Campus News | May 15, 2020 | View as Webpage
"Acadia's community is comprised of stars"
Congratulations. We got through winter courses, completed exams, started spring sessions as online-only, and we congratulated our Class of 2020 from afar. I hope you take a moment to recognize your part in making all this possible, your ability to adapt, and your achievements!

There are now more than 4 million cases of COVID-19 worldwide. To do our part, we are staying home and adjusting our teaching, research, and service delivery. It is uncharted territory. Many members of our community - students, faculty, staff, and alumni - are on the front lines or sharing their talents to help others. Thank you.

April took a toll as tragedy struck during a shooting rampage in rural Nova Scotia that abruptly ended 22 lives. It was a painful blow, made worse with the news that the RCMP officer lost was an alumna. Her story is quintessential Acadia. She discovered her passion as a student on our campus. News of her death reminded us of how precious life is and how important our families are.

I am prouder than ever to be a part of the leadership team at Acadia and part of this community. Amidst this unprecedented time, we've created ways to help students in the Acadia family with extra help and new emergency bursaries and awards. We are also focusing on how we move forward this fall. While the global health crisis will be a test, we are committed to working with you to pass it.

In the face of so much uncertainty, we do know this - there is tremendous value in Acadia's personalized education and the campus community we know and love. We will ensure that Acadia continues to offer that personal “touch” to provide experiential learning and research opportunities no matter the format. In the coming weeks, we will make the difficult decisions required to ensure that Acadia can navigate through this dark time and be in a strong position to recover.

We continue to seek government support to help us weather this storm by offsetting revenue losses that have been and will continue to be incurred as a direct result of the pandemic. Ultimately, operational decisions will be driven by health and safety considerations dictated by the success of Nova Scotia's pandemic containment efforts.

Our community's collective strength is how Acadia has managed to pivot to alternative delivery of our spring and summer courses. It's also how we are working through scenarios for the fall, and planning a future in-person celebration with our Class of 2020. In the meantime, their diplomas are in their way, and so are our grads!

Always remember, you are part of an institution with a long, rich history of rising to challenges. Thank you for your patience, cooperation, and resolve as we find our way forward. Enjoy the long weekend ahead.



Dr. Peter Ricketts
President and Vice-Chancellor
Rising to every challenge
Spring is a time when the Acadia University family typically gathers to celebrates its graduating class and the end of the academic term. In 2020, that all changed.

Graduation celebrations took place from afar until Convocation can be held in person. Our classes are online and we are staying the blazes home during a global pandemic.

We just want to remind our community that we are strong and that together, we will rise.
Celebrating the Class of 2020
Acadia University’s Class of 2020 officially graduated; however, the Convocation ceremonies and related activities scheduled in May were postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic. That didn't stop the Acadia community from celebrating the accomplishments of 845 graduates in the faculties of Arts, Pure and Applied Science, Professional Studies, and Theology.

Financial help for students impacted by COVID-19 disruption
Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB)

The Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) provides financial support to post-secondary students, and recent post-secondary and high school graduates who are unable to find work due to COVID-19.

This benefit is for students who do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or Employment Insurance (EI).

From May to August 2020, the CESB provides a payment to eligible students.
Applications open on Friday, May 15, 2020.
University and Students' Union offer assistance

“We understand the challenges ahead and have made a commitment to support our students through the establishment of Student Relief Bursaries to assist them in their academic and personal journey at Acadia," says Dr. Peter Ricketts.

Learn more about financial support for students:

Answering the call
Acadia’s Faculty of Pure & Applied Science has responded to the anticipated need for PPE by collecting gloves, masks, and materials from teaching and research labs in Biology, Chemistry, and Earth and Environmental Science.

And our Steam Space has the potential for 3D printing of PPE or other medical supplies for the pandemic response and is ready to engage when needed.

ALAB (Acadia Laboratory for Agri-food and Beverage) has been testing the efficacy of hand sanitizers for the Nova Scotia COVID-19 Task Force by ensuring the ethanol content meets the WHO and Canadian specifications for ethanol concentration.
How are we coping-at-home? Exploring the ties that bind
Psychology researcher Dr. Kathryn Bell is co-leading a study that will explore how Nova Scotians are coping during times of physical distancing and stay-at-home orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Visit for updates on our response to the pandemic.
Adapting course delivery
Acadia's Learning Technologies and Instructional Designs team has been hard at work developing a course to help our faculty prepare for the possibility of remote learning this fall. Watch the video to hear from Dr. Jeff Banks!

Loaning online
Library staff are sharing advice and resources, including great reading materials, from afar. They created a video to help you learn how to access eBooks. Check it out! (See what we did there?)

Herald - The late Pat Nowlan’s ‘not-so-secret-power’ reflections on former Kings-Hants MP’s life

CBC - Hundreds to stay in NS university residences this summer due to COVID-19 

Herald - Dr. Jeffrey Hennessy named new provost at Mount Allison 

Venture Beat - Researchers propose ways to apply AI to agriculture and conservation

National Observer - What our best and brightest are pretty sure is happening with wildlife

Acadia Athletics - Feltmate and Hastings picked up in CFL Draft

Herald - Acadia University scientist developing natural products for pest management, crop protection
Our fallen hero
“Heidi loved her chosen career. There was no doubt in her mind when she graduated from Acadia that her next step was going to be the RCMP," said the obituary for Const. Heidi Stevenson ('93).

“Reaching that goal wasn’t always easy but her incredibly strong work ethic, driven personality, and resilient nature got her to exactly where she wanted to be.”