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Stephen Leahey – Class Giving


Stephen Leahey, BEng’64 (NSTC) was excited when he heard about the plans for the IDEA Project at Dalhousie University.

“With new ideas come infinite possibilities,” says Leahey. “That’s what makes the IDEA Project so appealing. A collaborative learning environment will not only prepare students to excel in a world that is increasingly innovation-focused, but will inspire new ideas that will surely benefit everyone.”

Such was Leahey’s enthusiasm for the IDEA Project that he led a volunteer effort to raise money for it from the Class of ’64.

“It was particularly rewarding to see so many of my colleagues come together for a cause that was greater than any of us,” says Leahey. “They did it not necessarily for themselves, but in honour of the memories we share from our time together and to support the next generation.”

With one or two exceptions, the classmates Leahey reached out to were people he had not been in contact with for 50 years. He was grateful for the chance to reconnect, but even more gratified by the level of support he encountered for the IDEA Project among his peers.

“It became our way of passing on the torch. Through our gift, we’re telling future students: ‘We wish you well on your academic journeys and we hope your contributions will result in a better Halifax, or a better society, for everyone.’”

Having done their part, Leahey and the Class of ’64 are issuing a challenge to other engineering classes to raise funds for the IDEA Project. The winning class will be decided based on participation, but as Leahey says, “we all win when we support projects that strengthen our community and create opportunities for students.”

Adds Leahey: “The memories, the camaraderie, the networking that you rekindle through an effort like this – they generate a warm feeling. Knowing that you’re also laying a foundation for new ideas to take us into the 22nd century is just as important.”