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Dalhousie University emergency bursary program for students launched by family gift from President Florizone and Dr. Mona Holmlund

Posted by Media Centre on March 23, 2018 in News

(Halifax, NS) – Starting university can be exciting for students, but it can also be challenging. For many students it is the first time living on their own and dealing with greater financial commitments. Dalhousie university has a wide range of programs and supports in place for students, including academic and financial supports. But sometimes, a little financial assistance can make a huge difference for students. Dr. Richard Florizone, president of Dalhousie University and his wife Dr. Mona Holmlund believe that emergency funding can help students stay in school. They have committed up to $50,000 to to establish the On Track Microbursary to support students in urgent financial need.

“From our own time as students, we remember the impact a small financial gift had on my studies,” says Dr. Richard Florizone, president and vice-chancellor of Dalhousie University. “It made all the difference that semester. We want to provide support for Dalhousie students facing immediate need. So we’re kick starting the campaign with a personal donation and challenging the community to join us in supporting the On Track Microbursary.”

Dr. Florizone and Dr. Holmlund will match dollar for dollar every gift, up to $50,000, for an overall initial investment of $100,000. The On Track Microbursary, will provide emergency bursaries up to $500 for students. With an initial investment of $100,000, the bursaries will have an immediate impact on upwards of 200 students.

The microbursary will be administrated through Dalhousie’s Student Affairs and will combine timely financial aid with the university’s On Track program, Dalhousie’s student success and retention program. The program provides first and second year students with coaching and supports on a broad range of topics vital to success at university. Increasing access to emergency financial aid for students combined with the On Track program will also connect them with other forms of support, improving their ability to be successful and stay in university.
“Unforeseen financial challenges can impact our students’ ability to stay in university,” says President Florizone. “Student success, student retention, and equity of access are core to our values and Dalhousie’s strategic priorities. The On Track Microbursary will give students who are experiencing a financial crisis the help they need so they can stay in university and on the road to academic success.”

Students will be able to access emergency funding through the On Track Microbursary starting in September 2018.

To learn more about the On Track Microbursary and how you can show your support, please visit:


Media contact:
Janet Bryson
Senior Communications Manager
Communications and Marketing
Dalhousie University
tel: 902-494-1269
cell: 902-222-9379


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