More than $75,000 in scholarships were presented from local donors, families, individuals and organizations at this year’s Unity Composite High School graduation ceremonies.
Thirty-one different scholarship donors awarded 60 UCHS graduating students with scholarships and bursaries. While some of the traditional scholarships have elapsed, new ones were added this year.
In a one-time event, the Unity Kilwinning Masonic Lodge No. 73, a chapter of the Masons, awarded $62,187 in 25 bursaries and scholarships to the class of 2021. This is a large sum from the organization, which normally presents seven awards.
Byron Trapp, who has long been part of annual donations from this organization to UCHS graduates, says for many years, their lodge has consistently given $15,500 each year through families who have donated to the lodge for this purpose. They are honouring these families and benefitting these students with their philanthropy.
Funds for these awards came from families of Masons, past and present, who want to honour their loved ones while giving back to the youth of Unity. The majority of these funds came from the generosity of Isabel Anderson, a former graduate of UCHS.
The five-figure scholarship distribution benefitted 25 students under the categories of John Coid Masonic Memorial Bursary; Tommy Rutherford Masonic Bursary, Tommy Rutherford Masonic Scholarship, Isabel Anderson Physical Science Masonic Award and the Jimmy and Ethel Anderson Masonic Memorial Awards.
A former UCHS student, who passed away in early 2020, had a scholarship presented in his name. The Friesen family donated the Errol Friesen Memorial Bursary, presented by UCHS staff at the ceremony.
Abby Rutley earned the Grade 12 proficiency medal with an average of 96.53 per cent and was also presented the honour cord before she delivered the valedictorian address. Abby also was presented the governor general medal for having an overall combined average from Grades 11 and 12 of 95.7 per cent.
Graduates, their families and school staff have, over the years, appreciated the dedication of numerous donors for each year’s commencement ceremonies. This year students were exceptionally blessed with the sheer number of awards and overall dollar figure that was handed out. These scholarships and bursaries are of great financial assistance to students entering post-secondary education. As well, it is a great reward for their hard work and commitment to academics.
Many of the scholarship/bursary donors have often said that philanthropy to youth is a high priority for them as it is their way of investing in the future.
Congratulations to all UCHS winners this year.