Impact of Giving

UNB family leaves enduring legacy for students and colleagues

Author: Development and Donor Relations

Posted on Dec 12, 2022

Category: Donor Stories , Bequests

Professor Jack Iwanicki and his wife, Eileen (Haworth), made many students feel welcome in their 31 years of service to UNB. Students and faculty members will continue to benefit from their generosity thanks to the couple’s $2.8-million bequest in support of student financial aid, engagement and faculty research.

Jack joined UNB’s department of philosophy in 1965. Eileen worked for CBC and the federal Department of Consumer Affairs before joining UNB’s office of human resources as one of the university’s first employment equity co-ordinators. Together, they made UNB their home, and until Jack retired in 1996 they played central roles in the intellectual and social life of the faculty of arts in Fredericton.

Eileen died in 2011 and Jack in 2014 but UNB was never far from their thoughts. Jack created their first student award, The Eileen M. Iwanicki Scholarship, in honour of his wife. It is awarded on both campuses to science students who wish to pursue an interest in environmental studies. The Prof. Jack A. Iwanicki Scholarship for students majoring in philosophy on both campuses followed, along with the Jack and Eileen Iwanicki Fund, which supports research excellence and the creation of new opportunities in UNB Fredericton’s faculty of arts and the philosophy department.

The Iwanickis’ legacy of student and faculty support is one of the largest gifts ever made to UNB by a former faculty member.

To Anne Pugh, a colleague, longtime friend and former member of the philosophy department who served as Jack’s co-executor, this was typical of the way in which the Iwanickis approached life at the university.

Anne Pugh speaking at the event announcing the $2.8-million estate gift from the Iwanickis.

“UNB meant so much to Jack and Eileen,” she said. “They wanted to ensure that they could keep helping students and colleagues after they were gone. The scholarships and strategic funds are their way of investing in the continuing success of UNB as a community of scholars that is engaged in the life of the larger community.”

One of the young scholars whom the Iwanickis impressed was a young Paul J. Mazerolle, now UNB’s president and vice-chancellor.

“I had the great fortune of knowing Eileen and studying with Jack,” said Dr. Mazerolle. “They had a tremendous capacity to engage students in the world of ideas, in the life of the university and in our community of Fredericton. I am grateful that they will continue to help UNB students for generations to come, thanks to this generous legacy.”

Dr. Joanne Wright, dean of arts on UNB’s Fredericton campus, expressed the faculty’s gratitude for the many opportunities the Iwanickis’ bequest has created.

“The Iwanickis’ legacy is a testament to what we can do, as scholars, to ensure students will continue to benefit from the sort of opportunities that we benefited from as undergraduates, graduate students and new faculty,” Dr. Wright said. “I am inspired by the depth of their commitment to our UNB community and I hope others will be, too.”

A $50,000 gift in your will can establish a $2,000 scholarship for students forever.

Learn how you can make a bequest.

Read the Donor Impact Report.