, Brockville, Ont.
Queen’s is part of my family’s history. My two uncles, who I was quite close to, who were graduates. My grandfather went to Queen’s as well. It was part of the fabric of our family.
I always knew I wanted to be an engineer. I considered other universities, but Queen’s was the place to go for engineering, so I went to Queen’s.
I was living in residence for my first two years, and late in my second year I realized that I was running low on money. I would be completely out of money by the end of the school year. I went to the Student Awards Office and asked them if I could get some financial help. They came back to me with $125 from the Atkinson Charitable Foundation. I was going to be destitute and it was weighing on my mind a lot. And that $125 made me feel free again. It let me concentrate on what I was supposed to be there for.
After graduation, I worked in the telecommunications industry. I got that job because of my Queen’s connections. A professor of mine recommended me to a friend of his. That’s the only time Queen’s came up in my career, but it was right when I needed it the most.
I still think about that $125 and what a difference it made in my life. And so I decided to make a gift to Queen’s.
My family is very small. There’s only me left now. But in 2015, when I started thinking about this, my mother was also alive. We were revising our wills and talking about what we were going to do. There was no one to leave money to apart from one another, so I suggested we give it to Queen’s. My mother died the year before the bursary was set up, but if she was still alive, she would have appreciated it.
We wanted to do something useful with the money, and Queen’s was a logical choice. It was logical for me because of my experience and it was logical for her because her two brothers went there.
The bursary is directed toward undergraduate students in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. It’s solely based on financial need. I go back to being a second-year Engineering student. That $125 made all the difference in the world for me. I want to do the same thing for someone else.