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Former Charlottetown mayor and long-time educator and community advocate George MacDonald has been elected as the new chairman of Saint Dunstan’s University’s board of governors.
Originating as St. Andrews College in 1831, Saint Dunstan’s University, or SDU, served the Diocese of Charlottetown and the Catholic community of Prince Edward Island as the centre for higher learning until 1969 when SDU and Prince of Wales College were amalgamated by the provincial government to create the non-denominational University of Prince Edward Island.
MacDonald went on to a distinguished 33-year career in education after graduating from SDU in 1964. He also served 18 years as a Charlottetown councillor, spending much of his time in planning and development, and was elected for two terms as mayor.
He is a former panel member for the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission, former board member of Charlottetown Area Development Corporation, past chair of the Workers Compensation Board of P.E.I., and currently a director of Charlottetown Airport Authority.
Today, Saint Dunstan’s University lives on through its board of governors, which operates as a foundation to foster and promote Christian higher education and preserve the memory of the university.
Since 1970, SDU’s board of governors has awarded bursaries to residents of Prince Edward Island enrolled in post-secondary education. In 2005, the board added a scholarship program. To date, almost $1.5-million in bursaries and scholarships has been awarded.
The board also sponsors several religious studies courses at the University of Prince Edward Island, an annual outreach lecture series covering a variety of religious, moral and ethical topics, and summer vacation Bible camps in several communities for children in grades 1 to 5.
“Our SDU roots are very deep in Prince Edward Island,” says MacDonald, “and our goal is to leverage the value of our legacy to the benefit and betterment of today’s youth and young adults.
“As board chair I am committed to that goal. That includes strong partnerships with Holland College and UPEI and ensuring that SDU’s legacy lives on.”