When Jill Tasker (BSc (Physiotherapy)’80) was a young woman preparing for university, her father was adamant about one thing: he wanted her to live in residence during her first year. At the time she didn’t fully understand his insistence, but when she started at Dalhousie, she quickly realized the sense of community that came along with residence living. And it remains strong nearly 40 years later.
While living in residence was one invaluable experience, her time playing varsity basketball and studying physiotherapy also helped shape her both personally and academically and strengthened her bond to Dal. “Everything I have today I gained from my time at Dal; it shaped who I am,” says Tasker, who passed along her father’s advice to her three university-aged children.
It’s that sentiment which motivated Tasker to begin supporting athletics and physiotherapy at Dal. She has been loyally doing so since the early 1980s, not long after she graduated. In 2017 she was named a member of the university’s MacLennan Society which celebrates alumni and friends who make the decision to consistently give back to Dal.
“I like what the Athletics Black & Gold Club offers for students,” says Tasker referring to the Black & Gold Academic Support Program. The program, available with the help of generous donors like Tasker, is a major component of the club. It provides students resources—study skill seminars, free tutoring and academic support—to help them achieve their academic goals.
“I happily support that initiative because I understand what it’s like to balance school and athletics. The free tutoring especially is a huge benefit in my opinion. I’m glad they have a resource that helps them with their studies and athletic endeavours.”
A well-known physiotherapist in Halifax, Tasker established South End Physiotherapy Clinic in 1990 and continues to enjoy treating orthopedic and sports medicine patients. She is passionate about her field of practice and does what she can to support the next generation of professionals coming up through the ranks. And she’s proud of how Dal’s School of Physiotherapy has matured over the years. “I have watched the school grow from a diploma program to a degree program and now a master’s degree,” says Tasker.
“The growth enhances the reputation, skill set and reach of physiotherapists. I’ve always felt giving back to the program or area you studied is a way to help the profession move forward. In a way you’re helping the next generation to grow because they can access the tools and resources they need.”