Sobey Atlantic Awards recipients gather at their annual supper event.
Sobey Atlantic Awards recipients gather for their annual supper event on the Queen’s campus.

Sobey Atlantic Awards now worth up to $120,000 and open to all incoming Queen’s students from Atlantic Canada

For Benas Groza, Com’24, receiving a Sobey Atlantic Award opened a door to an opportunity he didn’t think was possible – a Queen’s University education. The Fredericton, N.B., native comes from a working-class family of Eastern European immigrants, so being able to attend a top university in Ontario didn’t seem likely.

Fortunately, through hard work and dedication, he received the award – which is now worth up to $120,000 and given to up to 10 talented students from Atlantic Canada who want to attend the Smith School of Business at Queen’s.

“It essentially changed my life,” says Benas. “Not having that financial barrier definitely allowed me to open so many doors. There are many opportunities ahead of me because I was able to attend Queen’s.”

The Sobey Atlantic Awards were established in 1998 by the Sobey family, who are known for starting the large national grocery store chain Sobeys. The award has supported approximately 150 Atlantic Canadians who chose to pursue the Commerce program at Queen’s.

Now the Sobey Atlantic Awards are expanding. Instead of being available to only Commerce students, incoming students from any program at Queen’s are now eligible. This means the award will help fund and inspire future innovators, researchers and trailblazers who are ready to tackle our world’s toughest challenges. 

“I want the Sobey Atlantic Awards to inspire and empower the next generation of leaders from the Atlantic provinces, fostering a legacy of excellence and community impact,” says alumnus Rob Sobey, Artsci’88, who sits on the board of directors of Empire Company, which owns the Sobeys grocery chain. 

For Arthur Huang, Com’24, the Sobey Atlantic Award was more than just financial freedom. The award recipients form a close network and that guidance helped Huang when he arrived in Kingston.

“I remember when I came to Queen’s and within the first week, the upper year (Sobey Award recipients) emailed us, put together a social event and helped us throughout the journey,” says Huang, who is from Halifax. “I would say throughout my Queen’s career, a lot of the upper years have been some of my closest mentors. So, I think that networking with people was really helpful.”

The Sobey Atlantic Awards can be a springboard to greater success. Jane Hutchings, Com’21, went on to Oxford University to become a Rhodes Scholar – one of the world’s most prestigious scholarships. 

For more information about the Sobey Atlantic Awards, visit the Queen’s Major Admission Awards website.