A scholarship named after former New Brunswick premier Richard Hatfield got a financial boost from a whiskey tasting in Saint John on Monday.
Hatfield was New Brunswick's longest-serving premier, holding the office from 1970 until 1987. Hatfield died in 1991. The Hon. Richard Hatfield Undergraduate Scholarship in Political Science was established a few years later by the Fredericton South Progressive Conservative Association.
"The scholarship was started in the mid-nineties and it hadn't had a lot added to the endowment from the original contribution," said Stephen Smith, who organized the fund-raiser for the scholarship fund. "So a group of us wanted to get those numbers up higher than they had been."
When Smith was a student, he worked for Hatfield for several summers.
"I was a young impressionable 21, 22 year old who was getting a chance to work with one of his political idols and I studied political science which is another reason why the scholarship matters to me as well," he said. "So having that type of opportunity was exceptional."
The $750 scholarship is awarded annually to a political science major. With the $5,000 raised at Monday's event, Smith anticipates the amount awarded will increase to more than $1,000.
"I suspect after tonight's endowment, we'll end up raising that to $1,100, $1,200 dollars a year," said Smith. "So I think that will help students get through their education and as we all know it's very expensive."
Hatfield's great-nephew Daniel Hatfield has happy to see that his great-uncle's contributions are still remembered.
"It's good to see his name live on in a little bit of a historical perspective," he said. "Especially for up-and-coming political science students who might hopefully decide to put their shoulder to the grindstone and run for public office some day."