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At a jam-packed cocktail reception April 20, the Concordia University Part-time Faculty Association (CUPFA) announced a donation of $20 000 for athletes, libraries and the theatre program.
More than 90 guests gathered on the 11th floor of the EV Building. Kathy Assayag, VP Advancement and Alumni Relations, lauded CUPFA representatives and President Maria Peluso. “Congratulations to Maria and her team. It takes leadership to make a gift like this happen,” Assayag said.
Concordia President Judith Woodsworth expressed her thanks to CUPFA and Peluso, whom she said she’s known for many years. “Maria has always been a great advocate for our students and teachers through our Board and Senate,” Woodsworth said, adding that Peluso and other part-time instructors contribute to furthering the university’s goal of providing an outstanding student experience. “They bring their work and academic knowledge to help make our students a great success as they go into the community. They add to the university in many ways, both inside and outside the classroom.”
Peluso, who noted that the donation coincided with CUPFA’s 20th anniversary, said the association’s members—many of whom are alumni—serve as the university’s ambassadors and wear many hats, including teaching, volunteering for their association and working in industry, government or the community. She thanked fellow executive members; “the team is reflective of the academic diversity of our members. I have a lot of pride in them,” said Peluso.
Vice-President Services Michael Di Grappa said that $10 000 of the contribution will support Recreation and Athletics’ Academic Centre of Excellence, which offers advice to student athletes. “The centre helps ensure that varsity athletes match their success in sports with success in studies,” said Di Grappa, who also announced that the centre will feature a plaque in recognition of CUPFA’s gift.
David Graham, Provost and Vice-President of Academic Affairs, stressed the importance of Concordia’s part-time teachers. “Even before I came to Concordia, I was well aware of the high proportion of part-time faculty members at Concordia. However, when I arrived, I was surprised to learn how important they were not just in the volume but in the quality of the programs the university offers,” said Graham.
He added that $4 000 of the donation will help the Webster Library purchase much-needed DVDs and CDs, while the remaining $6 000 will go toward stipends for Concordia theatre graduates who are participating in The Lieutenant of Inishmore. The professional play, which will be directed by theatre instructors Kate Bligh and Jean-François Gagnon, will open in January 2011 at Montreal’s Segal Centre for Performing Arts.
Bligh was on-hand to explain how CUPFA’s gift helped turn her idea of producing a professional play with recent and soon-to-be Concordia graduates into a reality. She then introduced two of the play’s eight graduating students, Geoff Aucoin and Chris Cavener, who then read a scene from the black comedy set in 1993 in Northern Ireland.