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What it Means to Give Back...Dawn Frail and Rebecca Boyd Whittico

Posted by Kathy MacFarlane on October 21, 2018 in News

Homecoming 2018 brought together the Pharmacy Class of 1976 for their 42nd anniversary as part of the 200th celebrations. At the helm of organizing the reunion were classmates Dawn Frail (BScPharm’76, MSc’79) and Rebecca Boyd Whittico (BScPharm’76, MSc’82, PhD UCSF).“ I was very involved with the social activities of our class, particularly the legendary pharmacy parties at the Grawood in the Student Union Building, the pub crawls, skit nights, etc., but only as a participant; not an organizer. I was never involved with the DSPS (Dalhousie Student Pharmacy Society) or other Pharmacy organizational groups. In fact, when we graduated, if you told my classmates I would be organizing a class reunion, they would not have believed you - NEVER!,” laughs Dawn.

Rebecca Boyd Whittico (left) and Dawn Frail. (Provided photo)

They met during the first few days at Dalhousie University and lived just down the hall from each other in Sherriff Hall. After the craziness of frosh week, the second floor Old Eddy gals settled into a pattern of putting on their pyjamas after an evening of studying and sitting on the floor in the hallway with their cups of coffee. They shared their stories, troubles, joys and got to know each other.  This friendship endured all these years (even being each other’s maid/matron of honour) and they both have an extended relationship with the College of Pharmacy.

Giving to the College of Pharmacy was not new for either of them. But while planning their reunion at the same time they were entering a new stage in their lives (retirement), they found themselves thinking more about a legacy – for the entire group of classmates who laughed, cried, studied, worried and triumphed together. “Our classmates are approaching the end of their careers and we hope that they will reflect on the role that the College of Pharmacy played in their successes and consider contributing to the success of future students as a Class legacy,” says Rebecca.  The gift will be used for bursaries to support Pharmacy students with financial need.

A way to say thanks

 “Giving is my way of saying thank you, by giving I am helping the College of Pharmacy continue to do what they do well and to positively impact other people in the way they have impacted me. I believe there are enough like-minded people in the Pharmacy Class of 1976 to create a class gift that will continue to give back to our beloved school long after we are gone,” says Dawn.

 “To me, giving back is simply a tangible expression of gratitude and a way to pay it forward. Education has been a focus of my husband’s and my charitable giving over the years because of the huge, positive impact it can have on individuals and on society. Because of family circumstances, my parents didn’t have the opportunity to finish high school. However, they valued education and it was always assumed that I would attend university.  I had modest goals initially, but my time at the College of Pharmacy awakened a desire for further education and provided a strong foundation for graduate school and an eventual career in pharmaceutical research. I never could have predicted the trajectory of my career and the great challenges, stimulation and fulfillment that it would offer. It has been an amazing journey! I have experienced the transformational power of education and my financial support of Dal is a result of gratitude for that education,” says Rebecca.

Although now retired these women are not slowing down. They keep busy with family, friends, sports activities (cycling, yoga, kayaking, golf), hobbies (reading, playing bridge, book club) and traveling the world. Both plan on volunteering with community groups/organizations that will keep them challenged, stimulated and fulfilled. However, they will continue to champion the Pharmacy Class of 1976 Bursary which has already raised over $11,000 in contributions and will leave a wonderful legacy for future students.