COVID-19 Student Relief Fund

During these tough times, it is selfless acts of kindness like these that make a difference"

The Saint Mary’s University community has come together to provide over $300,000 in financial support for students experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 400 students benefited directly from these gifts.

“The entire Saint Mary’s community - alumni, friends, partners, faculty, and staff - united to offer immediate support to our students at a critical time,” said President Robert Summerby-Murray. “Their incredible generosity has helped our students weather the uncertainty, alleviate financial pressures, and keep their academic focus.”

Saint Mary’s students who have received funding from the Emergency Bursary and COVID-19 Student Financial Relief Fund are grateful to donors and the community. “During these tough times, it is selfless acts of kindness like these that make a difference,” says current student Dylan Stewart-Taylor who is enrolled in the faculty of science. “Your actions have ensured that students can afford rent, food, utilities, etc., during the pandemic, and I want to personally thank you, as this bursary has helped me through an extremely difficult time.”

The pandemic has had a devastating impact on students’ financial resources. Several have lost their jobs and many were not eligible for government funding programs, making emergency support even more essential. In response, Saint Mary’s launched the COVID-19 Student Financial Relief Fund in mid-March to help students with unexpected and urgent expenses such as rent, bills, groceries, and other necessities. After March, the fund expanded beyond immediate needs to provide bursaries for students throughout the academic year. Several alumni have contributed to the COVID-19 Student Financial Relief Fund, exemplifying the Santamarian spirit of Saint Mary’s. “When I learned that students needed support because of the pandemic,” explains David Norton BA’90 (pictured above). “I was immediately reminded of being 18, alone, in a city 4000 kilometres from home and in need of help. Saint Mary’s was there for me then, and I wanted to be here now for current students.” “I often think back on my career and education and have come to realize that there were many opportunities for things to go awry,” says Kevin Reinhart BComm’81. “However, I was fortunate enough to have the support and financial resources at the right time to allow me to be successful. I’m delighted I was able to play a small part, through the relief fund, to help students through this difficult time.” The COVID-19 Student Financial Relief Fund is part of Saint Mary’s ongoing commitment to helping students in financial need. For more information or to donate, please visit the COVID-19 Student Financial Relief Fund web page