Dal 200 planning profile: Office of Advancement

- May 5, 2017

Sheila Blair-Reid, executive director, Alumni Engagement, and Naomi Hill, alumni engagement officer, discuss plans for the coast-to-coast bus tour in 2018. (Fallon Bourgeois photo)
Sheila Blair-Reid, executive director, Alumni Engagement, and Naomi Hill, alumni engagement officer, discuss plans for the coast-to-coast bus tour in 2018. (Fallon Bourgeois photo)

This article is part of an ongoing series highlighting plans in the works for Dalhousie’s 200th anniversary celebrations in 2018. For more information on Dal 200, visit dal200.ca.

Dalhousie’s 200th anniversary is a celebration that won’t be contained by campus — or even country — borders.

The Office of Advancement is planning to make sure alumni, donors and friends from across Canada and around the world have the opportunity to help celebrate the university’s bicentennial in 2018.

“We’ve reached this milestone because of the collective work and generosity of many people,” says Peter Fardy (MBA’85), vice-president, Advancement. “We are thrilled to recognize and celebrate those who have shaped Dal into the institution it is today.”

When the Advancement team began brainstorming and planning well over a year ago, the group saw the 200th anniversary as the perfect platform to acknowledge the impact of philanthropy, as well as Dal’s vibrant alumni community.  

Sheila Blair-Reid (BComm’86), executive director, Alumni Engagement, says the 200th is an opportunity to instill pride in the more than 130,000 Dal alumni, while highlighting their achievements at the university and around the world.

“Alumni and future grads are the fabric of our institution,” she says. “This is an incredible opportunity to engage and connect with alumni locally, nationally and internationally.”


Blair-Reid says while she hopes to see as many alumni as possible back in Halifax at some point in 2018, it may not be a viable option for everyone.

But fret not, because Dal is hitting the road for a coast-to-coast bus tour. From April to September 2018, the Dalhousie bus will make 12 stops in cities throughout Canada, bringing the Dalhousie spirit across the country. (Look for more details on the tour in the near future at dal200.ca.)

The bicentennial anniversary will also see the creation of new and meaningful programs and benefits for Dal’s alumni community. As well, the Dalhousie Dinner Gala (September 28, 2018) will be the not-to-be missed event of the bicentennial’s Homecoming Weekend in 2018. The event — being held at the brand-new Nova Centre in downtown Halifax — will include special guests, thrilling performances, and much more. At the same time, alumni worldwide will be celebrating Global Homecoming, bringing a piece of their alma mater to their own communities.

Transforming Dal through philanthropy

From a philanthropic perspective, the Office of Advancement is striving to highlight the invaluable contributions of Dalhousie’s donors.

“From scholarships, to medical research, to funding innovative learning spaces, there are few things at Dal that haven’t been touched by philanthropy,” says Fardy.

And that will be incredibly apparent with the completion of the IDEA Project in the fall of 2018. The $64-million project is the result of many individuals and corporations coming together to support the revitalization of the Engineering and Architecture faculties, as well as innovation in Nova Scotia.

“The IDEA Project is one of the best examples of philanthropy at work,” says Fardy. “It’s very appropriate it will open during our 200th anniversary.”


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