Micah Stairs only graduated a year ago, but he has already given back to his alma mater in a big way.
Stairs, who has a joint honours in mathematics and computer science from Mount Allison, has created a fully endowed fund to support competitive programming at the University.
“This will ensure that future students can have some of the same enriching experiences that I was fortunate to have,” he says. “And it will provide steady funding for many years to come.”
Stairs was able to fully endow the fund in just one year by taking advantage of a gift-matching program at work.
“My employer has a generous gift-matching policy, which enabled my donation to stretch much further than it otherwise would have,” he says.
Stairs was a member of the first team from Mount Allison to qualify for the World Finals of the International Collegiate Programming Contest, a grueling and prestigious competition for computer programming students, which took place in South Dakota in May 2017.
He and his teammates, William Fiset (’17) and Finn Lidbetter (’17), put in countless hours to prepare for the competition — time that paid off when they were successful in beating Harvard University at the regional competition for the final qualifying spot.
Stairs’ programming acumen helped him land a job as a software engineer at Google.
“I recognize that I would not have this job at Google if it were not for Mount Allison University and the opportunities that it provided for me,” he says.
Stairs is hoping the endowment fund will help set up other students for the same sort of success.