New Awards to Support Community Leadership Among Black Acadia Students


Through generous gifts from a wide variety of alumni donors and in support of the university’s commitment to anti-racism, Acadia University is pleased to announce the Edwin Borden Awards.

Named in honour of Edwin Borden, an Acadia alumnus who was one of the first Black individuals in Canada to be granted a Bachelor’s (1892) and Master’s (1896), these awards will recognize community engagement and leadership among Black Acadia students. Borden was from Truro, Nova Scotia, and went on to earn a PhD and enjoy a distinguished career as a church leader and college president in the United States.

Acadia University President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Peter Ricketts thanked Acadia’s alumni for establishing the awards, noting that “diversity, equity, and inclusion are the bedrock of Acadia’s core values and form an important part of our educational mission. We understand that systemic racism exists and have made a commitment to face it, define it, understand it and take action to eliminate it. This is how Acadia can make real progress toward being a community that is proactively and inherently anti-racist.

“The cultural significance of Edwin Borden’s achievements is also a powerful and representative example to which all our students can aspire, and I am grateful to the donors who have acknowledged his considerable impact and chosen to support members of our Black student population with these awards.”

Five $1,000 awards will be granted this academic year to any current Black students through an application process (on a one-time only basis), and the applicants will be required to demonstrate a history of community engagement, extracurricular activities at Acadia, and career and life goals.

Starting with entering students for Fall 2021, three Edwin Borden Awards valued at $3,500 annually, for a total of up to $14,000 each, will be offered. They will be open to entering Black Nova Scotian students. An additional renewable award will be made available each year until there are ten given annually.

Recipients will be chosen by a committee consisting of two admission advisors, two Black students, one Black community leader, and up to two ad hoc members to be selected by the other members.

Acadia students will be emailed an application. For more on the awards, please contact