Impact of Giving

Brothers and business scholars

Author: Development and Donor Relations

Posted on Feb 6, 2020

Category: News and Events , Scholarships and Bursaries , Alumni Annual Giving , Creating Opportunities for Students

For two brothers from Saint Andrews, the true connection to each other was cemented halfway around the world.

For approximately 18 months, Blake and Kent Ross toured Australia, a low-budget, post-high school adventure that sometimes involved living out of their car while they worked odd jobs. It taught them about life, helped them realize their goals and allowed them to gain a greater appreciation for Canada.

It’s a unique bond that continued to flourish at UNB Saint John, where both Kent, 25, and Blake, 23, graduated with Bachelor of Business Administration degrees in 2019, each with distinction and an economics major.

“It is a combination of competitiveness and collaboration,” said Kent, of how their relationship was one part sibling rivalry and one part brotherly love. “In comparing ourselves to each other – we always had reason to push.”

Both excelled academically and for most of their final two years of university, they shared an apartment and many classes. “We only needed to buy one textbook,” Kent jokes. They credit their strong academic performance to solid relationships with their professors, which was fostered by the appealing teacher-student ratio on campus. The scholarship support they received was also instrumental in providing them with an opportunity to excel.

In addition to the many things they already shared, Kent and Blake each received the Alan MacGibbon Scholarship during their fourth and final year on campus. The $5,000 scholarship is awarded to three business administration students each year.

“The most important thing was time – it gave me time to focus on my studies,” Kent said. “I definitely would not have done as well if I had not had that funding and needed to work more. The scholarship made a huge difference for me.”

While some brothers might have allowed their paths to diverge after their undergraduate degrees, Kent and Blake are continuing along the same trajectory – both are now pursuing masters degrees in economics on the west coast.

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