Lawrence Nestman, B. Comm. (Saskatoon), CA CPA (Nova Scotia/Alberta), MHSA (Edmonton)
Professor Emeritus, School of Health Administration, Dalhousie University
Lawrence attended Campion High School from 1957 to 1961.
As a young student, Larry struggled learning the traditional way. To ensure his future success, his parents put their faith in the practices of Campion to bring him academic results. The stakes were higher for Campion students somehow. The Jesuit classes were small with a focus and dedication to students’ spiritual lives. At the same time Campion moved with the times, starting their own cheerleading squad:
“My memories of Campion are of the priests and their interest in us as students. They were strict and had high expectations of us students, instilling in us the value of hard work, of caring for each other at home, school and community. Classes were small so we got to know the priests well and to form bonds with them and our classmates. The priests were devoted and prayerful and strengthened our spiritual lives. On the social side, a very favourite memory is of seven of us classmates forming “The Seven from Heaven”, Campion’s first cheerleading team, cheerleading the Campion basketball team. Army and Navy provided the white socks, shirts and pants, and the priests provided the muskrat fur coats.”
After Campion, Larry pursued a commerce degree, then his CA. His interest in health care led him to the University of Alberta where he completed a Master in Health Administration and was then hired to teach in the Master’s program. Ten years later, Dalhousie hired him to begin a Master’s of Health Administration program: “While director and professor at Dalhousie’s school, I was always mindful of my own shaky beginning and the importance of looking at the whole person and not just on marks to determine what a person is able to do.” For his years of service, upon retirement in 2006, Dalhousie named two awards after him, as well as making him Professor Emeritus.
In his retirement years, his goals are simple and honest: eat well, stay fit, and support one’s friends and family. Larry remains passionate about health care, in large part, through personal experience: “Growing up in Saskatchewan at the time of Tommy Douglas has impacted me greatly and having lost a brother to the health system before health care was universal has made me a major supporter and advocate for universal health care.”
Giving back now is more about reflecting and relaying his ‘life’s wisdom’ to friends and family:
“I now talk to our grandchildren about Saskatchewan, about life when I was living in Regina, about life when I was at Campion and the friends I made and with whom I continue to have meaningful relationships, meeting for reunions every few years and always remembering our days at Campion. I tell our grandchildren about the importance of education, of accepting different forms of learning styles, of the importance of teachers in their lives, the importance of friendship and of giving/ volunteering in their community.”