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Adler University Honours Joy MacPhail Through Named Public Policy Program, Scholarships

University News | 06.10.22

Namesake program and scholarships recognize former University Board of Trustees Chair


Adler University is renaming one of its master’s programs in Vancouver to recognize Joy MacPhail for her nine years of dedication to the institution as a board member and contributions to community health and wellness as a longtime member of the British Columbia New Democratic Party. The newly named Joy MacPhail Master of Public Policy and Administration program (MPPA) is also raising funds to establish the Joy MacPhail MPPA Leadership Scholarship, the University’s first for students who identify as women, and an annual Women’s Leadership Showcase.

“Joy has been an invaluable leader as a trustee and the chair of our board. Her contributions have made a profound impact on the University and have supported record-breaking enrollment and philanthropic growth,” said Adler University President Raymond Crossman. “Naming the public policy program after Joy and establishing an annual event and scholarship to support students is akin to her enduring professional impact. We thank the donors who are making this possible, and we thank Joy for exemplifying Adler’s values and vision.”

Originally from Hamilton, Ontario, MacPhail first rose to prominence as a member of Premier Mike Harcourt’s cabinet in British Columbia and served in the cabinet of Premier Glen Clark. She has served in various roles, including Minister of Health, Minister of Finance, Deputy Premier, and Leader of the Opposition. In 2021, she was appointed the Order of Canada, one of the country’s highest civilian honors, for her political contributions and advocacy of underserved and marginalized communities.

“Joy is a force of nature,” Premier John Horgan said. “She has spent a lifetime fighting for affordable housing and economic equality. Her tireless advocacy on behalf of people suffering from poverty and discrimination was recognized with her recent appointment to the Order of Canada. Her association with Adler University shows her commitment to developing socially responsible policies to benefit future generations. She tackles even the thorniest problems with exuberance. She has what you might call a Joy de Vivre.”

The University’s MPPA program shapes future policymakers, public administrators, and community-based professionals seeking to impact systemic social change. Its master’s students come from 16 countries – 75 percent are female, and 80 percent are BIPOC. The program, which offers concentrations in social change leadership and international justice studies, has experienced a 23 percent growth in the last year. As part of their education, students receive practical hands-on experience working on advocacy and social change efforts that improve community well-being through Adler’s Social Justice Practicum with partners like Dragonstone, Fraser Health, S.U.C.C.E.S.S and the Children’s Organ Transplant Society.

“The graduate students in Adler’s MPPA program learn how to effectively use policy to bring about positive social change in our community, which Joy has embodied throughout her career, without a doubt,” said Program Director Sandra Song. “MPPA has significantly grown over recent years and has attracted many women – each with a tremendous drive like Joy – who are in search of a practise-based education to ultimately influence political change, tackle systemic barriers, and ease economic deprivation.”

Through the establishment of the Joy MacPhail Fund, donors can continue to support Adler and the creation of the annual showcase and scholarships, which will further prepare students with the skills, knowledge, and experience for a range of career pathways, including municipal, provincial, and federal governments and agencies, as well as with not-for-profit organizations, advocacy groups, and research institutes.

The Joy MacPhail Fund and namesake program were announced at a celebratory dinner hosted by Bob Rennie at the rennie museum on June 9.

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