Community gift to support Applied Disability Studies grad students

Brian Davies (BA ’02) made a career out of giving back to the community through his work with Bethesda, a non-profit organization dedicated to serving children, youth and adults with special needs.

Those aspirations have continued beyond his retirement as Chief Executive Officer in January after 37 years with the organization.

To honour his contributions to the developmental services sector, Bethesda’s Board of Directors have worked with Brock University to establish the Bethesda-Brian H. Davies Bursary, which will provide $5,000 annually to a deserving student within the Master of Applied Disability Studies program.

“Brock University is pleased to receive this support from Bethesda that will go towards funding Brock students who work with our community partners and residents. We are honoured to be a part of celebrating Brian’s achievements and his legacy on campus and beyond,” said Lesley Rigg, Brock University President and Vice-Chancellor.

Paul McGowan, Bethesda’s new Chief Executive Officer, said it has been a privilege working with Davies for nearly 22 years.

“Brian has always stressed investing in those who work with individuals with special needs,” he said. “This bursary will help to further support the education of students in the developmental services sector for many years to come.”

Under Davies’ leadership, Bethesda flourished and was able to annually support more than 3,280 children, youth and adults through supported living homes, day activities, clinical services and specialized supports.

He played a large role in Bethesda’s addition of children and youth programming to its services in 2001, directed the build of Bethesda’s Niagara Family Centre through public donations in 2016 and navigated the organization that staffed nearly 500 people through a global pandemic while being appointed an Infection Prevention and Control Canada (IPAC) Champion in the process.

In addition to his work with Bethesda, Davies also made his mark in the developmental services sector with involvement in the Community Networks of Specialized Care, Great Lakes Society, Developmental Services Provincial Network, Developmental Service Reform Reference Group, Faith and Culture Inclusion Network and more.

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