Sir Graham Day poses with scholarship winners2020 marks 10 years since The Sir Graham Day Fund was established. The concept for these particular scholarships was John Bragg’s, who imagined a scholarship funding opportunity to honour my contribution to business in Atlantic Canada and beyond. Over the past 10 years, the size of the fund has greatly increased and the scholarships have continued to grow in both number and value.

How it happened

At age 60, in 1993 when I retired, I returned to Nova Scotia following the second of my two extended periods of work assignments in Britain. By 2010 I had been home for 17 years during which I had the opportunity to work with several Canadian businesses, particularly in Atlantic Canada, including some which, importantly, were owned by families. Now I was gradually winding down all of these involvements. It was time to try again to retire!

Late one afternoon in 2010, Mr. Bragg and I met and he advised me that he was speaking with the folks in Advancement as well as several of the companies with whom I had worked, in an effort to create a fund to recognize me and to support students at Dalhousie.

For me, the value of this recognition is the significant benefits to date for deserving students and, over time, the growing impact on generations of future students.

The funding, then and now

It was hoped, at the onset of the fund, that the initial value could approach one million dollars, today the fund has grown to just over $1.7 Million and will continue to grow. I have been a regular supporter of Dalhousie, so I continue to support the fund on an annual basis. Each year, I have the pleasure of meeting the students who benefit from the fund and I am constantly impressed by their achievements and future ambitions.

Why the Faculty of Management?

A few years before 2010, Mr. Seymour Schulich had given a substantial gift to Dalhousie’s Law School. Although, as a Law School alumnus, I continue to contribute to the Law School, I concluded that the interests of prospective donors to the Day Scholarship Fund might have more in common with the Faculty of Management. Also, I had a Faculty of Management connection. For four years in the late ’70’s and early ’80’s I was very happily engaged in teaching in the graduate Business School and, concurrently, established with external funding the Canadian Marine Transportation Centre (one of the founding elements of today’s Ocean Studies Program).

By 2010 I knew very few of the then current faculty in Management. However, my valued friend and former student, now Professor Emerita, Mary Brooks was still there but on sabbatical in Australia. So I phoned Mary, received her advice and suggestions and then said to Mr. Bragg, when the fund is established please designate it to the Faculty of Management. The initial details were agreed, and when Mary returned she oversaw the first few years of the scholarship selections.

Repeat the formula?

There’s no magic here. Rather, what became possible arose from an idea, and the interest and willingness on the parts of others to participate. This scholarship package is continuous, long-term and delivers opportunities for bright young people who might otherwise struggle financially and, perhaps, fail.

A final personal note: my estate plan includes bequests to Dalhousie, both to the Law School and for this scholarship. I like to contemplate that, when the time comes, some of my surviving friends might decide to add just a little to the Sir Graham Day Scholarship Fund.

GD 27/12/20