The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Carleton Collegiate Chapter is a student group dedicated to promoting a culture of philanthropy at Carleton University. Each year, the chapter champions one deserving cause in need of funding.
This year, we need your help in supporting the Janice Elliott Student Service Bursary in memory of one of Carleton’s most loved staff members. The bursary was inspired by her service to the university, its students and her wonderful sense of humour.
Janice was a Carleton staff member for 27 years until 2014, when she left to deal with a diagnosis of bladder cancer. Following her diagnosis, Janice found ways to handle her cancer therapy but remain for as long as possible at the job that she was devoted to and dearly loved.
As the departmental administrator, Janice Elliott was often the face first encountered at the Paul Menton Centre for Students with Disabilities (PMC), the student service department on campus that coordinates academic accommodations and support services for students with disabilities.
It was in Janice’s numerous interactions with the clients that her true nature shone through. In the midst of the stresses of university life, clients were drawn to Janice for her uncanny ability to bring laughter and light-heartedness to any situation. Her selflessness, welcoming demeanor, positive attitude, down-to-earth guidance, and hearty laugh were among the most obvious charms of her character.
Janice’s Impact at Carleton
Two notable ways in which Janice learned of her incredible impact at Carleton were through demonstrations by students and then by the greater Carleton community.
Many former clients of the PMC visited Janice at her bedside throughout her fight to regain her health. A former client with his own challenges travelled two hours to the hospital by bus to visit Janice on a few separate occasions. It was important for him to spend time with her. When he was attending Carleton, Janice was always available to him for support, empathy, and encouragement. He wanted to express his gratitude for these things as well as his genuine concern for her.
Janice met her partner Ed Bigelow in the hallways of Carleton 24 years earlier – she an employee of Health and Counselling Services and he a groundskeeper. They always knew they were in it for the long haul and had planned to marry but never got around to actually walking down the aisle. When Janice was given the news of her poor prognosis, this gave the couple the push they needed to finally take the plunge. In less than a month, Janice’s colleagues in the PMC, where she worked for 15 years, mastered the art of wedding planning and pulled together a very special day for Ed and Janice. It seemed only natural that the two should marry where they first met – here at Carleton. The day featured an outpouring of love as entertainment, food, and drink were all gladly donated to ensure the success of the celebration.
After the ceremony, Janice said, “I can’t say enough about what this day means to me. It has really taken my breath away.”
Janice sadly lost her battle on the morning of September 9, 2016. She will always be remembered with great admiration, respect, and for her personal strength especially in the face of adversity.
Over the course of this campaign we hope to raise $1,000 to continue Janice’s legacy at Carleton.
Our ultimate goal is to raise enough funds to fully endow this bursary and ensure a deserving student receives this award each year. Once endowed, this award – and Janice’s memory – will exist in perpetuity, supporting students who have demonstrated extraordinary dedication in assisting the Paul Menton Centre in providing services to students with disabilities.
Janice once said that working with students at the PMC “is the best job in the world.” This bursary remembers Janice for her service to the university and its students.
Our goal is to ensure that Carleton students who share Janice’s passion for and commitment to serving students with disabilities will have access to this fund.
Photo caption: Ed Bigelow and Janice Elliott on their wedding day at Carleton University on April 9, 2016 in the midst of Elliott’s battle with cancer. (George Haram)