MAcc alumni band together to enhance learning for future professionals
by Patty Mah
Celebrating the 25th anniversary with your graduating class is a milestone. Reunions provide opportunities for classmates to reconnect, engage, and reminisce. But for the School of Accounting and Finance (SAF) Master of Accounting (MAcc) class reunions, it was also a call to action.
“It is easy as an early grad to not think of yourselves as alumni but to focus on the fact you have graduated and what is next. Early reunions focus more on reconnecting and then they evolve to more networking and catching up.” – Victoria Davies (MAcc ’88, FCPA), Davies Advisory
Beginning with the MAcc class of 1988, celebrating their 25th anniversary in 2013 was not only nostalgic but an opportunity to create a legacy for their class. Gavin Swartzman, CEO of Peerage Realty Partners, Inc., and classmate Shawn Porter, a partner in Deloitte’s Toronto office, made an appeal to their class to help raise $250,000 to enhance programming and curriculum for future students. Within three months of the appeal, the MAcc class of 1988 successfully raised $160,000 for the SAF Alumni Excellence Endowment Fund. This fund provides flexibility to the SAF Director to support areas of highest priority, whether that’s resources for students, faculty or other SAF projects.
“As a graduating class approaches the 25-year milestone, reconnecting and networking is still important but equally important is the time when many start to think about their legacy. What have I done and who helped me do it? What else do I want to accomplish and who else can I help? I was so pleased that almost all of us made the effort to come back to Waterloo and it was Gavin and Shawn’s big idea that was the impetus. Gavin and Shawn’s galvanizing of the class was infectious, and we realized that we as a group could make a difference,” Davies remembers fondly as their MAcc class reflected on the reasons why they got together for their 25th anniversary.
This collaborative initiative by the class of 1988 inspired other MAcc classes to do the same. Seven MAcc classes – 1986, ’88, ’89, ‘90, ‘91, ’93, ‘94 - to date have collectively raised a total of $787,300 for SAF initiatives beyond the Alumni Excellence Endowment Fund, including establishing the MAcc class of 1986 Scholarship and funding the Student Venture Fund, and David T. Carter Scholarship. This is an incredible feat considering the average class size of these 7 MAcc classes was 32 students.
“It is so amazing that it has caught on and spread to other MAcc reunion classes. It felt more meaningful to make that one major donation to have an impact rather than smaller donations.” – Victoria Davies
Championed by two or three alumni from each MAcc class, the group collectively decides on a project or program that is meaningful to them as a group to focus their fundraising appeal. The MAcc Class Reunion, traditionally held during homecoming weekend, brings graduates back to campus. As classmates reflect on the many enhancements to the Waterloo campus, program curriculum, and student experiences, all while enjoying drinks at the Bomber – a former on-campus bar - and dinner at one of the area’s top dining venues, each class acknowledged the increasing challenge for future students to have the resources they need to set them on their paths to success and the importance of giving back and leaving a legacy.
In 2021, the MAcc class of 1996 will be celebrating their 25th reunion. The SAF is excited to be working with the Class Champions to continue the tradition of legacy giving in appreciation and recognition for what the University and SAF have given them to grow and prosper in their chosen careers and beyond.