Top scholars celebrated at Glendon

This year’s scholarship reception, held on Sept. 20 at York’s Glendon campus, showcased the largest number of award recipients in Glendon’s history.

Almost 160 people attended the reception to celebrate more than $800,000 in scholarships and bursaries for Glendon students. “We have scholarship winners from across Canada, indeed from around the world," said Glendon Student Financial Services manager Fiona Kay. “We are very pleased to welcome the recipient of an International Circle of Scholars award from Trinidad and Tobago, as well as the winner of an International Scholarship for the Caribbean and an International Scholar from Africa.”

Right: Guests and community members gathered on Sept. 20 to celebrate Glendon’s scholarship recipients

In his welcoming speech, Glendon Principal Kenneth McRoberts underlined the excellence of Glendon’s international and interdisciplinary community and said he was proud to announce that one of only four York President’s Scholarships for 2007 has gone to a Glendon applicant.

We congratulate the seven Harris Steel Entrance Scholarship winners – three from the west and four from Quebec, and the nine BMO winners from across the country. Add these to the several hundred scholarship winners from Ontario, and you can see that Glendon is a vibrant community of intellectually minded individuals,” said McRoberts.

The Glendon principal offered advice to the students saying it was important to continue to excel in their first year and to make the most of Glendon’s bilingual and multicultural environment. “Now that you are at university, you will realize that it’s the questions you ask that matter," said McRoberts.

Jaclyn Volkhammer (left), recipient of the York University President’s Scholarship, is a French immersion graduate from Langstaff Secondary School in Richmond Hill, Ont. With a graduating average of 96.3 per cent, Volkhammer has been considering Glendon ever since her first visit  to the campus in grade 11. Since then, she has attended several open houses, academic coffee houses and other recruitment events. When the moment came to choose her university, Volkhammer selected York and Glendon. “I chose Glendon for many reasons," said Volkhammer. “I like its size and the friendliness of the community. The bilingual opportunity and the beauty of the campus were other reasons why I was sure that this was where I wanted to study.”

French immersion graduate Kristen Pennington (right) from LaSalle, Ont., received the Betty and John Banks Award, in recognition of her high entrance average and community work. Pennington chose to pursue a program in Canadian studies with a future plan of continuing on to York’s Osgoode Hall Law School to study criminal law. “I come from an Anglophone family but I am determined to continue developing my French proficiency," said Pennington. “Glendon offers me a great opportunity to do so. It’s my first time away from home and a big adjustment, but orientation and the residence environment have made me feel right at home. I love the big city and all that it has to offer.”

A graduate of Jarvis Collegiate Institute in Toronto, Ont., Saeeda God (right) is not yet fully bilingual, but hopes to become bilingual at Glendon. As part of her Service Bursary, she has received a placement at John Fisher Public School where she will be working with grade six French immersion students. “I chose to come to Glendon because the great environment, the opportunity to study in French and the beautiful campus really appealed to me,” said God.

Another scholarship recipient, Karine Dubois (left), hails from Trois Rivières, Que., and is pursuing international studies in both English and French. She has received both a Bourse d’entrée du Québec (a Quebec Entrance Scholarship) and a Harris Steel Award. “I live off-campus sharing with a friend, but I enjoy both the campus and the city, and everything about my Glendon experience so far," said Dubois.

As the MC for the reception, Louise Lewin, Glendon associate principal (student affairs), next introduced Polina Kukar (right), a top student who has just returned after a year overseas, for her fourth year of a double major in international studies and psychology. Kukar is also enrolled in concurrent education program and is a scholarship recipient who has received numerous awards during her years at Glendon. In her remarks, Kukar encouraged students to take every opportunity that is offered to them and confirmed that it is possible to do well at university while working in the community and pursuing other interestsl.

Glendon alumnus and political science Professor Ian Roberge, who is also the coordinator of the Bilingual Certificate in Public Administration & Public Policy Program, addressed those present. As president of Friends of Glendon (FoG), a volunteer organization dedicated to offering financial help to students in need, Roberge recognized the contribution of members of the Living & Learning in Retirement program at Glendon, a continuing education program for retirees. The program’s members regularly contribute to student bursaries and awards, and they also open their homes during holidays to students who cannot travel home to their families.  

Roberge announced the creation of two new scholarships funded by FoG: the Bourse Louise Lewin en études françaises, and the Gilles Fortin Scholarship in Business Economics. The scholarships are named in honour of two people who have had a long history with Glendon. Lewin is a long-standing faculty member and associate principal for student affairs, and Fortin, a York alumnus and Glendon’s executive officer. “These new awards were named after these two members of the Glendon community in order to recognize the outstanding work they have done and continue to do to help students and FoG”, said Roberge.

Submitted to YFile by Glendon communications officer Marika Kemeny