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Long-serving faculty member creates bursary award for Markham students

Long-serving faculty member creates bursary award for Markham students

artist rendering of York U Markham Campus building

A new bursary award for York University’s Markham Campus students will honour the contributions and legacy of Professor Alice Pitt who currently serves as senior advisor, Markham Academic Strategic Planning.

Alice Pitt

Pitt has been a faculty member at York since 1995, serving the University in leadership roles such as vice-provost academic (2012-20), Faculty of Education dean (2008-12), and Faculty of Education associate dean (2002-07).

The award will honour her contributions to York University while expanding financial support for students.

The $25,000 donation from Pitt will create an endowed bursary to benefit continuing undergraduate students entering their final year in a Markham Campus program and experiencing financial hardship. Each year, one recipient will receive approximately $1,000 from the Alice Pitt Bursary. The award will be available through Student Financial Services once the campus opens in Spring 2024.

Pitt credits the inspiration and wisdom of colleagues and students for her successful career at York.

“Working with colleagues from every corner of the university and in conversation with the Markham and York Region communities has been such fun and gave my creativity and curious mind lots of stimulation,” says Pitt. “From designing welcoming spaces to facilitating conversations across programs about student learning and experience, I have learned so much.”

She hopes her donation will inspire others to contribute in ways that increase access to post-secondary education for future generations. In addition to her current gift, Pitt has also made arrangements in her will for a future gift to continue support for students in financial need at York’s Markham and Keele campuses.

“York University is proud of the diversity of its student body and is always looking for ways to provide what students need to flourish, to articulate their goals, and to achieve them,” says Pitt. “It is important to me that students who attend York at the Markham Campus have access to supports designed with them in mind and from the time the doors open.”

Increased access to high-quality university education in general and increased access for those who might not seek out university study stand to strengthen communities and improve opportunities, she says.

“We are very grateful for Alice’s continued support for Markham Campus,” said Gordon Binsted, deputy provost, Markham. “She has been instrumental in getting the campus off the ground and her contributions exemplify the community spirit that we hope to foster at the campus.”

Markham Campus will embed York University in the heart of one of the most diverse and dynamic urban communities in the province and country. The impressive facility will feature 10 floors of teaching and learning spaces and plenty of common areas to meet, study and collaborate.

Article originally published in the January 24, 2023 issue of Yfile