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Joyce E Baker Memorial Bursary result of desire to give back

Author: Communications

Posted on Mar 8, 2012

Category: UNB Fredericton , myUNB

If it wasn’t for the love and persistence of his wife Joyce, Dr. William (Bill) J. Baker (BSc. ‘57) may have never completed his degree at the University of New Brunswick and gone on to earn his PhD.

After one year at UNB, Baker was living with his wife and working as a lab technician at a hospital in Moncton.

The couple was at a crossroads.  A decision had to be made for Bill to either return to school and complete his degree or continue working to provide for his young family.

Faced with a difficult dilemma, the pair ultimately decided that completing his education, while it would be tough at times, was the best thing to do.  Bill returned to UNB, completed an honours degree and the young couple welcomed their first child (Susan) in May, just after Bill completed his third year.

During his time at UNB, both he and Joyce worked to help make ends meet for the young family. It was his late wife’s dedication and love that spurred Bill to create the Joyce E. Baker Memorial Bursary. Thanks to his generous donation, the bursary will be awarded to a Fredericton campus student, with a spouse, who has completed the first year of the Bachelor of Science program.

“I remember how difficult it was financially to be a married student with a child in my senior year,” Bill said. “I want to remember Joyce’s love and support by helping another married student.”

“She believed deeply in the value of education and gave selflessly to others, so I can’t think of a more fitting gift to carry on her memory,” Bill said.

UNB President and Vice-Chancellor H.E.A. (Eddy) Campbell said the Baker family’s generosity will help many students in the years to come.

“Balancing academics, family life and a work schedule can be difficult at the best of times," Dr. Campbell said. "The Joyce E. Baker Memorial Bursary will help students in this situation continue their studies while building a brighter future for their family.”

The support shown by Bill on behalf of his wife and family will allow UNB to award a $3,000 bursary annually – a fitting tribute to Joyce’s legacy. 

For more information, contact:

Jennifer Gavin
UNB Communications & Marketing
506-453-4990
jgavin@unb.ca