Impact of Giving

A legacy for advancing physics education

Author: Development and Donor Relations

Posted on Jan 15, 2024

Category: Donor Stories , Bequests

Emma and Clyde Gross had no interest in promoting themselves through the scholarship in their name; they only wanted to promote physics and encourage bright students in that field.

“I hope someone will discover all kinds of wonderful things we don’t know about now,” said Clyde, on the motivation behind the award. The Emma and Clyde deVeer Gross Scholarships will be valued at $6,500, covering tuition for two third- or fourth-year physics students every year.

Although neither Clyde nor Emma attended UNB, they lived in its vicinity for several years when Clyde managed Co-op Atlantic’s Fredericton feed plant and they boarded university students.

“That’s how we got started with college,” said Emma. She told of how Clyde would ask students about their courses and kept one particular student up at night mining his expertise. The development of the internet helped satisfy Clyde’s natural curiosity and he delved into material on physics in particular, hence the focus of the award.

Although they enjoyed living in Fredericton, the two lived most of their lives in Albert County. Emma (Power) grew up on a small farm in Barrington, New Brunswick, the seventh of ten children. The 30s and 40s were tough for the family. Emma recalled, “Looking back, I don’t know how my parents made a living.” She went to a one-room school until grade eight and didn’t have the chance to graduate from high school. She worked in department store account departments in Moncton and a florist’s shop while in Fredericton.

Clyde was raised near Hillsborough (where he met Emma at Homecoming Days in 1947) and had a special teacher in high school who liked to experiment in chemistry, one day teaching his students how to make dynamite. “That was a mistake,” said Clyde, although it may have increased his interest in education. He taught school for one year before enlisting in the Air Force. After the war, he had an opportunity to go to university but for a variety of reasons was not able to, which was part of why he wanted to establish a scholarship, primarily through a bequest.

“I had some ambition to do,” added Clyde, “but now someone else can take my place.”

The scholarships, possible because of Clyde’s astute investing and financial management, will support Canadian citizens, with preference for students from New Brunswick.

Learn how to make a bequest to UNB.

Read the 2022-23 Donor Impact Report.