A lasting legacy
For 30 years, Dr. John Ernest Alexander Crake (LLD ‘81) was the heart of Mount Allison’s Department of Classics.
For 40 more years, the foundation he began has enriched academic experiences at the University, supporting internships, scholarships, awards, and other opportunities and experiences for students and faculty that would not otherwise exist.
The J.E.A. Crake Foundation, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, is among Mount Allison’s largest and most consistent donors.
The Foundation donates in excess of $250,000 each year and has contributed nearly $4.7 million to the University since its inception.
It is an incredible legacy from a man who spent his life as an academic in a time when professors were not especially well paid.
“He was earning $3,000 a year when he first came here,” notes Margaret Fancy, who has served as chair of the Board of the J.E.A. Crake Foundation since 1990.
Crake, who taught at Mount Allison from 1946 to 1976, invested his inheritance with great attention and care, starting some programs of support to the University before his death in 1983. The Foundation now supports 22 separate programs, funds, or awards at Mount Allison, as well as projects outside the University.
“Some of the awards are large and some quite small, but people working in the humanities don’t always need large investments, they often just need that little bit of help to get started,” Fancy says.
By carefully choosing the projects it supports, the Foundation has been able to have a broad impact on arts and humanities at Mount Allison.
“I think what we have done, through the years, is to weave ourselves into the fabric of the Arts faculty,” Fancy says.
While the individual awards and programs do change occasionally to reflect the evolving needs of students and faculty, the Foundation’s goal of supporting educational endeavours remains the same.
“Our intention is that the Foundation last forever,” Fancy says. “That is our goal — that in 100 years there will still be a Crake Foundation and that it will continue to assist in the work of those institutions that Ernie Crake held dear.”
The J.E.A. Crake Foundation supports the following programs and awards at Mount Allison:
- J.E.A. Crake Scholarship
- J.E.A. Crake TRHS Award
- J.E.A. Crake Performance Award in Drama
- J.E.A. Crake Performance Award in Fine Arts
- J.E.A. Crake Performance Award in Music
- J.E.A. Crake Lecture in Classics
- J.E.A. Crake Doctoral Fellow in Classics
- J.E.A. Crake Classics Department Grant
- J.E.A. Crake Scholarship for Summer Study in Greece, Italy or the Mediterranean
- J.E.A. Crake Drama Fellow
- J.E.A. Crake Drama Graduate in Residence
- J.E.A. Crake Drama Associates/Theatre Workshop Fund
- J.E.A. Crake Student Fellowships for Creative and/or Research Projects
- J.E.A. Crake Faculty Awards for Creative and/or Research Projects
- J.E.A. Crake Foundation William B. Sawdon Award
- J.E.A. Crake Arts Internships
- J.E.A. Crake Teaching Development Award
- J.E.A. Crake Humanities Projects
- J.E.A. Crake Concert
- J.E.A. Crake Bursary for International Students at Mount Allison
- J.E.A. Crake Bursary Fund
- J.E.A. Crake ArtsWork Internships
Creating opportunities for new Canadians
Sometimes inspiration comes through sharing stories and realizing common values. For the Class of 1971, a casual chat at their 45th Reunion revealed that many were involved in supporting Syrian refugee families. When talk turned to celebrating their 50th Reunion, creating a $2,000 annual bursary for first generation
and immigrant/refugee students was a natural choice.
“We want to make sure new Canadians have every opportunity to become educated and to contribute fully to society,” says Jeanne Inch, a member of the project committee.
Already, the class has contributed more than $11,000, with another $10,000 pledged. Their goal is to raise $50,000 by May 2021.
Inch says Mount Allison is ideally suited for a new Canadian student.
“It’s a good place for people who need to feel safe and welcomed.
They’re going to get individual attention and have a sense of community,” she says.
As a class, 1971 also demonstrates this closeness, with many attending almost every reunion, where they have a special way of standing out at the Saturday night dinner.
“We stand on the chairs and sing our class song,” Inch says. “We sing it loudly. At our 45th Reunion, everyone was impressed with the fact we were still getting up on the chairs!
A heart for philanthropy
Susan McIsaac’s (’88) reason for giving back to Mount Allison is simple.
“I give back to Mount Allison because it is the right thing to do,” she says. “When you give to a university you have the potential to impact so many lives at a critical age. Mount A opened my eyes and made me realize what potential I had. If I can be a part of doing that for someone else, that would be huge.”
McIsaac, who pursued a Commerce degree as a mature student, says the financial support she received as a student made a big difference for her. Now a managing partner with McIsaac Darragh Chartered Professional Accountants in Amherst, NS, McIsaac is also paying it forward in a unique way: five of the seven CPAs at her firm are Mount Allison graduates.
“They all chose to go to Mount Allison because of its reputation and because it was local or they had ties to the area,” she says. “They wanted to be able to grow
professional careers here at home and we are able to provide that opportunity. It is one of the things I’m most proud of.”
Annual Giving by the numbers