When Frank McKenna read about STU’s Moot Court program, it reminded him of his longtime assistant, Ruth McCrea, who passed away earlier this year.

That’s why the former New Brunswick Premier and Deputy Chair of the Toronto-Dominion Bank made a personal donation in McCrea’s name to support STU’s Moot Court program.

“Julie and I are pleased to announce a personal contribution in the name of Ruth McCrea of $300,000 to endow the St. Thomas University moot court team,” said McKenna. “She was a magnificent warrior who inspired confidence and respect. She gave me inspiration and courage in facing the many obstacles in public life, and she made me who I am.  You should be very proud to know that she acquired many of her formidable skills at St. Thomas University.”

McKenna said that he had worked with McCrea for 35 years and since her passing he had been looking for a way of honouring her courage, heart and spirit. 

“This Moot Court program represented everything that I admired about Ruth McCrea.  It is almost inconceivable that students from a small undergraduate liberal arts university without a law school could compete against the best and brightest students around the world and win. I can't think of a better way of honouring my feisty assistant than by supporting this feisty Moot Court team.”

STU’s Moot Court program is an experiential learning opportunity offered through the Human Rights Program. Close to 400 teams compete across the United States in tournaments and this year the STU Moot Court Team earned a bid to the US Nationals for the second straight year. STU was the only university from Canada competing and was represented by two teams, one of which finished 22nd out of 350 teams. STU students also earned speaker and brief-writing awards. 

This summer, STU students became the first-ever Canadian team to win the Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition. The team qualified by submitting a legal brief and two students attended the competition in Geneva.  They went head-to-head against Yale, beating them in the first round, and edged Oxford out on points. They mooted against the University of Buenos Aires, winning the final round and finishing #1 out of 38 schools.

“For someone who did not attend STU, Frank has had a relationship with the university that is equal to any die-hard “green and gold” alumni,” said Dawn Russell, President and Vice-Chancellor.

“These remarkable accomplishments do more than bring international recognition to STU.  They signal that we are on the right track; with dedicated faculty and financial assistance from donors, our talented and hardworking students have the opportunity to do their best and show that they are among the world’s best.  We are proud of this program, and the performance of our students,” said Russell. 

In addition to the personal donation from the McKennas, the TD Bank has made a contribution of $100,000 towards the university’s capital campaign.

“There are huge demands on the Bank's community giving program, and we would not be successful in securing this contribution without the support of our very dynamic TD team here in Fredericton, New Brunswick and the thousands of TD employees who work across the province. St. Thomas University has a long and venerable history and has been a rich contributor to the province's success. It deserves our support,” added McKenna.

“The $100,000 pledge from the TD Bank for our capital campaign is greatly appreciated.  We are already at the 60% mark in meeting our $10 million goal, and this is another step towards success,” said Russell.