A History of Philanthropy
Mount Allison is a university built on philanthropy.
Acts of philanthropy are woven throughout the University's history, so much so that Mount Allison's story does not begin with its founding in 1839 when Sackville resident Charles Frederick Allison proposed a school be built — and donated money and land to support the endeavour. Instead, it began 70 years earlier in Ireland with his grandfather and a set of silver spoons that, in a roundabout way, brought the Allison family to Canada.
Mount Allison remains an institution built and sustained on philanthropy. Students benefit from one of the largest university endowments per capita in the country, which funds scholarships, bursaries, student support services, experiential learning initiatives, and many other opportunities, greatly enriching the Mount Allison experience. Philanthropy has also enhanced student learning and recreational facilities. Strong fiscal management, coupled with visionary philanthropy, has had a tremendous impact on the University.
Planning your Legacy
Legacy gifts are the ultimate expression of appreciation and dedication.
Giving back to Mount Allison through your estate shows your confidence in the University — not just today, but over the long term — and we are conscious of the honour and trust bestowed upon Mount Allison when included in your estate plan.
Legacy giving also provides you with an opportunity to have a transformative impact on the lives of students and to be intentional in providing support to areas that mean the most to you. You can choose to direct your gift to projects that reflect your intentions and values, including areas such as student scholarships, student wellness, athletics and recreation, academic departments, and facilities.
A Family’s Legacy
A glass case in Mount Allison's Ralph Pickard Bell Library holds the five iconic silver spoons — a symbol of the visionary philanthropy that has supported the University since its founding.
The spoons belonged to Joseph Allison, grandfather of Charles Frederick Allison, the University's founder. In the late 1760s, the Allisons were living in Ireland. When the landlord's agent came to collect rent, he stayed for dinner and the silver spoons were set out in his honour.
The agent said if they could afford silver on the table, they could afford more rent. Joseph Allison said he would emigrate rather than pay more; the rent went up and Allison packed up his family and left for America, bringing the contentious spoons with them. After shipwrecking on their way to Pennsylvania, the family was rescued and brought to Halifax.
Decades later Charles Allison would use his influence and his resources to build the school that eventually became Mount Allison University. Although he did not live to see the academy he founded become a degree-granting institution, his estate gift helped make it possible.
"Mount Allison's existence hinges on them in a way. If it hadn't been for the landlord seeing the spoons and wanting to put the rent up in Ireland, Mount Allison might not be here today. They have a powerful symbolic meaning."
TOM FORRESTALL ('58, LLD '87)
The Mount Allison Legacy Society
The Mount Allison Legacy Society provides a platform to recognize and celebrate the visionary philanthropy displayed by friends and alumni who have confirmed that the University is part of their estate plan.
When you notify the University that you have included Mount Allison in your estate, you will receive a small gift, invitations to select donor gatherings, and an annual donor report publication.
Consider joining the Legacy Society and continue Mount Allison's long and storied history of philanthropy.
Contact the University Advancement office at 506-364-2259 for details.