Although Sharon Richardson retired from Carleton University in 2006, her positive memories as a proud alumna and former staff member continue to inspire her to support students as a loyal donor. For Sharon, creating new opportunities for students through philanthropy is an important part of their academic experience as she says, “Donations help provide additional support that wouldn’t normally be there.”

For over three decades, Sharon looked forward to admiring the scenery along the river and eagerly awaited the bustling of students every September that signified the beginning of a new academic year. As the former Manager of Client Services in Computing and Communication Services—now known as Information Technology Services—Sharon’s passion for giving back to the community led her to start making regular donations, as well as donating through payroll deduction.

For Sharon, her experience as a student that spanned exactly 50 years was the impetus behind supporting funds such as the Collections Fund for MacOdrum Library, Student Aid Fund and Faculty of Public Affairs. From the time she started her Bachelor of Arts in Law and Legal Studies part-time in 1968, to the time she completed the last course of her Master’s in the same program in 2018, Sharon recognized the impact that enhanced resources can have during a student’s academic journey.

As Sharon says, “I hope my donations make the lives of students easier in some ways. I think anything that gives back to students is a good thing.” In addition to dedicating her time to perennial learning and philanthropy, Sharon is a passionate volunteer in the curling community and for a number of local organizations.

Since her retirement from Carleton, Sharon established a new career as a realtor with Royal Lepage and continues to provide philanthropic support through Carleton—reinforcing her connection to the place and people that have left a profound imprint on her life. As she reflects, “As an employee it was a fantastic place to work, and as a student I had wonderful professors.”

Behind the Donor Curtain:

Do you have a personal motto / credo / saying?

Your time is as valuable as your money is.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

I had wanted to be a librarian to begin with, and when I started taking courses in Law at Carleton, I really thought that being a law librarian would be right up my alley. That’s what I would do if I was going to do something else.

Where is your favourite spot on campus?

Sitting by the river to have my lunch—it was the perfect place to be.

What inspires you to “do good” by supporting the Carleton community?

Seeing students benefit from support.