Siblings Bob, Tim, John and Iris Bliss were all active students when they attended the University of New Brunswick’s Fredericton campus in the 1950s – they participated in student societies and sports teams, and excelled academically.
In the years since graduating, their ties to their alma mater have remained strong. From their support of athletics facilities and teams, to leadership with the Beaverbrook Scholars award committee, to service with the UNB Alumni Association and the UNB Board of Governors.
It was Iris Bliss, however, who decided that it was time that the siblings did something as a family for UNB. With her encouragement, they each gave separately to one common initiative, creating a $300,000 scholarship endowment to help ensure that more students can come “up the hill” to receive a life-changing education at UNB.
“We wanted the Bliss Family Scholarships to honour our parents, George and Gladys, because they instilled in us the value of education from a very young age,” she says. “We owe our careers to the education we received at UNB, but also to our parents, because they were the ones who helped ensure that post-secondary education was not beyond our reach. We hope these scholarships will do the same for today’s students.”
Three Bliss Family Scholarships, announced today during a ceremony at the Alumni Lounge on UNB’s Fredericton campus, will be awarded to students in the bachelor of science in engineering degree program while the fourth will be awarded to a student who has completed a bachelor of kinesiology at UNB and is beginning the bachelor of education program.
This mirrors the Bliss family’s educational path – Bob (BSE EE ’52), retired engineer with Westinghouse, Tim (BSE CE ’54), retired vice-president of engineering with McCain Foods, John (BSE CE ’55), retired city engineer for Fredericton, and Iris (BSc ’57, BEd ’59), retired associate professor of physical education at the University of Toronto. UNB President and Vice-Chancellor Eddy Campbell applauds the gift.
“It is important that we continue to invest in our students – making education accessible and recognizing success. I am happy to say that the Bliss family also understands this critical need in our province.”
Student support is a significant part of UNB’s $110 million fundraising campaign, It Begins Here, which was launched in November. Fully one-half of the campaign goal – $55 million – will be dedicated to student financial support, funding scholarships, bursaries and programs to expand accessibility.
The University of New Brunswick (UNB) is Canada’s oldest English-language university. Founded in 1785, the multi-campus institution has a rich history and a dynamic focus on innovation, experiential learning and entrepreneurship. UNB has more than 10,500 students from nearly 100 countries while several thousand more take UNB courses online and at partner institutions around the world.
Media contact: David Stonehouse
Photo: Bob, Tim, John and Iris Bliss. Rob Blanchard photo.