Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

Lifetime legacy of generosity: John and Adrienne Peacock donate $5 million to Amelia Saputo Centre for Healthy Living 

June 17th, 2022
Adrienne and John Peacock

John ’63 and Adrienne ’63 Peacock, two of StFX’s most loyal alumni, have given extraordinary service to StFX, both through extensive volunteer efforts and financial contribution. On June 17th, they continued this remarkable lifetime legacy of generosity, announcing a $5 million donation to StFX, a gift that will support healthy living for generations to come. 

Their latest gift ensures completion of the renovation of the Amelia Saputo Centre for Healthy Living, the athletics and recreation facility that is used by StFX students, faculty, and staff, and by the broader Antigonish community. 

The impact the facility has on so many was one of the reasons the Peacock family wanted to support the project. 

“We could see this could make a difference,” Mr. Peacock, Chancellor of StFX, said on the reason they decided to support the project. 

“A lot of people benefit, what better project to really support,” he told the large crowd gathered in the Joyce Family Atrium of Mulroney Hall to recognize the contributions of the Peacock family and to celebrate the completion of the fundraising campaign for the Amelia Saputo Centre for Healthy Living.  

“StFX is a special place, it’s special to us, and it’s because of all the people here who really care,” Mrs. Peacock said as she thanked everyone for coming to the event. 

It was truly a day of celebration, as immediately following the ceremony, the StFX Alumni Association announced their largest-ever gift to StFX, $500,000 to help support the completion of the Amelia Saputo Centre, a gift inspired by the Peacock family donation. (PLEASE SEE STORY HERE.)

Board of Governors Chair Dennis Flood ’80 thanked the Peacocks for their enduring support. 

“I’m thrilled to share with you now that, thanks to the support of alumni and friends of the university, we’ve reached our fundraising goal for the next phase of the renovation of the Amelia Saputo Centre for Healthy Living, a building at the heart of campus that welcomes students, faculty, staff, and members of the Antigonish community on a daily basis,” he said.  

“This achievement was made possible by two of StFX’s most loyal alumni: Adrienne and John Peacock, both from the Class of 1963.” 

Mr. Flood said the Peacocks issued the university a challenge: they’d pledge up to five million dollars towards the Saputo Centre – if StFX could find matching pledges from other donors. 

“Our Advancement team loves a challenge, and I’m incredibly pleased to say now that we’ve fully matched the Peacocks’ generous gift.

“Not only does this mean that we can now finish the work to make the Saputo Centre fully accessible for all its users, it also marks a milestone: the Peacock family have now become the most significant alumni donors in StFX history.”

Mr. Flood said the Peacock family has supported the university for decades, both financially and with incredible amounts of time spent in service to StFX. 

Mrs. Peacock has served on the Board of Governors and was a national campaign chair with Annual Giving, and Mr. Peacock has been Chancellor of the university since 2018. Together, they’ve been long-time supporters of the Coady Institute, and in 2016, established the Dr. John T. Sears Chair in Corporate Social Responsibility in honour of one of John Peacock’s most beloved professors.

Iain Boyd, Chief Campaign Officer, Xaverian Fund, who served as master of ceremonies, noted their tremendous impact on StFX.

“Their commitment to StFX is beyond description,” he said. “John and Adrienne are special.”

Many special guests were in attendance at the event including members of the Peacock family, and friends, including surprise guests who flew in to celebrate and support them. 

Son Kevin Peacock and daughter-in-law Giselle Murphy, executive director of the Peacock Family Foundation, also spoke at the event. 

Kevin recalled as a child how he would see his parents strike up conversations with other people they met, connected just because they wore an X-Ring. “For us, it was a real introduction to that sense of community, of being part of something bigger,” he said. 

As generous as his parents have been to StFX, the reverse is true as well, he said. The school has been generous to his parents too. “We’re proud to be here today, to see the community that’s been an integral part of their lives.”

“You couldn’t ask for a better family,” Ms. Murphy said. They are generous in spirit, kind and are firmly devoted to their family, their community and the community here at StFX.

Just as the ceremony ended, Mr. Peacock also noted his twin granddaughters, who are entering Grade 7, are here today, “to expose them to this wonderful place,” he joked, ‘for some day.” 


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