University of Calgary

Schulich scholarships attract best


Top high-school performers immersed in engineering

By Janice Paskey

Scholarships and bursaries created with the largest donation ever made to the University of Calgary helped to recruit dozens of top high-school students from across Canada and other countries to the Schulich School of Engineering this year.

Two dozen students are studying engineering with the support of premier scholarships created by Toronto-based philanthropist Seymour Schulich. A total of 14 local students received $10,000 awards and 10 students from other communities received $20,000 to cover school and accommodation expenses through the Seymour Schulich Academic Excellence Scholarships and the Seymour Schulich Community Service/Entrepreneurial Entrance Awards.

The scholarships were a deciding factor for a number of students considering U of C. “It did make a difference,” said Bianca Courtright, a violinist from Calgary who looks forward to finding practical solutions to problems as an engineer. “I looked with greater interest at the engineering program at U of C and eventually determined to become a student here.”

Winners of the Seymour Schulich Academic Excellence scholarships had marks in the high 90s. They include Said El-Nachar, 17, a Canadian who spent the last 12 years with his family in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The eldest of seven siblings, El-Nachar had a 98 percent average in high school and is studying engineering with his twin sister, Amani El-Nachar, who won the Entrance Merit Award of $1,750 sponsored by Direct Energy Business Services.

Also receiving funding are 30 students from as far as way as Bolivia and India who will have their tuition and fees (approximately $7,000) covered by the Schulich School of Engineering Dean’s Entrance Awards.

 Mike McCarthy was working at a video store in Fredericton, New Brunswick, when he received the call telling him he received a $20,000 scholarship.

“I struggled to stay focused until the end of my shift,” McCarthy said. “I had always wanted the chance to travel and see more of the country, it just never quite seemed financially viable for me to be able to go and do it right out of high school.”