Emergency funding can help students stay in school and be successful. That’s why Dr. Richard Florizone and his wife, Dr. Mona Holmlund, have committed up to $50,000 to establish the On Track Microbursary. The bursary will provide first and second-year students with urgent financial need up to $500 in support to, starting in September 2018.

“Student success, student retention and equity of access are core to our values and Dalhousie’s strategic priorities,” says Dr. Florizone. “By increasing access to emergency financial aid for students, together with the support offered through On Track, we’re strengthening Dalhousie’s ability to help students be successful.”

The bursaries will be aligned with On Track, Dalhousie’s flagship student success and retention program. It provides coaching and supports on a broad range of topics vital to success at university. Working together, these programs strengthen Dalhousie’s ability to help students be successful. The goal is to raise $50,000. When combined with the Florizone/Holmlund matching funds, there will be $100,000 available — enough to support at least 200 students with bursaries.

For students in financial distress, a small gift can make a big difference. Dalhousie’s bicentennial year seems a fitting time to invest in the success of our students through the On Track Microbursary.


Sometimes you just need a little help to get over that bump in the road. Dr. Richard Florizone, president and vice-chancellor of Dalhousie University, and his wife Dr. Mona Holmlund know this first hand. That’s why they are making a family gift to help create an emergency bursary program for students at Dalhousie.

Getting in to university is one of life’s most exciting accomplishments. Being successful once you’re there can present a new set of challenges. At Dalhousie we want to ensure our students have the support they need to be successful, including emergency financial assistance.

“Even if you didn’t experience a financial crisis when you were a student, you knew someone who struggled, just think what that’s like and what some funding would mean to a student in hard times. It’s hard to have to decide between groceries and university supplies, but sometimes that’s what I have to do.” – Andrew Chen

“Without the support I received, I would not have been able to come to Dal.”
– Stephanie Mah

We’re asking the entire Dalhousie community – faculty, staff, alumni, friends and partners – to contribute to the On Track Microbursay to provide emergency financial aid to students in need. Drs. Florizone and Holmlund believe that together, the Dalhousie community can match the gift of $50,000. That would mean at least 200 students could access emergency bursaries of up to $500.


The On Track Microbursary funds will help students be successful and encourage them to stay in school, knowing that they are part of a supportive and caring community. This funding will support students when they find themselves in an unforeseen financial crisis.

Financial issues are often the reason that first years students drop out, in particular. This initiative will help alleviate these pressures and keep students on track with university life. When Dalhousie students succeed, we all benefit from a stronger society.


Bill Rand

Richard Florizone Mona Holmlund

Rod MacLennan

Heather Sutherland

Raina Clancey

Great concept!

Kathryn Shaw

Terry Lay

Brian and Lisa Johnston

Thank you Richard and Mona for your leadership with this initiative.

Peter Green/Gerrie Masters Green/Masters

We are happy to help.This is a project that could be developed into an endowment by dedicated giving over a period of time.We would give annually to building such an endowment.It appears that tuition and other student expenses will increase and the need will not likely reduce.

Mark Dobbin

Rochelle Owen

Paul Bychok

David Reage

Wynne Lock

carolyn crowell

Katelyn MacDonald

I personally benefited from emergency bursaries during my time at Dal as there were many times finances were tight. I now work in the fundraising industry and can see even more how important it is to have financial support available for students. Thank you for starting this project!

Susan Brousseau

Daniel Chan

Mabel Au

Jason Haslam