J.E.A. Crake Foundation celebrates 40th anniversary
10/25/2017 9:09:07 AM

Foundation has donated millions to Mount Allison

JEA CrakeThe J.E.A. Crake Foundation, one of Mount Allison’s largest donors, is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

The Foundation supports a broad array of programs and initiatives at Mount Allison, including scholarships, awards, and bursaries; fellowships; experiential learning and research opportunities for students; internships; and the annual Crake Lecture and Crake Concert.

“We are very fortunate to have been a key beneficiary of the J.E.A. Crake Foundation over the past 40 years,” says Mount Allison President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Robert Campbell. “The Foundation’s support for the arts and humanities at Mount Allison has been transformational and it is particularly special that this extraordinary generosity comes from a former Mount Allison professor, who, more than 30 years after his death, continues to have a deep and positive influence on the University.”

The Crake Foundation was founded by Dr. John Ernest Alexander Crake, who was a professor of classics at Mount Allison from 1946 to 1976. He supported the University in several ways before his death in 1983, including providing the funding to create the Crake Reading Room in Hart Hall. The Foundation has continued and expanded upon what he began and currently supports 22 separate programs, funds, or awards at Mount Allison.

To date, the Foundation has donated nearly $4.7 million to Mount Allison, making it the University’s sixth largest donor.

The programs the Foundation supports have evolved over time to reflect the needs of current students.

“The most recent program we added was for internships in the Owens Art Gallery and the University Archives,” says Margaret Fancy, who has served as chair of the Foundation’s board since 1990. “The University archivist and the director of the Owens develop a project that may not get accomplished without this kind of help and students get a part-time job in an area they may be considering as a future profession. So last year, for example, the archives intern helped organize the CHMA papers and there is now a proper record of radio at Mount Allison. The Owens interns have helped to curate exhibitions, learned about conservation, and contributed to the galley’s educational outreach programs.”

There are also summer awards for students to do research or to undertake creative projects; funding for a summer study in Greece, Italy, or the Mediterranean; and the Crake Arts Internships, which invite students to apply for funding to complete a project in fine arts, drama, music, or creative writing.

The Foundation also supports fellowships in drama and classics.

“We help to enrich the education available for students in these departments by bringing in someone new every year or two,” Fancy says, adding it also gives the classics fellows a chance to finish their theses, while getting some experience in the classroom. “We now have former Crake Fellows in tenured positions in nearly every classics department in the country.”

In the case of drama, the fellows are theatre practitioners. They each bring specialized experience that may not be available in the regular curriculum, offer courses, act as mentors, and are role models for students who hope to make a career in theatre.

With dozens and dozens of students and faculty directly benefitting from the Foundation’s generosity each year, the impact it has had over its 40-year history is truly immeasurable.

“Our immediate goal is to enrich the educational experience in the humanities that people get here at Mount Allison,” Fancy says. “Long-term, our intention is that the Foundation last forever. 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 which Ernie Crake held dear.”