A legacy to share

November 2, 2018
Shannon Coulter
President Allan Cahoon
“It will give students an opportunity to do something that will make the world a little bit better.”

When the president of Royal Roads University steps down this year, he leaves behind a school that is richer in every sense of the word.

President Allan Cahoon hadn’t intended to be an administrator for 11 years. In 2007, he was the acting president at the University of Regina, looking forward to returning to the classroom as a professor. Seniority meant he would have his pick of classes, with time to research and consult.

His plans changed when he saw the opportunity to lead Royal Roads. The university was already on the path to becoming his idea of a 21st century educational institution. It was reaching wider communities, developing programs for mid-career professionals, and blending online education with short-term on-campus learning.

“They were a bellwether for the direction education should be moving,” Cahoon recalls. “You can’t expect that you can pre-load all the education anyone needs into a 22-year-old and then you are done for life.”

He was concerned that graduate degrees, a stepping-stone to senior management, had long been restricted to wealthier students. As a business professor, Cahoon wanted to see more diversity in classrooms and workplaces.

He knew that everyone benefits when the classroom embraces different perspectives, including Indigenous students, international students, immigrants, LGBTQ people and those who might be struggling financially.

“You can’t get a global perspective from just reading case studies,” he says.

The challenge is that Royal Roads draws less than a quarter of its revenues from government subsidies, which raises tuition. So Cahoon made raising funds for scholarships a priority.

He developed the President's Aboriginal Support Bursary to improve Indigenous students’ access to education, and the Allan Cahoon Global Advancement and Diversity Award to support his vision of a university that connects people globally. 

Now, as a nod to his legacy, Royal Roads has introduced a third award: The Allan Cahoon Scholarship, designed to support students who excel as scholars and leaders.

“I’m excited by this fund because it will give students an opportunity to do something that will make the world a little bit better.”


This year you’ve already helped raise more than $700,000 in new student award commitments. It’s not too late to give. All donations made before Dec. 31, 2018 will be included in the Power of One initiative to make a life-changing difference for students. 

Donate now toward the area of the university that means the most to you, or get in touch with us to find out how you can set up your own fund.