St. F.X.’s National Dinner EAST, held March 29 at Halifax’s Cunard Centre, was a fitting celebration of St. F.X.’s strong legacy of leadership, and the role the university has played in shaping leaders from political, business and community spheres.
Since its founding in 1853, graduates from this small university in rural Nova Scotia have gone on to become prime ministers, premiers, members of parliament, members of provincial legislatures, CEOs of global corporations and celebrated community champions.
The evening included a panel discussion with four members of parliament – all St. F.X. graduates – who spoke about how they were impacted by their time at the university.
Panelists included: the Honourable Bernadette Jordan (Class of ’84), Minister of Rural Economic Development and MP for South Shore-St. Margaret’s; the Honourable Lisa Raitt (Class of ’89), Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and MP for Milton, Ontario; Sean Fraser (Class of ’06), parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and MP for Central Nova; and Rodger Cuzner (Class of ’07), Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, and MP for Cape Breton-Canso.
The panelists offered a number of reflections on how studying at St. F.X. impacted their life’s trajectory and approaches to leadership.
“You don’t graduate from St. F.X. without a social conscious,” Jordan said. “It is a place that teaches you to give back. I wouldn’t be doing what I am today if not for the friendships and connections I have to St. F.X.”
Fraser also credits the university for helping to broaden his worldview.
“At St. F.X., I learned there were things more important than my own life experience,” he said.
The evening also provided an opportunity to celebrate the recent achievements of two very impressive St. F.X. students, both from Halifax. Liam Elbourne, a fourth-year student who is pursuing a joint honours in business and economics, was recently named as St. F.X.’s newest Rhodes Scholar. Emma Logan, a fourth-year finance student, has received accolades for her initiative called Hearing for All, which collects and refurbishes used hearing devices and donates them to areas of the world where they’re needed.
The evening also included remarks from; Marc Rodrique (Class of ’08) - president of the St. F.X. Alumni Association, Dave Risk (Class of ’02) - professor of Earth Sciences at St. F.X., and St. F.X. President and Vice-Chancellor Kent MacDonald (Classes of 86 ’93), who was heralded for his personal approach to leadership and unwavering commitment to the university.