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July 26, 2016

Making Connections

U.S. Fulbright scholar sees Coady potential south of the border
Bob Jaquay walks across his office and points to a column of colour-coded sticky notes. “This is how I'm mapping the possibilities,” he says.
The Cleveland-based community development specialist is in Antigonish for three weeks working with StFX University’s Coady International Institute.
Sponsored by the U.S. State Department, Jaquay is exploring how the Institute can work more closely with American think tanks, community development experts and potential organizational donors.
He also thinks the Institute can develop a higher profile as a centre for adult education for social and economic justice.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity to trigger thinking around new relationships,” he said in a recent interview. “Whether it’s Coady attending major academic events, getting publications reviewed in leading development journals and websites…there are certainly opportunities to connect your expertise with similar thinkers in my country.”
Jaquay’s day job is associate director of the George Gund Foundation, which has made grants of $600 million dollars since its inception in 1952.
Gund was the son of a wealthy brewery owner. When the business was sold, it led to a substantial fortune that included stock investments, banking and real estate. A grandson became part-owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers professional basketball franchise and two teams in the National Hockey League.
In his temporary office in Antigonish, Jaquay talks about his days as community activist while his legal career was taking shape. While studying during his night shift at a parish-owned credit union, a priest happened to mention Coady Institute.
Eager to learn more, Jaquay went to the Internet and printed a copy of ‘Masters of Their Own Destiny’, the internationally renowned book by Rev. Dr. Moses Coady that has inspired community builders around the world for decades.
“As my career progressed, I saw a pattern developing of me trying to ‘move money to mission’…getting money to people who needed capital to buy tools or fix a driveway that had cracked over the winter. Or to make it possible for a developer to build a new housing project.”
That path ultimately led him to the George Gund Foundation, where he has spent the past twenty years.
“I always had the idea of learning and doing more, and when the Fulbright opportunity arose I thought Coady would be a perfect fit,” he said.