Parade Street alumni pay it forward


Emily MacIsaac

Dec. 12, 2014

Emily MacIsaac has a lot to be grateful for.

The commerce honours student, originally from Stephenville, N.L., has only a few months left before finishing up her degree and has already landed a job after graduation next May. She’s also thankful for the support of a core group of alumni who financially give back to Memorial to help students like her succeed.
Ms. MacIsaac is this year’s recipient of the Memorial on Parade Bursary, funded by alumni of Memorial’s Parade Street campus. Those proud graduates have raised more than $35,000 to establish the bursary endowment fund.

“Thanks to this bursary and with savings from my co-op workterm, I was able to take a semester off from a part-time job,” said the business student, who is completing a concentration in accounting. “This allowed me to focus more on my school work and keeping my grades up. I feel both grateful and blessed to have received this award, both for the financial benefits and the pride you get in knowing that your hard work is noticed.”

Memorial University College was established in 1925 as a living memorial to Newfoundlanders who lost their lives during the First World War. It was located on Parade Street in St. John's. Memorial was elevated to university status in 1949 and moved to its main campus on Elizabeth Avenue in 1961.

The Memorial on Parade Bursary is open to students from Newfoundland and Labrador who are in their fourth year of studies in any program on the St. John’s campus, who meet the academic criteria and have demonstrated financial need. Alumni of Memorial University College came together to celebrate during a special Parade Street campus reunion in 2010. Since then, they’ve held additional reunions and proudly continue to support the bursary.

The late former Memorial president Dr. Art May, along with the late Dr. Max House, former professor emeritus in the Faculty of Medicine, both graduated from Memorial’s Parade Street campus. The former classmates and friends were instrumental in organizing those reunions and setting up the bursary. Dr. Phil Warren is also a former classmate and longtime friend of Drs. May and House. He continues to work with the Memorial on Parade committee.

"Dr. May and Dr. House truly were builders of our university and our province," he said. "And they believed that investing in our students was one of the keys to success. I think they would have been very pleased with the generosity and commitment of the donors to our bursary, as well as the excellence of the recipient. Ms. MacIsaac has set a very high standard for future applicants."

Once she graduates next year, Ms. MacIsaac will head west to begin a job with accounting firm KPMG at its Edmonton, Alta., office.

“Accounting is fascinating,” she noted. “I love learning about a subject that is practical in everyday life. The knowledge you learn through the commerce program is extremely applicable to so much in the real world, from how a business is run to how to save money on your taxes.”

Ms. MacIsaac said she appreciates the generosity of the alumni who give back to Memorial to help fund scholarships and bursaries. She said she hopes to do the same someday.

“Thanks to everyone who puts their time into making these bursaries a reality,” she said. “I hope to one day give back to what I have received for future students who need it most.”

To learn more about giving to the Memorial on Parade Bursary, contact Catherine Barrett, Office of Alumni Affairs and Development at 709-864-2157 or by email at

Jeff Green