Seymour Schulich was once an MBA student who completed his studies thanks to scholarship support. Now a leading businessman and a philanthropist in Toronto, he has been supporting Canadian students through the Schulich Leader Scholarships program—and wants to give even more.
Beginning this year, the Schulich Leader Scholarships program is doubling its annual recipients from 50 to 100, to offer greater opportunity for students who are aspiring to excel in the science, engineering, technology, and mathematics fields (STEM).
The program partners with 20 Canadian universities, including the University of Saskatchewan (USask), to award these undergraduate scholarships to entering first-year STEM students.
Fifty high school students who want to pursue an Engineering degree will be each awarded $100,000 scholarships, and another 50 students who are interested in science, technology, or mathematics degrees will each receive $80,000. These funds are dedicated to Schulich Leaders who are academically keen in STEM fields, have a passion for entrepreneurship, and need financial aid.
Schulich said he commits to keeping Canada at the forefront of the knowledge-based economy, by supporting students who are going to be the next leaders in research, innovation, and technological advancements.
“With 100 outstanding students selected in Canada each year, it is all but guaranteed that this group will represent the best and brightest Canada has to offer. These future leaders will make great contributions to society, both on a national and global scale. With their university expenses covered, they can focus their time on their studies, research projects, extracurriculars, and entrepreneurial ventures. They are the next generation of technology innovators,” said Schulich.
USask has welcomed 16 Schulich Leaders to the Saskatoon campus since the establishment of the program in 2012.
Students Morgan Beattie and Ashim Dhital recently joined the USask pack this fall. Thanks to Schulich scholarships, Beattie will receive educational support of $80,000 over four years to support her studies in the College of Arts and Science. Dhital will receive $100,000 over four years to aid his education in the College of Engineering.
“I have always had a natural curiosity and hunger for science. I look forward to exploring many areas of science at the University of Saskatchewan until I am ready to narrow my focus on a specific field. I am so thankful to be a Schulich Leader and to be able to pursue my love of science without financial pressure,” said Beattie.
USask alumni Lance Pitka is also thankful for the Schulich Leader Scholarships program. He was able to earn a degree in Electrical Engineering through the Schulich award, valued of $60,000. In an interview with the Globe and Mail, Pitka said, “The most beneficial part of university is the stuff you do outside of it. “Because of [the scholarship], I was able to pay for school and not work during the year,” he added, instead of using his time to do extracurricular activities and focus on his career path.
Fast forward to now, Pitka is running his own company called Rivercity Innovations that aims to reduce rural crime in the province through engineering solutions. For him, getting involved in extracurricular activities outside classes has helped him build industry skills and experience.
High schools in the country can nominate one Schulich Leader nominee per academic year; the program receives 1,500 nominees annually. But this year, 100 aspiring STEM students now have the opportunity to attain higher education and become the next leaders of tomorrow, thanks to the Schulich Leader Scholarships program.