A transformative gift from an alumni family will allow York University to enhance its financial support for students seeking global learning opportunities.
York University is launching a new scholarship program, which has been made possible thanks to a generous gift from an alumni family. The program will allow students to participate in diverse global learning opportunities, such as internships, academic exchanges, faculty-led programs, research abroad and seminars/conferences.
York University alumni and life partners Hian Siang Chan and Paulina Lau, and their families, have created the Paulina Lau Scholars Program in honour of their strong personal and familial ties to the University. Chan, who is the CEO and the executive director of Singapore-based SP Chemicals Pte. Ltd., said their family is committed to creating positive global change and through this gift, they are hoping to encourage and support a similar ethos among York students to right the future.
“Through our experience, we think this scholars program will provide students with an invaluable opportunity to study or work in a different country and environment. Experiencing the history and culture of another country and making new friends enrich their personal development,” says Chan.
Adds Lau, “International study or work abroad programs are also effective in challenging students to develop a global perspective. We are delighted to support students at York University, our alma mater, as they embark on enriching experiences.”
York University students in the Lassonde School of Engineering, the Faculty of Science or the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies can apply to the program, which will begin in the Fall 2022 term. Criteria for selection include financial need, equity, diversity and inclusion, academic and professional merit, intercultural learning and societal impact.
“At York, we are committed to building a better future for all, and our active network of alumni plays a positive role in supporting and advancing that vision,” says Rhonda Lenton, president and vice-chancellor.
“We are grateful to Hian Siang Chan and Paulina Lau for their generous investment, which will increase the accessibility of global learning opportunities for our students and enhance their knowledge and skills to solve challenges such as inequality, war and conflict, and the climate crisis. We are incredibly proud of these successful alums and their commitment to giving back to the University through this transformative support for students,” adds Lenton.
Vinitha Gengatharan, York’s assistant vice-president, global engagement and partnerships, says the Paulina Lau Scholars Program will provide opportunities for talented students who wouldn’t otherwise consider going abroad.
“Gifts like these open doors for promising students who might not have the financial means to travel without aid. This gift allows them to dream big and take on bold opportunities,” Gengatharan adds. “We are thrilled and inspired that Mr. Chan and Ms. Lau recognize the value of such formative opportunities for our students.”