find out more about what we are doing, information will all be posted on the St. F.X. for SAFE Facebook page.”
Donations can be made to the Class of 2018 Legacy Project: Student Refugee Bursary at https://secureca.imodules.com/s/650/standard.aspx?sid=650&gid=1&pgid=2345&cid=5059
There will be tax receipts provided for donations of $20 or more.