Helping the Underrepresented Soar in School
March 2, 2018 was a day to remember former StFX faculty member Dr. Ann Sherman, as a new 1$ million scholarship was installed in her name.
Dr. Sherman died on August 2, 2017 but has left her mark on StFX. She was the former director of the school of education at StFX, in which she was admired for her hard work and dedication to the university.
The scholarship has been put in place for African Nova Scotian students, as well as Aboriginal Canadian students in the Faculty of Education field.
The ceremony took place in the Coady International Institute’s Dennis Hall, where the Bragg family donated $500,000 to start the fund. Dr. Ann Sherman was a niece to John and Judy Bragg.
It was then later announced that alumnus Jeannie Deveau from the graduating class of 1944 had generously agreed to match this donation of $500,000.
With the new scholarship being put into place, it will allow the university to become more accessible for the students of African and Aboriginal descents. These students are often times underrepresented at university due to their history and struggles with oppression, and are not always given the opportunity to attend university.
These bursaries are opening the door to new opportunities for these students, who would otherwise not have the means to afford the rising tuitions in Nova Scotia.
Dr. Sherman was a strong advocate for the underrepresented and was always willing to fight for the people in these communities. She was a lifelong educator, and her passion in life could be seen through her work in the classroom.
She was a very resilient woman with a mindset that was not going to allow anyone to stop her in her fight to allow everybody the chance to be in a classroom. She strongly believed that no matter what someone’s background, race, or religion, everybody should have the same rights to learn.
The current StFX Dean of Education, Dr. Jeff Orr, who was a dear friend of Sherman's said, “She had a passion for many things in education. The top of her list was support for First Nations and African Nova Scotian students.”
StFX President Dr. Kent MacDonald was also at the ceremony and, in speaking with The Casket, he said: “It represents what is so different and great about StFX.; you don’t just idly pass through this place. In fact, if you’re not interested in actively joining a community, like StFX, you probably don’t come here. I think her being here, at StFX, and the impact we heard she had on her students, on peers, on family members to be part of this university community, I think reflects a lot on what is good about StFX.”
Sherman was the embodiment of what it means to be a Xaverian. At StFX everyone must stand up for each other, and most importantly stand up for those who are the minority and may not always have their voices heard.
Even though Dr. Sherman is not with us anymore, her love for education and helping the underrepresented is going to live on through this scholarship that will help more Nova Scotians attend university and pursue their academic dreams.